Thursday, February 21, 2013

Roadkill's Nightmare

BASTARDS! Tonight's 6:30pm practice will be at the Qualifier start at Eaton Canyon. We'll break into two teams and hammer out a challenging Team Competition. This course will be part trail and part cement. Bring your headlamps and your reflective vests. RSVP in comments if you are attending.

Just reading that post sent chills up my spine and created a knot in my belly... because it obviously meant that it would require maximum Roadkill effort just to keep up. Not that all of our training sessions aren't challenging for me, it's just that the team events require by far the the most effort because I am trying to work at a level beyond my current ability.

Then came the text that I was in charge of delivering the training for the night... and the knot in my belly grew to a huge solid ice ball.  It was one of the Roadkill Nightmares that are bound to occasionally occur...

1. Line the team up by 5k time
2. Starting at the fastest, count 1,2,1,2,1, 2 ans so on down the line
3. All 1's go together
4. All 2's go together
5. Both teams are required to go in opposite directions on the course, BUT do both sides
6. North-side: One figure 8 through the canyon  (approx 3.5 miles)
7. South-side:  Down to PHS for an 800m effort  (approx 2.5 miles)
8. Teams MUST stay together as a team, moving and motivating their slowest
9. Team with the overall fastest north + south route wins

I drew Team 2, which meant we were heading south downhill to PHS for an 800m time trial, then back up hill for a 5k trail run... On Team 2, we had Monty, Katelyn, Jill, Dave, Dave O, Rocky, Marleigh and me.  Wow!  All of these people can run and even at minimal effort, they kept pulling away from me.  Thankfully, on our way back up the from the track, either Dave O or Monte would hold back and set a pace that I could follow, allowing me to let go of the pressure of trying to chase the team, and just focus on settling in to a pace that I could maintain without falling in to the trap of surging and walking.  The rest of the team would wait for us at every signal, which was wonderful rest for them, and of course, nothing but a cruel tease for RK.  (lol)

We passed the other team as we were heading up Altadena, just before reaching the center of the figure eight, where we dropped in to the park.  Everyone called out encouragement to each other, and I clearly heard their back of the packers call out to me, but honestly, by that time I was sucking wind so bad, I didn't have the breath to respond... and then they were gone and we finished the last of the climb to the gate.  I've driven by that entrance 1000 times through the years, but this was the first time I've ever stopped.  It is a very cool somewhat rocky single track, that gave me a good opportunity to catch my breath while we descended to the stream, crossed it, then scrambled back up the bank to the main trail.   Huge appreciation to Katelyn for gently saving the "gigantic" millipede without flicking it on me by accident!

From there we went up the trail with the intent of climbing the concrete hill, running down the road back to the place we entered, then crossing the stream and heading south on the trail back to the main gate for finish.  What actually happened was the racers on our team climbed the concrete hill and found the gate already locked.  (Team 1 had made it through before us, so we must have just missed the locking and it wasn't even 7:30 yet.)  Our racers caught the rest of us about two-thirds of the way up and we all just turned around opted to run the qualifier course home.  While that part of the course is a fun run, the best part of that return trip was running side by side with Dave O and just feeling like a part of the team even though we were in the back. Dave, I adore you.  Thank you!  End result of the competition... Team 1 beat us to the gate by just over a minute with approx. 1:09.

After we all high-fived each other and the racers had started to go home, my peers from the other team quietly said to me, "that was really awful!"  As much as I felt for them, it was music to my ears knowing that they had really struggled to keep up too.  I just love my peeps.  They help me maintain a healthy perspective when being Roadkill on the Arrogant Bastards Trail Racing Team threatens to become an overwhelming order.  

Oh, BTW... 

I took yesterday as a rest day (no CrossFit), but went in today since it was a Z-1 recovery day. It was a nice opportunity for me to practice double-unders, pull-ups, dips, not to mention spend some intimate time with my favorite foam roller.

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