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Training Log Archive: glewis

In the 7 days ending Jun 1:

activity # timemileskm+ft
  Adventure Racing1 10:17:35 50.6(12:12) 81.43(7:35)
  Mountain Bike1 1:34:57 13.24(7:10) 21.31(4:27)
  Run1 30:03 3.63(8:17) 5.84(5:09)
  Kayak Erg1 30:00
  Total4 12:52:35 67.47 108.58

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Saturday Jun 1 #

8 AM

Adventure Racing 10:17:35 [3] 50.6 mi (12:12 / mi)

Tug Hill Extreme. Awesome day in the woods with Evan and Kate. Pushed hard, finished 2nd overall to Bjarke Refslund (Nordic Lights), who we were chasing for most of the race.

My first competitive race of 2024, and rather late in the season too. I was very excited for this race for a variety of reasons: super fun team, not tons of elevation, chance at redemption for Nationals, and 12 hours is my secret-favorite race length. I met up with Kate and Evan very late on Friday night, checked out my brand new team jersey items and got some fitful sleep in Evan's van before an early alarm on Saturday. We had a short drive to stage our paddle gear before checking in to get our maps at Tug Hill Resort.

The maps lined up with our predictions based on the schematic: a mini-rogaine (I've decided that the AR-mountain that I'm willing to die on is to stop calling things "orienteering" or "o-" sections if they're not on actual orienteering maps) to a lake paddle, then a bike on roads with a short singletrack section, then a trek near a large waterfall and gorge, followed by a longer bike to a big crux trek, and finally a short bike back to the finish. We went through the maps very carefully, more so than I usually do for a race like this. We expected to be pushing really hard and I wanted to make sure that all of the decisions were made before the race started. Additionally, I remember from last years race that teams who made good route choice/order decisions saved time on other teams. We felt really good about our choices and had a plan for each point and leg. Kate added the clues to most of the maps which was very helpful and planned to carry her 2nd set for the trekking sections.

The race started at 7:30 with a fast pace into the mini-rogaine. We followed AE/ET, unfortunately too far before entering the woods. We were a little turned around on the first point but got in the mass confusion of racers. We worked our way through the rest cleanly, trying to stick with our own plan and ignoring the hoards around us. We used a creative move from 3-4 by going out to the road. We saw none of the teams from 3 at 4 so I thought that it lost time but we were actually ahead. The climb up to 5 was the biggest of the race (160 feet!) and we hustled downhill into the paddle TA afterwards, only 30 minutes into the race. We had strategized pre-race about super fast TAs, and executed one here, as we were out on the water in less than 60 seconds. There were a few boats around us, and I noticed Nordic Lights heading in the opposite direction about 1-2 minutes ahead. We had seen him on the trek towards the beginning too.

The paddle was in a rented 3-person canoe, and we were flying! The team all felt great and pushed really hard, passing and gapping all of the teams near us at the start. The weather was perfect for a morning paddle, with cool air and no wind for the most part. About halfway through we passed a few teams going in the other direction but figured that we had some time on most of them. There was a slight headwind on the way to the final point, but it abated quickly. We were finally caught by a 4-person Ultrabambi team in the final stretch, paddling a lightning fast canoe. We came into TA about 50m behind them and noticed Nordic Lights sneak in to the side and get out much quicker - we were stuck behind 2 teams and 3 boats. We went as quickly as we could and got out in under 60 seconds again. We had two points to get on the way back (a neat feature of this leg was the choice to get the trek points at any time before or after the paddle). We found them with Ultrabambi and came into TA just with them. This section took 2:15, pretty aligned with our pre-race estimates.

Another fast TA (less than 2 minutes) and we were off on bikes. We passed Nordic Lights stopped on the road, but he quickly got back ahead of us. Evan did a great job breaking the wind on the long road sections, and we stayed close enough behind our main competition here. We chose a different route choice for the short bike-nav section and crossed paths with Bajrke, AE/ET, and a few other teams. Pre-race planning was really helpful here as Kate spotted a road that I had missed on the first go through which saved us ~5 minutes. We passed Ultrabambi at the end here, having put 3 minutes into them on the short bike section. Even though Nordic Lights was pulling slightly ahead it felt nice to know that we were still moving very well as a team. The rest of the leg was a simple ride into TA for a short trek.

We were the 3rd team into TA (there had been a coed-2 in front who we later learned had skipped 2 paddle points) and got out onto the trek immediately. The first point had us descend a steep trail to get to the bottom of a large gorge and a massive waterfall. A very cool sight in the race, but we didn't spend much time admiring it as we kept moving. We had a slight bobble with the next point where the streams didn't align what the map showed. I'll also blame it on some pressing GI issues, but we sorted it out after only a minute or two. We crossed passed with AE/ET for what felt like the 5th time before taking a nice route to a point on the top edge of the gorge. We ran back into TA quickly and hopped back on bikes, only the 2nd team to leave here.

