Mojave Desert part deux.

TA #1: Kayak to Bike…

After finally getting our stuff we did a quick turn around: Changed, put food and water in our bags for the next 60 miles mt bike leg.

We left TA at 720am, almost one hour after arriving in the kayak du to the late truck. In Adventure race day light is key so that was a bummer. We headed out on a old paved road that would eventually take us on a pipeline work road for some long miles. The road was rough and very hilly: hills so steep we had to walked some of them.

The sun was already very strong and feeling the heat felt so good. I felt comfortable  following my friends that we’re navigating and taking us to the next check point.The mt bike was always on marked ATV or dirt and very sandy roads. In that area there is a lot of protected land and staying on roads was one of the rules. Still some navigating challenges because sometimes is you don’t take the right one you end up in a wash or a dead end. Just before TA#2 we took a wrong turn, the guys knew where we were going but HWY 95 was not an option so we had to find a wash and ride it to TA#2.

TA#2: Bike to trek.

At this point in the race you already have a night of no sleep (race started at midnight) and its now 1pm fatigue started to kick in but we decided to get as much daylight as possible for the next long trek ahead of us and sleep on our way back. We left at 120pm for a 60km trek in the desert Mountains. Sunscreen was a must with a hat and lots of water. We walked the first 15 min to help us get some food down. Then Timmo said “lets jog the next 4 hrs so we can go as far in day light then if we have to slowdown we will”.  We didn’t have to agree on that we just started to jog. 5hrs later I still felt good trotting but we were only half way there. The motivation was still good among the group. The sunset was beautiful.

The guys were on euro time and around 6pm they started to trip on things…At first I wasn’t so worried because it was rocky terrain. We kept alternating between jogging and walking getting all the check points on the map. At one point, we had maybe another 15km to go, and we lost the road. Or the road disappeared …

Now things started to get a little bit more difficult. I tripped pretty hard, face planting on a downhill chin on the ground and legs up. Didn’t feel great but kept going. Timmo was no longer reading the maps. Rain took over the navigation at this point. The guys knew where we were going but struggle a little with the terrain. We just couldn’t see the end of it. It felt farther than what we expected. Everytime we got to the top of something we hopped to see a light but no it was only dark with more hills and mountain to cross. Timmo was sleep walking, Rain was sleep navigating and Joosep just in a dark spot. I keep following their lead asking them if there felt ok .My head was still awake, my body weaker but still moving along. When we finally arrived at TA #3 We had transformed into zombies. We needed hot food and sleep. I changed, ate and when to sleep….

More to come.

Lyne

 

Happy Mutant Adventure race in the Mojave desert. (Out early because of an injury)

*Life throw’s you some hurdles but witch ever way you decided to cross them is your decision.

I never made it to the Grand Canyon. The guys made the trip just before the race and I thought hmmm I think I’m going to skip the 7h drive out and back + the 22km run they ended up doing. I love the grand Canyon but sometimes you need to be realistic: I was ready to Start In 24h a 100h race with barely any sleep. So I passed. I went exploring on my bike to an old abandoned town call Oatman,AZ , pet some wild donkeys and got my Oakley glasses cleaned by a gentleman on the street.

Midnight the 4th: That means it was the 3rd a minute ago…We are off and paddling! Crossing the street of the Tropicana hotel in Laughlin.NV we carried our 2 canoes to the bank of the river. We could go the easy way you know? Walk half a mile and be a a real boat ramp or…go through the buildings and find an opening …Ok never mind we got the boats in and down stream we went. Couples minutes later we had forgotten to had the glow sticks to the boats for security so we did. A couple more minutes later I see another team..how can they be ahead of us already they were still at the hotel when we left? They found a better place closer than the half mile and easier than ours…

My teammates are Estonians, Joosep, Timmo and Rain,very nice, quiet guys and very good navigators

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The water sports aren’t my forte. I get sea sick, car sick, plane sick and kayak sick is also on the list. I took non drowsy dramamine an hour before the first leg. I felt in control.

Not to worry tho, the water was calm, we had a nice 3.5miles /h current and the shooting stars where out and about!

I was always anxious about the kayak legs in any adventure race because

1-I like water but to look at it.

