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Metaline Falls Kayak Trip – 8/24/2008

Hello All!  Well, guess what?  You’re in for a real treat today.  Instead of just another race report from the tired fumbling fingers of my hand, comes a spiced up “Weekend Report” from my wonderfully talented wife and her awesome writing skills of our Kayak trip down the Pond Oreille river in Metaline Falls, WA.

Here is Sandy’s take on our trip: (Excerpts from an email to our daughter)

  We had a great week end! It was beautiful weather and such a fabulous spot. Those towns are so small up there.  Less than a couple hundred population each. And no one takes debit cards. Only cash or checks. And all the restaurants (all 2 of them) close so early.  We couldn’t find a place to get dinner after our long hard exercising day.  Whew. I was plum tuckered!
 
  Seriously.  We started our kayak trip at 10:45 am and didn’t pull out of the water until 5pm.   I was exhausted, and still we had a 12 mile bike ride back to our van.  Let me tell you.  The first mile and half was straight up hill.  Had one of those warning signs to trucks about steep elevation.
 
  I was breathing like a sumo wrestler running up hill.  My arms were so sore and tired from kayaking for 6 hours.  All of my energy seemed to be gone.  I was me achy and tired and poor Dad, waiting for me and trying to encourage me.  But it just outraged me (at my lazy self) that he wasn’t even making any breathing sounds and I sounded like a wind tunnel in a microphone!
 
  My legs felt like lead moving through quick sand.  I had nothing.  It was very depressing.  It took forever to get just 2 miles of our 12 mile mountainous trek, when a security guard who saw us take out drove by in a truck and offered us a ride.
 
  Yes!! I nearly croaked.  Didn’t have the energy to scream it.  It was 6 pm by then and already getting dark, all I could think was it will be pitch dark by the time we make it to our car.  I go 20 miles on the bike path and think nothing of it.  But something about attempting straight up hill after such a long grueling day of exercise.  All I could think was, HOW does Paul bike and run after swimming.  One thing after another, it is amazing!  gave me a whole new appreciation for what he does.  I wanted to erect a monument to his accomplishments!
 
  Anyway, my arms still feel week today, and I am taking it easy.  But all in all, it was an amazing week end. Dad should be sending you some pics soon.  Those water falls and caves along the way were so fun! According to the book it was supposed to take 5 hours, not 6.  But the water was at an all time slow current. If you stopped paddling, in most places you just sat still, sometimes even went backwards. So it was hard work all the way for me, but of course your father felt fine.  I was fatigued early on, but just kept on paddling.  Endurance… Stopping and going inside the caves etc. really broke it up and gave me a chance to recover enough to keep pushing.  We took to calling the cliffs (because there were so many) ‘the cliffs of humanity’. It rhymes with insanity, and since that was off limits….(too many references to Princes Bride)
 
  I have rarely seen such beauty all concentrated in one area.  Magnificent rock faces jutting straight out of the water, towering high above us.  Thick forests, blue sky!  We watched bald eagles soar right over our heads and one time kayaked right up to a magnificent one perched on a tree right over our heads.  Slowly, quietly we approached and he stared down at me.  I couldn’t help but feel he was a wise creature looking into my eyes with such intensity, imparting some deep spiritual insight or something. It was an amazing moment.  One I will never forget.
 
  Then, he took flight, and we were gasping in awe.  We floated along lazily gazing up at rocks towering over our heads.  Seemed every time I approached a cliff, something broke loose with a loud crack and things came crackling down the hill side toward me. (Usually I was laughing at some crack your Father made.  Guess my raucous belly laugh would loosen any rock.)  One time it really scared me.  I paddled away in fast motion, sure an avalanche was coming at me!
 
  When we were in the big cave, I began to paddle toward the mouth of the cave, about to go out and take pics of Dad inside, a bunch of rocks started falling right behind me. Plunking as they hit the water, some of them sounded big. My eyes got huge.  How close I was to being under that!
 
Such adventure! Really wish all our kids could have been there to share such a fun day!
 
