Tuesday, May 31, 2011

California Classic Weekend

On Friday Derek and I packed up the FJ and headed for a fun filled family weekend in Fresno to do the California Classic Challenge, metric century ride on Saturday followed by a half marathon on Sunday.  This is the perfect training weekend for us, since Vineman 70.3 is coming up in July.  We stayed with my Aunt and Uncle at the Casa Durham.  Almost the whole family made the trek; my mom, Aunt Chris, Tommy, Tarah, and Terry (well for a few hours while on his way to Napa).  We stayed up and hung out for a few hours.  Bright and early Saturday morning we were up and eating yummy steel cut oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts before the race.  I wore my new outfit from www.bettydesigns.com which I was so excited to get as a gift from my love!  Derek and I had to leave a bit early to pick up our race packets, since we were late.  We got everything ready and met everyone at the start line.  Derek, Diane, Chris, Tarah, Shawn and I all tried to start together but with 1,500 people we got separated.  I was in no man's land with the girls in front of me and the guys behind.  I knew that eventually I'd meet back up with them again.  It was really slow going for the first 4-5 miles through town, there were a few times that I even had to unclip and stop but once on the 168 it was full steam ahead. 

The 168 freeway was closed for 10 miles for us to ride on, and that was really cool.  I finally caught up with the girls, and we slowly spun down the 168.  It was much smoother than I had anticipated.  For some reason I was thinking that it would be a really rough 10 miles, but it was probably the smoothest part of the entire ride.  Derek and Shawn caught up with us about 3-4 miles after getting on the 168 and we were all together again.  Once off the freeway we no longer had any traffic control, which I though was a bit strange since we were on country roads that people go blowing by you at 70 mph!  There were several uncontrolled intersections that cars would not stop, so it was a bit scary! 
me, Shawn and Derek stopping to say Hi to Mary. 

It would have been nice to have a little police presence out on the road so drivers slowed down just a little bit.  A semi truck passing you on a little country road can be unnerving at times.  We stopped again around mile 30 at the first rest stop and it was crazy!  Hundreds of people were there and only 4, yes 4 porta potties!!  Really!  Thankfully I didn't have to go, or I would have had to wait in at least a 20 minute line.  Once back on the road, we just cruised along at about 18 mph and talked.  It was so much fun to cruise along and chit chat.  There were some really pretty areas that we went through, but also some really scary ones. The route back to the finish took us through some pretty rough areas of Fresno, I really think the race organizers need to plan that part of the course a bit better.  I'm not really sure what our finish time was, since we did not have chips and I didn't start my Garmin until mile 24.

Derek, Shawn, Diane, Tarah, me and Chris

Afterwards we hung out and had lunch at the park then went home to rest.  When we got back to the house we all sat in the ice cold pool for a bit and then the spa!  Perfect recovery combo.  I also used my Grid foam roller and my legs were never sore.   Uncle Jim made us an awesome tri-tip for dinner with salad, corn, veggies and pilaf.  I was totally stuffed!  Derek and I went to bed pretty early since we had to be up super early again on Sunday. 

Yumm!  Courtesy of the Durham support team

We were up bright and early Sunday morning and out the door a little late.  Derek, Diane, Chris and I barely had time to park and get to the start line to fine Mary.  I think we talked for maybe a minute before the gun went off.

Derek, Mary, me, Chris and Lisa
It was crowded!  Derek and I once again started way too far back and had to fight the crowds.  We ended up running on the sidewalk for about a half mile to get around the mob.  Our time goal was to run the half in under 2 hours.  We started off in the 8:30-8:40 range and kept that pace, it felt good and wasn't a push.  The first few miles of the course really twisted and turned, but we did get to see Shawn a bunch of times and unload our warm clothes on him.  Thanks Shawn for always being our pack mule!  Once out of downtown Fresno we were taken through some really rough areas and beautiful industrial streets.  I mean after Big Sur the views here were just as stunning, I heard later that there were a few hookers out and about, I was a bit disappointed that I missed them!  Mile 6 we entered the Fresno zoo, and Derek took off!  He is really creeped out by zoos and caged animals really bother him, so he was off like a little rocket through the zoo. Once out of the zoo I fot him back on pace and we cruised along.  Around mile 8 I decided that I wanted to run faster and see if I could break 2 hours.  Derek tried to keep up, and stayed with me for a bit, but then dropped back.  I just kept finding people ahead of me to catch and pass, my last few miles hovered around 8:00.  Turning the corner and running onto the field I knew that I was well below 2:00 and ended up with 1:48:56 Woohoo.  Derek was not far behind, he sprinted to finish in 1:51:03.  He crushed his goal!  I gave him a water as soon as he crossed, but he just walked to the side and flopped down in the grass, he was spent.  I am so proud of him! he did such a good job and really put in a huge effort.  Especially on tired legs.  Shiny new PRs for both of us. 
Derek was spent after his finish!
Derek and I on the field.
Mary, Derek and I

After we finished we went back out on the course to cheer Mary and Chris on.  After Mary went by we waited for Chris.   I ran the last half mile in with her, in case she needed a little moral support!  She looked great and was running at a good little clip and she was extra cute in her lulu outfit.  We all hung out on at the stadium afterwards, ate breakfast, talked with my mom, Shawn and Jim (the awesome support team!).  Chris and I happened to turn around at one point to see Diane running across the finish line!  She walked/ran the half and beat her old time by 20 minutes!  Overall it was a great weekend filled with family, food and racing.  It was a perfect weekend and perfect training for Vineman in two months.  Lots of swim, bike run in my future.  I get the whole next week off of school to relax and recover from this weekend.  Even better we'll get to see the see the family in a few weeks in Vegas for PJs 21st!  Can't wait!

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