Monday, May 30, 2011
The pool was 50m long. They had it set up so every 12 seconds a swimmer would enter at either end of the pool and then do three laps (three down-and-backs), one each in three different lanes to swim 300 m. We self-seeded, or got into groups based on what we thought we would swim. I had timed myself a few weeks before on a 200 m swim (because that's what I thought it was!). When I found out it was longer, I had to adjust and thought I could swim 300 m in about 5 minutes. I've learned from previous triathlons that it's better not to swim all out, but swim at a nice steady pace so I don't cramp up afterwards. I was concerned that 5 minutes wasn't so fast (after all, I used to swim long distance in high school and competed competitively in summer swim team from age 6-18), but kept telling myself that 5 minutes really wasn't that long in the whole scope of the triathlon.
Then, when I got to the pool and saw that the self-seeding was every minute from 4 to 10 minutes, I realized I was doing better than I thought!
The swim went well. The water was pleasantly warm, and I swam strong but not too hard. Soon I realized there was a problem--a lady had gone who shouldn't be in the group, and she was backing up swimmers. I decided to pass, and that took a little time and a near head-on collision, but I managed to get around four swimmers. I also had one person pass me at the same time. Talk about a little confusing! After the passing there was a big gap in front of me and no one right behind me, and I was feeling a little tired because I wasn't really able to train for the swim, so I flipped over on my back and did some backstroke. It's always been my best stroke and I can do it with little exertion, so it worked out great.
I had only had the road bike a couple weeks and had used the clip-in shoes three times before the race, so I was a little nervous. But the bike felt great, and I was cruising along with little effort. In fact, I probably cruised a little too much and didn't race enough, as I went from 14th in my age group after the swim to 71st after the bike. But I didn't know that at the time, as with the staggered start it's hard to really feel like you're competing. The good part was I didn't crash.
That meant I got back into transition and then changed into running shoes and started running. It's never fun to run after biking, so I had practiced that transition a little. After about a mile my legs stopped feeling like jello.
I will get to find out next weekend, when I try another triathlon. This one has a big group start in a pond (which requires a wetsuit). It has a longer swim but the same length bike and run. It's a lot smaller (only about 300 competitors). That might partly be because there are two other triathlons in Utah next weekend, plus two 100-mile bike ride events, a half marathon, and several shorter running and biking races. And two mud runs. If you want to compete, there are plenty of places to do it!
at 4:42 AM
Saturday, May 28, 2011
When we got to the trailhead, Desert Boy was ready to get going--in his two right foot shoes. He didn't seem to mind at all.
The trail had a gentle incline, but I could feel it with Emma on my back. We looked for interesting things to talk about so that Desert Boy would keep hiking. Then we saw something very interesting:
We crossed a bigger creek to get back to the parking area. The water is just starting to get a little brown. It should be getting a lot darker in the next few weeks as the snow continues to melt! The high mountains are still very white.
And that was the end of our hike. Desert Girl slept on the drive back, but Desert Boy kept talking and after a bath to warm up, we went to the playground to "help" the other kids pulling out weeds. Needless to say, he slept very well last night.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Or maybe more than a little.
If you're not sure, do a search on this blog for caves (or click the cave label at the bottom of this post), and you will see some of the other things I've written about caves.
I've been caving for 17 years now (that's making me feel old!), and I like teaching other folks how to cave safely and with cave conservation in mind. One of our archeologists had been asked to do an archeological survey in a vertical cave, but she didn't know how to rappel and climb rope, so she asked for a lesson. We were happy to comply, as none of our little caving group had done much on rope recently.
We started with practice outside. I always recommend practice out of the cave first--it's so much easier to see what to do when you have full light and not just the beam from a little headlamp. We spent a couple hours practicing climbing rope, changing over to rappel, and rappeling down.
Then Meg volunteered to go down first. She rappelled into the cave and we heard her call back,
"There's a snake down here!"
Someone asked, "Dead or alive?"
Paleontological Research in progress
Funded by the National Geographic Society
and the Geological Society of America
PLEASE DO NOT DIG IN THIS AREA
Your cooperation is appreciated.
Numerous animal and human remains have been found in the cave.
It wasn't a very long cave trip, but it was a fun one. It's always a good day when I can go into a cave--and get out safely!