Thursday, July 26, 2012

Did I mention I'm doing an 9 days?!

Well I am!  Sorta  :)

There is a brand new 133 mile race here in Utah this year called the Ultimate Relay and I'm lucky enough to be one of the 10 or so that get to try it SOLO!  As difficult as it might be to imagine with the variety triathlon already is I was getting a little bored with regular triathlon.  Not ready to retire or anything, just wanted something more, something different.  I'd seen races like the SOS in New York and a similar smaller one in Michigan near my sister's home, and was SO intrigued!  I wrote a blog post about it last year here

Anyway, when the race director emailed me asking if I'd be interested in doing this (they wanted to hand pick who they let do it solo this first year to be cautious and safe as it is quite the undertaking), I was still pregnant I do believe, but I said YES!  I'm super excited about this new venture, it's so unique.  Here's the run down:

We basically do about an olympic distance triathlon....4 times.  133 miles between 4 lakes.
Swim 1000 meters in Pineview Reservoir, bike over a mountain (climbing aprox 1150 ft in 4 miles) and down and along a false flat for a total of 41 miles, then run 6 miles on a hot somewhat hilly trail alongside East Canyon Reservoir.  After that I hope to be more than ready to swim the 1000 meters there, and jump back on the bike for another 21 miles which shouldn't be too bad after the short but really steep climb out of East Canyon toward Henefer.  Run 6 more miles on a flat straight dirt path then jump in Echo Reservoir for 1000 meters.  Back on the bike for a scenic and temperate 32 mile ride past Rockport Reservoir and through Oakley, Kamas, and into Francis.  6 mile up and down run along the perimeter trail of Jordanelle (Rockcliff side) then the final 1000 meter dip there.  Last 13 miles on the bike with a climb out of the Rockcliff area and a long descent into Midway where the final 6 mile run will be on streets around the finish line.  Tired yet?  :)

I have really been trying to train as smart and as much as I can for this.  Yes my baby is only 5 months old and I really sat out the first 2 months of her life training wise recovering from the hemorrhage, but I'm counting on the years and years of endurance base I have and I've tried to put the best training forward I can.  While the last couple months have made me nervous because I just felt more unprepared every training session, I think I'm finally hitting it and feeling ready as of Saturday's race.  I have ridden every part of the course now, and run all the routes except in Midway but I have ridden on those streets before so I'm pretty familiar with it.  By then it will just be survival mode as it is!
So I'm feeling ready and really excited!  Such a new and cool adventure.  My husband (and hopefully 3 older kids) will follow me in the van from lake to lake and set up my transition areas and prepare and stock my nutrition.  I'm excited for a crew, something ultra runners have that I was looking forward to as I've pondered ultra running over the last year or two.  My baby will be with my mom as that's way too long in a car for her and my husband would go crazy trying to help me and take care of her.  I am counting on my parents to come up for the final leg though as I'd love to have everyone there for the finish and for a picture after.  That sweet baby has put up with a frequently sweaty mommy for the last few months, she needs to be in the photo too  :) 

I really only have a few concerns with this race.  1) will Ella be ok with bottles all day while I'm gone?  She takes a bottle or two every week from my husband while I'm training, but never more than one a day.  2)  Will I be ok not nursing all day??  I've only been away form her about 6 hours at a time and have been fine then, heavy, but not painfully engorged or anything, but this will be more like 12 hours away from her or my pump.  3) Will my saddle sores cooperate?  They're much better today than Saturday, but I do plan on packing real big padded bike shorts which I may have to change into after the swim at Echo.  I would like to do well and don't want to be sitting up wincing in the saddle the last 6 hours of the day.  4)  Will I just be too heavy to move the last part of the race?  We shall see.  I am a big believer in positive thinking and I picture being fine, but you never know.  5) last one, I will wear a wetsuit at the first swim because I'll be dry and have time to put it on, but may not be able to the last 3 lakes.  I'm a big baby when it comes to cold water, but I want to do well (ok, I'll just sneak it in here conspicuously....I would like to win the women's solo division.  There, I said it.  I won't be angry if I don't, but I have to have a goal beyond finishing right?) and may not have time or energy (putting a wetsuit on a sweaty body is hard work!  They are only 15 minute-ish swims, I should be able to tough it out for that long.  Yes, wetsuits are always faster, and safer, but where it's only 1000 meters, it may be more time and effort than it's worth to put a wetsuit on in the later swims.

So there it is.  This race is coming quick!  August 4th!  Just last night I had my first feelings like I did about Ironman St Geoge in 2002.  The feelings of "oh my gosh, it's almost over, almost done!" even though it hasn't even started.  I tell you, in my opinion, the training journey's of these long races are just as meaningful if not more sometimes, than the race itself.  Nevertheless, bring it! I'm ready, lets do this thing!


Nurse Heidi said...

I'm super excited to vicariously enjoy this race through you :). I considered signing a team up for it this year, but I think next year will be better for my group of workout buddies. You're gonna rock it, my friend.

Kathy said...

Good luck to you! How exciting!

Christie said...

Fellow Utah blogger here:) This is freaking awesome! So lucky you get to be the first to attempt this. Excited to read your race recap. Good luck

Tri Mum said...

Wow. I get tired just reading that and I've done ironman before. Good luck. I can't wait to hear how you go. Good luck with the time away from bubs too. Not training, but I remember being away from my 7mnth old for work for about 12 hours when I was breast feeding and how I was busting to express by the time I got home. I will be so interested to hear how you go with this when racing. Again, good luck.

Stephanie said...

You are ridiculous. and insane. and inspiring! I wish I could be there to watch you! Good luck, this will be your biggest feat yet! said...

I am so excited that I found your blog. I am training for my first tri on Aug. 11th and I read other "tri-mom" blogs--but no one else has 4 kids like I do. I'm excited to read more and see how you manage to fit it all in!! Good luck this weekend!!! I'm just hoping that I can finish my Olympic--I can't imagine trying to do four!!!