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Training Log Archive: Animal-O

In the 1 days ending Aug 17, 2013:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Mtn-biking(!!)1 6:59:00 52.82(7:56) 85.0(4:56)
  Orienteering1 6:55:00
  Kayaking1 2:06:00
  Total1 16:00:00 52.82 85.0

» now

Saturday Aug 17, 2013 #

Mtn-biking(!!) race 6:59:00 [5] 85.0 km (4:56 / km)

Wilderness Traverse !

My first 24hrs race. Our awesome team RaceDayRush #27 (Adrian, Jacek and myself) surprised ourselves. Secretly we aimed for top 10, but were not quite sure to make it. We surely didn’t expect to luck out (a little) and snag a 5th place!
With such a thunderous finale !

Bike Legs

Downward Seat Slide, Wipe Out no.1 and The Cramp Monsters
CP1: 9th fastest split – 2h37min

This was my 5th or 6th "mountain" bike ride! (ever), I was pretty nervous. I had a new bike, and fresh gloves! But chickened out on the toe clips. Free feet I went.

Adrian wanted us to start in front… so I did a lot of nervous giggling. Had some chatsies with Attack-from-Above. Adrian called me back to the front line. One, two three… (camera guy don’t get squashed!) Go!!
Pedal, pedal, pedal. Things felt good.

We held a pretty hard pace, until my seat started to gradually slip down… before the first 2k, my knees were folding high, and I needed to stop and tighten that bolt. Argh argh, we were doing so well, teams rushed by as I fiddled.
Hunker down we start off again. Up and up until we come across some big wig teams doubling back!… hummm?!… Wisely, we also turned around (and this is when we happily spotted Attack from Above!!! )
With this lucky break, we instantly “passed” all the other teams doubling back from the nav error. ☺
Pedal, pedal on we go. Youhoo!

Not too long after,… Jacek’s little bag pouch gets louse from under his seat, and as he tries to fix it, his tires slip and… Wipe out!
AOoouch! He fell pretty hard but dusted off and jumped back with a dry joke or two.
We pushed on and were doing really good. Riding fast, playing catch up and passing.

Then “THEY” started… Max 1h and a half in: the crampies. Calf. I start pushing heal to the pedal toes up to ease them off. I scrounge my bag for salt tabs, I had been drinking but also sweating buckets (as usual). After a while, the front shin muscle went, and my quads were threatening with twitchy fakes. I finally tell the guys: Must take care of this or it will get worst.

I show them my hands kinda laughing. Both my ring fingers were cramped, clentched against my palms. I looked like I was trying to rap and needed to pry them open against my handlebars.
Jacek started helping me, for every very steep hill, he pushed up both bikes. Walking the hills crucially avoided power quad contractions. I knew if the quads went this early in the race things would be difficult.

We stop a little, drink and push on. Setting off, I felt better but I knew the cramps would always be a threat, and it was so early in the race! We pushed on hard and punched in 9th at CP1 high on wicked endorphins.

Before leaving, we jumped in the lake for a cool off, Jacek dove full in except for keeping his banana dry over head.

Wipe-out no.2 and The Thunderous Symphony of Burps and Farts
CP2: 18th fastest split – 3h20min

Half way through this leg, it was my turn to wipe out. Coming off a hill, sharp turn, sandy bottom, back wheel slides out. AAaahhhhh!!! Splat!
Mind you, it was a pretty comfy splat, plunked down in sand. I laughed, jumped up, hopped back on, and GO!
We were flying again. Pedal. pedal. pedal.
Instead of cycling around a big switch-back trail, we found a sneaky trail and bushwacked our bikes over the train track, through a dried marsh and up a last “hill” (a pretty cliffy one). We actually passed a few teams by doing this! We waved them on while re-fueling. Bugs-in-Teeth… made sure to tease us severely but we felt snug in our cheaky trick.

As my own crampings were getting better, Adrian starts “feeling”. Something is shutting down, and his body slows, struggling. We stop… and… it starts.

