Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Last boring post before my race report, I swear

I kind of fell off the blogging bandwagon while in Maui because I had to pay for internet and kept coming up with more important things to do, like eat food and sleep and lounge.

On Saturday we got up early so my people could run the 10k trail run that was taking place. I saw them off at the start line and then found a comfy spot to read my book and discuss camera lenses (for like three seconds - I still know pretty much nothing) with the Brightroom guy that was there while I waited for the finishers to arrive. I quickly gave up on the reading once the runners started getting there because there were some hot boys and otherwise interesting individuals to people-watch.

My dad finished first so I got a bunch of pictures of him and met him at the finish line. The first thing he did was show me his bloody palm and tell me he was officially an XTERRA athlete since he was bleeding. Indeed! Apparently he tripped on the lava at the end of the run.

Ann finished a little while later and immediately told me she didn't envy what I was going to do tomorrow. Neither did I, actually.

They gave me the breakdown of the course (first three miles are all uphill, no shade, when on the beach run very close to or in the water to save your legs, etc) and we went back to the room for showers and food.

I don't really recall exactly what else I did that day, but I'm pretty sure it involved more napping and lounging. I was going to swim but some jellyfish had blown in and people got stung so I opted not to go. My people came back from hanging out at the beach and broke the news that my dad had gotten second in his age group in the 10k but had missed the award ceremony so he had to pick up his medal from the front desk. Go dad!

I finished putting my bike together and took it out for a three-ish minute spin to make sure it still rolled and stopped and stuff. It did.

We had the pre-race meeting where the race director guy went through all the sections of the bike and run and how much they were going to suck. Gulp. After the meeting they filed us out by country for the Parade of Nations thing and we went to dinner. The U.S. went first so we got to the buffet line first which is kind of appropriate. I found Dave and Meiling and my people and we all had dinner together and watched the Jamie Whitmore presentation again. Afterwards I packed up my race stuff and hit the pillow.

Race in the morning...

Friday, October 24, 2008

I heart vacation

Day two in Maui (or day one waking up in Maui).

Today was pretty quiet. I didn't sleep very well what with the time change and my dad's snoring, hopefully my new ear plugs will help that situation. Sleep is important. Breakfast today was awesome. We hit up the cafe buffet in the hotel and enjoyed such yummies as peach crepes with Tahitian vanilla bean custard sauce. I could probably eat a hundred of those. Good tea too (which is a little weird, but whatever).

After breakfast I met up with my swim coach Tim ("Swimmy Timmy") who happens to be vacationing on Maui at a rather convenient time, and went for a little swim. I have traditionally been a panicky retard when it comes to snorkeling and other open water situations where I can actually see things, and warned him of this. I had a tiny freak out when we started swimming over coral and the water looked dark, but got over it in a couple minutes. Yay me! We swam out to the TINY buoys and I was happy to note that the water was not that deep and I could always see the bottom so I wouldn't have any Oh-GOD-it's-super-deep! freakouts. On the way back towards shore we decided chasing fish was more fun than swimming so we floated around looking at stuff and I poked urchins down on the bottom. Pretty much the most fun ever. I added to my good Hawaii karma bank by picking up garbage from the bottom of the ocean (a Malibu wrapper). After we got out I practiced running and diving into the water for the start and got knocked down by an unfortunately timed embarrassingly small wave. I made friends with a girl from New Zealand who lived in Santa Clara for six years and some other guy (I don't remember the details) down at the beach too.

After hitting the beach I went and registered, bought some CO2 cartridges, got my dad and step mom ("my people") registered for the 10k run tomorrow and for the two dinners, and got lunch by the pool. Afterwards I built my bike, and found another bike box treasure in the form of a rubber bouncy ball.

I should have gone for a bike ride but decided I should head down to the pool with my book and work on my sunburn instead. So I did. I camped out with a group that included Whit the announcer, Holly from Gu (who crashed her brains out - not literally - in Cancun recently), Jamie Whitmore and her husband, and a few other XTERRA-ers. Had the pleasure of listening to a very loud and whiney gay guy whine about all the athletes that were here because he couldn't bum a cigarette off anyone. Lame. Once the clouds rolled in and the opportunity to bask diminished I packed it in and took a nap in my room.

This racing thing is hard work.

