oregon adventures

Sunday, September 25, 2011


After doing Ironman Canada, I took that Monday to relax with everyone. Tuesday I packed up and checked out of the motel and when everyone else went south, I turned north and headed up highway 97 to highway 1. Drove along Lake Okanagan for 80 miles or so and ate lunch at Kelowna at a place called De Dutch that looked interesting. Then after the lake it got cloudy and rainy. I stopped to get gas at the last town near the lake thinking it would go up as I got in the country. Five miles later the gas went down 20 cents a litre. Got to Highway 1 and it was a two lane twisty road with trucks. Through Mt Revelstoke and Glacier parks it was raining, but clear enough in the distance I could see mountains and it was beautiful. Got to Yoho park and turned off the highway and took a twisty road to Takakkaw falls, which one book said was Canada's highest.
Then back on Highway 1 up to Banff. Once past Yoho park the road became a divided highway just like an American Interstate with one cool exception. I got to see the wildlife overpasses I had read about. Didn't think to get a picture of them. Got to Banff and checked in to the Banff Springs. Cheking in the guy said "Mr Macey I see you've been upgraded to a King suite", I said "ok". Got to my room on the 8th floor and it was pretty big, I had heard the rooms in that hotel were small. In the top picture my room was at the top of the left tower with the dormer windows. I'd never stayed in a place with valet parking and instant service. I would pick up the phone and a girl would say "yes Mr. Macey". Woke up the next day and it was 37 degrees F and rainy. Oh well, decided to drive up to Jasper on the Icefields Parkway. Several books called it the most beautiful drive in the world and from what I could see of it I would have to agree. At one point I saw a black bear in the road, so I stopped and while getting my camera a pick-up roared around me and scared him off. After that I kept the camera out and ready, but the only other chance was on the way back I saw some cars stopped and I got there just in time to see a mother bear and cub go into the trees. Stopped at all the viewpoints. When I got to Bow Pass, I pulled into the parking lot and hiked up to the viewpoint of Peyto Lake.
It was around 7000 feet elevation and started softly snowing. Drove up to just inside Jasper park to Athabasca glacier which is the start of several rivers including the Columbia. I was still 60 miles from Jasper so I decided to turn around and go back to the hotel.
The next day I had a tee-time at the Banff Springs course for 8:30.
Got there and was teamed up with a guy from Ontario and another guy from Manitoba. It had warmed up to the low 50's and only partly cloudy so I could see the mountains framing each hole. Did ok, lots and lots of sand. On the 15th hole a wolf sauntered down the side of the fairway, saw us and went around past some hikers on the trail beside the course and then back on the fairway like he owned the place. It was the most I'd ever payed for golf, but the only computer golf game I ever had back in the 90's came with the Banff course and I told myself "someday I'm going to play that course". After golf I drove the scenic highway 1A up to Lake Louise.
The books raved about it and the hotel there. The lake was pretty, but the hotel wasn't as nice as the one I was staying at. Hiked around the lake to the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse. That hike made the whole trip worth it- amazing views and it got better with every step. From the other side of the lake looking back at the hotel was when Lake Louise became really impressive. The teahouse was 3.3 miles and 1200 feet up from the lake with great views of the mountains and glaciers. The girl who served the tea and sandwich said she hiked up and worked 5 days and hiked back for two days off and had to carry anything she needed. It started softly snowing at the teahouse, so back to Banff for some Alberta beef. The next day I packed up and checked out and said goodbye to Banff. Took highway 93 through Kootenay park and stopped and hiked Marble canyon and later the Paint Pots. Ate lunch at Radium Hot Springs and then the long drive past golf course after golf course with the Rockies on the left all the way to the border crossing into Montana.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Ironman Canada