The Symphony.
Tremendous burps and farts only slightly out of sync, echoed with shutters and twitches of the body. Jacek and I could only watch as nauseated tingles spread across Adrian’s skin. Euhh. Didn’t look fun.
I half expect an Alien to start pumping out of his belly (and stayed away just in case).

This was a major time out! Jacek poked fun, cracked some jokes, we bantered with the passing teams. At this point, Adrian briefly wondered if this was “it”, an omen. Jacek just relaxed, camped out. I munched on salts. Slowly, Adrian’s Juices started to flow back in the right direction.
Recovery: maybe 15-20minutes? Bug bites: about 12-18 !?

We got going again and pretty soon we were riding “our” speed again. We only stopped to vacation at the river, for a little cooling swim plus we need water, I drank my 3 liters already.
We punched CP-2 in 16th, something like that.
I got chatting to a woman, and randomly complained about my cramping problem, and she so kindly offered me more electrolyte tablets!!!! YES!!! I popped them in like candies!! She gave me a full stash, and hop, I was off with renewed confidence!

Snake Speed Bump and the Beach Trail.
CP3: 6th fastest split – 1h02min

We started belting the bikes again. Passing teams, pushing. Sweating buckets. Faster. However, my gel eating techniques were not getting any better, my handle bars oozed with sugar slime. Happily, we were moving to fast to attract bees.
Pedal. pedal. pedal, maybe I can lick my handle bars?! …

Holy shit what the fuck is tha….. fuck snake!!!!
Snakeeee!!!! Ahhhhhhh!!!
A big, thick, motherfucker, green, long and fat. As my front wheel thumps over his body, I flung (screaming) both my legs up as high as I could. His head darted up in an angry hiss. He doesn’t even open his mouth but I think does and in a split second my brain replays all those digitally enhanced computer generated 3D serpents….
I scream with a little extra fear, as my back wheel bumps over him. Hhha!
Ouf. As I ride away, I feel both safe and sorry. I know he is hurt, but what could I do?!
Fed with reptile-induced adrenaline, we take over another team or two before hitting the beach trail.

Sand, sandy, sand, sand. This is like spin class, you spin as hell but don’t get no where. Like a terrible music mix, the tempo scratches, picks up and falters. Spin those wheels!! Pump up the sand, pump it up… ! Splish splash, sand in your ass. Ta ta ta ta taa,… Sand me baby one more time… !

I feel like a dog digging the beach, tire threads flinging the stuff all over the place.
We dig on. We dig deep and pass a few more teams. It is coming near to the end of the bike section. Surprisingly, just at the end, we move passed with friendly waves both Unconquerable Badness and New Balance (halted with a bike issues) but we had no illusions… they will smoke us on the run (unless we get very lucky).

Let the “Trek” begin!

Orienteering race 6:55:00 [5]

Shoe Shopping! Invisible roads, and a Drunken Party!
CP4: 11th fastest split – 2h19min

Excited to enter the first transition area, we found our gearbox. The three of us hovered over and as we opened it, it creaked like a treasure chest. Inside there was pizza. Adrian, happy, grabs the box, and the pepperoni and cheese fat glistens in the sun, he digs in! Intellectually, I think this would be absolutely delicious; I loved the idea of pizza. I wanted to want it.
But my top lip snarled involuntarily when I tried to eat. Eugh.

Then, Jacek declares: My shoes are not there.
(oops! or fuck! depending on who you are or your mood)

He had messed up and packed the shoes in the wrong gearbox. Since doing the trek in hard soled cycling shoes was not an option, and since he is not a barefoot runner, we were desperate. Let the shoe hunt begin.

As I force fed myself pizza, I ran around the lovely Marina asking everyone (even 5 foot short women) if they had (by any chance) men’s size 10 running shoes. I did this energetically enough, until I notice a beautiful, clean, gorgeous, wooden porter potty discreetly set at the top of a small hill.
It shined like a porter potty tower, over looking a valley of peasant. “Ahhhhhh!”
The voices of Gods sang! Screw the shoes, I want toilet paper.

