Friday, September 24, 2010

Sadness & Joy - Elbrus Race Sept 24 2010

Yesterday, 9-23 there was a storm, and the race was postponed for today, assuming the weather cooperated. As night fell, the clouds parted, the temps dropped, and the wind picked up.

Due in part to my horror story experience on Rainier, the wind freaks me out some. I'm working on it. The wind was pretty tough on qualifier day, 9-21, yet I came in @ 1:41, not a bad time, but my fingers froze and my facemask made me freak & hyperventilate. As well, I'd had two days of frequent diarrhea (including painfully needing to go all the way up requiring great muscle tension), and it was sucking the life out of me.

I spent the 22nd putting together a sleeve/glove/heatpack combo that I figured would do the trick, and cut out the restriction in my facemask. Ready to go for the 23rd, but delayed to the 24th.

One consequence of planning for feeding 10 and somehow 20 start showing up is that everyone gets half rations, so I had pretty much used up all mine and was really hungry and working hard to store energy. And the diarrhea finally cleared mostly up late 23rd.

After the little dinner on Thursday, 9-23 I climbed into bed while the Marshalls and Lodi spent an hour getting ready for their 3 AM departure, a repeat performance of the night before. I kept drifting off being suddenly woken by the sensation of drowning. Sitting up I could breath okay, but lieing it was very difficult.

I started sweating good too; odd since I had no caffiene that day. I tossed and turned fretting until they all got up, and then noticed I was wheezing. Wow. Sounded like HAPE. I messaged Angie and she looked it up and I did match many symptoms.

I tried sleeping sitting up but kept sliding down till I dove up for air. This really sucked. If it were bronchitis (possible I picked it up in Colorado) it could become HAPE if I went up, and if it were HAPE I could die if I went up.

I talked to the race organizer & he got the race doctor (didn't know there was) who checked me out, said I was mild enough to not require evac, and gave me some pills. I am now a firm advocate of Russian Pharmacies now ;)

I faced my wind demon head on, getting smacked down by a simple cold or flu or bug. Working hard on the qualifier while really sick and weak and majorly underfed (my fault at that point since everything I ate turned to a jet of Yoohoo out the rear & not at all enticing) is a textbook example of "how to give yourself AMS".

We're all going down today after the race (heads-up: 1 runner was way out front and looking like a record).

Sadly, I missed it. Joyfully I'm alive and will recover over the next few days of jetlag-inspired rest. I also have plans for next year...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Descent - 9-19

I got 5 good hours sleep and 4 hrs tossing'n'turning last night, so much better overall. Maybe I'm addicted to melatonin?

Breakfast of thin oatmeal so I added some condensed milk & butter. Again dark bread w/butter & cheese. Packed up and rode down to Azau.

Elana, our cook, took us to a cafe where I had chicken shishkabab cooked on a wood-fired grill as we watched. Also cabbage salad. Then our driver took us to Alpindustria, a mountain shop in Cheget. I got a nice midlayer with nice long arms.

We went to the Hotel Elba and started repacking for the days ahead. Lodi took 5 hrs to get to about 14500', where I passed him @ my 1:15. Anna told him it wasn't realistic for him to race, so he might try another option.

Tonight is the "opening ceremony" so I might have more later.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Final check - Elbrus 9-18

Breakfast @ 8 then 2 hr nap. Got gear on. Tricked my Polar FT60  into working 2 days in a row. Put 'Little Hotties' in my socks and shoes fit good. UA long underwear. Kuhl Renegade pants. Put in contacts. Turned on SPOT. (Remind me to add link). Kept heart rate down for 2500' then cut loose. 3500' in 2:19 including 21 minutes of rest or talking. Going down easy in 1:25 inc a talk stop with a female racer training in Millet 8000's.

Note on music this trip. None. Some da @ Creative wrote software that allows you to add more music than it will actually hold. Turn it on & warns you to hook to PC to delete the imaginary music. Yeah. I'll do that in a couple weeks.

Took a 2 hr nap then dinner was some bony dark sheep or chicken part w/rice. Going down to Cheget in morning to get some O's & meet group. Then back on Monday.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Barrels - 9-17

Hard staying asleep, drat jetlag. Groggy waking  up @ 6:30. Shower, repack. Breakfast @ 8, met Sasha, another racer. Bus @ 9. Stopped to get food. Then trams up. Little chair off, so we shouldered our bags and boogied up. Mine is a 50+ lb duffle, so i was sore @ the barrels. Ironically the chair started when we arrived. Lunch of meatball soup and 90 min of laying stuff out unpacking. Then a fast hike up to see what I can do on 7 hrs sleep in 2 days.

2000' in 1:03 not bad. It got windy cold & I wasn't dressed for that so I froze and managed only 600' in the next 24 min so I bailed. It was tough going, too, with all the snowcat traffic. Like 3" square ice cubes in a loose pile. Made my knee & ankle very sore. Slow going downhill. Lots of water in track low & socks got wet.

At barrels slid into bag & set stuff to dry in hot sun. Schnitzl & mashed potato for dinner. Filled bottles, now in bag blogging.

Feet warm enough despite wet, fanny pack not big enough for Elbrus cold windy gear, ankle hurts good.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

SVO 9 16

Moscow customs & immigration went smoothly. Checkin for domestic flight to Mineralnye Vody smooth. Went to the train station and finally got my cheesecake! Feeling strong, healthy, though i only got 2 hours sleep on the ATL-SVO flight. Feeling lots of love & support from my FB friends. Awesome!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pre-elbrus days

Spending a couple days at 10,000' in CO mostly just enjoying the family, eating a few carbs and treats and some non-training activities like gym climbing. I've put a lot into this and given up much, and it's almost payoff time.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Rainier Speed Test for Elbrus Race 2010

This is my gallery from the speed and gear check I did on Mount Rainier, Sept 3 and 4. I learned that my normal light boot technique works fine in crampons, and I could do a great 1900'/hour uphill pace. That's good enough for Elbrus Race, and I hope to keep my fitness and health up for the race.

More later ...