China Adventure Race

basket run .jpgWell, sometimes you have surprises…Like the first leg of the first day. As a team of 4, we had to carry  2 baskets of 20 kg each for 3km: Awkward, heavy and not running friendly… (We didn’t use the slippers in the race)

China is far, I had forgotten that when I got on the plane. One 13hrs flight, one night in a hotel and another 3h flight to Wengan. I took it slow, I was calm and I make it no problem even on the way home. Tim was proud of me because he knows how much I hate flying …in economy class. YES I’m a princess.

18698870_10212396303772305_1707379707_oI’m a princess but I can get dirty!  The China Outdoor Quest is a 3-day adventure race but the focus is more on fitness than orienteering. They say go and you never take a breather. I had a strong team, Rain, Timmo and Rait all of them from Estonia. They run fast. For the first time of my life, I was pulled by someone because I was too slow/tired/skills. Mostly on downhills, usually people get pulled on uphills…Not me. The second day for 11k I was attached by an elastic to Timmo who pulled me to the line on this downhill cement path.  My quads were toast. I was happy to finish.18676655_10212395183384296_1077947044_oLots of things can happen in an adventure race even getting sick on the bus ride home. No time to take my stuff out of the bus and no lunch left in my body. Motion sickness has won the day.

I raced the rest of the event on motion sickness pills.

 

18742198_10212411064781321_1535386291_oYou can see that I don’t have time to put makeup on! That was the last day of fighting between 10th and 6th place. I was toast. I felt empty from the beginning of the day. Full of lactic acid every time I tried to go hard. Swearing once in a while (or maybe more), ready to stop. But I couldn’t. When you’re on a team you can’t stop. You have to finish, they will pull you they will help you, they will carry your bag, your paddle, hold your hand on the way out of 27k of kayaking when your legs aren’t working and you have to climb 50 steps onto a steeper trail, they will carry you to the line with them. They need you, you need them.18720849_10212411079181681_1383481177_oI know what it feels to push yourself and make your body hurt. I trained for years on how to tolerate and live with that physical pain.  In China, I left all I had. I couldn’t remember the last time my body was pushed that hard, I couldn’t remember the last time I hurt so much I wanted to stop..just for a minute.

 

Thanks to all the people that believe in me

Felt Canada, Mavic, Spa Balnea, 100B7, Velocio Apparel, Xact Nutrition, Time pedals, Tim, mom, dad, and friends!

 

Rasputitsa.

The spring event that everyone is looking forward to.

You would think that a short 35 mile race would be peanuts to complete, but no. Spring in Vermont can be a little tricky, to say the least. The dirt roads are soft, it might rain or snow and if it’s sunny, well it’s not the real Rasputitsa.

I’ve participated in all but one edition since they started and every year my body hurts. I get so excited to see the 6 to go mark…And when I realize it’s 6km not 6 miles!! YEAH!! The mud in your glasses makes it a challenge to see the pot holes and the flying bottles from people in front of you but without them your eyes are hmmm…a chocolate pudding.

The Rasputista is like a big family gathering, it seems like everyone has a connection somehow and the food and beers just complete that very feeling! This year Heidi and Anthony, the 2 instigators of this race, asked Tim and I to design a cross course just at the finish on the slopes of Burke Mt ski area. Some cyclists were surprised because they hadn’t seen it, some were happy because it made the race! Jeremy Martin was dropped on the last dirt road climb of the day coming into the cross course finish, but his skills and strength came back quick enough as he powered through the ski slope like it was nothing, passing the other 3 riders in style and won the event! Seeing all the riders like ants going through the course at the end made for a great image.

I enjoyed every moment of it, from putting the tape around the course on Friday, dinner with Chef Seamus Mullen (his new book, Real Food Heals

is great!) and his girlfriend, my husband, Bruce Rychlik and photographer Chris Milliman. Then seeing all the young girls lined up at the event, to the battling the last kilometers with my 2 great friends Jf Blais and Benoit Simard. But my favorite part was waiting for the lantern rouge; people that don’t necessarily race, they do it for the love of riding, for the scenery and for the challenge against themselves. When you hear a women say to her husband coming into the finishing area: “I’m so proud of you! ..Are you mad? She was thinking that after 6 hours of riding he must be..And his responce was: “Why would I be mad? This is awesome!” And yet, this 60+ man would finish 2nd to last. He had a great day. A woman named Jen was the lantern rouge. She’s diabetic and a couple of times while on course, had to check her blood sugar just to make sure. Now thats a great achievement and challenge to yourself, finishing no matter what. Jen is a pro dealing with her diabetes, but it is still always a concern for her husband Kurt waiting for her at the finish. Lovely couple.