When I finally reemerged from my heavenly escape. Adrian and Jacek had bartered and bought a pair of running shoes off a random stranger hanging around the marina. We left our Hero standing with his family barefooted and awkward. We loved him.

Off, off we went, to the swimming launch pad knowing that many teams had gone already (oh, well). The cramps were back in pretty full force. As we popped our gear in dry bags, my abs cramped!!?
Yes, the full sheet of my abs, it felt like waves, or if I was doing a belly dance?? But I managed to calm that down (that had never happened to me before!). I felt like my whole body wanted to cramp.

For the swim, I managed to take off my shoes… but was literally unable to remove my socks. As I tried to pull them off, my toes and calves would seize up. Here I am grunting and puffing, both trying to pull my socks off, and/or trying to get the cramps to let up.

Screw that! I‘ll swim with socks. Splunk! I enter the lake with such non-elegance. Hammer waved at a distance; it was nice to see a friendly face. I tried waving back but it must of looked like a slightly bigger splash crawl move. As soon as I hit the water, my right thigh started to cramp. I awkwardly moved on as best I could with a dangling leg extended at the back and a single “socked-footed” kick. Muscle twitch detectors where on high.
At first the water stung my blisters (the handlebar death grip took it’s toll). Argh argh… Swim on swim on.

Believe it or not, I made it to the other side. Joined up with the boys who were chilling it. Adrian whips out the compass and, hiho, hiho, into the forest we go!

Adrian’s ears change when he concentrates on navigation. They suddenly perk up and seem to act like antennas. Jacek starts mumbling numbers to himself, pace counting. All I had to do it swat the odd bug and box with the dense trees.

We bombed the first trekking control. We headed out looking for an invisible road (it was big fat and orange on the map!?).
We should hit it soon (we don’t). We should hit it soon (We don’t). Okay, let’s hit the next road…. We start veering a “little” east, we should hit the … Lake?! Lake!?

Somehow, we got tricked by a cloaking device, and veered off course. The good part was that we understood where we were; the bad part was that we had to go for swim no.2.

Dry bags out, body jump splash! swim swim swim.
I had cramping fits as I tried to get out of the water. Ahhhh! Both inner thighs (different muscles at least)! I flung myself around in a splashing mess, trying to get them to let up (to the great laughter of both Adrian and Jacek). We actually had to stop and give me 2-3min to sit in the water and just relax before trying to get out (but man I really wanted to get out because I was secretly afraid of leeches!!! )

Once we had the shoreline to follow it was pretty straight forward trekking. Soon enough we started to HEAR CP-4, a noisy booming party (but without music). It was just across the bay, and since we were, by now, expert swimmers… we cut across for swim no.3

Upon arrival we were besieged by college kids with beer determined to get the racers to drink as much as possible before sending them off to an impending drunken stray.
We took great pleasure in indulging them, and drank from their cans to their exuberant cheers and applauds (it tasted dam good!). But one gulp was not enough to appease, they literally held my head up and poured more down my throat. Okay, I swallowed, haha, but I had enough beer for now. Adrian was the hardest to pull away, he seemed right in his element.

Ultimate BushWacking! And Amphibian Terror !
CP-5: 5th fastest split – 1h57min

I actually don’t remember much from this control. It was pretty intense bushwacking. Attacking from the top of the lake, we needed to hit a road and considering our previous road-finding-escapade we were a little nervous. We held steady on our 140 degree bearing, Adrian’s ear-antennas going, our sun shadow in right position, and Jacek mumbling numbers, we hit the mystical road easily enough. We crossed a few extremely beautiful valleys, with cotton flowers everywhere. We bounced around as if in an anti-histamine advertisement. Glorious!
Then, more bushwacking (my specialty) and in the thick of it, we stumbled upon a team (I think it was StormRacing). We followed together for a while but secretly we tried to find a polite way to pass them. Once we hit the lake’s shoreline, we gradually did, after some fumbling. Oh the Frogs! Frogs! Frogs! Hoppydihop hop hop! Lot’s of TERRIFIED frogs! I felt like Godzilla for them… arghhh arghghghg!
It was smooth sailing into CP-5. We cut across a another swampy bay for our official swim no.4!!
I think this was the grapes and cheese control! I am actually not 100% but at some point some lovely someone fed me grapes, cheese and crackers! !