2-Water makes me sick when I’m on it.

3-Kayaking was not part of my youth or life all around.

4-My butt hurts after 5 minutes sitting on there (Thanks to my dad I have his butt or no butt)

5-How to paddle and look like you’re petting your cat? SO gentle and easy? Good question.

I was determined to find the answer about the cat thing.

I got a paddle One K machine (Thanks Nathalie Long for your help) put it in my basement in front of the patio door that face my pond and got on it almost everyday since early November.

Yesterday the 6h paddle felt like I was petting my dog May May… Well it felt like I was petting a wet cold dog:  It was beautiful clear skies,the air was cold and the water freezing.

TA#1: Kayak to Bike : TA’s are areas you have bins with your stuff in.

The truck that had our stuff and bikes was not there…I was freezing dreaming of my dry cycling shorts… (Really tell me when was the last time you dreamed of that;)? My teammates gave me an extra jacket while waiting and the organizer made some 1$ ramen to help warming us up. The sun was coming up so I found a ray of it and stood in it for a while….

To be continued very soon

Good Night

Lyne

 

 

 

 

 

New friends, the Grand Canyon and an adventure race in there.

Last night I landed in Las Vegas. Not sure if I ever told you how much I don’t like it here?

I had time to think. I never liked it because it was always a nightmare. The bike show every year, walking miles to get to places (as a cyclist walking is meh) and night life that I could careless for.

I came back later to race Cross Vegas I think it was 2014 not sure. I was in great shape got a bunch of mechanicals and didn’t finish the race. If I had only that at that time I would of been bummed but no I had something else: the Rim to Rim to Rim with my best friend Mel.

That took away the bads of vegas…

I took off from Vegas the day after the race, drove to the Grand Canyon, ran it (80km) and came back to the strip. Now I had enough endorphine in my body that nothing bothered me. We hung out at the pool and ordered drinks, we ate at whole food every meal, we drove the strip and we went onto the roller coaster in the NY hotel. That’s it and it was perfect.I left.

Now Im back for an adventure race with the Ace team. 3 guys from Estonia, I don’t know them but they want to go to the Grand Canyon and that I won’t pass on! I’ll get to know them for a couple of days before the event: 4 days of running, kayaking, Mt biking, ropes, emotions and not much sleep.

I was asking online a couple days ago to one of my teammate…I said: “How are you in those long, no sleep event?”

He said: “I dont talk much, I dont like to sleep and Im not good at kayaking.”

Ok thanks!

Ill let you know how it went…

Onto another adventure!

-Lyne

Our Dogs.

I present you MayMay but her real name is Monkey May. We rescued her and her brother 6 years ago when Vitesse passed away from lymphoma cancer. She is full of energy, loves rolling in the snow, chasing dear and squirrels and laying on Tim’s lap. She is the softest dog I have ever pet, a perfect little lab mutt.

Her brother, Little Man, that was his name in the first place, Is the opposite of MayMay. His fur is rough, long and dry. He reminds me of a horse. His front legs are longer than the back  and he walks like a duck witch makes him look a little weird. His ears are short and his fu-man-shu give him the perfect look of a man. He loves to eat coconut fat and could spend all day in front of the fire. He is just like Tim !

Motivation

Lately I’ve had a lots of questions about the world of cycling du to a post on Facebook. I obviously couldn’t answer all of them but I figured I could, on this blog once in a while, answer some of them.

Arnaud asked : Mentally, as a high level athlete, how do you keep going when the motivation about training is down ?

My motivation is like a piece of string…It’s long and thin but very strong – because I built it  over the years. Sometimes when the time is right, or should I say wrong, the string gets cut…It mostly happens because I get sick or because I’ve been very busy. To even recognize those moments it’s key to get back into it and to allow yourself to take a pause. Sometimes 2 -3 or 5 days or more, of changing your mind and doing some things different is all you need to get your head back into it. Trust me, it’s hard to let go of a training plan or what you’re supposed to do on that day. But you know what? Every time I’m sick, I take 5 days on the couch and I come back stronger and more motivated than ever! Free yourself of the watts, the Strava and the “professional you” and chill. I’m not going to lie and say I used to do that when I was racing full-time, but what I can tell you is now I train almost as hard as before, I’m in the best overall shape of my life and the lesson I learned: It’s called taking a break.