Just before the dam take out, (no, I’m not swearing) was an awesome water fall.  We pulled our kayaks out and stood on the little gravel bar just in front of it and felt the awesome power of that water falling like a huge boulder into the water in front of us.  Leaving a huge indentation in the surface of the water. The roar was tremendous, you had to yell over it.
 
  It was so powerful that it created a huge wind that would nearly knock you down.  And where as the air was very warm and muggy moments before, as you approached the falls, the air got very cold and wet!  Felt like a hurricane.  We were squealing with delight, a little fear mixed in as we took turns trying to reach our hand out and let that water falling from all those hundreds of feet; smack our outstretched hand.
 
  I went first, and when the wind shifted and the water suddenly jumped a couple of feet and nearly hit me, I ran away laughing in a sort of, ‘I’m horrified’ way.  We were in water up to our hips.  But your father managed to barely touch it with such a look of thrill on his face, hooting and hollering all the while!  Wow, it was amazing, I’m tellin ya.
 
 I will send a courtesy copy to all of you kids, so I don’t have to tell the story more than once. So, ‘Hey! to all my kids!’
 
  We really did talk about all of you kids the whole trip. Typical parents. Can’t do anything with out thinking how much our children would enjoy this or that.  And reminiscing about different trips with you.  Each memory bringing a smile to our faces.  We are truly blessed, to have 4 such great kids and all the years of fun times and adventures together.
 
Thank you all.

   And there you have it, our weekend report from my wife.  Perhaps I’ll have her to ALL my race reports!   Great job hun!

TriMoot & wife, Out!  (All pictures are here)

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August 26, 2008 Posted by | Athletic | | 2 Comments

Update 1.5 – Pictures only!

Well, this is just a quick update as some of the pictures have been published.  Here’s couple of our team and the folks in Van #1 – Big Red!  (UPDATE!!! Click HERE for more PIC’s!  Click the slide show button for best viewing.)

Yes, I have to use the bathroom.

Yes, I have to use the bathroom.

From Left to Right: Me, Gina, Monica, Vern, Kris, & Dell….WooHoo!

August 21, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

S2S – Update #1

Mt. Spokane to Sandpoint Relay Race – Update #1 (RACE RESULTS!)  Team Iron Legs, 11th Place out of 56!!!

  Well it was a fun event and a lot of work, and one of the most memorable creative times I’ve ever had partly due the effect of time compression and a great deal to do with my teammates.

  I was on a team called “Iron Legs” and was runner #5 which includes 5.1, 5.2 & 7.1 for a total of 17.4 miles of sometimes hot and most times beautiful runs between Spokane, Wa. and Sandpoint Idaho.

  Now, I had never been on a relay race, and although I understand how a relay race is supposed to work, just like anything else, if you’ve never done it before, you really can’t “know” how it works.  And just like all of my races in the past, I had worked through what I thought was going to happen and had prepared for it mentally and physically the best that I knew how, and had a game plan, which I tried to follow.

  My game plan was of course to finish, that’s always #1, and #2 was to finished without injury.  I know that seems pretty basic but as you get older and realize that it takes longer to heal, #2 gets more important than when you’re 22.   The other part of the game plan was to try and do all my legs at a sub 8 minute mile pace.  I really didn’t think that I would have a pace issue with the shorter distances, but I was a little concerned about the 7.1 distance.  Mainly because I’m having some soreness of my left Achilles / heal area since I finished Troika (Half Ironman) two weekends ago.  Every run since Troika I’ve experienced some pain during and mostly after the run, so I was concerned about injuring myself, but I also didn’t want to let down my teammates by quitting during this event.

  So generally, he’s how a relay race works:  Get a group of twelve runners together, gather up two vans. The course is comprised of 36 legs. Each runner races 3 legs varying in distances from 3-8 miles. The race is continuous; therefore we run through day and night, hot & cold, hill and flat…..with very little (or in my case) no sleep!  (Click here for more detailed info on this particular race)

   I was in Van #1 with some of the greatest people I’ve ever met!  I had never met any of these folks before and only had talked with two of them via email prior to the event, so I was somewhat nervous about spending over 24 hours straight in a vehicle with  them, and I’m sure they felt somewhat the same way about me!  But without going on & on about the Newby family, Vern (Dad), Kris (Mom), Gina (Daughter #2), Mindy (Daughter #3) and “Big Red” (Older Dodge Ram Van, just like the one we used to have back in Pocatello) suffice to say that they are one of the most charming, athletic and fun families I’ve ever met!  AND the father, 2 daughters and son Travis have done the Coeur d’Alene Ironman numerous times!  They are a very out going and an accommodating family (They housed, showered, feed, and gave us a place to sleep in their home during our 3.5 hour rest) and were just a blast to be with!  Thanks guys for allowing me to share this awesome event!!)