Swim no.5 (!!!!!), Plausible Waterfalls and the Magical Trail
CP-6: 5th fastest split – 2h39min

At this point we were starting to get nervous about loosing light! The more tricky ground we cover in day the better, so we tried really hard to keep the pace up.
We trekked over and down a very steep ridge instead of going around, and decided to swim across the river earlier than planned (to try and dry off before night fall). By this time we were not even taking off our shoes to swim. We picked the lovely cottage to cross over. From there, we climbed (steep) the 3 contours up and up of dried out Waterfalls (plausibly a beautiful waterfall in spring).
And from this we found the lake and … then… a trail. Our ticket to GOLD! We only had to run this trail down, and we ate it up!! Arghhhh
We had only one Rule and Regulation: Run the flats and downs but walk the hills.
We stuck to this till the end --- Our threshold of “flat” versus “up” shifted a little but we pretty much stuck to that gun. There were absolutely no teams in sight, not in front or in back… we started to think we were on to something and pushed ever so slightly more (aches and pains permitting – my right knee was giving and Adrian was feeling his back and ankles, Jacek… was pretty solid through and through).
Run, run, run, loosing light, loosing light…. Light, … the darkness sets in, run, run run, it is dark. The moon is gorgeous. They are no wild beasts in the woods. Run, run, run.

We get to the TA. Surprise, surprise, both New balance and Unconquerable Badness are hanging about! I didn’t even think about “passing” them I was like: hi!!! Do you want peanut butter sandwiches!!!!

Let the paddling begin!

Kayaking 2:06:00 [5]

X-MEN Mutant Portaging, Dam Beaver Dams and the Fire Dance
CP-7: 6th fastest split – 4h42min

Jacek had in this TA box, a wonderful pair of (useless) dry running shoes! Ha! We chatted about, ate brie and jam sand3wiches, drank, chomped down some warm soup, and got DRESSED! Temperatures were dropping, and it was getting mighty chilly!!
Unconquerable Badness hit the water and we watched their glow sticks disappear still munching about. I started to get jumpy… hey, where is our canoe?! We got to go! Jacek was already on to this, and had brought it down, we gulp he rest of the soup and we pick up our paddles. Little did we know (as we had never paddled together) … we were destined for paddling glory!!

Adrian had made me a little stool to sit on, and I was quite comfy set in the middle of the canoe. Off we went paddling pretty hard because: 1- we were trying to catch up to Unconquerable Badness, and 2- New Balance were hot on our tail.
At first, my arms felt like jello. I didn’t think I would last but things settled in and we where moving fast.
It was very funny to see the headlights of Unconquerable ahead. They must have been looking for channels or something, but their lights seemed to sweep every thing around. They looked like a twirling lighthouse.

We hit the first portage with them, and I watched in amazement… (as amazed as Unconquerable was)… Adrian picked up the canoe and skip-hopped over the rocky field as if playing a boys version of hop scotch! I tell you this guy has X-Man canoe/portaging powers! Seeing him do that, I knew I had to pick up the pace, and I had only the paddles to manage! Jacek was on bag duty. As we sat the canoe back on the water on the other side, Adrian gave me a sneaky smile and said:

Full throttle ahead. We feel them right behind as we push forward. We kick up a few more hops scotch matches with beaver dams here or there. Jacek hunts for good channels, Adrian steers to what ever he calls. I concentrate on mimicking Jacek’s stroke and tempo. The moon is still high the night is cold and beautiful.

