It's still a couple of weeks before the leaves hit their peak in the high country but I caught a few glimpses of color up at Caribou Ranch yesterday.
This is what the same area looks like during its peak, 2 weeks from now.
And the other thing that's coming is Xterra Nationals! So excited for my race next week.
How amazing does this bike course look?
I'm going to Utah a couple of days early under the guise of pre-riding that part of the bike course for the race but really I want another shot at riding it while I'm relaxed and not racing and can stop to take pictures and savor it. It's the main part of the course that attracted me to this race.
And the run course looks beautiful as well.
So excited to be able to race on such an awesome course.
Then the third thing that's coming is USDAA Nationals.
I'm feeling less excited about this but I think once I'm through with Xterra Nat's. I'll start building more enthusiasm for it. Actually at the moment I have a big list of gripes that range from trivial to reasonable but I know there are many people out there just as excited about this as I am about Xterra so I'll keep my trap shut and won't rain on your parade. Actually if USDAA would just release the times that the groups are running their events I'd be not so cranky about all the other minor things. If I'm going to be done at noon on a certain day I'd like to know so I can possibly schedule clients for the afternoon. And Jonny wants to take time off work to come watch us but he needs to get the time approved in advance so I'd like to know what time slots to tell him. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect to have this info. a week and a half before the event. The premium doesn't even state what time walk-thrus start or the time the first runs of the day start.
The other thing that comes along with the final end of the season goals is taper madness. In triathlon this takes the form of obsessing about just about everything related to your race and doing incredibly stupid, unthinkable things that you would never do during the regular training season. Like going back to fitness boot camp after a 3 1/2 month hiatus just 10 days before your race. Then waking up the next day barely able to move and going back to boot camp again. I know, I know. I also started to panic that Lance Armstrong may decide to do Xterra Nat's. again last minute because USAT came out and said they would allow him in their races as long as the individual race was o.k. with it. Thankfully though I found an article where the Vice President of Xterra said he wasn't completely for sure but he thought it was likely that the powers that be at Xterra would not allow him in. I know. Of all the stupid, dumbass things to worry about.
But if you think I'm crazy, go over to the USDAA yahoogroup and see the Crazy that's going on over there. I ventured over there hoping to get some news about when we would get our group time slot information and I have to say the agility folks may not suffer the physiological effects of tapering but they still know how to do taper madness. And I'm not judging, I'm just saying.
So everybody take a nice deep breath and face those taper demons. Heck, say it out loud.
1. Lance Armstrong is not going to appear at Xterra Nationals.
2. The City of Denver is not going to jump out of the bushes and whisk your Boston Terrier away to the gas chamber. At least not without every news outlet in town peeing their pants in excitement over the ensuing media frenzy.
3. I'm not going to get eaten by a bear, trampled by a moose or disemboweled by a mountain lion when I pre-ride the Sardine Peak trail. Ditto for race day.
4. USDAA will tell me what time I need to be there to walk my courses at least 24 hours before I need to be there to walk my courses. I hope.
5. I'm not going to die of starvation in Utah for lack of healthy vegetarian food.
6. Neither Strummer nor any of your dogs is going to become injured, ill, or inexplicably mentally deranged the day before Nationals. Unless like Strummer they are already mentally deranged. Can't help you there.
7. The water temp. at Pineview Reservoir is not going to suddenly drop from its current temp. of 66 degrees to the 50's in the following week. And no, I'm not going to get kicked in the head, elbowed in the face, have my goggles fill with water or get swum over during the swim.
8. It's not going to rain, snow, sleet, hail, or rain Oobleck during either Nationals.
9. You are not going to keel over from altitude sickness at 5164'. Nor is your dog.
10. There are not going to be any bedbugs in any of my hotels. Or yours.
And in the interest of stating what we do want rather than what we don't want:
1. Xterra Nationals is going to be full of friendly people who are good sports and thrilled just to be riding their bikes and running on such awesomely beautiful traills.
2. Everybody is going to enjoy their time with their dogs in Denver/Commerce City.
3. I'm going to have a great time riding and running those trails and maybe I'll see a bear or moose or mountain lion from a safe distance. Though I'm not letting another moose distract me from my start.
4. USDAA will tell me what time I need to be there to walk my courses tomorrow. I hope.
5. Thanks to the magic of the internet I've mapped out several restaurants right near my hotel that have plenty of healthy vegetarian choices.
6. Strummer is looking fit and feisty right now and is going to stay that way. Still mentally deranged though, not much I can do about that.
7. The water temp. at Pineview Rez is likely going to be around 64-65 degrees, just what I expected. And my swim is going to go great. I've spent the summer practicing and racing in the open water and I couldn't be more prepared both physically and mentally.
8. The weather has been picture perfect for weeks in both Ogden and Denver and the forecast for next week calls for more of the same.
9. Altitude sickness doesn't typically start to occur until over 6000'. And that's only when it starts to occur, you don't really start to see it until 7000'-8000'.
10. My hotels are going to be sparkly clean and quiet. And so are yours.
Phew. I think we can all put the taper crazies to bed and get a good nights sleep now.