Today was a pretty damn long day; starting BEFORE 6am (for those of you who aren’t morning risers, it really DOES exist!) Rachel McBride met up at my place so we could make the journey down to the LeadmanTri race in Bend, Oregon. After last night’s late-night scramble to get all my race gear together, as well as prep all the snacks for the trip (a guess that’s an added ‘benefit’ of riding shotgun with me, you get in on some decent food that I’ve crafted,) the alarm clock came way too soon this morning. No matter, I’ll have plenty of time to sleep when I’m dead. We managed to get through the trip unscathed (barely) albeit some rather fugly looking weather on the drive down (which, to our surprise, cleared up completely as we got close to Bend, and was replaced by a blazing sun and blue skies!) Rachel surprised me with a GIANT bag of trail mix (and how could I NOT be excited,) and a sushi-rice-salad that was out-of-this-WORLD! The best part of the drive was, as we concluded the salad needed some wasabi, was my mad dash-like sprint through a Fred Meyers looking for (and successfully finding, I might add) wasabi paste. Now, I know we have big stores around town, but the Fred Meyers was FREAKIN HUGE!!! I think it’s fair enough to say I ran well over a kilometre to get through the store, and as such will be logging that as a a workout for the day (fair game, right?)
|A few snacks to keep us happy!|
The 9+hr excursion found us at the Tetherow Golf Club, the venue for the Pro Athlete briefing/press conference, and the VIP ‘mingle session.’ Really, it was a play-by-play of the race course (which was outstanding, as this is the inaugural Bend EPIC race, so not many people know the course,) followed by a few quick photos, proceeded by all the pros making a mad rush to the hors d’oeuvres table and the bar (yes, free beer!) Now, all this week I’ve been eating gluten free, a lifestyle that I usually live by, and I was pretty good and strayed away from the gluten at the mingler; I’m just hoping that Björn doesn’t find out I was sampling the fine brews (made by the local Deschutes Brewery,) they had on tap. In all fairness though, they ARE serving it at the finish line, and of COURSE I had to test it to make sure destroying myself for 9hrs was going to be worth the finisher’s beverage (oh, and the buckle too!) I’ve concluded that it is indeed worth every ounce of pain I’ll endure. Plus, it’s good carb-loading protocol (right?)
|Sub-9hr finishers buckle, the grand daddy of them all!|
It was great to meet up with some of the other pros, as I usually only see them AT the races, so catching up was great, especially Matt Sheeks (for those of you not in the know: Matt Sheeks and I ran probably about 3/4’s of the marathon at Ironman Canada side-by-side.) Rachel and I had a great conversation with Olly Piggins, an amazing New Zealand athlete that has made the equally amazing city of Penticton, BC, his home. It was awesome to see Jordan Rapp out here, being not only a phenomenal athlete, but also a great ambassador for this sport. He’s slated to be racing in Kona in October at the Ironman World Championships, so this must be a training day for him to prep for that. Anywho, it should be exciting to watch some of the big dogs duke it out on course (perhaps I’m lucky enough on saturday to mix it up with them!) For EPIC, they follow a similar tradition as the Leadville 100 Ultramarathon run, where finishing under certain time cutoffs gets you the sought-after ‘buckle:’ finish in under 11hrs, and you get the shiny silver buckle; finish under 9, and you get the big daddy of them all!!! I haven’t seen them yet, but word on the street is they are HUGE; someone said it will take quite the amount of core strength to handle such a belt-loop loading.
After, we made a mad-dash through the local Whole Foods Market, which I probably made a lot more difficult and time consuming than it ought to have been:
“is this gluten free;”
“does this have dairy in it;’
“how long will this last;”
“is THIS cheaper by weight than THAT;”
“do I want low-fat or fat-free;”
“does this have too much fibre;”
I kid you not. That’s only getting through the first two isles!!!! We made it out alive (and unlike some of my past exploits, before midnight,) but not before WFM managed to suck us dry of most of our precious savings (which seems to be standard issue!) See the video for explanation.
Post-Whole Paychec…..I mean, Whole Foods stop, we made our way to “home” for the next few days; an old little ‘quaint’ motel close to the race site, far from the conventional Best Western most are used to, but it was a great price (pretending we didn’t spend all the hotel savings on our Whole Foods shop) and should keep us alive until at least sunday. Time to hit the hay, as tomorrow will be a LONG day of prepping for what will be an even LONGER day on saturday!
Out for now, happy training folks!