Also in the van was a family friend of the Newby’s, Monica and a last minute addition from Oregon, Dell (Yes, like the computer.)  Dell’s team sort of fell apart so rather than not running, he and the remaining two members traveled to Spokane and were farmed out to teams that needed other runners.  Team Iron Legs was all set but two days prior to the event one of the members broke their knee cap (OUCH!) while rollerblading and both she and her husband had to bail. 

Gosh, there’s just SOOOO many memories jammed into 27 hours I just don’t know where to begin!  So I’ll just jot down the basics:

Van #1: The Newby’s; (Vern, Kris, Gina), Monica, Dell & Me, & “Big Red”
Van #2: Mindy Newby, Jerry (Sponsor), Patrick, Ryan, Alyssa, & Shawn, and “Little Blue” (Newer Dodge mini-van)

  Van #1 picked me up at Krispy Kreme on Sullivan where I decided it was important to do some last minute carbo loading.  Mmmmm donuts!  So at precisely 7:30 AM this 19 year old VAN with “Eyeballs” painted on the front and black spots (Electrical Tape) all over the sides, (Vern’s idea of Lady bugs…..?) rolled up and out fly’s two gals and the only word I heard was BATHROOM!.  I walked over and shook hands with Vern and Gina, said good bye to my wife, and off we drove to the start.

We started off at 9:30 AM at the Bear Creek Lodge at the base of Mt. Spokane.  On the way to the start we passed numerous runners already on the road who had earlier starts based on the teams guess on how long it would take them to complete 190 miles.  Actually it was based on the overall team averaged 10K times, but I don’t know how that worked out other than some teams started at 5:30 and we started at 9:30 and the last teams (Last meaning they were VERY FAST and would take less time to finish the course and would finish well ahead of the rest of us) started at 11:30. 

  We arrived at the starting line just after the 8:30 group started and the air was buzzing with energy as those teams had just launched their 1st runner and all the decorated support vehicles chased after them down the hill.  I can’t begin to describe all the creativity that went into decorating some of these vans.  There was one that was called the “Cabana Van” that looked like it was made out of bamboo.  Another van had a pirate theme complete with skeletons and a treasure chest.  Amazing!

We hurried over to the packet pickup area and on the way Chris was handing out mini chocolate bars to all the other contestants.  (See, I told you these guys were great!  No, there was no magic “slow pill” in any of the candy!)  When we got there we were told that our substitute runner was already assigned to a different team, so we all looked at each other to try and figure out how many of us were going to have to run extra legs to fill in the gap.  A few minutes later, one of the race directors came by and somehow corrected the mistake and that’s how we met Dell.  Whew!  Good thing!

  The atmosphere around the start line was exciting and full of fun as teams were getting their pictures taken under the start line, the music was blaring great tunes and best of all, there were no lines at the porta potties, yes!!!!!!  There was even a pancake feed going on, but I had already done my carbo loading earlier.  (Mmmmm donuts!)  I saw a bunch of people I knew who were on other teams and it was great to wish them well even though we were competitors.  (Okay..so I’m a little competitive).  Just before 9:30 all the 1st leg runners lined up under the starting line to prepare for the start.  Travis, (my running bud from our Saturday morning running group) got down in the sprinting position like he was in starter blocks and as the gun went off, he took off in slow motion as he started down the hill.  HAA!! What a kook!  He was on team “Fun, Friends n Fitness” and along with team “Happy Feet” we sort of leaped frogged each other the entire 190 miles and were some of our favorite teams as we cheered and even help hydrate each other along the way.

