Monday, June 15, 2009

Uh Oh.

Happy Monday:)

Had a great weekend with my family in Vic celebrating my b-day with my little sis and the whole famdamily at Elk summer birthdays! Thanks for a great day!

Now the bad news.

I blew up my legs last week.

Yup. I am out of commission at the moment with the onset of my compartment syndrome symptoms rearing their ugly head. First time in 2 years! And it is all my fault...I didn't stick to my recovery plan.

I was feeling WAY too good after doing to big races in 2 weeks (MOMAR and completing 24hrs of the FMIJ) that I should have been extra careful with my intensity and stick to my recovery plan to get me through to Kusam this weekend. Instead I ran with the fasties in my Adventure Running class and we ended up doing a fantastic 1.5hour hilly run at a great pace.

My plan read: 30minute recovery run zone 1. My workout read: 1.5hour mountain run at hard effort. Bad bad bad.

And so, my legs blew up the next day and there is nothing left to do but rest until they heal and give me the green light. Could be in time for Kusam or could be weeks. The key is waiting until they say go otherwise my minor symptoms turn into major symptoms and my summer of training and racing is over (not to mention the risk of paralysis and tissue death- uggh).

The moral of the story is this:: stick to your plan and make sure you get the recovery time your body needs.

So I am not running this week, trying to stay off my feet (yeah right) and begging and pleading to get a massage or acupuncture appointment at the last minute. I will decide on Thursday if I am ready for Kusam but have a feeling of the outcome already...

There is a plan B, however... 12 hours of Cumberland bike race is in town this weekend:)

Stay tuned...


Here is my post race report with my own pics...more to come when I get them...

Thursday/Friday The road trip was ... ummm... eventful ...

Andys truck got T-boned in Abbotsford...police, ambulance, for repairs!

Andys truck ran out of gas near Golden...ooops

Both trucks almost went to Banf insteady of Invermere...

6pm Friday: Received race map and was thrilled to see we would be racing in many of the same areas as the 3 day Sea2Summit race we did in 2006. After plotting the co-ordinates I soon realized that it was pretty much the exact same course give or take a few kms. Happy to have the knowledge but a bit disappointed that it would be so similar.

7pm: Pre race briefing...short with no real hints or useful information. Back to room to plot co-ordinates and plan our race.
Andy (left) and Jack (support) looking ready for action...or...

7-11:45pm: Time FLEW by as Marc and I plotting co-ordinates, double checked co-ordinates, highlighted planned route, support crew approximated distances and times for each leg, waterproofed maps, created race plan, ate and drank, then finally packed our packs for the first leg- the trek.

12am midnight: 3-2-1-GO! It was POURING rain and there was a crazy lightening and thunder storm going off at Panorama mountain- race central. With headlamps, mapbag, and compass we trekked off into the darknesss with 120 other stupid humans.

We got off course quickly by getting caught up in the crazyness of the start and following the line of glow worm lights up a logging road. After an hour and a half of trying to relocate to our original planned route we got our S%#T together and made fast tracks to CP1 following the Toby creek via game and hiking trails that worked in our favor and followed our bearing perfectly. Cross slope for a few hours and then jogging down a logging road into CP1 at 4:30am... I have NEVER been so happy to see a CP. After getting mixed up at the start we really needed the confirmation that we were back on track. And we weren't last! We thought we would be dead last after our rough start but there were still 11 teams behind us...out there in the woods still...

After CP1 we made the decision to go for the Advanced CP2 which meant a short but very steep (read Kusam) climb up Castle Mountain. We guessed it would take us 2hours or less to go up and back down. This was where Marcs ITBand reared its ugly head. This is the same spot that our dear teammate John, blew up with full body cramps in our 2006 race (and ended up in emerg with severe dehydration). Sick coincidence. Evil mountain. We all made it to the top but knew at that time that we were no longer in the race and Marc was in severe pain trying to negotiate the downhill. Our pace slowed to a snails and our focus was on keeping Marcs pain manageable and continuing to move forward to get him out, to first aid and off his feet. It took another 7 hours until we reached Transition1 and got him to our support crew camp and a first aid attendant.

Top of Castle Mountain- taking a minute to treat some hot spots and enjoy the view below...

What a view! We came from down there...

See the cutline in the forground? That is where our trek up Castle Mountain started from!

Shawn and Andy after returning to the cut line after the big climb- Castle mountain in the background...

Marc shuffling along the cutline with his trusty poles. THANK GOD we had them- cause they were crutches for him for hours and hours...

Taking a moment to rest the knee after pushing a grueling pace - he didn't have much rest time during that entire 13hours...

Andy packing double duty and looking fresh as a Daisy after about 11hours...

Shawn taking full advantage of our 3 minute pitstop...

Self Portrait- feeling good!

At about 1pm we got to our bikes and along with another team Lost in Translation, learned that we were DQd for missing the cutoffs (and skipping a CP en route).

There were only 8 bikes there and that was a sad sight- but no suprise as we saw it coming hours earlier. We got our reward snacks that were left by our support crew - Andy finally got his coke!
It was a short downhill ride into town where we met up with our support crew at Kinsman Beach park. They were superstars!! They had tables and a tent set up with tonnes of food for us! Sadly they had been waiting hours and hours and all the other teams were gone already:) They kept a smile on their faces for us even though they hadn't been to sleep yet either!
At TA1 We had some decisions to make.
  • We knew Marc was out and should not/would not be able to continue on his knee. He got ice and IBP and spoke with first aid.
  • We got the suprising news that we would be allowed to continue on unranked if we wanted to. The other team pulled out choosing not to continue and our team was mixed on the decision.
  • I wanted to keep going as long as we were allowed. We paid alot of $ and spent all winter preparing for this so I wanted to see the course- didn't care about being ranked or unranked.
  • We all agreed to do the paddle as a team so we could check out the river and finish on a fun note together.
  • It was a beautiful day, Marc slapped some ice on his knee and wedged himself into the inflatable kayak.
  • They lets us paddle a short course and we got out of the nastiest 28kms of paddling on Windermere lake cause we were already so far behind.
  • So off we went- and Andy and I planned to do the following leg on our bikes after the paddle. Our support crew would meet us at the end of the paddle with our biking gear and Shawn and Marc would pull out at that time.

