Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pre Race Madness: TransRockies Report (Finally)

Aug 20th, 2009- Short and Sweet/Down and Dirty Report

Met Stephanie at DIA and give big "bestest of running buddies" hugs. Drove and chatted the ENTIRE time as we headed to Bent Gate in Golden, CO to check off last minute gear buys. Ate at D-Deli then headed home to drop off luggage, throw on some trail running clothes, and grab Argos. We decided to test Steph's altitude tolerance with a gentle 3miler at Gudy Gaskill Trail. Steph did great and no side effects minus her comment of, "I feel like my lungs are a bit on fire and I am taking some deep heavy breaths!" I smiled, gave her a pat on the back and said, "you'll do great! We can always go slow and walk if we have to." We both knew this was just silly feel-better talk and that both of us are way too competitive to just walk:) With that out of our system we went to eat SUSHI!

August 21st

Woke up and joined Steph in the kitchen for some Clean Eating protein pancakes. These were really yummy and will now be a pre-workout staple in my recipe book (*note, I also tried the cottage cheese protein pancakes at a later date and I think these are actually better and more moist).

A final last minute gear run to Denver's REI and home to pack, unpack, repack, and pack again just to make sure. We wolfed down some delicious fish tacos and headed out the door towards Buena Vista!

A couple hours later we arrived at the Best Western Vista Inn where we were getting dropping off. Walking into the hotel we met our very first "obstacle" of the TRR event. Best Western informed us they gave away our room and had no vacancies. AND every single hotel in a fifty mile radius was booked full due to the race.

Ummm yeah. Come again?

Stephanie and I almost lost it in laughter knowing we had no transportation and now no bed. We eyed the hotel's couch longingly and actually pleaded to let us sleep in the waiting area as the hotel clerk (quite flustered over this error) attempted to call the manager and other hotels to find us a room. This is how we first met Drew, the TRR announcer.

Here we are, two runner chicks with a crap-ton of luggage holed up in the waiting room of a hotel looking a tad lost(**). Drew introduced himself and after a bit of conversation told us we would be welcome to stay in his event trailer in the parking lot. We beamed thinking of how cool THAT would be (kinda like a fort for adults right?) but just at that point the hotel clerk somehow found us a room right there in the Best Western. Steph joked with the clerk, "is it a closet?" I poked Steph in the side, "what are you talking about? You totally know if it was a closet we would so take it and just spoon!" She beamed, "You are so right!"

After carefully avoiding giving ourselves hernias piling our luggage into our room, we headed next door for some bison burgers and sweet potato fries at Buffalo's bar/grill. It was all divine...greasy meaty divineness.

**I was very excited at this point at how everything had turned out. I am very much a "roll with the punches" kinda girl and don't get real flustered at the little blips in life. What could have ended up as a heated argument about the hotel giving up our room etc, turned out to be something quite silly and memorable. What I observed of Steph and how she handled the situation (laughing and joking/glass half full) made me feel like the rest of the week would be just fine!**

August 22 Race Registration

We did a lot of walking today and decided unanamously that all the miles we put on our feet negated the planned pre-race warm up we had on the agenda.

As we meandered our way toward the race registration building a gear shop, Trailhead, caught our eye. We each managed to find an assortment of things we just "needed" for the race such as: a tribal turtle sticker for my nalgene (goat sticker for Steph), hardcase waterproof case for my phone, a smartwool beanie, and a DIVA cup (oh my). We both decided to be adventurous and buy one since we were both "expecting" later that week and knew how the stress of these races tend to excellerate such things. Steph ended up being the gunea pig of the group as my little friend decided to be sweet to me and stay away for the duration.

Breakfast was at The Rooster's Crow. Delicious banana pancakes, coffe, and eggs over easy. While we were waiting for our food we noticed a little crack o' heaven and had to take a pic. Yes, I am going to hell over this but I have come to terms...

I am a bit of a coffee snob. I don't do Starsucks unless it is on a road trip and I am desperate, and I don't do fru-fru sugary stuff. I like my skinny lattes and smooth, strong (as my dad would say, "put some hair on your chest") coffee. I mostly dig mom and pop kinda coffee shops. Anyways, I figured that during the race I would be faced with mediocre coffee with no agave, no soy creamer, and nothing near "natural". After a lengthy discussion with Steph I decided to drink my coffee nekked. Starting now, cold turkey.
It was harsh but it was a good decision that I stuck with thru the entire six days. I converted back as soon as my feet hit Denver soil, but I now know I can do it and it didn't kill me. It actually, kinda tasted good. I shall explore this dark realm further....

Browsed a few other little shoppes until we finally arrived at check-in. A short wait and a bag full of schwagg later and we were registered! Holy crap, I could not believe the amount of goodies we received just through the registration process:

Salomon metal water bottle- gorgeous blood red

Gortex soft shell athletic jacket- lime green and black, very sporty with clean fast lines.

Timex Watch- this was a cool looking watch but proved to be not so impressive. The day I came home I tried it on. In the process of buckling the band the entire (and I mean entire) watch fell apart. The band is metal (not a fan) and it just broke apart from the face of the watch. I ended upwith about eight small peices of watch in my hand. I contacted Timex online and listed specifically where I got the watch etc. They sent me back a very generic email stating I could pay $8 s&h along with the returned watch to get a replacement if the watch was still under warranty. I am attempting to see if they will swap the crappy watch with one of their Ironman plastic band watches. A metalic $120 watch for a plastic $60 = win:win situation right? We shall see. So far not impressed with Timex.

Saltstick tabs
Cliff barssocks
TRR baseball cap
Salomon visorNathan Hydration water bottle
Salomon LAB shoes- Very cozy and a shocking orange-red color. Different but kinda cool

On our way back to our hotel we wandered spontaneously into a tattoo parlor and briefly discussed getting tattoos. We were full of excitement and wanting to get tattoos NOW. Right now, no thinking just doing. Luckily I was able to step back just a second and say "hey wait a minute, maybe this isn't the best decision." I have been planning for a few years on getting a tattoo. I have designed it and drawn it out myself being very symbolic to particular things in my life. However there were some "missing links" of the tattoo I hadn't figured out yet. I didn't want this to be a spontaneous thing and I knew that running for six days with a brand new tat rubbing against my shorts would probably not be the most fun thing evah. Plus, having a few slight doubts of "what if I don't finish this race", I didn't want a permanent reminder of my stupidity/failure. We left the parlor agreeing that we would eventually both get our tattoos.

We packed and repacked our final bags for the race and went back out for the pre-race dinner banquet: a fantastic spread of Greek fare and an electrically charged environment.

We walked back to our hotel room and spent the night chatting, strategizing, and facebooking in an ambien induced craziness. Note to those that take ambien: do not text/facebook/or do anything but sleep post consumption of ambien!

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