Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Wildflower '07

Second hardest athletic event I have ever completed. (I think it'll be a while before I can top the Birkebeiner ski marathon from February, but this was definitely the hardest triathlon ever for me). As we all kept talking about how challenging the bike course was, all I could respond was, "yeah, but how beautiful was that 360 degree view from the top of Nasty Grade?!"
The swim was a little choppy, but I felt really strong, so I was surprised when I found out my swim split was actually pretty slow for me. Oh, well. I got on my bike and then it got really bad.
I'm sure you heard that it was hilly. You heard right. Nasty Grade was a single climb that took me 29 minutes of stand/spin/stand/spin in my smallest gear to summit. We had driven it the day before, so we kind of knew what to expect, but it's different on your bike than in the car.

Once you are up there, though, all around you can see rolling hills, wild horses milling around under trees, deer foraging... That made it worth every pedal stroke, if you ask me.

I still haven't checked my official time, but TriNick txt'ed me that I had a 36 min swim; 3:30 bike; 2:21 run, so I must be somewhere around 6:30:00. Which is my PW (personal worst) for the half iron-distance, but I'm just happy to be alive right now.

Before I left Minneapolis, I had to decide which wheels to bring, and since I already had a cog set on my disc I just brought that. Huge mistake. I should have transferred a cog to a 404. But being inherently lazy, I just threw my disc in the box. So I was one of MAYBE 20 or 30 people who had disc wheels on (out of 9000).
The gusts were downright adrenaline-gushing-frightening. Even the steady non-gusting wind had me swerving all over the road. I kept apologizing to people. I had to sit upright and ride the brakes all the way down the hills, because if I picked up any speed over 30 mph I'd start losing control of my bike. Each of the 3 times I heard the ambulance I knew I had done the right thing by braking the whole way. When I coasted into transition, my brakes were screeching, because I literally had no pads left. It was ugly, but I was still alive. Praise God. And this time I really mean it!

I was so happy to be on the run, which was also hilly, but also very scenic as it was a trail run. The cheering was really nice from the spectators, and it seemed like the run was over pretty quick. Well, if you think 2:21 is quick. It seemed faster, just like the swim did. Hmmm. I need to manage my technical equipment better.

Anyway, the weekend was fun mostly because I got to meet so many of my blogger buddies. Iron Kahuna was the ultimate host. Thank you, friend.
Here are a few pics:

First we had to get on the plane. Before that, TaconiteBoy had to relinquish his "bludgeoning tool".

TriMama and IronJenny salute you with a toast. Um, we seem to have a lot of these pictures... ;-)

IronKahuna takes us for a walk on the pier where he was a lifeguard.

Then he took us to see his friend who has a nationally syndicated radio show. His name is Hugh Hewitt and he suprised us by interviewing us live on the air about triathlon and current events. It was fun!

Iron Wil and Curly Su at camp.

TaconiteBoy and Trimama set up their bikes.

Trimama on a warmup ride.

Greyhound on the ride. We cruised over to the other camp to see the other TriBloggers....

... and this is who we found!!! Bolder and Roman and the other RaceAthletes.

At Bolder's camp we saw this tent, which was Neoprene Wedgie's, that had a sign on it that said, "Iron Kahuna and Iron Wil - where are you?" It had a poster and a Sharpie marker on a string asking for our cell number to hook up with us. He came over later, so we got to meet him, too.

Iron Wil and I posed for a picture of CAF athlete Sarah Rinertson. Yes, I do know I look like a giant next to her!

Iron Wil hanging out in the RV.

Stronger demonstrates how to be the most popular girl at camp.

Greyhound wakes up to enjoy the sunrise. Check out our campsite. Thankfully there weren't any bears around. Boomer did say he heard wild pigs, and sure enough - there were candy bars that were half eaten with the wrappers still on, etc...

TriBoomer and me at camp. I just love this selfless, kind, natural born leader.

Curly Su out on the run course of the Oly. This is one of the sweetest and cutest (and talented) girls you will ever meet! I would be so proud to see Ally grow up to be just like her.

