Sunday, October 21, 2007

TCSD Desert Camp - Borrego-a-go-go

Twice a year (January and October), the TCSD crew heads out to the Anza-Borrego desert for a weekend of camping, eating, relaxing, biking, and marshmallow fights.

Pat and I headed to camp on Friday evening, set up our tents, chatted around the campfire a bit, and then headed to bed.

On Saturday morning, we got our bike gear together, and got fueled up for a 60 mile ride out to the Salton Sea and back. I had never done this ride, so I really didn't know what to expect. I do recall Brian Long warning us about the wind on the way back....but for some stupid reason I decided to ignore his comment. 60 miles. I can do this in my sleep....

The ride out to the Salton Sea was HOT! In the first 5 miles I had my doubts, but then kept pushing on. The ride is through the desert, and although pretty barren of civilization, it is actually quite beautiful with the mountains in the background, and the canyons along the road. When you think desert, you think flat.....not in this desert. There were actually quite a few rollers! The ride out was actually not that bad once the winds started helping us along. At one point, I actually rode for 5 miles straight at 30+ mph. The entire time I was thinking that the ride back was going to really suck.

We made it down to Salton City, refueled on water, and then started heading back to camp. Wow! What a difference! The wind was coming out of the west at what had to be 20+ mph. And it was a hot wind. It was about 100 degrees out and so riding into the desert wind felt like riding into a hot hair dryer. It was MISERABLE! With about 20 miles left, I started hurting pretty bad. My heart rate was escalated because of the heat, and although I could've dumped an entire water bottle over my head to stay cool, I knew I had to conserve every drop b/c 20 miles is a long way. With about 8 miles left, I saw my friend Kevin driving SAG. I stopped, and said take my bike, I'm done. I'm not one to give up, but I know when my body has had too much. I was done! We kept driving towards the Salton Sea to see if any others needed to be picked up. The carnage was pretty unbelievable. Along with another SAG wagon, we picked up about 8 others and then headed back to Borrego.

Once I was showered and fed, life was good again. Lots of good meat and beer, and even our own version of ER to end the worries, he was ok after a couple stitches.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

MCRD Boot Camp Challenge

Here in San Diego, we are lucky to be surrounded by quite a few military bases. Camp Pendleton to the North, 32nd St. Navy Base to the South, MCAS, Point Loma (where Pat works), NAB Coronado, North Island...just to name a few. MCRD (Marine Corps Recruit of 2 in the country I think) is located here as well. From San Diego's airport, you can see the recruits marching and proving themselves on the obstacle course. One day a year, they open the obstacle course up to the public for the Boot Camp Challenge.

I have to say, when not out fighting for our country, the Marine Corps puts on some damn fine races. I have done both the Bulldog Bike Race and the Olympic Distance Tri up at Camp Pendleton and have always been super-satisfied with the venue and support (not to mention the cool t-shirts). When a couple of friends asked me to join their team for the Boot Camp Challenge, I figured...why not?

So, here's a little summary of my experience
  • Drove to MCRD in the am (AWESOME that it's only 1 mile from Pat's house)
  • Explored the expo (good expo, 2 beer companies)
  • Met up w/ my team (Run DMC) Court and Farah, and met my other 2 team members Kelly and Karla. Put on our cute tank tops that Farah and Court made
  • Got our pic taken by a tank w/ a hot 18 year-old Marine

  • Stretched/enjoyed the sunny day
  • Listened to a Marine Corps jazz band play at the start line to pump us up
  • Started the 3 mile obstacle course (jumped over hay bales, climed over log posts and made 8 ft. jumps, dropped and gave 10...twice. squatted through tunnels, etc.)
  • Finished race, felt pretty good (as an endurance athlete, 3 miles actually feels a little short now) Time = 30:50
  • Started driving home, then got a call from Courtney saying that our team had won 3rd place. Out of 16 teams! WHOA! Didn't expect that! Go Us! Check out the trophy we won (coming soon)!

All in all, fun day, fun race. Will hopefully do it again.