The girls both joined the Parker cross country team for the fall. And as a swimmer growing up and witnessing the length of the track meets in the spring - well, I was a bit worried that they would take all day. Like a swim meet. Or a track meet. So I got the Dirkinator's permission to switch Saturday's long swim/bike session to Sunday cuz even if it does last all day.....I'm not missing the first cross country meet! Or any of their meets for that matter.
|The team getting warmed up|
|Ahhhhhh! There are a bunch of 7 and 8 year olds running right at me!!!|
|Charlotte is all smiles|
|Kickin' it in at the finish|
|Michael and Kona running to the far side of the course to cheer on the kids|
|Half-way through and looking strong!|
|Kickin' it to the finish!|
|Are you kidding me? Otter pops at the finish??!!!! WTC please take note.....|
So after all that fun-ness, it was time for me to get down to bid-ness. (haha) It was time for me to get my long, last ride in before Kona! A swim first, then a 6 hour bike. Oy. I considered inviting friends, acquaintances, strange people on the street but then I just decided to suck it up. Do the ride alone. I'll be alone in Kona (well, with 1799 of my triathlete buddies), not talking to anyone, providing my own entertainment, conversation, songs. Plus, it was my Last. Long. Ride. Just get it done! I left from my house and headed south. I was curious how far I could go before having to turn around and if I could make it to Palmer Lake. How far is it to Palmer Lake anyway?
This route is just gorgeous. The first part through Castle Rock is OK but after the climb up Wolfsenberger (also pretty cool) and then the decent down the other side, you hit Perry Park Road which winds along the foothills. I was surrounded by beautiful trees, a crystal clear blue sky, rock formations - just an "easy on the eyes" type of ride. Some of the ride was without tunes, some of it with tunes, sometimes I just sang out loud. I drank. I ate. And I made it to Palmer Lake - 48.8 miles from my house!
And at an elevation of 7,200 feet, what goes up must go back down, or home. Even with a headwind, it was a pretty quick decent. I made it back to Castle Rock right when I expected and as I pulled into my re-fueling stop, I realized I was HUNGRY! I made it back just before what clearly would have been an epic bonk!
|In my defense, I didn't eat all the beef jerky. Or all of the wafers. But that rice krispie treat had no chance with my hunger. Nor did the frappacino. Nom nom nom.|