  The 1st leg was down hill entirely and one might think that going down hill is easy, and yes, for a short time it can be, but after 5 miles of down hill pounding, your quads get very tired.  Gina was our 1st runner and flew down the hill.  As we passed her she had a huge smile on her face and was cruising along with no problems through a tree lined course where shade was abundant and support teams yelled and cheered not only their runners but every runner and even each other.  Life was good, and running was great!

  As Gina ate up the miles quickly we positioned our next runner, Vern, at the exchange spot.  He was getting warmed up and ready to run an 8 mile leg and was outfitted with a belt full of water bottles and gel’s.  As Gina came through the exchange cones, she slapped the metal flexible arm band on Vern’s outstretched arm and he took off like he was shot out of a beebe gun.  (Sorry, I have to use the “cannon” metaphor somewhere else in the story….gosh!)  After we cheered Vern on, we piled back into “Big Red” and flew down the road making sure to cheer on Vern and EVERY runner we saw.  We would look for good places to pull off after a mile or so, climb out of the van and setup our cheering/watering check point as we awaited Vern’s arrival.  As other runners came by we cheered and asked them if they needed anything and if they wanted to be sprayed by water.  Most all the runners really enjoyed not only the attention but the cooling effect of the spray, especially later.  Soon enough Vern came into view and we cheer and spray him as he continues along his 8 mile journey.  We hop back into the van and begin to make our way to the next stop when we see a sign that says, “One more mile to go”.  What?  We thought this was an 8 mile leg?  We check the race handbook and sure enough it shows 8 miles.  I check my copy that I had printed off two days ago it shows that it’s only a 3.1 mile leg!   YIKES!  We pull back onto the road and head down to the exchange area in order to get our next runner, Dell, ready for the next leg.  I then recall that they had to change the starting point due to the spring melt which washed out the road above the current starting point.  Vern was a little supprised when he came around the corner and saw the sign but I think was relieved as by this time it was starting to get very hot.  Next runner…Dell!

  Unfortunately for Dell, he got the 3rd leg during a really hot part of the day and running 7.8 miles in no shade, with lots of hills and elevation gain is not easy!  Throw in being on a team with people you never met before and wanting to prove yourself a good teammate that put a lot of pressure on him.  But he did a good job considering the conditions and on his 2nd and 3rd legs proved to be an excellent runner as well as a great teammate through out the 27 hours we were together.  (Side note: We talked with Ben the race director afterwards and he said he had to “clean up” the course on his way to the finish line and because many people got sick on that particular leg due to the heat and the distance.  Ugh!)

  Leg 4 was a 6.1 mile downhill run with a 250′ elevation loss that provided Monica with an opportunity to run down a good friend of hers, (Susan, a good friend from nursing school) who at the start of the race realized that she and Monica would be doing the same legs together and said, “Don’t you pass me!!”  Well that’s all the challenge Monica needed and the race was on!  At the start of this leg Monica was about 4 or 5 minutes behind Susan and it seemed as though passing her was out of the question, but being the competitive passing machine that she is, Monica determined to catch her and flew down the hills in record time!  This was a very hot time of the day yet the burning desire inside Monica to pass Susan was even hotter, so she pushed on even more!  Every mile or so we stopped to make sure Monica was doing okay in the heat and to give her water and encouragement, but encouragement she did not need….her burning desire was all she needed as she set her sights on passing her friend.  On and on she churned, running down one runner after another…”Road Kills what we call that”, said Monica, “and that’s what she’s going to be! HAHAHAHA!!” (Evil Laugh)  At the last stop before the next exchange I saw Susan run by and she seemed nervous like she knew Monica was hunting her down.  When Monica came by I told her Susan looked nervous and tired from the heat and I saw that she even walked a few steps when she took some water.  Monica turned to me and with a gleam in her eye said, “I’ve got her now” and took off like she was shot out of a cannon!  We all hustled back into the van and barely beat them to the exchange area.  I had just hopped out of the van to positioned myself in the exchange area when I looked up and in slow motion saw what Monica had seen all along, “Showdown at exchange #4”.  Just before Susan rounded the turn into the road where the exchange area was located, Monica pulled up next to her and said, “Gotcha”, and blasted by her like she was standing still!  An evil laugh could be heard through out the land which sent chills down all of our spines!  As Monica passed through the exchange area and handed me the wrist strap I realized that perhaps Monica was just a little more competitive that I am…..good thing we’re on the same team…whew!
(Disclaimer: Some editorial liberties “may” have been taken during this part of the race story.)

