Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Birthday in the "summer"

My calendar says the 27th, so my birthday by the calendar was yesterday. However, I was born in the US, so I turned 28 today, about 9 hours ago. Here's how the last couple days have gone.

Christmas was cold and rainy here. The weather was probably nicer in Reno even though it's winter there. We went to a feast at our friend Mike's place. He had about 20 orphans over and we had good feed and good times.

Wednesday, December 26 started with Fockler and our friend Nathan coming home from the aforementioned Christmas feast and counting down the minutes until midnight. I was asleep. At precisely midnight, my door was flung open, my lights were turned on, and they jumped on my bed in a state of dress that would make a cathouse madam blush. After I got rid of them, I spent the next four and a half hours in the shower scrubbing myself. Ok, didn't actually do that.

Wednesday night, we threw a combination flatwarming/birthday party here. Everybody dressed up, the weather cleared up, and we enjoyed a gorgeous evening on our patio. I was able to keep a pretty good handle on how much I drank, but I still had a few to celebrate.

So today, Thursday, was the Lake Hayes Triathlon about 15km from Queenstown. It's a sprint, and it's New Zealand's longest running triathlon at 25 years. I rode my bike out there this morning with all my other race gear on my back. Even though it's a sprint and doesn't have all the trimmings typical of most US races (and it's on a Thursday), it attracts a pretty good pool of talent from around NZ. This race doesn't have chip timing, splits, food afterwards, or even proper bike racks. There were short- and long-course world champions, Olympic hopefuls, etc., etc. there. I was not part of the talent pool today.

Image Hosted by

(Here's the lake)

I started the race at a 4 on the scale from 1 to I've Still Got the Flu Even Though I'm Not Throwing Up Any More, a 5 on the scale from 1 to Hung Over, and a 10 on the scale from 1 to Haven't Done Any Speedwork for About 4 Months. Also a 10 on the scale from 1 to Haven't Exercised in the Last 5 Days 'Cause of the Flu. All the makings of a winning day...

Image Hosted by
(Yes, that's a rope swing next to the start line)

Fortunately, I knew all these things, so I decided to rely on residual fitness, set the throttle to Wide Open, and que sera, sera. I swam well even as the chop came up and got elbowed and kicked a few times. Quite the scrum.

I was 14th out of the water according to a friendly volunteer, gave up a few spots in T1 and a few more on the horrendous gravel road that started the ride. I passed lots of people in the first couple miles of the ride and only got passed by one guy in the whole rest of the ride. It was showery and windy for most of the ride. I posted a pretty good pace for the bike and I'm happy with how I rode.

T2 was really fast for me and I slowly picked off a few people on the run. I ran without abandon and it felt pretty good. We had a few short steep hills but all in all it was a typical trail run.

In line with the technology-free attitude of the whole race, they didn't post results after the race ended, so I have no idea how I finished or even what my time was (!). I do, however, know that the first 3 people across the line were all in my age group, so I didn't bring home any hardware. Tough crowd!

I did meet some cool people and thoroughly enjoyed myself before and after the race. When the awards ended, I suited back up to ride back to Queenstown. Words cannot describe how hard it rained for most of the ride home. I got back home absolutely dripping half an hour later, very ready to step off the bike. 51ºF and raining sheets is not my idea of summer. I'm really ready for some summer weather.

After a long shower, I spent half a frustrating hour screamingly hungry and looking for a thai, indian, or chinese delivery joint in Queenstown, all to no avail. There was no way I was going back out in that rain...

So, there you have it. An orphan Christmas and 2 days of birthday fun. See ya.

Past Detritus