Sunday, July 31, 2011

3 states, 3 massive lakes, 1 toddler, and a million mosquitos

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Liam and mommy lunching at dog beach in Sandpoint, ID on Lake Pend Oreille. 

We wanted to get out this summer and see more of the area since we moved to Spokane, WA last year and we haven't been out much. Something about a toddler does a number on ambition... Even after a disastrous test camping trip, we decided to head out to see Glacier National Park with low expectations, in other words, head home asap if Liam decided to melt down.

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Bill goes for a chilly test swim before mommy will get in

We had our first pitstop in Sandpoint, ID, about 1.5 hours from Spokane. We grabbed some cheese steak sandwiches and found dog beach where Marshall dog could run free and where we could launch for a little open water swimming. I "asked" Bill to go first since the water is a little chilly to the touch. They have numbered signs on wood pillars in the water, Bill swam to the end and back and reported that the water was rougher than it looked. Hmmmm. I decided to make my swim shorter since he was right about the rough water and I was right about the cold water. But Liam and Marshall were happy and that's what really matters.

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We drove up the road a bit further and camped at a sweet little spot for the night outside of Moyie Springs where 2 rivers converged. I slept in the back of the Jeep on a twin air mattress with the baby which worked great, we were warm and snuggled together all night and had only one little wake-up. Tent camping is just too chilly for him so the warmth in the Jeep worked much better.

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The next day we were off to Montana with the goal to get to the base of Glacier National Park. the drive through northern ID and MT was lovely. It's amazing here, the rivers, lakes, and trees are stunning. Liam was not as happy with the journey, however, and we had to make some extra pitstops and let him fuss at times since he refused to nap in the car. I found a little trail mix (M&Ms) and some DVDs helped but it was still rough keeping him in his car seat for so long.

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We tried to camp outside of Whitefish, MT, a trendy little town that offers sporting opportunities year round, but it wasn't happening, everything was full. I guess we'll try the organic vegan restaurant some other time (MT has it's surprises). We ended up at an RV Park on the road to Glacier, my parents have a converter van so an electric hook-up is nice for them and as long as it isn't by the Hwy, I'm happy. The only trouble here, and everywhere else we went, was MOSQUITOES. Little jerks got Liam and I on our faces, hands, and feet since I had us both dressed head to toe they got what they could get.

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Liam and Marshall enjoying the sunshine at Kootenai Falls

We had decent sleep again that night, despite motorcyclists coming and going out of the RV Park most of the night. There is no helmet law in MT and I think every motorcyclist converges there in July to make noise. Up next: Glacier and 2 more massive lakes...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hayden Lake triathlon

Two things occurred to me on Friday:

  1. It's mid-July and I should probably train for and do some races this summer
  2. We should do an overnight camping trip with the baby before we go on a week-long camping trip at the end of July
Distracted by my predicament, I started surfing online for races, when I found a race scheduled for the next day at nearby Hayden Lake in Idaho. I managed to rally the troops for an overnight camping trip and by 4pm we were on the road. The only thing missing was the typical training I would do before racing a triathlon.

The camping part of this adventure went well until it was time to go to sleep. The only place to camp in the area was at Silverwood theme park RV camping, right next to the Hwy. It was fabulously loud until about 1am and Liam added to the noise by fussing and not sleeping. He tossed, turned, cried, and moaned all night long, finally crashing at about 4am.

The alarm was set for 5am so that started the pain session. In an seriously sleep deprived state, I stumbled into the transition area at about 6:15 am and found the bike racks packed. Just as I walked in they started setting up a new rack so I snagged a spot but not before a guy started yelling at me, "HEY WATCH IT! YOU HIT ME WITH YOUR TIRE!" What?! I'm totally confused about what he is saying and he keeps yelling and I finally realize that I must have tapped him with my tire when I racked my bike and he is losing his sh*t about it.

Of course I apologized, but I was speechless, sleep deprived or not. I setup quickly, grabbed my wetsuit, and got out of there. Never had anyone yell at me at a race before, that was a little shocking.

The lake was gorgeous but slightly cold for my personal preference for racing. My plan for the swim was to find some feet and draft. The starting gun went off and I went as hard as I could only to watch the lead swimmers fade away while I swam by myself, never to be passed and never to find feet to hold on to.

The bike was an out and back, with a slight headwind on the out. My plan was to do intervals and make it a workout session but the slight headwind said otherwise, it was a workout just cruising. I think I passed 3 ladies and was never got passed until the very end of the bike, right at the transition area.

My hope for the run was to pace around 7:45. I'm recovering from shin splints in May and running pain free but still a little slow as I ease back into it. I started the run and found that my feet were numb and the two sips of Gatorade I took on the bike were sloshing around in my stomach. I was burping and snotting along and found myself closing in on a fast looking lady with a 40 on her calf. I apologized for the noise I was making and commented on her awesome turnover. I told her I was going to open it up on the downhill and that she should kill me on the uphill and that's exactly what happened. She probably beat me by a good 45 seconds in the end. Maybe I shouldn't have opened it up on the downhill. I don't know my run time yet, but Bill thought I was under 23 minutes, possibly under 22 for the 5k.

I think I finished 7 overall female, which was good for my level of fitness. I think the cold water and lack of sleep had my body a little distressed but it wasn't too horrible to get to the finish line. I was surprised by the level of competition at this little sprint, those Idahoans take their triathloning seriously.

I was home by 2pm and passed out on the couch while the Tour played softly in the background. A great day! Pop Pops and Gammies helped with the baby all day and Bill played bike mechanic, support crew, and daddy while mommy had her fun. It was a good day and I'm glad the mood struck to race.

As for any future camping and triathlon plans... I need a good night's sleep, that's all I'm thinking about right now.