Motivation has it’s limits and you’re the only one who knows when you’re getting close to the end of it. You want to stay in a confortable boundary and not crack before you stop.

 

Lyne

Gore-Tex Grand Traverse

I’m in the plane on my way to Aspen with Tim and Jeff. I’m nervous, first of all, because it’s something I’ve never done before, and second, because I dislocated my shoulder again on Sunday in the Mad River Glen SkiMo race.

Elk Mountain Grand Traverse…What the hell? Well, you start in Crested Butte, CO and traverse all the way to the Aspen ski area. 40 miles of peaks and wilderness at night on mountaineering gear. Yes, we start at midnight and hope to finish by noontime the next day.

I will be doing the traverse with my great friend Melanie. Over the last 3 years we’ve done a bunch of cool things together, that if we weren’t friends, it wouldn’t have happened! The Presidential Traverse in New Hampshire, Rim to Rim to Rim deep in the Grand Canyon, all in one day, a bunch of 50mi+ trail runs and races – some ups and downs – but most of all still friendsJ. It might take us a long time, but whatever happens, life will go on.

This past week I got an email from Abi’s dad. Abi is a beautiful little girl that has the strength of 10, but she is fighting everyday against a disease that is living in her lungs. In the fall I help organize an event called Les 100 a B7 which means 100km of Lyne Bessette (Bessette in French is pronounced ‘B-set’ so B7 is me! Sept = seven in Francais, Got it?:) Anyway, it’s going to be my 3rd year on October 4th and Abi is again our little butterfly.

The event logo includes a butterfly that represents a child that needs our help. Reading emails from Abi’s dad made me realize that no matter what challenges might lay ahead of us, Mel and I will traverse these mountains.

Mountains are made to be climbed and diseases to be treated. Like Abi, Mel and I will fight to finish this athletic challenge and will send our thoughts to our little butterfly at home, Abigail.

Love,

Lyne

11th year of Quebec city winter pentathlon!

Its a wrap. Again. What an event! More than 5000 winter fanatics gathered on “Les Plaines D’Abraham” for a competitive, fun or family race. The first couple of years I did it in the solo category and soon enough realized that after spending most of my time on the tandem and in California, my winter sports form wasn’t soooo…great:).

So Saturday I raced in the tandem category (you guys know by now I love tandem;)) and on Sunday I raced on a team of 5. Sharing the pain with friends is the best way to do it.

All lined up in our cycling clothing on a 100m wide start line…then GO!! You run, on snow through the start arch, around the block for 300m, grab your bike and cyclocross style jump on – to try to catch the front group!…Good luck with that one, the front group is packed with national team athletes, cyclocross national champions, mountain bike top-ten finisher at worlds etc.  You’re do 4 laps for 18km total, every lap you ride through 200m of soft snow where you can ride or run depending on your skillzzzzzzz.

I was the first woman crossing the transition line followed by a young and very strong woman, Evelyn Blouin, who was doing it alone! I got to my chair, changed my shoes, Audrey was there cheering me on and off I went right away for a 5.2km run. A good run for me and I passed the chip to Audrey for the 9km cross-country skiing and then 7km speed skating. I ran around to cheer her on – she was in her element, coming from the far north she always skied and skated when she was young. It was a little rough getting back into it but she did awesome. Back to the transition area, my turn again for the last leg: the 5 km snowshoe run. SOOOO HARD! its like running with 5 pounds of butter stuck to bottom of your shoes! I managed to stay focused through the pain – eye of the tiger – a friend of mine posted that to a photo later on that day…into the last 500m, a hamstring cramp came to say hi, never left and stayed with me sprinting against a guy coming from behind! Audrey and I won the women’s tandem.

My friend Audrey is a 6 foot tall, beautiful brunette with a heart of gold. She is a very talented athlete and has now started to pilot a tandem, just like I did, on the Canadian Para-cycling team…A Heart of Gold.

Thanks teammate

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For me up next: The Jay Peak and Owl’s Head ski-mo races this weekend!