For the 5th weekend in a row, and for the 20th time in just over a year, Jay and I loaded up the Scamp and headed out of town for a lil getaway. Back to Hayward we went, for my maiden voyage on the grand Chequamegon 40. This was Jay's 20th appearance so little anxiety plagued him, while the fear of the unknown quietly perched outside our kampsite, wait to catch me off guard.
I always feel like.... somebody's watching me....
We headed back to our new fave place, the KOA, and got a site in our favorite row of trees, deep in the middle of all the excitement with all our favorite 612 Crue. Lucky for us, we headed up Thursday night, so the extra relaxing was super welcome!
Friday morning, I drove Jay out to double O to meet up with none other than Jason McCartney of Team Radioshack and Christian Vande Velde of Garmin-Cervelo! I knew I wouldn't be able to hang at that tempo all the way to the finish, so I only dropped off Jay and met them at the finish, planning to warm up my legs later in the day. Jay had an awesome time riding with the pros!
Rosco at OO
Christian, Dirk, Jason, Hwood, and the buds
Our ride later was nice - a easy 1 hr. out n' back just to spin out the legs, and not overdo it for Saturday's race. After our ride, it was nothing but easy living at the campsite, chilling fireside, enjoying some wine and pasta with my honey...
Come Saturday morning, it was game-on and we didn't hesitate to get out of bed and on the road. The excitement was thick in the cool morning air and I was itching to get started. The 4-wheelers began revving their engines and the riders saddled up, ready to take on the rollout. I kept to the sides and tried to take it all in without getting too overwhelmed.
The course was intense! I rode with everything I had in a sea of 1,800 riders. About 5 miles in, I found my hubby on the side of the trail.. waiting for lil ole me. The front of the pack went out at 38+mph hour and Jay held tight, only to blow a gasket after Rosie's Field. Sweet hubby he is, he pulled over and waited for me to make sure my first Cheq 40 was great. We rode together and held strong to a couple different groups all the way to OO... 1:07 on the clock as we rode through... awesome pace!
We hit the log-jam at Fire Tower Hill and combined riding and cyclocross skills to get through each climb. With 10 miles yet to go, I was feeling great! I wish I would have had a lil more sugar in the brain, though, considering I went off Roadie mentality and chose not to eat.. big mistake.
At 5 miles to the finish, my left leg began to cramp ferociously. I fought it as best I could but blew completely with 3 miles to go. I let 5 women get past me in that short distance, which didn't help the emotional state. Even though the 1 mile sign slurred in front of me, my legs rejected my request for them to pedal hard just one last time. Exhausted, bonked, and emotionally wasted, we rode across the finish line together. Our time was 2:55:59 - 4 minutes faster than my goal (even with a full-on bonking!), and I ended up 30th in the Women's overall (goal was top 50 - Bitch, please!). It was awesome!
Unfortunately, it took more than an hour to find PD and the van, full of warm clothes, beer, and $$ for food. It's kinda hard to roam the grounds searching for our pal when it hurt to pedal and we were too worn out to walk. Once we did find him, though, we bolted fast, wanted to get back to lil Rosco and a warm fire. Although I bested my goals, I still haven't figured out the plan for next year. I think I still need some time to sort it all out and recover from the worst Bonk I've ever had. I get that it happens, but it's still a big deal to accept for some reason..
Anyways, sick as a dog from the full effort of it all, I laid in the camper as Jay made us some grub to recover. Slowly, I came around, and was able to join the Crue at the fire some 4 hours after the race. Rosco was loving the outdoors, digging in the sand and chewing on sticks. Although a nap was much needed, we entertained friends instead, staying up for good laughs and antics until the wee hours of the morning.
The Swan-Fish Newlyweds
Kart wheel or handstand on the fire ring?
Me & Hwood
Hwood & Tyson soakin up the laughs
It rained all night and we found this cool image in the dry sand when we awoke!
Sunday morning, we loaded up early, headed for Sunday Fun Day. The weather was gloomy with rain in the forecast and I was too sore to ride. As we approached the registration table, the sky opened up and washed the hillside with cold, wet misery. We took one look at each other and jumped back into the car, headed home for sweatpants and football. Sure enough, we were home by noon, time enough for a 3-hour nap on the couch as we listened passively to football games on the TV.
It was the perfect relaxation to follow our weekend away. Why oh why can't we get away for a week? I love my family and camping and I truly wish I could spend more time sharing them togther. That, and Hwood wanting a putt-putt rematch, why not get away again?