Thursday, April 30, 2009

Makin' Nice with "The Beast" on Mark's B-day

After some long travel to St Croix, yet fairly smooth, I mean, I did I pick up my OWN bags this time, unlike the previous travel experience. There were some “oh crap” moments as you can see by the landing in this 9 seater, and “no” we did not move up front for this photo this is right from our1 st class seating. Mark’s face pretty much sums up the whole last leg of our trip.

(pre-flight...they put our bags in the "wing" of the jet)

(The Pera handbag is the best travel bag EVER!!)

(the landing-or swan dive)

("I need a shot...NOW)
Today is Mark;s 33rd birthday and with a three hour time change I had an agenda. Get up early and #1 climb the beast- I believe every hill/course is toughest the first time you do it, so I needed to get this out of the way. #2 swim the course. There is only one time a day you can swim each day leading up to the race so we needed to get there by 11am to swim. Then #3 celebrate Marks B-day. Somehow the low cost of alcohol is not on my agenda tonight or anytime in the near future. So my water on the rocks with a twist of lemon will be all this racer can enjoy tonight.

I took Mark 6 min 20 seconds to run the beast, it took me 7:22 to bike it…hmm…that may give a slight insight on how tough this climb is. Mark drove behind me and filmed the whole thing, of course, it started raining right when I started and poured to the top. I checked the heart rate monitor a few times of 181, 183, 183, 183, 184! (note: zone 4A is 161, the highest I have seen it on the bike is 172. (Dravus Hill in Magnolia was the best practice for this climb- thanks to everyone who ventured out there with me :)) Long (7:30ish) video clip below with some stellar commentating. Gets a bit more interesting at the top when the rain is pouring down.

What equated at the end was some nausea and a feeling of puking was going to be the only thing to make me feel better…for both of us! There was no upchuck and I am happy to know it can never be worse than the first time. Somewhat like my first ride in Kona a week before the race, after 40 miles out to Hawii and back we were spent with nausea. Glad we have a few more days to acclimatize.
We went and swam the practice course and the water is just as rough as the St Croix 70.3 video. Mark contemplated getting in until Sister Madonna jumped in right in front of him….then there was no holding back. We are going to go practice again today, Mark is swimming the whole 1.2 today. The temp is 80 degrees, unlike Mark and Thomas's green lake swim on Monday in 50 degrees!

(Mark at the transition area)

(Thank you Splish and Betty Designs for the great suits!)

Our friends Connie and Jeff have finally arrived, they got the luxury of flying in on a grown up plane with about 50 other triathletes from around the world. We went to a great dinner on the water with some live music where mark was serenaded with a “happy birthday” song. Nothing like the Marilyn Monroe version…but he still enjoyed it;)

(Connie and Jeff)
Driving on the LEFT side of the rode has only lead us to three close calls (one on my bike). By the time we leave we should have it down. We are cruising around in a white jeep…a little scary that the rental car comes with a club (and there is one in our condo too). Bike fits…but with only two passengers :)

(The sign on the window says "keep left"- just like those "bike up" signs we never read)

(And thanks Connie and Jeff for joining us on Mark's special day and vacation!!!)

Upcoming Agenda: 5K race tonight!


beth said...

That was amazing video Teresa - you powered up the Beast. I also loved the commentary, I think Mark should be one of those sports guys who comments about sports. Why can't I think of the name? Anyway - hope you are having fun out there and Go Teresa! I will be thinking about you on Sunday.

jesslover said...

good luck!!!!! you are going to do great!

Rebecca Kelley said...

I love that look you gave back to Mark when you reach the end. That pretty much summed up the climb. Great job! Good luck on Sunday!