Alpine, Texas (Sunday, March 25th)
This morning I did the Sully Super Sprint at Sul Ross University. Alpine, Texas is about 3 hours' drive from El Paso, as you head east. It's just above Big Bend.
The first day after we arrived, Sweet Baboo went for a 90-mile bike ride down 118 into Big Bend territory. Helen, Stuart, and I drove after him after a while and met up with him just inside the park. After this, we ate sandwitches and went into some hot springs that few people know about. Very cool. Later that night, we went for packet pickup and then ate at Trattoria, where I had some excellent penne and rosemary bread. They do nice lattes and cuppacinos, and have very nice food; too bad they aren't open on Sundays.
Well, so now to the race. It was the worst of times; it was the best of times. The worst of times was the run - I will be uploading a profile of this run so that you can see. It was like I imagine running around in San Francisco would be like. Up the hill. Down the hill. Up another hill. Down a sharp incline. Up another mother f*&^%ng hill.
I was sucking wind, and wound up third from last on the run; I don't know my time but I do know who was in front of me and who was behind me, so I'm going to contact them and average it. At the time, though, I was too tired to even care. I usually count on having some kind of advantage being from about 5000 feet above sea level, but Alpine is 4800 feet above sea level, so I got no advantage at all, and some humidity to boot. And of course, the hills.
Those damned hills. My heart rate soared up to the low 170's and wouldn't come down. Before long I was third from last, as I came huffing and puffing into T1. I didn't look down to see what my run time was. I didn't want to know what my run time was. That run kicked my ass. A lot of people were sucking wind.
Then, it was onto the bike - the best of times for me. The bike course starts out with you rolling down the parking lot, about a grade 9 or so, and then making a sharp right turn onto the main road through town. Even before I got on the bike I was worried; as you may recall my last experience on the bike was less than satisfying, owing to the fact that my brakes were on most of the time. So, the little voice inside my head was saying, "what if it WASN'T the brakes? What if you really DO suck that much? Then what will you do?" But in any case I got on and headed out.
This was where, I found out that the spin classes actually worked. They worked! I faced each incline with a general feeling of dread but then they were just no big deal. The bike was fairly straight out and back with rollers, and a fantastic lack of wind form the most part. I think I did the fifteen miles in a little under and hour, dropping about 8 or 9 people on the bike course.
The swim was 365 yards, and I did it in about 9 minutes, I think. It wasn't my best swim, but then I've been in the pool 3 times since last December, so it wasn't too bad. I dropped a few people in the pool, and it wa at the this time that I started thinking, you know, if my run didn't suck so much I might be a halfway decent athlete.
The coolest part was that there was nobody else was in my age division...so...I got some hardware. I'm never complaining about that! Since they don't have Athena or Clydesdale divisions, sweet baboo raced in his age group and got 2nd place. Of the over 40 clydesdalaes that were there, I think he was first.
It was a pretty well run race with a nice course - the run will challange you, but if you ever want to visit a tiny town near Big Bend Park in Texas, come on out and try the Sully Super Sprint!
Tomorrow we'll head out to San Antonio to see Sweet Baboo's mom. My next scheduled race is the MVTC in Las Cruces, New Mexico this coming Saturday.
Added later: I'm not sure when this will get posted. We see lots of places that have wireless but their internet connections all seem to be down, and Sweet Baboo's mom has a dial-up, so it may be a while. Cheers!
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