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Training Log Archive: Work4justice

In the 1 days ending Sep 29, 2018:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Adventure Race1 25:06:34 75.23(20:02) 121.07(12:27) 700
  Total1 25:06:34 75.23(20:02) 121.07(12:27) 700

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Saturday Sep 29, 2018 #

7 AM

Adventure Race race 25:06:34 [3] 75.23 mi (20:02 / mi) +700m 19:28 / mi

Race report coming soon. Great teammates, great time, great course, felt very strong, making the time cutoffs we had for our team and that paddle/portage section was difficult.


Wilderness Traverse 2018

“WT: Take 3”

Immediately after Untamed New England, I really wondered about another overnight race this year. I felt a bit low from a couple of things related to the race, and wondered about jumping back in even for an overnight race. But, what really won out was the part of me that identifies with Taylor Swift – “Shake it off!”

Frankly, I have been quite inspired by Mr. Wonderful’s progress on wake up call, and set out for a BNM 2.0 for short and long term impact. And, around that same time frame, we talked about WT, realized Mark Voit was up for WT over USARA, picked up Greg VanTol on other suggestions and signed up.

As an aside, BNM 2.0 has three goals: 1) Improve agility/core strength, 2) Improve technical riding, and 3) Lose weight. On #3, I went into WT 8 lbs down from UNE with food logging/macros/exercise, but still looking to go down another 15 or so. On 1 and 2, I think I have made progress based on how I felt at the race. Over the winter, I think I will need to swap #3 at times for another goal – perhaps control count, weight lifting to failure, crafting a mock canoe and practice portaging in my suburban neighborhood, run while carrying my bike, you know normal middle aged US woman stuff…..

Back to the race. We did an assessment ahead of time, which is on Mr. Wonderful’s log, and felt like full course would always be the focus. Once we got the maps, there were a few wrinkles. In the trek, there were several options for a swim, which the guys weren’t excited about and I had hoped we would, but was outvoted on that. The bike would be the bike. And for the paddle/portage section I realize now how much we underestimated how tough the portaging would be. We were also a bit suspicious of the last trek. Mark and Mr. W. did a great job setting out our plan. We talked a bit about short course, but said, if we are making cutoffs, we are going for it. What we didn’t know at the time, and learned later, that the course ran 3 hours slower than the estimates.

Trek through CP 4/TA1:

This leg was 4 CPs that had quite a bit of route choice. For us, it went quite smoothly, and went around all the swims, found a couple of dry marshes to cross. We came in on exactly the time estimate we had, which I think caused us to be a bit nervous. I moved better in the woods than I had been, and was delighted for that. The terrain was quite nice and lakes were quite pretty. I was feeling strong and our team was working together well. Greg was great about keeping an eye on terrain, I was pace counting (and nailing it which is a relief) and Mark and Jens were doing great with the navigating. I am left wondering if we would have had a shorter time if we had swam, but haven’t done any comparisons yet to determine that. What I love about WT is there are no hidden CPs! They are almost always staffed. The transition to bike was not exactly what we wanted it to be, and I think because it started to look ominous and rain, a couple of us put on a jacket and slowed us a bit.

Bike through CP6 TA2:
Typical WT biking! Just crazy muddy technical ATV trails and Hydrocut, maybe 50k of that and about 10k of pavement/gravel. Mark went over his bars in the first kilometer! In the first few k, I needed to follow lines to get in the groove, but within a bit after that, I found that I was able to be part of the rotation to be out front and call lines and lead the way. Holy smokes that felt amazing. Of course, plenty of hike a bike with the mud and loose terrain. At CP5 we had a ferry take us to the next road, which was fun. Lost about 15 min there, but it was a bit of a crapshoot anyway. When darkness fell, we slowed a bit, and I had a couple of good falls into the puddles. Fortunately Mr. W led at that point, especially since our rolled distance was shorter than actual. Mark lost his bar light with the rough terrain, and after my experience at UNE, I had a spare!!!! In retrospect, I have to say that I loved the biking. Mr. W commented that I was riding 10x better than last year just as I was wondering if the biking was easier than last year. And, Mark was solid on the navigation again! Not sure about how to save time on that leg.

Paddle/Portage from CP 6 to CP11:
With getting in at 9:30, we were 1:15 past our estimate. OUCH. And, our TA was slow. Double OUCH. The volunteer asked “Short or Full” and I think Jens and I said clearly at the same time “Full.” No hesitation. When we got started, I was fired up to paddle hard, and Greg mentioned I should back off. :) Finding the portage sites was a bit tricky at night but Mark was great. Greg, Mark and Jens rotated the portaging. And I felt a bit useless when it came to my ability to carry a boat vs. their ability, so was on getting the paddles and making sure they had the best footing and path to get to the put in. I think our biggest mistake with the THIRTEEN portages was not having a plan. We took too much stuff, and needed to have a time goal for transitioning and to think through how it would all happen. We had teams pass us easily on that part.

When we got to the last rapids check point, it was clear that we weren’t going to make the cut off. And, in my fuzzy thinking (maybe a blessing?) had totally forgotten it meant a DQ. We arrived at 8:50, almost 2 hours past the cutoff. In retrospect, I realize we had not talked about this gamble with the team. However, after the bike I don’t see how we would have made any other decision. It was a big gamble, and I do wish we could have continued on, I think we had a great plan to finish. But that’s clearly for another day.

So in short….

Race Highlights:
• The beautiful terrain and challenging course.
• Race staff and volunteers were absolutely wonderful.
• Loved our team dynamics. Honest, supportive, focused on a positive attitude. In different moments I heard from each of them that only being positive with one another would move the team forward better. I needed this.
• I felt strong throughout, and I think it was a combination of being as ready as possible as well as having great teammates. Except for the portaging, I felt like I brought value to the team with the reminders, team health, pace counting, some of the bike lead and jumping in where I saw a need I could fill.
• A combo of espresso double shot and boost (3 and 3) in a bladder that is easily cleaned. I hardly needed to eat on the paddle and stayed quite awake. I actually ate well during this race.
• With the cold temps and water everywhere, silk and merino were my best friends.

Other notes:
• I need to work on my TA hustle. I achieved my goal, and was 2nd at TAs, but need to aim higher.
• Greg and I got ahead in the boat and sometimes bike too frequently. We need to keep tabs better. There is no value in getting ahead.
• Figure out a portaging system that is automatic.
• Still need to be a better biker and trekker—particularly in more technical terrain.

Going into WT I also had three goals: 1) To really lean in on the paddle and keep the pace going. 2) Shorten TA times, with the goal of being first or second ready. And 3) to ask for help before it’s offered. I feel like I achieved those goals—but for sure can improve.

Next year?

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