The bags are unpacked, the sleeping bags tucked away, and the coolers are cleaned. My legs however, are reminding me that I put in some serious work amidst the beauty of the scenery and the company of good friends.
I have danced around the Long Course race at Wildflower for the past few years. In 2010 and 2011 I did so on the Olympic distance course and last year took a break from the shores of Lake San Antonio. This year, in the name of going all in, I will finally bite the bullet and put my hat in the ring of “one of the toughest half-iron races in the country.” Race day is not until May, but I had the privilege of heading up to Paso Robles to get in some quality bike/run with the Ironteam this past weekend.
We were blessed with two gorgeous days and I left with (almost) nothing but fond memories. The heat, which was pleasant instead of oppressive, will play a major part come race day. Nasty Grade looms large, but I like, do I dare say love, to climb while riding. The run course too presents a plethora of obstacles: hills, punishing descents, dirt, and pavement. I took mental notes of stretches where I will be mentally battling the demons that tell you the hurt can end if you let up a bit, just a little bit. The smile I wore down Lynch Hill at the end of Sunday morning’s run may be replaced with a grimace of fatigue, but who knows? Maybe I will get to wear it again. Plans are already in the works for a pretty epic post race fiesta as Katie reminded me we need to pay our respects to Cinco de Mayo.
Pictures speak a thousand words and these gems are a pretty good representation of a weekend among the wildflowers.