Stronger rocked the Olympic course. I think she looks so much better than the girl she is walking next to...

Kahuna, IronJenny, Stronger and her brother Chris wait for Iron Wil to cross the finish line.

It was a really fun weekend, but I think I don't need to camp again. That part was a lot of work. I loved getting to meet some of my favorite bloggers, though. I really enjoyed all of you and hope we can all meet up again for a race in the future. I'll make the hotel reservations... ;-)


tri-dogmom said...

Thanks for all the pictures! You guys look like you had so much fun. We (momo & I) thought about you all while we were on our long ride Saturday. I'm scared of that course... not so sure if I'll ever make it there! Conrats.

Shelley said...

Big congrats to you on such a tough day..you did awesome!! The pics are great, wish I was there!!

Tri-Dummy said...

That course did sound pretty scary. I talked to Tac and he was hurting on that mountain...I don't DARE say it's NAME!

I'll email you soon regarding details about my trip to SPM. I'm staying a couple of extra days in the front or back of the trip to hang with you guys.

Taconite Boy said...

crap...I forgot to get my blugening tool

Iron Girl Nyhus said...

Yes...Jenny, I agree we need more pictures with matching outfits. I'll have to show you the new skirt I bought... What about prom??? Should we find the same dress? I'm so glad you're back... missed you.


triNick said...

In my book you are still "Super Woman", you are amazing. Good Job on the race, the thing is you finished. Glad to hear you had a good time meeting new friends, we sure did miss you here...

Bolder said...

great seeing you again Jenny!

i may have to go and update my post of the EVERYTHING INBETWEEN with our after shot.

love that pic!!

Spokane Al said...

Great post and great pictures. Thanks for sharing.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

aw, you look like you were having a great time!

Are you really doing the Co. Relay? Really?


mee tooo!! (prolly) - and I did it last year!

Comm's said...

As the Mighty Mo love to say after a big (or small) accomplishment..."That was a great ad-benture"

Well done.

jbmmommy said...

Your second toughest event- that's saying a lot! Congrats on a great race and thanks for sharing the pictures.

Curly Su said...

thanks for the nice words...it was wonderful meeting you too!

Fe-lady said...

Thanks for the pix and story!
It was SO great to meet you and everyone at the swim start. I am sad that I didn't get to spend more time talking to you guys. Congrats on a GREAT time for that course...a PR on the toughest course is just amazing!
We didn't camp. Much better for an old lady like me... :-)
See you next year????

TJ said...

wild pigs, candy bars, beers, sounds like a great weekend.
congrats on finishing a tough race!!!

ironjenny said...

FE-lady - great meeting you, too!
And that was a "PW" (personal worst) for the Wildflower course... ;-)

Julia said...

Loved all your photos, thanks! It looks like everyone had so much fun, what a great group of people!

Di aka "Mrs Bigun" said...

Biguna and I thought of you guys this weekend while we were in Bradenton. He completed the first 101 race. It was a lot of fun. Sounds like you all had so much fun catching up with each other and knocking out a really tough race together. Congratulations!!

21stCenturyMom said...

When I saw the Long Course people come in I wondered how the ones with the disc wheels did. It certainly seemed like a liability in that wind.

So brakes going downhill = there goes your time! You did really well in spite of that. Not perhaps by your standards but I think you are AMAZING!

Mama B said...

Hey there Jenny ~

I'm so glad I got to meet you. And you are just as sweet, warm & wonderful as everyone always says you are.

Rock on!

RunBubbaRun said...

I'm glad you made it safely up and down the bike course.

Looks like everybody had a great time..

Hardest TRI ever, I might have to give it a go..

The Birkebeiner, I'm also thinking about joining you up their next year.. I need some big time XC tips.

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

From the photos, it seems like good times were had by all. :)

momo said...

next get together i am so there, i'm JEALOUS, it looks like it was so much fun!!!

brendaj said...

I had the same thought about not planning to camp again! :)

Cliff Tam said...


Thanks for posting the pics....they are so nice...