And it was pretty much the best nap ever. I woke up long enough to notice I was drooling on the comforter and not care. Then I went back to sleep. It was oddly satisfying, feeling similar to having a big meal when you are really really hungry. Quite excellent.

I woke up thinking about food again just in time to get invited to Maui Taco, which is apparently the Friday night before the race tradition to all in the know, so my people and I piled into a car and stuffed ourselves with Mexican food. I was offered the opportunity to sell wetsuits. Because that happens every day.

And now I'll leave you so I can go watch House and sleep in preparation of heckling my people as they run the 10k tomorrow morning. I expect them to tell me all the secrets of the course. They'd better get on it!

Initiate Blog Sequence!

I didn't post last night because I am cheap and didn't want to pay the $11 for internet access so I'm blogging about yesterday this morning after getting my dad to donate to my cause. Because I'm poor and stuff.


So excited. I don't even care if the race sucks and my arm falls off or something. My arm will have fallen off in Maui at the World Championships, so I can still at least sound cool.

Now I will bore you with my travel stories because I wanna.

I got all packed up on Wednesday night, as is my habit (last minute packer here), and got a little derailed as I was planning to get a new battery for my easy-to-use camera at Target but they didn't have any and it was late so all the other places were closed. I couldn't find the charger for my big I-wanna-be-a-photog camera, but my dad called on Thursday morning and said he would pick one up before his flight. Score! I also left my laptop cord at the shop on Wednesday so I had to make a 6:30am bike shop stop, but no biggie. I took my bike and shoes and crap to Elliott's on Wednesday night too, and he demonstrated the proper way to pack a bike in his bike box. I was somewhat pre-occupied texting while I was there (who me? No way!) so he added some treats to the box while I wasn't looking. So far I have found a little kid's pink Barbie bike helmet and a rubber ducky. I'm unpacking my bike for reals today so we'll see what else he packed.

I had my friend Carla pick me up and drive me to the airport (thanks Carla!), which was a little bit of an adventure as neither of us is much over five feet tall and we had to get the bike box and my huge bag in the back of the truck and we didn't want to mess with the attached bike rack or tailgate. Much giggling ensued. Her mom decided to ride along, so we played "Did you have this teacher when you were in school? How about this one?" all the way to the airport. Her mom is a substitute teacher, so it wasn't completely random. Carla and I hoisted my crap out of the truck once again, and I stumbled my way into the airport.

Now, the bike box is pretty big and heavy. So much so that I can't drag it away from my body so it hits the back of my legs when I walk, making me walk like a weirdo. Add the big pink rolly bag that I have to hold pretty far away from my body so it clears the bike box that has a tendency to flip over if I hit a bump (similar to the alligator death-roll) and the 40 lb backpack I had on (I over pack), and I was kind of a mess. I took the elevator to the ticketing counter, and was laughing out loud at how retarded I was. I somehow made it through the hoards - possibly expedited by the "look how wretched and miserable I am" face I was trying to get people to move - and proceeded to get yelled at by the Hawaiian Airlines greeter lady. When she saw my bike box she gave me the dirtiest look EVER. Kinda bitchy, that one. Happily the actual ticketing lady was cool and told me how to word things so I didn't have to pay extra. Sweet.

My first flight from San Jose to Honalulu was quite nice. No one was sitting next to me (in an otherwise packed plane) so I got a whole row to myself. That never happens to me! I brought a bunch of work crap along, so I spent the whole flight listening to music and organizing invoices.

I had a couple-hour layover in Honalulu before I flew to Maui so I found an electrical outlet and fired up my laptop and was about to start working when my friend Whit, the race announcer for XTERRA and Ironman and a bunch of other races came and found me and gave me a lei. What the hell?? I turned beet red and was all embarrassed and sweaty and ridiculous. Good times. He was hopping a flight to Maui as well, only his was an hour and a half before mine, so he didn't have much time to hang around. I mentioned that I was stuck waiting for my dad to arrive since I can't rent a car (until next year) and he offered to wait around and give me a ride if I needed it. I said maybe.

On my second flight I realized I left my iPod on the first flight so I was a little upset. But then I mentally smacked myself since I still have all my music and I can buy another one, and spent the rest of the very short flight enjoying the beautiful scenery. Live in the moment, or something.

