Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Week 4: DIYS Summer 100 Challenge

Day 22. Monday, June 17th
I am just loving these mountains. So, so beautiful. I had this goal of running my way from California to Michigan, and seeing as all I have done so far was ride my bike a measly 30 minutes in Utah, I figured today is the day. Only problem is--we are in the mountains. There is NOTHING that is remotely flat, ugggg. I knew the road up to our cabin was rather steep, so I decided to run the other way on the dirt road.

Now let me say, running in the Rocky Mountains at 8,000 feet is literally breath taking. Yes, I was running up a mountain, but the air is thin. I could only run 2.63 miles/33:06 minutes. The climb was 336 feet. Very gratifying. When I got back Denise was cooking a wonderful dinner. I took a quick bath in a small creek, ate a wonderful dinner and went to bed with a huge smile on my face. xoxoxxo


Day 23. Tuesday, June 18th
It's time to begin, isn't it?
I get a little bit bigger, but then I'll admit
I'm just the same as I was
Now don't you understand
That I'm never changing who I am

This has so become my song. I heard it before I left California and it came on during my run yesterday. After Taylor died I stopped listening to music ~ for years. It has only been recently that I have started listening again. I am really enjoying some of the new music out right now.

In any case, packing up to leave Colorado. It has been fabulous but we gotta get into Michigan. I have my first triathlon Sunday with Deb. Granted it's a mini-tri, but I am excited to do this too.

War Axe State Recreational Area, Shelton, NE 
So back in the car to carry on, except now I have a road trip buddy and someone who can testify to Blanca being a nutcase. As we left the Rockies behind, the landscape flattened out and became, well, flat. We stopped in North Platte, Nebraska for lunch--Mexican food--hahahaha. The waiter was terribly rude to us. Denise thinks he is homophobic. I am still trying to figure that one out. Which of us looks gay? Her? Me?

Back in the car, heading for some teepee for the night (yes, she booked us into a teepee) we agreed to get a hotel. Denise found us one in Lincoln and trust me, once there, we almost left. It was nothing to write home about, let me tell you, but it was better than the hotel I stayed in in Utah. We had dinner at The Outback, so that was good, and watched a few more episodes of Merlin and then called it a night.

Estes Park, CO to Lincoln, NE ~500 miles.

Day 24. Wednesday, June 19th
Since we had absolutely no love for this hotel, we packed up and found a Starbucks. After a few good cups of coffee we headed out--out of Nebraska, land of stink (cows, I think) and into Iowa.

Now Iowa is also very flat. In fact, it is always strange for me to not be able to see any mountains. But trust me, there are no mountains to be seen anywhere. Just green and flat and some rolling hills and big, big sky. On a whim we decided to stop at a winery tucked in the lush green hills just off the road. According to Denise, the wine was nothing to write home about, but it was nice to get out of the car for a bit.

Our hotel for the night was on the Mississippi River on the Iowa side. Denise was really starting to doubt Blanca as she led us to our hotel, but Blanca took not one wrong turn. We were floored by how fabulous this hotel was. Pristine. Fabulous. This was our view out our window. I was surprised that the Mississippi wasn't wider, but we did see a barge on it during dinner. And speaking of dinner, it was great! Sneaky Pete's. Casual attire a must. If you wear a tie, they cut it off and hang it off the rafters. Trust me, the rafters are full.

Holiday Inn Express Le Claire Riverfront-Davenport
1201 Canal Shore Drive, Le Claire IA
Lincoln, NE to Le Claire, IA ~365 miles.

Day 25. Thursday, June 20th
Last day of driving. We would be in Munith by nightfall. As soon as we left the hotel we were crossing the Mississippi river and in Illinois, the land of Lincoln. Illinois was uneventful as was our very quick jaunt through Indiana and then here we were. Michigan. We hit the visitors center, which was really nice and climbed back in the car for the few more hours it would take to get Munith.

Pulling into the driveway was like coming home for me. I could hear the dogs barking, I knew Deb would be home shortly. Denise and I had driven 1,000 miles together and not killed each other, life was good.

Was so good to see Deb and to just sit and chat and just be, like it had never been six months since we had all been together, in this room, with these dogs, and cats, oh, and no hot water. The water heater had gone out at some point while we were driving. oh well. All is good.

LeClaire, IA to Munith, MI 361 miles.

Day 26. Friday, June 21st
So nice to be here in Michigan. I can not articulate how really wonderful it is for me to be here. I love the green. I love the hills. I love how laid back it is. I love Deb and Denise and Nico and Tilly and Sara-tippy and Mythos and Finnigan and all the out door cats.  I laced up my shoes and took off for my first Michigan run. My last run was Monday, at 8,000 feet in the Rockies and now here I was in the 90 degree heat with the humidity at 84%. Bring it on.

Run on Sayers to Plum
3.58 miles/40.56 minutes

Day 27. Saturday, June 22nd
So nice to wake up in Michigan . Makes my heart happy. Had a wonderful breakfast via Denise and Deb and I headed off to the lake for a morning swim at Portage Lake, where we would be swimming tomorrow for the TriGoddessTri Sprint (the mini for both of us). Deb has done this race five times in this lake and is the inspiration for me to sign up for this.

We had a fabulous swim and then returned later to pick up our registration packets (this lake is bike riding distance from their house). We are carbing up and getting to bed early. Tomorrow is the big day.

Day 28. Sunday, June 23rd
Triathlon Day.

Deb, Tiffany and Me
Such a thrill. The entire experience. My swimming felt horrendous. I started off way too fast and lost my breath and could never get it back. Rolled onto my back several times. Could not get on top of it. The bike ride was great despite the hills. The run was a challenge. I did not want to stop to catch my breath, but just had too. However, at the very end, with the finish line in sight, I heard footsteps behind me, catching me and with everything I had I pounded out that finish ahead of her.

When we all finished, Deb, Tiffany and I met up with Denise and Bess for a picnic breakfast in the park. The food was wonderful. The company was great. And I did my first Tri!

Loved it.  Great, great experience. Definitely doing this again.

Swim 14:47; rank 6
Transition to the bikes 2:17; rank 44
Bike 41:17; rank 2
Transition to the run 1:35; rank 86
Run 16:14; rank 5
Total Time: 1:16:12
Age Group: 3rd place/17 women
Overall place: 38th/124 women
Tri Goddess Tri Mini Sprint 2013 Results

My very first podium finish. 3rd place in my age division. So, so exciting.

1.27 miles/15.59 minutes (via Endomondo)


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