Wednesday, June 22, 2011

2011 Teva Mountain Games

After leaving the Ironhorse Classic in Durango, we dillydallied our way towards Vail where Annie and I would partner up for some racing there the next weekend. In between, we hit up a few places that we hadn't been before, a few nights at the Pagosa Hot Springs resort, Great Sand Dune National Park, a few nights camping, and then wrapping it up with some R&R (racing and relaxing) at the Marriott Vail Mountain resort for the weekend's events at the Teva Mountain Games. Will detail the in between stuff in a later post. In the meantime, here's the detail and footage from the Teva Games. I suckered Annie into doing the trail run, making a solid case that it would be best for the team - she'd seen me running around without my shirt off at the hot springs resort the few days prior, and quickly agreed that yes, it would indeed be best for the team if I didn't do the run.

Kayak - This went smoother this year, in large part to having done one prep outing on the Green River with some of the guys a few weeks back and having to execute a few rolls in some fairly large rapids on that trip. Wasn't near as sketchy as a few years ago, and had some confidence that I could keep it upright, and even if not, could get back up right without having to bail out. The only problem with the kayak leg this year was fitness. I've mentioned on here before that unlike some of the endurance type stuff where you get some decent crossover of fitness from discipline to discipline, the only way I know of to get into decent paddling shape is to paddle, a lot. I paddled hard for about 5 minutes, and was blown, completely, shoulders and arms. It was to the point of being concerned near the bottom end of the course that I wouldn't have the strength to paddle away from holes/obstacles if something came up that needed to be avoided. You'll see the soft paddling at the bottom of the course in the video, my strength was reduced to the consistency of wet bread. Side note - the Stand up paddle boarding seems to be catching on fairly rapidly, lot's of them there this year. I have since entered my first paddle board race - coming up this weekend....

Mtn Bike - They had to keep us a little lower on the mountain this year due to snow, which cut out some sections of both the Mtn bike course and the run course. Among the sections cut out of the bike course was most of the more technical downhill stuff, and some climbing mileage that they seemed to consolidate into a nasty pitch that capped off the climbing each lap. The kind of pitch that required you to slide up and put your seat tip right where the sun don't shine, and try to keep momentum just high enough that you don't stall out and tip. Missing or hesitating for even half a pedal stroke on those steeps meant you were off the bike and walking. I was actually able to race hard that afternoon, and the race was short enough at 3 laps just under 5 miles each, that the lack of training and fitness didn't get a chance to manifest itself to the extent it had the week previous at the Iron Horse. Came away fairly pleased and a little surprised.

Trail Run - Despite this course also staying a little lower on the mountain, I'm fairly certain they had that same guy, you know him from last time... yep, that one, the bastard - set the course again. It went straight up real early, just like last time. As in redline walking efforts straight up. Annie nailed it though, ran a great race that included running across and down snow banks, mud, double track, singletrack, and no track - everything a trail race should be, and did so quickly. Her motivation? To hammer my time from a few years back, which she did easily. I told her it was because the race didn't go as high up the mountain this year, but just between you and me, I know better.

Hill climb TT - Very similar time to last time I was out there, which translates into being a little slower this year given my legs hadn't had to do that run a few hours previous. Rode the first 6.5 miles real well, but didn't have the gumption to keep going hard once on the upper section of the route and faded some. But again, was somewhat surprised and pleased that it hadn't been worse. I also enjoy TT's, at least once they're over. Really the truest measure of oneself on the bike, both physically and mentally.

So, once it was all tallied together, team Wasatch Pilates (sponsored by Annie's little Pilates biz) finished 4th of 10 in the coed division of the Ultimate Mountain Challenge. More importantly - it seemed to light a little bit of the spark that's been missing from the motivation this year. We'll see if we can parlay that into some better focus and effort going forward. We're hooked on the team racing - its' a blast to team up with Annie for this kind of stuff.

Spectating - this was the kids first year out there so we made sure to catch a little bit of everything. They didn't get near as excited about the climbing or the slopestyle riding as we did. They're fascination - the dog jumping..., they could have watched it for hours.

Overall it was a great trip - great to get away with the family and just screw off for a while, these kidlets just keep getting more fun every year.

Video hightlights:
1 - my buying a gopro camera, with the kayak race specifically in mind for it, only to reach up and turn it on, I mean off, just prior to going in the water - no on board race footage, notta, nil, zilch.
2 - Brock having a hard time getting going on the kids race. Kid's race was also brutal for the little tikes, hard course for their little legs to climb up, and they all grinded it out - proud of them.

2011 Teva Mountain Games from Jason White on Vimeo.


Nate K. said...

Annie sounds like a bad ass! Sounds like an awesome time man. Paddle board race? Sounds kinda cool!

Jason said...

Nate - no question about it, she can motor. Am sure I'll have something to say about the paddleboard race on here next week - expecting it to go somewhat similar to the kayak race in Vail, cooked about 5 minutes in.

Anonymous said...

Count us in next year! Yeah, not sure on how to train for paddleing-think they'd let us practice in the pool? Annie is a bad ass. She smoked me up suncrest this week. Thanks for sharing.

Jason said...

Michelle - consider yourselves counted in, you guys will love the racing out there.