Once we landed in Maui I hit the bathroom and made my way to the baggage claim, where my bike box was hanging out with 8 or so other bike boxes like little soldiers. Mine was the first one. Right next to it was my bag. Apparently my stuff had flown earlier than I did, as it wasn't even on the carousel. I loaded up, made some old ladies hustle out of my way, and found Whit still hanging out in the airport. Apparently his bags had JUST got there, so he had had to wait around anyway. Score for me, I didn't have to wait four hours for my dad!

We got to the hotel, I spent a few minutes convincing the bellhop that I wasn't Swedish (he was insisting), convinced the check-in lady to let me get in my room even though it was under my dad's name, and worked on my invoices and relaxed on the balcony. My friend Ian (of Specialized Rider's Club fame) called me up and we went for a short run around the hotel and on the beach. The section on the beach is part of the course and it's going to be rough. Holy crap. Unstable footing at the end of the race? Ankles beware! I got a little taste of the heat and humidity on my run (my face was a little purple afterwards), and am making sure to be extra hydrated come race day.

Once my dad and stepmom got here we got dinner and passed out, and I got to listen to my dad snore all night. Today I'm buying earplugs.

Thank you all for your support, I'm loving all the "good lucks"! And don't worry, I will definitely have fun!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sort-of Race Report

On Sunday I did my first time trial that was not sandwiched in between a swim and a run!

The TT was part of the San Jose Bike Club's Winter Series, and was a 15-mile loop that included roads that I ride all the time. And it only cost me $8. No reason not to do it, right?

Elliott and I were planning on riding the TT and then hopping on our road bikes to cool down and meander up to Los Gatos and get some food. I got to bust out my skinsuit and aero helmet for the first time, and Elliott managed to come up with a matching set, so we got to be matchy aero geeks for the morning.

I was the 5th-ish person sent off in a group of about 90, and was followed by a bunch of women. Elliott was about 14 people behind me, so I was instructed (by him) that my goal was not to let him catch me. We were set off at 30 second intervals. I caught the "person" in front of me in the first minute, but this "person" was a 12 year-old(ish) kid and his dad, so not impressive. I caught the woman in front of them within the first couple miles. And then I was alone for a long time.

The route took us down the very flat Santa Teresa road where there is usually a tailwind, but I didn't have the benefit of one that morning. We turned right on Willow Springs and hit the climb (not my favorite), and that actually felt pretty good. We turned right again on Oak Glen toward Uvas Road, and this section went pretty smoothly and felt shorter than normal.

Once we turned onto Uvas a headwind materialized, and it pretty much sucked from then on. The first person to pass me did so a couple miles into the Uvas section (right about where it becomes McKean), and this person happened to be Elliott. Balls.

So much for that goal.

I was drooling enough at that point that it didn't click that it was him until he was well past me, even though we were wearing matching kits. He didn't say anything when he went by, and later told me it was because he was a little miserable. Glad I wasn't the only one.

Another guy passed me right before we turned onto Bailey. I cared for about four seconds. We turned up Bailey, I stood up for the little climb, and got a little time to recover on the descent (it's a fun one too!) I had the bright idea to hammer it from the bottom of the climb to the finish since it's pretty much flat, but figured out the hard way that it was a really looooooong section. Ouch!

I dragged myself to the finish, rode around for a bit to cool down, changed into my other riding clothes, and hopped on my rode bike. I was now freezing, and unable to form sentences. My attempts at conversation amounted to single-syllable words in no logical order. Ummmm....never had that happen before! The whole ride-to-Los-Gatos plan died pretty quickly so we improvised with breakfast food in Morgan Hill.

I kind of got my ass kicked.

So I'll be doing that again.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Nothing exciting to report

Work has been crazy busy so most of my stories are work-related and I already talked about those.


I went to a funeral on Thursday (a friend's dad) and it was actually kind of enjoyable considering what it was. More about celebrating and remembering fondly than being sad. Plus I met the fattest cat EVER.


My obnoxious pink kit came in and the shorts are REALLY see-through. Bummer. Looks like I'm improvising with some blue-gray Zoot shorts with hot pink stitching to avoid mooning the whole venue.