Andy and I in the rubber dingy of a kayak...apparantly this is what they paddle in in Alberta where the race directors are from...

We had some seriously fun water fights and the boys tried to make me scream by ramming into us and trying to capsize my boat. Why do boys do that? I didn't feel tired but caught myself sleeping in the kayak at 1 point and I was in hysterics laughing until I was crying the entire paddle (my team isn't THAT funny).

Post Paddle...Andy and I make the trek up to the bike transition...still in it! Now we are in 4th (fake 4th ) place!

Andy and I left TA2 on our bikes around 6pm and I forgot my camera in my lifejacket so there are no more photos after this.
I wish I had my camera! We had loads of fun on our bikes riding on logging roads above Horsethief creek raging below. We saw cayotes, soaring birds, bush chickens (grouse) and plenty of cows on the road! We joined up with other teams and had fun navigating along the bike course together.
Then we hit the creek. Well, it was more like a raging river in flood at the time but it looked like a harmless creek on our map. None of us could believe that this was the way we were supposed to cross cause it was swiftwater and just plain dangerous.
We spread out and looked up and down the river for a safe crossing but there wasn't one. Another team abandoned the crossing and decided to ride an extra 15k back and around another route. We decided to do it together.
I don't even remember the cold. I just remember the amazing force of nature pinning my bike to my body and trying to knock me down.
The other team went first and all went relatively well until their final guy went across. It was waist deep, brown boiling, rapid forming water. It was intense. He slipped and his bike fell into the water and he fell down, losing his footing. He struggled for what seemed like an eternity. Time stood still. His team yelled louder and louder: 'get up! get up! don't panic! don't panic! GET UP!!!' but he kept slipping and falling and getting dragged under the raging water.
Then Andy pulled a superhero move: In 1 motion he grabbed the sinkers pack, lifted him out of the water and pushed him across the river to safety. That's my farmer!
But I was next. I told Andy I didn't want to go alone. If I fell I was dead. There was no way I would be able to get back up and I would be pulled down the river so fast I wouldn't have any say in it. I thought we should go together...just like Jack, our support had told us before the race started. I didn't think about carrying my bike AND holding onto Andy.
I was upstream with my bike upstream of me. Andy was downstream with his bike downstream of him. We linked arms and stepped into the raging water. It was intense and the force was like nothing I have felt before. Instantly my bike got caught in the current and dragged under- pinning against my body and knocking me into Andy. Great. Now I had the force of the water AND the force of my bike in the water pushing me over.
Andy saved me too. He helped my pick my bike up out of the current cause I was completely stuck and couldn't lift it myself. I walked across with my bike overhead I think. It was a blur till I made it to the other side, where the other team was helping us across with branches and hands. I do remember hugging the girl on the other team as we gasped with fear, relief and adrenaline.
By the time I turned around Andy had marched across the river with his bike overhead in 4 or 5 fast strong steps. Declining help on the other side, the farmer made it all look like a game:)
We left the team as they changed into dry clothes and wondered what was to happen to the other 25 teams who would be crossing the river later that night...many in the dark.
*Turns out at 10pm the race director came out to the river after many many complaints and cancelled the crossing making the remaining teams take a 15km detour. Apparently he thought it was 'unsafe'. A little bit late I thought.
We rode the rest of the bike course with a few other teams, joining forces we put away our map and just enjoyed the scenery and the company. We saw the most amazing orange moonrise and it was all worth it just for that! The biggest moon ever.
We pulled into TA3 at midnight after a 6hour ride and lots of trails that weren't on the map:) Our support crew was still there waiting for us and we couldn't believe it! There was a fire to warm our wet feet which were now completely numb since the river crossing. There were smiling faces and tired ones too.
We cheered on our pseudo teams that we had biked with and wished them luck on the final leg- the trek back to the lodge (same way back as we came out on) following the dark zipline traverse.
Then we hopped in the truck and went back to our room to join in on the zzzzzsss that our teammates were getting. It was the end of the line for Team ELM and the plan was to leave the next morning so we called er a day and fell into a surreal sleep deprived state recounting the crazyness of our day...was that real? did they really do that? say that? did we really see that?
Sleep was good but short. After about 5hours the team made me wake up and we made the long journey home to the island...I was in my bed around 1am the next day.
Took me a few days to catch up on sleep and get back to my old self. We already have a few races picked out to redeem ourselves and finish the business of an exp race. I will let you know what we decide!!
I was suprised how well we faired with the lack of sleep and stoked to see how our fitness compared to the other teams. We know that we would be able to finish this race and have the abilities to do well if we could all stay healthy. We are stoked to give it another go!!


Kyla said...

Hey- Just so you know, Team "Lost in Translation" is actually "Lost in Transition". It's a funner AR name that way!

~Kyla of Team Suburban Rush

Sarah said...

Hey Kyla! Thanks for setting me straight! That is a mucher better name:) Congrats on your race!! Hope to meet you at the next adventure...what is your next race?