Sunday, August 02, 2009

August 2, 2009

Where has Jenny Moore been???

I haven't posted in weeks and weeks, But I raced my first triathlon in a YEAR last weekend. It was the Chisago Half Ironman. I placed second in my age group, which is the same placement I had at this race the last three years, so I guess I am happy about that. Ya know you can't ever complain about podium finishes! But I was particularly pleased that I PR'd this time. Last year I PR'd here with a 5:18; this year I PR'd again with my first ever sub-5 hour -- a 4:59:28. Naturally I was pumped about that! I had a bunch of friends racing it, and my trail running partner taking pictures, so it was a perfect day from the course as well as from the sidelines! My bike split registered 21.0 mph over the 56 miles and my half marathon was 1:49 - also a PR for that distance on any course - stand-alone or in a multisport race for me.

I have only one more triathlon on my calendar - Ironman Cozumel in November. After that I only have Ironman Wisconsin in 2010. I think this time I mean it when I say I'm ready to move on to the next big thing, which for me is trail ultras and mountain biking. I have LOVED triathlon and the people and I will maintain many, many friendships. I'm not selling my tri bike (because I WANT to keep it -- even though it's a piece of dinosaur shit all-aluminum-with-a-bad-to-begin-with-but-now-chipped-too-paint-job-with-650-wheels-heck-it-never-even-fit-me-properly bike), but I am going to keep it and just hang it in my garage for a while and give my SWEET mountain bike some wheel-time.

Speaking of my sweet mountain bike, it's a Giant XTC and I got it at Brickyard Bikes in Chaska MN. Jeremy Baker is the owner and a serious gear-head/ bike-mechanic kind of guy who also heads up our Fellowship of Christian Athletes in the western suburbs. GREAT guy, GREAT shop. He gave me a GREAT deal and GREAT fitting and I am in love with my Giant XTC bike in a way that I am almost embarrassed to write about. Give me a minute until I'll compose myself, re-open my eyes and continue posting.


Deep breathing.

Final heavy sigh.

I'm good.

Let me just say I love my bike. I love the mountain bike trails. I love how there are boulders the size of microwaves and severed heads in the middle of these dirty single-track trails and you just kind of hop over them as you go along. The trees on either side of the trail give you maybe 30 inches clearance and your handlebars take up about 24 inches of that. And you are twisting and turning and going fast on various terrain like pineneedles and dust and mud and grass and holes where turltles laid their eggs and slabs of granite. I have bruises I can't show people and scrapes on my arms and shins.

It. Is. Cool.

It just is.

And you have to check for ticks when you get home.

My first race will be at the end of August. It's called "24 hours at Afton"' and teams of four ride a nine mile loop at the ski area and whichever team makes the most loops wins. I have Guy (my trail training partner who has been mountain biking for 30 years), my customer Chuck (super serious mountain biker who travels all over the country to race) and his best friend Kraig (who is even more serious than HE is) on my team. Yeah - I asked myself the same question - what are they doing with Jenny Moore, right??? I have NO IDEA!!! But they invited me and I said yes and I'm going to love it I am sure! So I have been on my bike FIVE times and I still think I'll be ready. Ready enough to let them "carry" me anyway!

I think I have 11 or 12 marathon-or-longer races this year, but they, too are morphing into trails rather than road. Yesterday I did a 30 mile gravel-trail run for charity. It started out as 28 miles, but ended up at 29.8, so we had to run the extra .2 to make it an even number. (Don't even start - you know you would have run the extra too because you are just as anal as I am!)
And a couple weeks before that I ran the Afton Trail Run 50K - it was awesome!!!! It was 12,000 feet of climbing - up and down and up and down... It took me 6 hours and 10 minutes. But I LOVED it. Trail running is so different from road marathoning - there are a bunch of hippies who do it! Shirtless guys with long beards, and there is no "corralling" of athletes at the start - everybody just sort of shows up at the trail head and the race director says, "OK, everyone have a good race.... Go!" No national anthem, no balloons to run under, no chute of picture-taking family members.

It's different.

It just IS.

But I still have Twin Cities Marathon and the Des Moines Marathon this year -- they are part of my training plan for Ironman Cozumel.

But my A race for the year will be the Superior 50 mile Trail Run in September. It's FIVE points of contact in some places - two hands, two feet, and your butt -- as you scale car-sized boulders. It's crossing streams on fallen trees and clinging to brush so you don't slide off the mountain. From what I hear we should be happy to hold a steady 14-minute mile. How fun does that sound?!?!?! We will cover much of the course in the dark, so I need some nighttime trail runs to prepare. Last year 35 people finished it. There is also a 100 miler for those of you who didn't get enough!

Bedtime for me. If anybody still even reads this blog, thanks! You can more easily keep up with me on Facebook.....