Monday, August 16, 2010

TransRockies Report

6:13 sunrise
21:56 sunset

It was hard.

I don't really know what else to say because the fun of the post-race banquet, several beers and love and admiration from my dearly beloved have all made the hellish parts of last week fade. The sun even came out on the last day so our photos at the finish look like it was a great week:

But it was hard. The trails were muddy, rooty and cow shit covered. The changes in elevation often came at an insane grade. I learned that I am a lousy hike-a-biker. The weather was often abysmal.

There were times - especially on stages 3, 4 and 5 - where I was in the depths of a personal hell. Not exactly a pain cave, something different. I was desperately despondent and unhappy. I've never really felt that way before and trying to write about it now, days later, trying to recall my mental and physical state feels fake. The weird thing is that stage 6 was probably the most hellish day (they cut out part of the route due to horrific weather and the risk to participants of suffering hypothermia) but by that point I was almost accustomed to the suffer-fest.

Had I had taken the time to write about the stages as we completed them, perhaps my voice and recollections would have more purity. All I can say now is that I am proud that our team finished the race, disappointed that I personally did not complete stage 6, grateful for the support that Tony provided us, and thankful that Sierra agreed to be my partner.

Over the next week I might write reports for each stage, but that will depend on how I am feeling about the whole experience. You can read Jill's take on the week over at her blog, Jill Outside. Her August 16th post even includes a photo of Sierra and me on the rollout for stage 5. Jill talks about how some of her her racing experiences have 'torn her from her comfort zone' and I suppose that's how I feel about my TransRockies experience. It was hard - as I knew it would be - but what was hard about it wasn't what I expected. And I suppose that's a good thing. It's almost enough to make me want to try it again. Which is crazy.


Jill said...

Congrats again Jenn,

Your comment on moments in the race when you were "desperately despondent and unhappy" gave me an idea for a blog post I want to write on why I race. I am always asking myself this question, because I certainly have never felt a strong desire to race toward a podium spot or pick an "easier" sport where I would be more likely to excel. In the four-plus years that I have ventured into this type of endurance racing, I have often found myself deep in canyons of discomfort, despair, and even fear for my life. The latter moments are how I formulated my mantra, "Am I likely to die from this?" If the answer is no, I feel more at ease with putting my head down and powering through. But there have been moments when I sincerely felt the answer to this question was "yes." Those moments have become some of the more valuable experiences of my life, and are among the many reasons why I keep going back out there.

I feel confident that you are now solidly lodged in this unfortunate segment of society, and I look forward to seeing you in future races. :-)

Mike said...

Passing thru via Jill.....congratulations on your ride ! Excellent !

Jennoit said...

Thanks Jill and Mike.

You know, Jill, I used your mantra out there on a couple of days and it really does help. And yes, I will try something like this again I think.

Jim Shields said...

Great achievement