Well, I’ve got to admit that I’ve been doing a pretty bad job as FART Captain, looking at how long it’s been since I’ve done a real update, but being “gainfully unemployed” at the moment, I’d like to catch everyone up on what’s been going on.
Just as a word of thanks to all of you, it’s been a pretty stressful time around the household of FARTs 1 & 2 over the past few weeks, and it’s been a true revelation and honor to find out who our true friends are, and we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your friendship, love, and continued support… everything is going to work out fine (it’s already getting better) and we’ll be better for it. Bless you all!
Anywho, back to the update…
The first weekend of May marked our first-ever Bloomsday Training Weekend, and it was a rousing success! Dave got down to the Bloomsday Registration and got everyone checked in on Friday, and bought $700 worth of groceries to feed the horde for the whole weekend. We had all meals, snacks and drinks for everyone for the weekend, making it possible for us to maximize training time, and saving some shekels at the same time.
The group started arriving Friday evening, and by 9:00 p.m, Morgen, Kelley, Andy, Rachael, Jeni, Lisa and Dave were assembled and gearing up for our first “Midnight Bike and Run” at Farragut Park. We loaded up bikes, checked the lights, grabbed some snacks and drove down to Farragut. We started with a semi-technical mountain bike ride, including a bit of nice singletrack. Kelley had never actually been “off-road” before, and had a couple of minor “oopsys” on the bike, but finished well.
Next, we chained the bikes to trees, and set off on a trail run, including Big Nasty and Long Nasty, which didn’t give anyone any problems. We headed back for a few snacks, and hit the sack.
Early Saturday, we were joined by the newest FART; Peggy Gaudet of Sandpoint. You may recall that Peggy just finished the 156 mile Marathon de Sable (the Marathon of the Sands) in Morocco, and is an accomplished biker and runner (duh… obviously!). Peggy arrived just in time for “Aerobics by Andy,” which was a great warm-up, and a nice workout! It is way harder than I thought, even knowing my massive flexibility would be challenged.
After that, we had a light breakfast and set out on one of the major items of the weekend, a 30 mile bike ride. We had to modify the course slightly, as Peggy’s very cool triathlon bike wasn’t set up for gravel, but we had a great ride, eventually covering either 25 miles, or 32.7, depending on whether you took the long road back.
After that, we loaded up and headed out to Cheney, where we were treated to a great ropes course at EWU, arranged by Jeni. The first task was to get all of us over a tightrope obstacle with no falls, and we did that very well, I must say. Then we got a chance to work with ascending using Prussic knots and then rappelling. Just as we got started, however, the wind picked up, and the temp went down, until it was blowing literally at 45 mph or more, making it a tough climb! Still, it was enjoyable and educational for all!
We headed to Jeni’s, where Dave cooked a healthy dinner, and we all drank some good vino before heading to bed.
Sunday a.m., we got up and got ready for the Bloomsday 12k (7.46 mile) race. Bloomsday is one of the world’s largest footraces, and is one of the best organized events I’ve ever seen. We were in the “green” starting group, meaning we were the 4th group to the starting line, even though the majority of us had times good enough for the “yellow” group. Everyone has a timing chip on their ankle that starts when you cross the finish line, giving you an accurate time. The toughest part is trying to run through a nearly solid mass of humanity, especially when we were trying to go faster than most of them. Andy, Morgen, Jeni and I tried to push our pace as best we could until it finally opened up after the first big hill. Andy (his new nick name is “Bobsled”) FLEW down the hill, dodging, weaving and ducking through the crowd, leaving us in the dust. We caught him at the top of the big hill, and ran together as a group for a mile or so. At the next hill, Dave took it out a bit, and our group spread out as we headed for “Doomsday Hill,” a 1/2 mile long test between mile 4.5 and mile 5.
After that, you just cruise to the finish as best you can. Dave crossed first, finishing in 57:13. Morgen was second in 58:20, and Andy was just after that in 58:40. Jeni was our first gal across in 1:02, and then Peggy (1:05), Kelley (1:08) and Lisa (1:09) cruised over. Rachael started strong, but ran out of gas at the top of Doomsday, finishing in 1:30.
After a nice snack in the park with 50,000 of our closest friends, we loaded up and headed back to CDA for a kayak class with Chip from Kayak CDA. It was a great lesson, and everyone learned a bunch, helping to prepare us for the upcoming races.
Our final event of the weekend was an orienteering session back out at Farragut, led by Dave. I think it really helped everyone, and the team really got a good feel for using their compasses, taking bearings, etc. We finished with a lamb chop dinner, and everyone headed home, tired, but filled with new knowledge and proud of our accomplishments of the weekend.
The next weekend, we were blessed to have Andy back again for 1 day after a surprise meeting in Seattle, and he, jeni and I were able to get in a GREAT day of training, including a 25 mile bike, and a TERRIBLE 7.5 mile run, where it helped to be part mountain goat. Jeni earned a new nickname: “Sadistic B***h,” but it was a great challenge, and we meant it in the most affectionate way! We finished with some great Jambas and then picked Lisa up from the airport and had a nice dinner before Andy had to catch his plane.
May 15, Lisa and I joined Rick in Orlando, and we managed to get in 4 nice days of warm-weather training. Dave also got in his first 100 mile bike week. Peggy did a “Century” ride – a 100 mile race in Montana, so that makes Dave’s week look pretty mundane! 🙂
This past weekend (May 24-25) Jeni, Lisa and I drove over to Montana to train with Kelley and Morgen. We had a great meal of Elk and tilapia on Saturday, and on Sunday, Morgen was is charge of a great day of training. We drove about an hour south to the shores of Lake Como, and we started a terrific day.
We started with a 16 mile bike ride over the mountain to Last Horse Creek. This had a SUBSTANTIAL elevation climb, and was a good experience. Biking, and climbing in particular, is getting much easier.
Next, we did a 4 mile paddle in kayaks and a canoe, with a wind and a current to deal with on the way back.
Finally, we did a 7.65 mile trail run around the lake, stopping at a beautiful waterfall, and doinga couple of creek crossings on the way. It was a great way to finish the day!
We drove home after a Mexican meal, complete with Mararitas (of course), having thoroughly enjoyed our Montana adventure! Well done, Morg and Kelley! We would re-do this weekend anytime, and hopefully more folks will join us next time!
Lisa and I did get out for a workout today (Sunday the 26) and got in a very technical single track ride, and pretty hellish kayak (30 mph headwinds, 3 foot waves etc), and Dave ran home from Boat Launch (7.2 miles) to finish.
This next weekend, we have our 2nd race, right here in CDA. It is a “6 hour” race, and Morgen, Kelley, Lisa and Peggy will be one team, and Dave and Jeni will be competing as a duo. As of now, we don’t even have where it is yet (it’s top secret!) so the excitement is building!
On the last weekend of July, we are planning on meeting in tahoe to “recon” last year’s course, and get a feeling for the altitude. So far, Andy, Rick, Dave, Lisa, Kelley and Morgen are in… anyone else? Peggy? There could be a AR race on the Thursday (?) in Cle Elum, Wa, and then we might roadtrip down, splitting the cost. Let Dave know ASAP if you want to join us!
We are still looking forward to Hawaii in August, and would love to have any or all of you join us for a great week of fun, relaxation and training. It will be the last week, leading up to Labor Day.
The Big Blue is only 117 days away! We wish you all good training, and look forward to hearing from you!