Monday, July 20, 2009

Fast Times in the Pines and Capitol Reef Stage Race

I did it. I entered my first ever swim meet. EVER!!! And I was so nervous, but it turned out to be so much fun. The swim meet started at 11 am and ended at 1 pm. All the events were back to back. I registered for the 400m, 100m, 200m and the 800m. The 400m started out great and after 200m my goggles were filled with water, so I stopped to empty them :-) Ooops. My arms were so tired that I didn't even know if I could swim any other events-swimming is painful!!! I cooled down for a few laps, but it was also the warm up for the 100m. The 100m were great. Off the blocks and just go go go. It was a blast. The 200m were fun, but not as much as the 100m. Then I found out I was also registered for the 50m - no idea who registered me. But I was happy. Yippie. The sprinting events were the most fun. Off the blocks and GO. Here I am swimming the 50m. Please note: I AM MAKING WAVES!!!

The 800 m were fun as well. It is probably like track: I like the 800 and the 3000, but not the 1500. In swimming I like everything under the 400, NOT the 400 and I like everything over 400 :-)
Here I am going off the blocks, which was so fun (A little scary at first to jump into 4 ft shallow water- we had to prove that we are able of doing that to an official before the race!!!).

After the meet I went to the lake to swim 1500m. Swim day was so much fun. I got a little sore the next day but not too bad. But it made my entire body super tired!!! All I wanted to do (and maybe did :-) was sleep.

On a gardening note:
I discovered some ripe tomatoes in my garden last week. As you can see in the picture, they are huge.

On Thursday JR and I packed the car and drove 8 hrs to a place called Torrey, Utah for the Capitol Reef Stage Race. On the way there we went from the forest of Flagstaff into the painted desert, over the Navajo Reservation to Lake Powell. Quick stop there, but the 110 degrees made us want to keep on going.

Then we keept driving through the farmlands of Utah-so pretty, everyone seems to have a ranch or a farm with horses. BUT...everything closes at 8pm (restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores). When we got to Torrey we built our tent and slept until the next day at 6:30 am. Sleep at night 1: not too good.
The next morning was an 8 mile TT. I found out that we were only 3 Pro/1/2/3 girls, so the race got combined with Masters and Cat4 women, which made the field into a 20-30 person group. I won the TT with 2nd 15 sec behind me.
The circuit race started at 4 in the afternoon which made it a really hot race. Luckily our race was shortened to 17!!! miles. It was very hilly and really beatiful. # of us broke away on the first hill and we managed to stay away. Frustrating was that the girl who was in 2nd didn't want to work. I started the sprint with 500 m to go-that was a hard effort. Note for next day: wait until 200 m to go. I got another 5 sec. on 2nd place. Here is a pic from the start of the Circuit race:

Trying to find a place to eat in Loa and Torrey was a challenge. Those towns consist of ... Farms and that is it :-) Actually there were 3 places in Torrey, so we did find something to eat (our choices were Burgers or Pizza). Sleep at night 2 in a tent: better.
The next morning was a RR. 52 miles. I was hoping it would be a fast and challenging race with lots of breakaways. Mhhh...second place girl didn't even try to get rid of me. Instead I ended up attacking many times, but noone wanted to come with me and so I ended up dropping back into the group because the last 20 miles were into a headwind and I didn't want to be stuck out there by myself.
We waited until the last 1 km to battle out the win. I ended up winning the 3rd stage too. Yeah!!! 3 Stages, 3 Wins = GC win!!!
After the race JR and I went to get a "small PB" cup at the local Coffee shop...SMALL (this is my thumb, not my pinky :-)

Yummie!!! On our way back we stopped at Bryce National Park. Beautiful!!! Here are some pics:

The pointy ones are called Hooloo, which comes from the word Voodoo and means nonsense...mhhhh that makes absolutely no sense to me why a rock formation is called "nonsense". Oh well. It was pretty!!!

We drove all the way to Kanab, which is at the border to AZ. We had a delicious dinner and then decided to keep driving to Jacob Lake, a Campground by the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Sleep at night 3 in a tent: GREAT. We were too exhausted from traveling and racing to have a bad night sleep.
The rim is higher in elevation on that side and has barely any tourists visiting!!! It was great!!! Great place to start a hike into the Grand Canyon since the trails don't seem as steep as on the south side.

After the Grand Canyon visit, JR and I spend a few hours at the beach :-) The Colorado River Beach. Outside temperature was 110 degrees. Water temperature was FREEZING. But I just had to go in and swim and play in the river.

It was a super fun trip. I am excited to go on another adventure soon!!!

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