Tomorrow I'm doing the SJBC Winter Series individual TT. Elliott and I are wearing matching skinsuits and aero helmets. I'm most excited about the apparel, which is probably a little sad. I'm hoping to follow the "race" up with some chocolate crepes in Los Gatos. Mmmmmmm!


I'm going to Maui on Thursday!!!!! Aaaaaaaaahhhh!!!! So very excited! My dad and stepmom are planning on running the 10k the day before my race, which is awesome, and they are buying (expensive) tickets to the pre- and post-race dinners to hang out with me. My dad had to make sure I wouldn't be embarrassed if they tagged along before he bought tickets. Funny.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Today one of the firefighters from the other morning came in to have his bike worked on. Because he works nearby and he thought he'd come say hi. I should totally get paid extra for this after hours (or before in this case) customer-recruiting shit.

Then a police officer came in.

Later a flight nurse came in. He wants to go riding next week. I told him ok if he let me ride along in the helicopter. The sick part of me kind of wants to see some carnage. Partly because it would make my friend Monica really jealous.

Then the former Mayor came in to spend his gift certificate.

I guessed I missed the Civil Servant Day memo.

Later a couple fresh from Madrid came in and spent a shit-load of money. Only she spoke no English and he only spoke a little and none of us speak much Spanish. So we translated online and it was kind of cool. The whole transaction took like three hours because they wanted to tear down one bike and build it another way and get another bike but switch the saddles and tape and get matching pedals and we had to get it right in the computer. Ugh. It was exhausting. Then they wanted to ship the bikes to Spain but it costs a lot so I had to look up the prices for UPS, FedEx and DHL but we finally convinced them to take the bikes on the plane with them. But the translating online part was fun. And they were nice.

Now I'm at home watching Heroes with a dark room because the light bulbs burned out and I'm too short to reach them even with the ladder and the boys aren't home. Oh well.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Get your ass out of bed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had an interesting morning.

About 5:00 this lovely morning I awoke to every smoke alarm in the house going off. It was LOUD.

I ran around looking/sniffing for smoke and noticed nothing. I went up stairs to check with the roommates/make them fix it because they can actually reach the alarms if they stand on a ladder but neither one was home. Crap. I went outside and called the roomie that owns the house and got his voicemail. No answer. I called my mom in Maryland because I thought she might be up and got no answer again. I felt weird about calling 911 because I didn't actually think there was an emergency but I definitely would not be going to sleep any time soon and I wasn't sure how to fix it. I went back in the house and poked at the alarm in my room with a broomstick to see if it would stop. It didn't. Shit.

Outside again, I called 411 for the number to the fire department (the non-emergency one). Got connected to some City of Morgan Hill voice recording that was no help. Sucked it up and called 911 (I have a serious aversion to calling 911...I never feel like it's a big enough deal to call...even when I was younger and two guys were kind of trying to break into my house and I was home alone, I didn't call). I was told an engine would be sent out, and called my dad while I waited outside. It was a chilly morning and I was in a robe. Totally killed my warm-in-flannel-sheets vibe I had going.

I kept expecting a neighbor or two to come out and investigate but no one ever did. I live in a duplex. I can hear when they shut their bathroom door. No way they didn't hear anything. Nice to know they care if my house burns down.

After a few minutes an engine pulls up (lights going, no would have been a little satisfying to wake all the neighbors up) and three guys get off. As we are walking to the house my roommates dog who I assumed to be out with the missing roommate decided to start barking and sound all vicious so I have to convince the guys that the dog is chicken shit and won't actually eat them.

After walking around and determining that indeed ALL of the alarms in the house were going off, I was informed that my (loud) roommate's door was locked and they needed to get in there. My morbid mind went right to thinking he was dead inside. Nice. Having no other way to get in, we picked the lock with a coat hanger. Happily, no dead bodies were inside.

Once the lack of smoke/carbon monoxide was established I was told one of the alarms was probably low on batteries and connected to the others which set them all off. One of the firemen (the cute one...yay!) goes out the truck and comes back with a huge bag of batteries. He grabbed a ladder from my garage and pretended it was a surf board while he climbed the stairs. Obviously a morning person. They change the batteries in a couple alarms and they all keep going off. Eventually it is decided that two of the alarms upstairs are faulty, and they offer to come back and install new ones if we need them too.