This ride was about half trail and half road, and the trail sections appeared to be more doubletrack than not. It started nicely but then got wetter and wetter and muddier and muddier. The trails were 95%+ rideable but were very slow and energy zapping. Every time I felt like they were getting better they got worse. We got into a bit of a mental rut here; the hour spent on the trail felt like 5. We were moving slowly and using a lot of energy, which was draining us in the midday sun. I also ran out of water but got some from Kate, though I still had to ration it for the last 40 minutes. I did my best to keep everyone motivated and moving forward. We ended the section by finally getting caught by AE/ET. I had expected to see them for a while and they moved past us pretty quickly in the final trail section before we hit the roads. We kept them insight as Evan hauled us up a long but very shallow climb towards TA, which was a welcome sight.

We TA's quickly but still filled bladders and set out on the big trek only seconds after AE/ET. I was confident that we could beat them here but knew that the nav would be tough. I was happy to have a full bladder but in retrospect should have chugged a bottle or two before leaving TA. I ended up nursing my water and still finishing the race dehydrated. For this trek both Kate and I carried our maps and it was a great choice. There were a few times when I had gotten us to the right area but was unsure and it was nice to have someone confirm. We actually passed AE/ET after our second point, and it seemed to us like they were going in a nontraditional direction. I also had to stop early on to remove 2 inch long sharp stick that had gone through the sole of my shoe and was poking my foot! Two points later we had a crazy experience when crossing a small unmapped swamp. I stepped on what I thought was the bottom on a small stream but immediately sank in to my ribs and emerged covered in mud. We all had a great laugh about our even-stinkier selves after that crossing. Having 2 sets of maps was very helpful on 30, 35, 36, 42, and 37. Kate was a wonderful teammate and excellent helper with some of these, and it made our section go must faster. We really didn't have any errors except for 2-3 small issues at the end, but they each lasted less than 5 minutes and we were able to find ourselves and the point by using the terrain around us. We moved really quickly through the woods and ran any time we hit trails, though we were alone for a majority of it and struggled at times to keep the pace up as a result. At one point Evan gave me the passport and I noticed that I kept seeing Bjarke's footprints at each spot, and even between points too. We actually ran into him on an out-and- back to 41 and 42 and timed our deficit at 40 minutes; we was AE/ET there and knew that we have 45+ on them as well. We began seeing other teams who had dropped points as we jogged into TA, finishing the leg in under 4 hours, well ahead of our estimate, a few minutes after 5:00.

We grabbed some water here and took our longest TA, more than 5 minutes. We were confident in our placing and had loads of time. Even in my hyper-competitive mind I couldn't really convince myself that Nordic Lights was stuck on the side of the road with a mechanical or lost in the woods. It took us a moment to find the correct trail out of TA, and then only a few minutes later we hit the mud. Much muddier than the earlier mud, this was shoe sucking, soupy, sloppy, unrideable mud. We learned post race that this trail had been bulldozed earlier this week, which explained the problem. There were patches when we'd hop back on the bike for a few moments and think it was getting better only for it to get worse again. Motivation and speed were tough here due to our tiredness. I tried to make a game for myself by riding until I saw Bjarke's footprints. It felt like we were out there for hours, but it was just under 30 minutes (for about 2km). We finally hit some rideable trail and ate up the distance to the road, and then cruised home into Tug Hill Resort. There was a small hill just as we entered the resort which would prove to be a real challenge for the teams in the middle and back of the pack. We crossed the line in a clear 2nd place, ending up closer to first than to third (AE/ET finished more than an hour after us).

This race was a ton of fun. Real navigation, quick but challenging legs, and a fast pace that we kept up for most of the day. I'd be very excited to return next year to race it again. We enjoyed a wonderful firehouse chicken bbq meal (after we got cleaned up) and chatted with Bjarke for a few hours until awards. I got a mini-o flag and a nice block of cheese to take home to the boys.

Wednesday May 29 #

8 PM

Run 30:03 [3] 3.63 mi (8:17 / mi)
shoes: Topo Atmos (Navy/White)

Cool rainy run in the dark. Felt alright and found myself pushing too hard.

Monday May 27 #

1 PM

Kayak Erg 30:00 [1]

Felt good!

Sunday May 26 #

2 PM

Mountain Bike 1:34:57 [3] 13.24 mi (7:10 / mi)

Yesterday was spent trimming trees and hauling downed wood. Very tired with sore hamstrings but I was really surprised with how well I felt for this ride.
Harmony Hill was not very busy and the conditions were better than expected - still hot and humid but only terrible in the direct sun. I had a ton of fun and enjoyed this as much as any ride in recent memory. Felt really good too.

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