Monday, May 21, 2012

Birthday Fun

Saturday was my birthday. I’m sure you know that since I have sort of, maybe, been pretty loud about it. Sorry bout that. Fair warning: the party will PROBABLY continue thru Memorial Weekend. I have it on good authority that I’m allowed to keep celebrating thru the end of the month. That MIGHT be overkill but the til the 28th sounds good. No?

So, on Saturday I slept in until 6, had breakfast, and started getting ready for my day. I knew I would be out on the trails/roads for probably 8 hours so I needed to carry plenty of water and food for the day. There is nothing up there so I wouldn't be able to refill my water or buy anything. You'd think that some smart person would be selling snacks/drinks to the people along the road but no such luck. Anyway...I ran into a slight glitch in that I couldn't fit my sandwich and my camera in my Nathan pack so I decided the camera was more important. I decided I could carry my sandwich in my skirt pocket. As long as I didn't fall, it should be fine. Which is kind of iffy with me but sometimes you have to take a chance. So I packed 70 oz of water in my Nathan, 1 sandwich, 9 pretzels, a couple of clif bars, a lara bar, and popped an 8oz FuelBelt bottle filled with GuBrew in one of my Nathan pockets. I was good to go.

I drove over to the trail and got there just before 9. Already there were a ton of cyclists starting the climb up on the roads. I stuffed my pockets with food, threw on my Nathan and headed up about 9:15. I was ready to get the party started!

Then...snake! Ha. Luckily, I saw my 1st and only snake for the day within the 1st mile and it was dead. Whew. (though I'm pretty sure I heard a rattler a few times during the day I never saw one). I took it easy going up, running and hiking and trying to play it smart. The Nanny Goat 12 HR was in one week and I didn't want to leave it all out there. I have some running in circles to do! So I stopped when I reached each peak/viewpoint to just take in the day and watch the parade of cyclists make their way up.

When I popped out at the top, there were tons of cars parked at the top trail head, barbecuing and partying but I needed to head out on the road to find a good spot to watch. About 2 1/2 miles out, I found the perfect spot. One where I could see the road for a ways and where they would be on an uphill climb to slow them down some. I had a great view while I waited.

I thought I would have a 30 min wait for them to come by so I ate my PB&J sandwich, which did surprisingly well and was just a little smushed, and some pretzels. Then waited...and waited...and waited. Turns out, a car went off the road earlier so they delayed the race til they could clear all the equipment out. And that's exactly why I'd rather run up there than drive! Much safer. But finally, a TOC car came by and let us know the lead pack was just a few minutes behind and GUESS WHAT? Jens was in the lead pack with Chris Horner. Jens is my favorite rider. He is hilarious and just a total work horse. Not after the glory but just in it for the love of riding. My favorite story about Jens is when he crashed during the Tour de France and his bike was broken. The team car had gone ahead so he didn't have a bike but he refused to quit! Instead, he borrowed a bike to finish out the stage. A junior bike that was too small for him and not the slick machine he's used to riding. Now THAT is a winner in my book and one of the reason's he's my fave rider. Here's a pic of him on the yellow bike.

And this is a pic I captured of him (2nd rider) in the lead pack:

And then a few minutes later, the rest of the train:

After they went by here, I ran back to the King of the Mountain line which was at the trailhead to wait for them to come back up. It was pretty warm by then and standing around in the sun didn't help. When I ran by some spectators an angel in disguise offered me an icy bottle of water. Which tasted like heaven! The wait at the KOM was a ton of fun because there were a lot more people. And then there was Jens again!

After they went thru, I headed back down the mountain. I ended up running out of water a mile or so from the bottom. What with being late and doing a little extra running up at the top, I decided to take a shortcut and took Mystic Canyon down. I fell twice going down Mystic! But both times were on my butt so I just scraped my hands and my Garmin. I made it the rest of the way down in one piece...filthy, sweaty, thirsty, and hungry but very, very happy.

On the way home, I stopped for pancakes and scarfed them down . Then I picked up some Pop Tarts for my birthday cake.

Really, this is my favorite way to spend my birthday. Doing exactly what I want, when I want. It was perfect. :)


  1. Glad you had a GREAT actual Birthday!! You are fully allowed to celebrate until the 28th! We again support that! =) That really does sound like a great day and loved that getting to do what you want and when you want! Not often that works out!

  2. What a cool weekend, Lisa! I'm one of your Twitter peeps and now a fan of your blog! I didn't get to see any of the Tour live, but I watched the finish on t.v. Wish I had been in town to have seen a little of it like you.

    1. Thanks Carilyn! I'm glad you like it. If you do get a chance to see the Tour live, it's a lot of fun. The Time Trial is very cool to see because you can see too!