While they were working I noticed the last name on one of their jackets and find out that he is the father of a girl I have known since junior high. I have totally been to his house. We talk about what she is doing (school, boyfriend, blah, blah, blah) and what I'm doing (no more school, bike shop). I mention that I race bikes, explaining all the bikes in my room. Apparently they didn't notice the bikes in my room so they all run in there to check them out. Three firefighters in uniform in my bedroom...

cue porno music.

Not really. They left, I went back to bed, then to work.

Good times.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

XTERRA Nats Day 2 Pictures

Sleepy pre-race Ensure-drinking face.
Waiting for paint to dry.

Bring it!

Swim little fishies!!!!

Beach run.

I like my pink bike.

Run "finish" #1

Actual run finish.

Icing my leg on a cold day.

Getting lei'd again.

20-24 podium


Post race car snacks!

Race Weekend Report #2 : The Race

When I last left you, dear reader(s?), I was being an old lady and yelling at drunk people because I needed to sleep.

Eventually I went to sleep, and woke up before the sun to pack up the car and head to the race. When we got up, it was COLD. I'm told 34 degrees. Yeesh. I donned my tri suit, pants, shoes, socks, three jackets, and a beanie and climbed in the car. I made Vanessa drive so I could choke down my bagel with peanut butter and an Ensure (because I'd rather drink my calories in the morning).

We got to the venue and I set up transition, and proceeded to do very little for the next couple hours. Body marking was extra fun as I had to strip down to my suit and stay that way until the paint dried. With about 20 minutes before we were due to start I climbed into my wetsuit, leaving my beanie on because I'm super cool, and headed down to the water.

The walk to the water was a long one, so most people brought shoes with them. I probably should have done that too. I was a little afraid my toes would crack and fall off from the cold. Happily, they survived.

The lake was perfect. No waves, crystal clear water, blue skies, and snow-capped mountains. The beach was sandy, making for easy running (versus the rocky beach at Tahoe City), and the lake got deep enough for swimming quickly (again, different from Tahoe City). I swam out a little way to make sure I still remembered how to swim, and lined up to start.

The swim: 1500 yards broken into two 750 meter laps with a short beach run between laps. I managed to have an AWESOME start. The cannon went off and I dove in and went for it. Everyone was spread out enough that I had clear water until the first buoy avoiding getting kicked, punched, or run over. I did a good job not freaking out about the random things under the water (big concrete blocks with chains in them mostly) or about the depth we were swimming in, and the first lap went almost perfectly. I kept swimming until my hand hit the bottom, stood up, ran along the beach, and dove back in. About halfway to the first buoy I was swimming behind a girl (I think...she/he was wearing hot pink goggles) who apparently decided I was too close. As I was getting ready to go by this person I took a breath at the same time they made a big kick (the "get the hell off my feet" kind) and I inhaled a ton of water. I had to stop swimming to hack and gag all the water out, almost throwing up, and got passed by a bunch of people. Boo. I was a little leery of getting close to feet again after that, but the rest of the swim was fine and I hauled myself out of the water and started the run back to transition.

T1: The perk of knowing the race announcer (if one were to look for perks) is that you definitely get announced at races. I entered transition to my name being called out and him telling people to "watch out" for me. Ha! Sweet. I'm not sure how long I took to get all my bike crap on, but I wasn't going slow on purpose so I guess that's ok.

The bike: Holy crap. Brutal but freaking gorgeous. The first 3.5-ish miles are climbing up a fire road, a feature my leg didn't really appreciate so I stopped a few times to stretch it out. The goal was to finish healthy for Maui after all. A girl in my age group went by me a couple miles in so I rode with her until I needed to stretch again, hoping she was moving into second place and not third (I knew who would come in first, so I just wanted to be on the podium at the end of the day). We climbed for what felt like forever then hit the amazing Flume Trail. I'm sure everyone has seen pictures of this trail at some point, and I was a little bummed I was racing because I kind of wanted to stop and enjoy the view. The trail runs along a cliff overlooking the lake and is maybe six feet across at its widest, but usually around four feet. If one happened to fall over the edge it would be ugly. It was spectacular. And mostly flat. After the Flume we climbed some more, came to a lake (not Tahoe), and climbed more. Lots of climbing. The beginning of the descent was great. We rode through rock gardens and off little drops, around switchbacks and between trees. I love mountain biking. Sketchy sections were easy to anticipate as there was usually a camera man or two waiting to catch some crash action. I managed to scare the crap out of one who didn't see me coming, which I found pretty amusing. After all the rocky fun was a long fast fire road descent back to transition. This part was the coldest part of the whole day. It was still cold, maybe in the 40s by then, and I was wearing wet lycra in the wind. I think I was blue.