Fog. Fog sit low at the surface of the water, this makes it difficult to see, the slithery channels are tricky but Jacek has a sixth sense. We move on smoothly and get cocky.

Ahhh…. Let’s take the beaver dams! We are so good at them! Forget the 5k portaging along a nice, clear, clean road... Beaver dams a synch! 1,2,3,4,5,6 pop overs and we are home free!
Those frinking things were MASSIVE fields of what looked like outgrown mangroves! With swampy bottoms!
Sometimes taller then me, struggling that vegetation at night!! I scouted for routes, called over when I found something good (mostly to give them hope), the canoe was half carried and dragged.
In shallows, we simply dragged the canoe and walked the water. We were soaked through and through, I was particularly a cold shivering mess.
It was messy, tedious and unsteady footing.

(Dam the Beaver Dams) (Dam the Beaver Dams) should I say it 6 times?!
I mean these were not “Beaver Dams”… they were MEGA-FUCKING Beaver Dams!!!

We finally made it to the lily pad lake! Just filled with beautiful lily pads and froggy action! We paddled through it, but… because we forgot the satellite images (we had left it on the bike), we didn’t know where the portaging exit was!!!?
So we scrounged around the shore, poking around getting stuck here and there… until…. Ahhhhhh!! There it was … a GORGEOUS pink ribbons elegantly dangling from a tree marking the exit (it may as well had a carrot at it’s end). I thought, oh, thank god! And thank god there is no wind!

This portage made me shiver, shiver down to the bone (even if I tried really hard not too). Adrian promised me a fire at the next check point! Ohhh how exciting!!! We steered the round lake easily actually using the stars and avoiding the small islands last portage and pop in to CP-7… we paddled pretty fast, … driven by the idea of a fire!!

The fire!!! The fire!!! I was so excited the people at the checkpoint could of thought I was drunk if they had not been drinking themselves! We literally danced around the fire, I was like a kid testing how close I could get without caching.

Then (as I continued jumping around), Adrian and Jacek started poking questions, how far is the team ahead of us?? Left about 20min ago
What position are we in? 6th

Humm! so the others had not checked in yet… ! (that is cool) (but that also means they might check in anytime now),… our bodies slowly started hovering around the canoe. About 5 min later, we were waving good bye to our warm check point!

The Surprise!!! Silent Battle, and ….
CP-8: 4th fastest split – 2h23min

We paddle along for a while at a pretty good pace. The moon has completely gone, and the stars were beautifully distracting. They kinda dance around,… and ….

Adrian: Hey!! who is flopping the paddle down on the canoe? Are you falling asleep!?
Me: Ahhummm, … maybe? Probably… I mean I don’t remember falling asleep but …
The plopping stopped, …

We continue on. Jacek was incredibly patient as he suffered the whole paddle from being splashed. With every stroke, no matter how I tried to avoid it, somehow I’d flip up some water onto his head. Plunk. Plunk. Plunk.
He was constantly drenched but we paddle fast. Plunk. Plunk. Plunk.
As we went along, Jacek rambled on about his daughters and how they would be cozily asleep by now, he was forming a magic oasis of stuffed animals and fluffy pillows in his head.
Plunk, plunk, plunk.
Okay guys LAST, LAST portage!! Last portage (1.2k) and then the 9mile lake and we are done! We hit an easy enough trail, a synch (after the Dams, we can dam take anything!). I almost started to whistle walking down tripping over the paddles.

I get to the other side first, … and…. Low and behold… who (the fuck) is that!!?

A team, I didn’t know. I couldn’t tell in the dark. They saw me approaching and I decided that a smile and joke was best: “Are you guys as freezing as we are?” (okay, it wasn’t funny… but I tried.)

They looked up at me stone faced. No reaction. One of them pulled their hoody over their head. It was a team from Quebec, I recognized one of the guys. They were 3 and co-ed, our direct competition. They quickly started moving, tight controlled purposeful movements. No words, no lights, their lunch was packed up. Silence.
Like a well oiled machine, they slid into darkness. You barely heard their paddles slice the water.