Jen and Kurt

After my finish I was interviewed and one question came up: “Lyne you still look fit and are winning races, what happened to your retirement?” I simply responded that I race only the fun events nowadays, which are all about a great group of people, healthy competition, friendships and sharing the beers!

Thanks to Heidi and Anthony, all the volunteers and the photographers who captured this great Saturday in Vermont.

 

 

Ma vie l’hiver parce que c’était hier.

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Credit photo David Moore

Jai rarement froid, je skimo presque tous les jours, je travaille aussi.

Le printemps j ‘y pense pas. Le velo non plus. L’hiver c’est le ski. J’aime décrocher, changer le mal de place, avoir de nouveaux défis (Comme essayer de battre le record de Georges Visser a Orford…Ben oui Lyne…). Vous savez, on est dans la generation “Live in the moment/present ” Et si on pense toujours aux jours plus chauds et bien ca c’est dans le futur. Today is the day et l’hiver c’est l’ hiver, les saisons ont toutes leur place de choix. Sortez de votre zone de confort, essayez de nouveaux sports ne restez pas accro a votre TV et votre trainer.. Ok de temps en temps juste quand il fait pas beau…C est quoi pas beau? -36 avec le facteur vent a Skimo Mont Sutton avec 30 participants! ? Ou Skimo Jay Peak avec -32 et un autre 35 participants? Allez dehors que ce soit raquette, fat bike, skimo ou ski de fond ( je suis une fan de Jacqueline Visser et Alex Harvey) et allez respirer l’ air frais. Je vous le dis c est bon pour les poumons!

Ah oui aujourd’hui c’est le printemps !

Lyne

Mojave Desert Adventure race: The End

We had planned to go to bed for just 2hrs before getting on the bike for our next 80mile leg. I don’t know how long I slept before I woke, but I  was freezing, even in my sleeping bag. I tried to get some heat from the dead fire that the organizer had going. I changed socks while shivering and tried to keep sleeping. I curled up on the ground closer to the fire hoping to catch some heat. When Timmo woke me later, I couldn’t move. My back was not cooperating. I tried to move but I really was stuck. I stayed there a couple minutes before I knew I had to get up and get my stuff organized. The guys were doing the maps and were already dressed to go. I struggled a lot trying to first stand up but bending over was just a nightmare.

I remember a few years ago, I had shoveled gravel for 2 hours and the last side movement I did (didn’t even have any gravel in the shovel) my back locked up. I was sitting by the garage trying to yell at my husband to come and help.

I think carrying the canoe on our first leg set me up pretty good (bad) for it.

My stuff was mostly ready and we started rolling by bike. I could barely push on the pedals and every time we had to get off the bike and push the bike I had absolutely no power in my legs. I kept going for half an hour hoping things would get better. The guys asked to carry my bag. They asked if we should walk for a while – they didn’t want me to stop. They tried to help. But it wasn’t about the bag or the race or the prize money. It was about my body, only my body.

I sat down by a road nearby and after talking to the guys I sent them off. I had my cell phone for emergency and called for a ride.They waited until someone came to get me before heading deeper into the desert night. When you’re an athlete and you have a team it’s hard to not keep going. Your head wants to but sometimes you have to take a decision: a smart one.

I slept from 4am to 7am in the back of the UHAUL truck. When I woke up the sun was so bright I couldn’t open my eyes. I was still cold, covered in sunscreen and sweat and stuck there with a shitty, locked back. I shared gear from my stash into Joosep’s bin with extra batteries for their headlamps and more food. A women from the shorter course team gave was a nurse and gave me some hot pads and ibuprofen. I eventually made it back to Laughlin, NV. Took a shower and tried to sleep by the pool; the only place besides my room that had no cigarette smoke…

The next day I made it all easy for the guys when they would finish to get to the room, shower and sleep. I sent an email to the organizer and texts to make sure the guys were ok, even left them a wine bottle and a long note. I felt weak and guilty for not being able to finish with them.

I then headed to Vegas to get back home on the plane. I had to stop every half and hour to get out of the car to walk – and on the plane, well I’ll spare you the details.

2 days later the guys finished in a winning time of 4 days 9hrs.

They conquered the Mojave Desert.

-Lyne

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