Well, it is indeed a miracle I am even sitting here at my computer now after what I went through this past weekend! It all started about 2 weeks ago when Stephanie Fletcher (friend from my Lima team) asked me and Justin if we would want to partner with her and my OBGYN (Len Tadvick) in what is called an “Adventure Race” that took place at Lake Houston this past Saturday. It happened that both of their partners were unable to compete with them, and they each needed a new partner. “Uh….what exactly does this race consist of?” I ask. “Oh, it’s not that bad. It is a 3 mile trek (some running some trekking), a 5 mile bike, and a 1 mile canoe,” Stephanie answers. I am immediately thinking…”ok, I can do the bike and canoe part, but the trekking sounds dangerous for me. But, Justin could probably do all of this no big deal.” So, we agreed to sign up.
About a week later, Justin and I went online to sign up and pay for our portion of the race. Upon reading about the race, we noticed that the biking portion was actually12 MILES! Not quite what we thought we were agreeing to…oh well now. We decided we would need to take our bikes for a spin that next week to see if we were even up to 12 miles. We tried twice, and twice we failed. Justin’s tire went flat 3 miles into our first ride, and it went flat once again 5 miles in on our 2nd attempt. We laughed about it, and I told him that surely if I could ride 5 miles, I could ride 12.
Finally, 2 days later, with 2 failed attempts at “training” for this event, Justin, Stephanie, Lee, Len, and myself traveled to Houston for the race. We stayed the night in a nearby hotel on Friday night, and we were up at 5:45am in order to be ready to head over to the race around 7am. We got there in good time, registered, and set our bikes out to be ready to ride once the race began. Here we are not knowing what kind of horrible pain we are about to put ourselves through…
Notice we have on EXTREMELY different attire than the rest of the racers…who knew
(sorry, no cool pictures like this of Justin and Len)
At this point, we had registered and received the order of events of the race. This iw when we found out there were SEVERAL running parts. GREAT. Come to find out, this was what we had in store…
- Run (about 3 miles)
- Hike and Bike (about 3 miles where you switch out riding and running with your partner)
- 2-3 mile run to the zip line
- zip line
- 2-3 mile run back from the zip line
- 7 mile bike to canoe area
- canoe 300 yds. (this was the only part that was not as much distance as expected…and ironically would have been easiest for us to go the expected distance)
- 7 mile bike back to the finish line
“What?!” you say… I KNOW! We didn’t know the actual distances of each leg of the race until we were on them, so that made things a bit tough. There was also a creek that we had to cross numerous times in the race, and it was not all that easy. The sides of it were muddy and slippery making it hard enough to get yourself up the side MUCH LESS YOUR BIKE! When it was all said and done, Stephanie and I had had anything and everything go wrong. Our first mistake was that we finished the hike and bike, and instead of taking the right last turn, we followed 2 other teams who, outside of our knowledge, had not even begun that leg of the race. Therefore, we successfully did that leg of the race TWICE…we were very upset to say the least.
Once we had that all straightened out, we proceeded to head toward the zip line. The race instructors had told everyone to try their hardest to make it to the zip line with dry clothes, but that just wasn’t possible for me. Just before we reached the zip line, we had to cross a deeper part of the creek on a log holding onto a rope that was strung from one side of the creek to the other. You can imagine how that went. I fell in twice. It was nice. Here we are a few minutes after that at the zip line. Notice I’m soaked.
and here we are at the zip line…
We were actually excited for the biking leg of this race, because we couldn’t imagine being on foot any longer. Boy were we wrong. We began our bike ride thinking, still, that it would be 12 miles. It was through the woods, bumpy, muddy, and extremely tiring! About half way through the first 7 miles, we found out it was a 14 mile bike, and that only made things worse. The hardest part of this bike was that there was a section that was called “the wetlands”. It was muddy, full of thick grass, and wet. We had to walk our bikes through this as other bikers passed us going the other way back from their canoeing leg. It was horrible. In the middle of this “wetlands” area, there was a ditch-like part that looked fairly simple to bike down. I decided (although my decision-making abilities were shot at this point) that it would be best to bike down this portion. Stephanie was just behind me, and she had already said she thought she would just walk her bike down. Why I didn’t do that, I’m not sure. I proceeded to ride down the first side of this ditch, and as my front wheel hit the bottom, a tree root sent me springing forward, back wheel flying over my head. It was just like something in the movies…or maybe something on “Funniest Home Videos”. I completely lost my balance and crashed. All we could do was laugh uncontrollably. Unfortunately, we had no idea how much longer we had to bike, so I had to gather myself and continue riding.
About 2 miles out from the canoeing station, we had to stop because Stephanie thought she might pass out. We just parked our bikes on the side of the road so she could lay down. As other teams passed us, asking if we were ok, Stephanie just told them we had to stop and stretch. Yeah…I’m sure they believed that. She finally felt somewhat ok, and we went the rest of the distance to our canoe.
Once we got there, the men running that station were visibly concerned for us. We rested there nearly 10 min. trying to convince them we couldn’t make it back the rest of the 7 miles, but they continued to tell us that there wasn’t any way they could drive us back. WHAT?! Their trucks were all parked RIGHT THERE! “Whatever,” I thought.
After canoeing, Stephanie throwing up all the water she had put in her system (we had nothing to eat for her to throw up), and being given a “good luck” from the men with the canoes, we began our trek back. I really don’t remember much about this part, but I can proudly say we made it back. AND…we weren’t the last team to make it. We definitely embraced the “adventure” part of this race, as Justin put it. Here we are pulling in on our bikes. We had Justin, Len, Lee, and my parents there to cheer us on as we finished our last few hundred yds.
We pretty much collapsed after it was over, and we both decided we would much rather go through the labor of having a child again than do another race like this one. Yeah…it was that bad.
I do have some good news about the race. Justin and Len CAME IN 2nd PLACE! Can you believe this?! They beat out all but one team. Here they are finishing the race…in all their glory…
They definitely embraced the “Race” part of the experience!
Go Justin and Len!
One final comment, and I’ll be done for this post (I know it’s way long). HANNAH RAN A MARATHON THIS WEEKEND!!! It was a weekend full of activity and great achievement in our family. Here is a picture of her and her friends Jess and Lauren, who ran with her. I was so proud of them. We got to go see her in her last 5-6 miles of it in Dallas – the White Rock Marathon.
it was insanely cold there!
You can check out tons more pictures of our Adventure Race and Hannah’s Marathon by clicking here or on the right of this page where it says “more pictures”. Enjoy!