End of Update #1 – This will be continued on Update #2

 

August 17, 2008 Posted by | Athletic, Runner | 16 Comments

Mt. Spokane to Sandpoint 190 Mile Relay Race – 2008 whew!

Well, another 1st for me starting tomorrow (Friday).  I’ve never done a relay race before and this one sounds like a doosey! 

We start at the top of Mt. Spokane where the ski lodge is and then one of our 12 team runners starts down the mountain.  We’ll head down to where the next leg starts and wait for our runner and all the other 61 team members to pass by and then we’ll put our 2nd runner out on the course and pickup the 1st.  We’ll have two vans with 6 runners each, and after we pick up our 6th runner we’ll head somewhere to rest for about 3 1/2 hours until we’re ready to start all over for the next 6 legs. 
  We’ll continue that way running all through the night until around midnight where we’ll stop at Silverwood and ride the new killer rollercoaster!  That should be a lot of fun!  Then we head off again and run through out the night until 190 miles later we end at Sandpoint Idaho! 
  Through all 36 legs there are a number of things to keep us interested and motivated.  They have awards for the best lighted outfits, the best wig, the fastest runner, the team with the most team spirit, and on and on.  Don’t know how we’re going to do, but I think it’s going to be a blast!  Can’t wait!

Check out some of these team names:
Run Phatty Run!
Two Dudes and a bunch of Diva’s
What were we thinking??
Cheaper Than Gas
FRS-Funky Running Sisters
Bustin’ Cheeks
Tiny Shorts and the Revealers
Shh…we’re hunting woadkill
Iron Legs  (My Team!..probably how our legs will feel at the end!)
Dude, Where is My Team?!

For more information head on over to http://www.spokanetosandpoint.com/

Hopefully I’ll have the results for you by Sunday.  Oh…did I mention this will take about 28 or more hours to complete? YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TriMoot….Out!

August 14, 2008 Posted by | Cool, Runner, triathlete | 5 Comments

Go STEVEOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Hey Hey!  Steve Warrington’s in the HOUSE!

Steve “The Man” Warrington just completed ANOTHER tirathlon in Coeur d’Alene this past weekend (8/9/2008 ) and did a great job!

Steve had some cramping  and GI issues but was able to gut it out and finish the race.

Here’s his stats:

OVERALL DIV     SWIM              TRAN    BIKE                 TRAN  PL AFTER   RUN
 TIME    PLACE    TIME   PLACE  TIME    TIME    PLACE   TIME     BIKE         TIME
3:09:45    34    0:38:36   680  3:40   1:25:59    462   1:09        526         1:00:21  

A great job Steve!

 

I also ran into Alan Roberts who completed the Tri in a great time as well:

OVERALL DIV     SWIM              TRAN    BIKE                 TRAN  PL AFTER   RUN
 TIME    PLACE    TIME   PLACE  TIME    TIME    PLACE   TIME     BIKE         TIME

3:07:37    26    0:29:34   292  4:09   1:26:01    463   2:23        436        1:05:29

August 10, 2008 Posted by | triathlete | Leave a comment

Troika – My 1st Half Ironman

Yahoo!!!!!  I FINISHED!!!

 

This was by far the hardest event I’ve ever done!  I’ve run 3 marathons in my younger days but this was more of a challenge that all of those combined!

 

Here’s the scoop:

 

What I predicted:

Swim time: 00:49:17   (This assumes I can keep a 2:20 pace per 100 meters…we’ll see!)

T1 Time:     00:03:30   (This will be tough but I’m going to TRY and be quick like a bunny!)

Bike:          03:18:00   (This is a 17 MPH pace…..I don’t know..56 miles is a LONG way!)

T2 Time:     00:01:30   (More hopping going on here….bunny…get it?)