Back on Aug 28th I finished my third Ironman. Left for Penticton Canada on the 23rd. Julie rode up with me and we caravaned with the Headhunter's van and then Jim and Terry joined the caravan in Yakima. Nice drive up with only one incident. Just south of the border, I saw Jim brake hard, I braked hard and then saw what caused it, a big horn sheep in the road. As he walked away, Julie said "he's smiling", sure enough the big horn looked back at us and appeared to smile as he sauntered off. Got to Penticton and checked into the Slumber Inn right on the beach. My first thoughts were, "what a dump" and "I paid how much for this". By the end of the week it proved to be worth the money and the perfect location.
The rest of the week we rode the big hills and drove the whole course. Swam some in the beautiful and warm lake. Ran a little around the town. Mostly though I sat outside Jim, terry, and Denise E's room because it had the view in the picture on top and it was in the shade the whole time. Did crosswords or just sat. Got in vacation mode and didn't even wear my watch. My phone's data plan didn't work in Canada, so I was cut off from Facebook and Phillie's scores, just relaxing. My right knee was acting up until Saturday I took the bike over to transition and put it on the rack and then set the transition bags in place. When I stood up from setting the last transition bag in place my knee didn't hurt and I teared up a little thinking "I'm going to do this!".
The motel was right across the street from the swim start, couldn't get any closer. Got ready and soon was standing on the beach with Julie and Mark and the gun went off and it was time to swim. I'd heard about Ironman swims being crowded. The ironmans I'd done had under 500 people, this one had 2800 people all starting at the same time. It was combat. At one point I got frustrated and when another person swerved in front of me kicking, I grabbed their foot and pulled down. Then felt really bad, that was uncalled for. So after that I just tried to keep my line and hit and got hit. After what seemed to be forever I reached the first turn at 1600 meters and then a short 450 meter part that flew by and then the long home stretch of 1800 meters. I was going buoy to buoy and trying to figure out if they were 200 or 150 meters apart. It seemed to be 150 meters, but there were too many by the end, so not sure. Finally the swim was done and it was time to ride. Started out good and zoomed through town seeing lots of people I knew watching. The first 40 miles were fun, but I held back and didn't hammer with the thought "have to run after". After 40 miles it turns onto the Richter pass climb and my stomach was complaining by then. I ate a sandwich and took some e-caps and climbed really good, then the downhill. All year training I had been terrified of downhills, but this time I just tucked into the aerobars and flew down the hill. Then the seven bitches as they're called. I think there were more of them. Fun downhills, but lots of momentum killing steep short climbs that sap your strength. By now my stomach wouldn't let me stay in the aero bars more than a few seconds. Got to the long out and back that was pretty rolly and seemed to go on forever. I stopped at the bike bag stop and the volunteer girl refilled my bottles for me because I was a little loopy. Took some Pepcid Ac's and going back out the out and back I was belching really loud. Always just as a pretty girl was passing so it seemed. But the stomach was getting better. I looked around and noticed the ride wasn't jam packed any more. I must have really slowed down. Turned onto the Yellow lake climb and just slogged up the hill popping Pepcids and e-caps and drinking like crazy. It was well over 90 by now. Or in the 30's since it was Canada. At the summit of Yellow my right leg started cramping really bad, so I tried riding and stretching, but it got worse so I stopped and shook the leg out for awhile until it stopped and then took off again. The downhills here were really twisty and I was flying , but had to slow for some guy riding in the middle and then weaving all over even after being yelled at "on your left". Not worth the effort, so I just relaxed and waited until after the curves and got past him. Then down into town and I wanted off the bike. I was hoping I could run, the stomach was better, but still bad. Off the bike and into the run tent. Asked a volunteer if he was doing the race next year, he said no his wife was and he had just done Leadman. That started a conversation with another guy sitting there and after a 10 minute transition I was off on the run. Flew through town and the giant crowd. Then slowed to my race pace of 11 mins/mile or so. Walked through the aid stops drinking water and then at the last trash can would walk 10 steps and then start running again. At 6 miles I took some more Pepcid and e-caps and changed it to 15 steps. At mile 10.5 was a big hill and I came up to Jason and John, so I stopped and walked up the hill with them. They were having a great time and I walked a while with them and then coach Denise passed on the other side and said "come on Jeff catch me". So I ran the downhill and then it went back up even steeper than before and something in my snapped off and I said "screw it" and walked up the hill. Then a slow jog into the bag stop. Read a letter from Sarah she had given me to put in the run bag. Then started up again, but not with much enthusiasm. Just then I hear "Jeff" and it was a girl I had run a couple miles with before she had gotten nauseous and had to slow down. So I stopped and waited for Trisha and we walked and ran together the rest of the way. She was nauseous still, so we would walk about half a mile then run half a mile to the next stop. One time we came up on Brian, so we walked with him for awhile, Then we came up on Chris, so we walked with him awhile. By mile 22 or so we tried running for longer periods to get it over with and were like zombies by then. She had thrown up at one of the stops and was feeling a little better. We ran the last mile past the crowds and out and then you turn around and come back the final push past the crowds again. Trisha said, "I have to stop" so with .3 left we stopped and she dry heaved on the side of the road. Then we ran the last part and high fived along the side of the chute and came across the line hand in hand.
Finished at 14:42:32 good for 2029th place. Trisha was married with kids, so we said goodbye and the I met up with Julie and we went back to the finish line and got to the front row and banged on the sides of the chute cheering on the last hour finishers.
I finished and felt great afterwards, but didn't leave it all out there. First time I walked more than a tiny portion of a race, but wasn't beat up and could hike no problem later on my vacation trip home, but that's another post.
Great job to all the Headhunters!