Compared to them, we seemed like a bunch of drunken sailors! Paddles caught, half splashed canoe jump in, some dangerous tilting involved and energetic:
Where did they go!? Do you see them?? Their lights are off? Do they even have glow sticks??

Finally, we set off in the 9mile Lake, a few minutes behind. We never said to each other “Let’s get them” but we all knew from the change in our stance and angles of our bodies that we were going to try.

Our pace was our normal pace, we even joked around, haha, but with each stroke a subtle amount of extra power. Then a little more, and a little more and soon enough we were a machine too.

After a while, we started to glimpse their shadows ahead and the sound of their paddles became clearer.

Slowly, we gained (right on their tails now). Then inch by (little) inch, we moved up side-by-side. Silence. We could tell that our stroke had more power, just a little, a tiny little bit more. This was battle.

We could have touched each other. The silence was pure and only the water actually told us we were moving forward. Side-by-Side, we inched up an infinitesimal amount with each stroke. Bang, bang, bang, …. bang, bang bang…. Our bodies didn’t ache, we sliced the water like the fin of a shark.
The silence of a race I had never heard.

We moved in coordinated bursts. Bang, bang, bang. Finally our canoe passed theirs, and they suddenly let up!! I was surprised but I didn’t understand that they had only steered themselves behind us in our wake.

We needed to continue gaining (because they’d smoke us in the run). I became happy that this lake was a very long one. At this rate, we’d be leaving the last check point with a sliver of a lead.

Once we hit the shore, they were barely visible. We desperately tried to unfold our legs, make sure our knees still worked. I felt like I might topple over due to un-cooperating legs! But we punched in.
5th !

Let’s go for a jogeroo.

Crotch Run, Adventures of the Lost Snowmobile trails, and Star Trek Over Pass
CP-9: 10th fastest split – 1h25min

We kinda ran around like chickens before leaving. By the time, we wolfed down some hot/warm”ish” chocolate milk, their canoe had hit the shore.
We left in a mess.

Little did I know, I had developed chaffing in my delicate womanly parts, aka crotch (bad). I never had chaffing before (and will do anything to avoid this in the future! Tips anyone??)! When we rushed out, I was trailing behind, running legs and arms spread out like a starfish.

I thought I would have to run the next 10k like this, with another team hot on our tail (I was not too confident).
I shuffled on grabbing my running tights at the crotch and pulling them down and forward. In this elegant disposition, I told the boys, just don t look back!! I am here, I am fine!

(Fuck it hurt!!) my running style was a bit cramped but I moved on! I was not too thrilled with the idea of running into the finish with my hand pulling down at my crotch! Imagine!! (not even photoshop could fix that!)

Ahhhhh,… I think this made me run faster. I just said “fuck it”. I guess the body can somehow dull this type of pain after a while (even if it took too long of a fucking while), but I got to the place where I didn’t feel it that much. I only felt the other team creeping up!

We were running a snowmobile trail. At night. We lost it a few times, confused in the open areas, or swampy parts. We tracked foot prints, the human ones.

We paranoidly checked our backs, no lights (yet). The trail was squishy and rough, wet mud. Adrian’s ankles were taking a beating; my right knee was not a happy camper. Jacek was still solid.

We trailed on. The sun rises beautifully slowly. We trail on. Until we hit the lunar highway. It is always strange to emerge from the woods and see lights beaming by. Glowing. It was day. We cross a dusty bolder field of construction and up across the Start Trek over pass, it seems so long and far.

Every once in a while we shoot back a glance: Are they there??

Are they there???

Are they there??


.. ahhh…


We jog/walked on. We are hurting. But we stole 5th place. Ha! and the huge Salomon flags announced the end.

We “ran” in the last bit. Bats happily clapping and jumping around.
It was awesome. We amazed ourselves. RaceDayRush hahahah it was fun.

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