Run:           01:52:00   (8:30 pace…normally that would be doable…maybe I should shoot for 9:00)

———————

Total: 06:00:00

 

Here’s what really happened:

Swim time: 00:46:55   (2:13 pace per 100 meters)

T1 Time:     00:03:50   (Had to pack everything into our black bag before we left, took more time)

Bike:          03:14:35   (17.34 MPH)

T2 Time:     00:00:32   (Oh YEAH!!!!! This was QUICK like a bunny!)

Run:           02:08:15   (9:47 pace….not quick like a bunny…more like a turtle)

—————————–

Total: 06:14:08

 

(PS: Check out my blog entry for July 8th at the bottom.  I was almost dead on! (Here))

 

Swim: Had a great swim for me. Had planned on doing 45 to 50 minute swim and I came in at 46:55. I was the MOST nervous about the swim as 1.2 miles is a long way for me. I only learned how to swim about 2 1/2 years ago and although I’m better than I was, I’m still very slow. BUT I know that I can do the distance just by training. (And to add one more plug for the master swimming: We NEED more swimmers for Sunday & Tuesday nights at Witter Pool!) By the end of the swim I was fatigued but not exhausted and probably could have done even more so that made me feel good, plus I had some friends there, (Russ, Steve & Tina = “The Fruit Loops”) who shouted out my time and that made me feel confident that “maybe” I could actually finish this race since in my mind I had just finished the hardest part. (Boy was I wrong!)

 

T1: This went a little longer than I had planned as they make you stuff everything into a black bag and for some reason I forgot about having to do that so I’m okay with that time considering the extra stuff I had to do. Normally, your T1 & T2 are the same area so you don’t have to do that step.

 

Bike: When I started on the bike I had a heck of a time getting my breathing back into control. It wasn’t until about 10 miles into it that I finally felt like I had my breath back. At the start the bike was tough. For some reason my legs felt exhausted before I even started…??? I had plenty of tapper time so I’m not sure why they felt that way. Over all I had a good bike, for me, and really enjoyed the scenery. West and north of Medical Lake is very Palouse like: rolling hills, some green, and great vistas. Around 32 miles I had to, well, you know…pee….really bad! But I just didn’t want to stop. So I kept thinking I could hold it until I got to Spokane, but it really bothered me and I think affected my performance, but I just didn’t want to stop! Overall, bike was good, except for two falls that I took and my lower back was killing me. Both falls were due to riding too close to the edge and getting caught in the loose gavel, but thank goodness it was just soft sand on the edge that I fell into and I wasn’t going very fast both times.

 

T2: Lighting! This was a fast T2 as there were bike catchers. So you get off your bike, run across the timing mat, give your bike to someone, take off your shoes and helmet and throw it into a bag the catcher was holding, then take about 3 steps and ripe open the bag that you loaded up and put on the truck back in Medical Lake, and put on your shoes, hat, and race number that was on a belt . So that was THE fastest T2 I’ve ever had!

 

Run: Unfortunately, I can’t say that for my run. I didn’t think I was pushing it on the bike, but by the time I got to the run, my legs felt spent. I had planned on doing 8:30’s per mile, and then in my head thought, no, probably more like 9:00’s, but in reality, it was 9:46 per mile. First off, normally the run is my strongest leg of a tri followed by the bike then the swim. This time the run was absolutely painful! I mean I was exhausted from the start, my legs felt like someone had rung them out like a washcloth and as each mile clicked by…slowly…my lower back was killing me! I walked each aid station, took water, Heed, salt tablets, sponges, and then at the end would stop and do stretches to try and loosen up my lower back, to know avail! Actually, twice I had my back just about seize when I stopped. A new experience for me!

 

Over all I felt good about the race except for the run and I attribute that to lack of “long run” training. I think I packed too many races into my schedule which didn’t allow me enough long run training on the weekends. Instead I wound up doing smaller Tri’s’ and Adventure races instead of sticking to my schedule which had me building up longer runs AND doing bikes the next day. So…training, training, training. Plan it, do it!

 

BUT…I loved the race and hopefully will do it again next year. I won’t know until I sit down in January and plan out my year in advance.

 

That’s about it, TriMoot…Out!

 

August 4, 2008 Posted by | triathlete | , | 3 Comments