T2: I think I managed another fast-ish transition. Yay!

The Run: 10k trail run, two laps. I could do runs like this one every day. Instead of long extended climbs we ran over rolling terrain, with tons of twists and turns, and several bridges. I settled in with a couple runners and was feeling pretty good until we ran off course, got yelled at, and turned back around to figure out where we were supposed to be. Once we got going again I paced myself with a guy in the 60-64 age group and ran the rest of the lap with him. I tried chatting with him and he didn't seem all that happy about it. Grump. We finished the lap and I kept following him expecting to be directed somewhere to start the second lap. Turns out he was done and no one saw me behind him so I ended up in the finishing chute. I frantically told the guy who tried to take my race number that I only did one lap as the announcers told everyone I was done. I got pointed in the right direction and ran out for my second lap listening to the announcers calling after me and trying to figure out what the hell was going on. Oops. Just a little embarrassing. I saw Courtenay cheering for me on my second lap which was kind of cool. I settled in running with a girl named Jamie from Alaska, and she remained my running buddy for the rest of the lap. I managed to roll my ankle pretty early on in the lap. Sucked a little. I was feeling pretty crappy by the end, but finished relatively strong. The announcers called my name again for my actual finish.

I got third!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I packed up my gear, limped on my now-stiff and sore ankle to the med tent to get ice, and loaded up a plate of free BBQ. Excellent. The awards ceremony was fairly long with most of the winners giving little speeches. They announced that the fundraiser they had for Jamie Whitmore raised over $12,500. So cool. I got called up when it was my turn and got another lei, some Gu, some Paul Mitchell product, a medal, and a plaque. Not a bad haul! The girl who won my age group was the fastest amateur woman overall.


Vanessa and I loaded the car up with my bike and gear, changed clothes in the casino, and hit the road. I bought my body weight in travel food at a gas station and we had car karaoke and snacks all the way home.

It was a very good weekend.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

XTERRA Nats Day 1 pictures

Shenanigans back in the cottage after the dinner with my new jersey.
Meiling and I sporting our jerseys. I have Botox-face apparently.

Car picture. Really excited about getting lei'd. Tee hee!

Angry lake and tiny Amy.

Amy and Vanessa taking pictures of ourselves.

Vanessa, Ryan and myself. They are tall.

Courtenay and I after her race.

Race Weekend Report #1

Last weekend was XTERRA Nationals, and I had the best weekend I have had in I don't know how long. Nothing crazy-spectacular, just great fun. I'm breaking up my weekend and race report into two segments because I have to get a massage eventually and it would be really long otherwise.

I left on Friday, after schlepping over to Aptos on Thursday night to dog-sit and not get much sleep. I finally got myself a travel buddy in my friend Vanessa, one of my customers and frequent ride buddies. I enjoy hanging out with Vanessa both because she rocks and because she is six feet tall and has a propensity for wearing heels and I think we make quite the spectacle. But then, I am easily amused.

A little bit before we reached Vacaville, I got an email from a friend (who is in Kona for Ironman) at Specialized who had an athlete racing at Nationals who was shipped a bike with no saddle or seatpost, wanting to know if I could find him one. Of course I said I would try, being the kiss-ass that I am. Oh and by the way, the "athlete" was Ryan Sutter, of "The Bachelorette" and "Ryan and Trista" fame. Vanessa and I quickly googled him on her phone, since neither of us actually watch the show. I made about a billion phone calls, emails, and text messages in search of a seatpost over dinner, and had made pretty good progress by the time we got on the road again.

Rain had started falling by the time we left the restaurant and continued for the rest of the night. Ideally, one would find out that her windshield wipers don't work well on a shorter drive, but whatever, it made for an adventure. Layer on the weird fog (dubbed "Rog") we encountered with the rain near Truckee, and it was interesting driving.

