This weekend's Fox Run O course was fun. I did the Red course and got first place female, 9th Overall. I didn't do my best. Do to some "life stuff" that had been going on, I was somewhat distracted; and for some reason, my compass was all over the place and VERY slow to settle. Do compasses lose their magnetization? If so, I think mine is in the process. Oh well. I still did okay with no major hiccups I think I'm getting better and faster, and the mistakes I do make are getting more and more minor.....just as they should.
7:38 total race time.
1st place female
Not my smartest race, but a good physical performance.
Picture on Left: James standing in for me at the awards ceremony. I was running an errand.
Things Done Right
Moab typically attracts good racers from the West since it's an early season race and everyone is chomping at the bit by the end of winter. I had planned for Moab to be my season opener; a race to see where my fitness was at relative to some top athletes.
The race started on bike. It was a steady climb to the top and I played it smart, tagging on the draft of the lead peloton. The field eventually spread out, but I maintained a solid pace and met some fun pace-line amigos willing to trade lead and draft for part of the way.
The rappel was in Onion Creek along a creek-side bluff. I scrambled up the rock on my way to the rappel. At the top the wind stole my map that I had tucked in my britches and tossed it to the bottom of the canyon. I debated leaving it down there until after the rappel, but feared an updraft may come and hide it elsewhere. So, I scrambled back down, got it and scrambled back up. I stashed it in my backpack to prevent it from happening again. This would bite me later. I should have bought a map case with a neck strap before this race, and it would have saved me time and mistakes.
Bike/Rappel Split: 4 hours 53 minutes.
The total biking mileage was 47.4 miles with 5,589 feet of climbing.
Next, the running leg. My transition was fast. Sadly, too fast. I forgot to take off my armor, helmet and harness, and ran about 50 feet before I realized. It got a good laugh from me and all the spectators. I quickly ran back, shed the extras but forgot my map out of my backpack.
I was gaining on 2 racers in front of me. I could see them in the distance, and it inspired me to keep it up. I realized I had forgotten my map, but it was too far to turn around. I decided it was okay. I had the course pretty well memorized and remembered that I needed to take the large reentrant off of the trail to gain access to the correct canyon. And, I determined that I'd use context clues like racer foot prints to ensure I chose the right way. But, when I got to that area, there were hikers and their tracks everywhere....a kink in my plan. I tried to follow the trail to the reentrant I knew, but in my hurry, lost the trail. I couldn't find a way down into that reentrant without risking limbs. So, I circled around and waited for the team I saw coming to the previous CP. They thankfully let me tag along and we ran to the CP did a short, but fun canyoneering section and ran back to the TA.
Run/Canyoneering Split: 1 hour 29 minutes
Running Mileage: About 7 miles with ~700 feet of elevation gain
I transitioned quickly; this time remembering everything. I chose not to wear my spray skirt because it is incredibly difficult to don and it was only class 2 rapids. I was confident I could keep class 2 splash out well enough. So I took off.
I passed several racers and enjoyed being on water. I was gaining on the 10th place person toward the end of the paddle and decided I'd make my move and pass him. So, I turned up the heat and made a B line. However, the wind had picked up so fiercely, I could hardly paddle! I looked over at the guy I was trying to pass and he was having the same difficulty I was with water coming off of his paddles horizontally! I'd never paddled in this kind of wind! I was in the middle of the river and he was on the edge. Why was he on the edge? Vhoooosh! The wind dunked me. I threw a brace, but I scooped water into my cockpit and didn't make it upright. I was underwater. I rolled up, but with all the water in, I wasn't able to nail the roll. "Okay," I said, "I'll get it this time, I've rolled a swamped boat before." But my hips and thighs slipped out and so I was swimming.
The water was cooooold! I was swimming the boat to the bank when I heard someone say, "Are you okay?!" I looked up to see a guy who had stripped down to his skivvies and started swimming in to help me. They had been driving by and saw me flip. There was no stopping them from helping me! He and his buddy helped me wrestle the beached whale out of the water and dump it. It was so heavy I honestly don't know if I could have done it without their help. The ground was pure mush and we were sinking in to our knees. Once the boat was empty, I jumped back in and asked them if I could buy them some drinks or food for their unselfish help. They said they were late to go climbing so had to move on. I decided maybe they must have been race-angels :) I crossed the finish line a few minutes later.
Kayak Split with Swim: 1 hour and 16 seconds.
I did my first Orienteering meet of the year on Saturday. Gorgeous day and I got to precede the meet by a good hard paddle workout. What a gorgeous weekend!
I learn new things at each meet. It's pretty neat how such a seemingly easy concept (find the checkpoints), can have such a complex series of decisions- right or wrong. I second guess myself a lot on which route will be the fastest, but I have to remind myself to make the call and make it work. Overall, I did pretty well. No hiccups, just some things I could fine tune and get faster at, so I'm pretty happy with the results. I got first place female and 9th overall on the Red Course. Posted Results
I always pause at water crossings. For some reason I always say, would they really send me through this? Or am I missing something? Chelsea! Of course they'll send you through this! These Orienteers send you EVERYWHERE!!! Somehow in all the running around, through and under rubbish, I got some "porcupine eggs" tangled up in my hair. I didn't even find out until about an hour after the meet. They were stuck!! It took me about 15 minutes to get them all out!
Chelsea loves to explore the mountains and trails and wants to share her discoveries with you.