Oct 13, 2007

Day 2 Blanchisseuse to Williams Bay

After an evening of swimming in the ocean, a group rice dinner and some rest we awoke at 4am and drove down to the race start. The race began at 5am, it was still dark out. We had a half hour of riding in the dark on the roughest road conditions...potholes everywhere, gravel and water. I did not know we had to bring bike lights so fortunately Martin lent me his headlamp which allowed to complete the bike but the viewing was not bright and it was tough to see. I managed to stay with a group of about 5 riders throughout this section so I followed closely behind them hoping that they picked the right line. Light broke out as we hit the smooth pavement. It was a rolling road. I was on a winding downhill section when my tire blew. I cruised off the road and a fence stopped me dead. I then proceeded to change my tire. I was a little frustrated but took some deep breaths and just told myself to calm down and just change the tire. It took me longer than it should have but I did it. To only have a linch flat not 30 seconds later. So I did it all over again. By ths time I was extremely frustrated and was upset. but finished my change and off I went. I was angry as i was doing well and was in a good groove before the flat and had lost my momemtum as I jumped back on my bike but I kept going. A long uphill was soon to come and I pushed through it and managed to make up a little ground on some people that had passed me while I was dealing with my flat. The final uphill was a little tough as it was a tough grade and the roads were not ideal as they were in the process of repaving this part....the dowhnill portion was newly paved and fast. I eventually made it to the run.

The run:
again a tough one. the heat was blistering and the run started with a paved uphill....too steep to run....oh boy....I just took it with a quick walking pace. Then we were in the trails.....again so hot that that sick feeling resurfaced for me...I had no appetite and no matter how much I drank I was always thirsty. There was a section where it was so steep I was using both hands and any type of root I could find to haul myself up the mountain. The downhill wasn't too bad, there were a couple of really steep sections but on the most part very doable. Once I got out of the bush we were once again on open road for about 20 minutes...So I took it easy and cruised to the kayaks.

The kayak:
When I arrived at the kayak I noticed that it was different to the one I had tried and set up at the kayak centre...so I spent some frustrating times trying to adjust my feet and set up my drinking system. Eventually i was off. It started off well, the water was not too choppy....but as the kayak leg proceeded the waters got choppier. Eventually the winds picked up and I could see a storm coming our way. I was feeling confident in the sea kayak so at no time did I feel nervous that i would flip but as the storm arrived the waves were big and the winds were strong and the rain came down hard. I kayaked as hard as I could to just move forward (i was moving extremely slowly in the head wind). Eventually the storm passed by and just left us with some choppy water and me sitting in a bunch of water in my kayak with no bailer on hand....oh geez I thought now what? Someone from a motor boat tried to throw me a gatorade bottle to use but it never reached my kayak and so we gave up and I just kept paddling. It was a ltitle more frustrating as the winds kept changing direction and as my boat hit the waves the water in it would swoosh from side to side. Now I was a little worried about tipping. But I fought through, with blistered hands and all. It was such a wonderful feeling crossing that finish line. There were men playing steel drums and people cheering....I did it!!!!! I was proud of myself!!!! Its a feeling that I love and cherish....

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