We got to our hotel, resplendant in its neon glory, had the longest check-in ever where I contemplated napping on the counter, and went to find the room. Now, we were staying in your standard hotel/casino in small town Nevada, but I had opted for the "Cottage" room because it was a little bit cheaper. It turns out that "Cottage" is code for something resembling cabins one would encounter at summer camp, minus the bunk beds. Not that bad really, but they were erratically numbered, so Vanessa and I spent a good 15 minutes running around in the 40 degree pouring rain in our flip flops giggling and shouting "142 over here!" "152 here!" before we found our room. That was chilly.

On Saturday we slept in a bit then made our way to the race venue. Because it was a big XTERRA race, there was a whole weekend's worth of events to behold, so we had plenty to check out. I got my race packet for Sunday (AND there were only four people in my age group...sweet), found my XTERRA buddies Dave (who was racing the Sport race) and Meiling (who was volunteering in the Sport race), hooked up with the fabulously talented Courtenay Brown who won the 10k trail run (and a trip to Hawaii!), and ran into old friends/customers from Fresno Scott and Leah, who won the 10k and got second in the 10k respectively. Apparently I know some fast runners! We walked around the expo drinking hot chocolate and checking out hot boys for a while until I determined that I would have no luck mooching a seatpost from anyone there, so we headed out for lunch and a trip to the bike shop. Burritos are delicious.

Rented a seatpost, put more clothes on (it was in the 40's and windy by the way), headed back to the expo, bought a jacket and arm warmers, met up with Ryan, got picture taken with Ryan, visited with Dave after his race, went to the lake to check it out, took pictures of the lake and went back to the room to nap before the evening's meetings and dinner. Naps are delicious too.

Post-nap we headed back to the host hotel/venue once again so that I could get to my race director meeting, which was basically "Good job guys, I know we cancelled the swim for the Sport race but you are champions so even if it's still bad you will still be swimming. K? K!"

The "Dinner of Champions" or whatever it was called was really cool. The people who did the most races were recognized, along with those with the best overall results, the people who put on the races, and the ones who were the most inspirational. Jamie Whitmore was the focus of the whole weekend, with good reason. Jamie is the winning-est athlete in XTERRA history. Period. She has 37 wins to her name in her career. The person with the second-most wins is Conrad Stoltz, the current world champion, with 22 wins to his name. Jamie not only raced, but coached (and still does, Meiling is one of her athletes), raised money and awareness for a disease (sorry, I totally can't remember what it was, but it affects people in her family and some friends), and was all-around awesome. Last year doctors found a baseball-sized tumor in her pelvic region. They removed it, and in doing so removed some of her sciatic nerve, and Jamie was told she would never walk again. Not one to give up a fight, Jamie got a prosthesis, and started walking again. Then they found another tumor. The second tumor grew to the size of the first in a period of about two and a half months. Jamie went in for surgery again to remove the tumor, and to make sure they got it all, her doctors removed one of her glute muscles and part of her tailbone. She is still fighting, still planning on racing again somehow, and still awesome. The whole room was in tears when she spoke, including myself. Awesome.

Once everyone got their composure back, all the regional champions were recognized, given their jerseys, and had their pictures taken. I was totally up there!!!!!!

Southwest Regional Points Leader Women 20-24 right here!!!!

Vanessa and I climbed back in the car, took some silly pictures, drove back to the "Cottage" and I pulled out all my stuff to race. Yikes!

I was hoping to get a good night's sleep before the race, but there was a concert at our hotel so we were graced with drunken fools until 2 am outside our window. I yelled at them once and called security twice. Kind of felt like an old lady about that....

Coming soon: actual race report!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Still in Suckville.

I had my second massage of the week yesterday. It was better than the first one in that I felt better for at least 12 hours afterward (rather than 1.5), but my leg is back to feeling shitty.


This I know: I am going to Tahoe. I want to go to the awards dinner thingy and get my Points Leader Jersey.

Uncertain: if I will actually race. I don't want to make it worse before Worlds, but it's still a big deal and I want to do it. Right now I am thinking I'll start, as the swim should be fine. If I feel terrible and like I'm making things worse I will quit. Otherwise I will just take it easy and enjoy the view.