oregon adventures

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Vineman Half Ironman

Drove down to Guerneville California on the 17th of July for the Vineman Half-Ironman race. Natalie and I drove down in the Jeep and Jon and Julie went in Jon's truck with Gigi (my bike)in the back as we caravaned for 13 hours. It was a 100 degrees in Redding for a gas stop and smoky around Lake Shasta and down I-5 for awhile. Got to Guerneville and there wasn't any smoke down there. We rented a beautiful 1600 square foot 3-bedroom house with a hot tub and giant HD TV and beautiful master bedroom with glass shower and jetted tub.
Friday we swam in the Russian River from the start for about 7 minutes out and then back. Then rode part of the course for a total of 15.5 miles in very hot sun. Race day came and it was overcast and slightly misting, so it was perfect race weather. The swim was fun, a little bit of combat swimming as my age group was the largest according to the announcer. It was an out and back using two sides of the river with a sand bar in the middle. When I got to the turnaround, I got up and ran across the sandbar and then back in the other side and on the way back I had to watch out for people standing up to rest (it was shallow in places). Got out of the water at 33:49 and got on the bike and out of transition it goes up a ramp which was hard. Lots of rolling hills on the course through the vineyards as I tried to keep a good pace. At 30 miles I noticed my watch was blank. Then my speedometer started reading 15 then 21 then 9. Then the mileage went to 63 miles, so I had no technology the rest of the way. Rolled in at 2:52:39 for an 19.5 average. In the run transition I had to use the porta-pottie, but had to wait in line for a 6:21 2nd transition. Got out on the run and hit that zen place for a slow but comfortable pace. The run course was very hilly, but I ran the whole time and just grabbed drinks while not stopping. Finally finished the run in 2:10:16 for a 9:56 pace. So overall I did a 5:47:02 and finished somewhere around 83rd in my age group.
The race was on Sunday and we stayed until Thursday just relaxing and drinking and eating. For Natalie's birthday on Tuesday we went up to Calistoga to a mud bath place. That was different, we were floating in hot mud. I looked over and just her head was sticking out of the mud. Then we rinsed off and they had hoses to spray each other if you wanted. Then into a mineral hot tub, then into another room where they wrap you in blankets and put cold towels on your head and turn out the lights. It was relaxing at first and then I started sweating like crazy. We did some wineries and that was fun. Hop Kiln Winery was my favorite one. Then the long drive home on Thursday.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Off To Vineman

Leaving for Vineman in the morning. The race (half-ironman), is on Sunday and then Natalie's birthday is Tuesday- winery trip in order. Should be fun!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Pacific Crest Olympic Triathlon

Drove down to Sunriver Oregon and did the Pacific Crest Olympic Triathlon last weekend. I've done this race four times before and have never done under 3:20, but I haven't done it since training for ironman last year. My goal was to be under 3 hours, but the week before I came down with a cold, so I was just hoping to finish by Sunday. We drove down Friday night and then Saturday did packet pickup and put the bikes at Wickiup Reservoir overnight. Had Italian food at a place called Marcello's, pretty good. Then to get ready for Sunday. Sunday morning we set up the run transition and got on a bus that takes us to the start. It's about a 45 minute bus ride, so lots of time to get nervous. The water is usually really cold for this race, but this year it was 64! Didn't need the wetsuit jacket or polar cap. Got in and got the face and body used to the water and finally it was time to swim (last wave). Started out strong and stayed there- just a really zen swim- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, sight. That was all I thought about basically. People would hit me or be in my way and I just kept going and they had to move. Got out of the water with a 27:51 time. Then a pretty quick 2:48 transition and out on the bike. The bike course is the reason for doing this race. Absolutely beautiful and some hills the first half and then fairly level and downs on the second half. I passed Natalie and she said she had lost her timing chip in the lake, I yelled back as I passed her to tell them her number at the end. Thought about it later, could have given her my watch it has laps. Kevin caught me at mile 12 or so and I stayed within sight of him for a good 10 miles after that. The bike is 28 miles instead of the normal 25, so I came in at 1:26:58 for a 19.3 average. Then while in the run transition, Ken, Sarah's fiance was taking pictures so I stopped to pose and he yelled "get going". So I started up and ran the whole time, but at 4800 feet and 88 or so degrees all I could do was a 10:04 pace for a 1:02:35 run. Total time was 3:03:12 my best Pacific Crest by a good 20 minutes and good for 12th in my age group out of 28 and 109th overall out of 451. Very happy with this race considering the temps and that I had a cold. Natalie came in at 3:18 for her first Olympic distance. We met up with Sarah and Ken that evening and tried to go to the Deshutes Brewer, but it was closed, so we went to Mcmenamins instead. Then the long drive home.