Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Summer 2007 (Part 3) Competitive Sporting Events

Generally there is a least one entry about a summer competitive sporting event that takes place every year – Hoopfest – but that entry didn’t happen this year for some reason. There were four significant events this summer so I’ll just combine the four of them in one entry here.

1. Laureen Miller Memorial Bike Ride - This is the most fun organized bike ride I have ever done. This sentiment has led me to participate in it three times now. One year it poured rain, this year it was over 100 degrees, but yet still my favorite. Weird. It benefits an amazing Cancer support organization in Spokane which makes it pretty easy for me to want to participate. My sister, her friend Faye and I decided to do the half century ride (50 miles) this year which is a beautiful ride. Faye made it about half way before turning around but Jess and I managed to finish the route despite the stifling heat. I’m looking forward to next year when it will hopefully just be Jess and I and we can push through earlier in the day and finish with a good time for once. I think I could easily do the ride in two and half to two hours and forty five minutes if I was on my own but I keep getting held up. It is much more fun to have another person with you but my competitive spirit has a hard time with that sometimes. Anyway, it was a great start to the “season” and I’m looking forward to doing it again next year. Jess found another ride she really likes later in the season so hopefully I’ll give that one a try next year too.

2. Hoopfest – Tim, Erin, Pete and I made up the team again this year. Our team name was The Hack Pack – that’s decent and I didn’t get in trouble for picking “Keith and Kelly’s Team”. All in all it was a great weekend. We ran into some big players (one guy’s shirt said “I hope you like animals because I am a beast” hahaha) which made it hard and unfortunately failed to win any games which was pathetic but I think we all had a good time. A new addition this year was that my nephew Keith played on a team. It was a lot of fun to have a group of little guys to cheer on when we weren’t playing. They did really well although they lost two games on Saturday so didn’t get to play on Sunday which is always disappointing. At least with our two losses and no wins on Saturday we got to play Sunday morning. That makes it feel more like a tournament. It was great to have Erin and Daniel up from LA. Next year I think Daniel is planning on bringing up a group of ringers from Huntington Beach. I’m definitely looking forward to that.

3. Ragnar – This was a new event for me this year. I don’t know what made me think it was something I could or wanted to do but I saw it in a running magazine and decided to see if I could get a team together for it. Basically, you get together a team of 12 runners and three volunteers (although it turns out you really do need more than that, but now we know) and you run 190 miles in approximately 30 hours. I wish I could even begin to describe what that experience was like. First of all you spend the time in a van with 6 of your teammates with no sleep and no showers and each of you running a minimum of a half marathon over that time period which is enough to make any experience memorable. I lost two toenails and could hardly walk at the end because of a knee injury. I am pretty sure most people ended up with at least one blister. Each team member runs three legs of the race and the race goes all through the night. It’s pretty amazing actually. Looking back on it I can’t believe I did it. I’m really not a runner. It is all I can do to make myself go three miles so when I was training and going out on a Saturday to run 10 miles for “fun” I was pretty amazed at myself. The team did great. We finished which was my goal. Katie had to use her nursing skills on someone but thankfully he wasn’t on our team. We made some great friends for the weekend and while at first I was hesitant to commit to doing it again in 2008 I am starting to get a little bit excited for it now. We are going to need some new team members because I know a number of people won’t be up for it again but if we can make the team happen then I think I am in. Maybe.

4. Triathlon – I decided to only do one triathlon this summer because of Ragnar and it turned out to be a good one. I don’t know if it was because of all the training I did for Ragnar or what but I finished second which is the best I have ever done. I don’t think I will be doing anymore Tris unless it is in a relay but I would maybe like to do the bike portion of an Olympic or half Ironman at some point so maybe that is the way I can continue with them. Every year at the end of the season I say it is the last one for me and I always find myself doing one more anyway, so who knows what will happen in 2008 but I feel pretty good that I was able to finish within the medals and I would hate to lose that high by going one more and not doing as well. I am still yet to break the hour and a half mark so maybe I can make that my goal for 2008 and have a reason to try one more time. I’ll see how my old joints are feeling next year. It would only be a matter of shaving off about two minutes. I can do that right?

It was a pretty momentous summer as far as those types of activities were concerned. I continue to amaze myself at what I have the “desire” and “ability” to do. I have an inkling about doing a half marathon that lasts for about 2 seconds before I do a reality check about my hate (literally hate) of running. Eventually I am going to have to find something else to challenge me. I might have come up with an idea but I need to go find a competition to watch before I decide and if I write it down then I feel obligated to do it so you’ll have to wait to see what’s in store there. Maybe I’ll become a professional award winning angler.

Well, my recap of Summer 2007 is almost over. I have one more weekend to write about and then I can put it to rest.

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