Sunday, August 25, 2013

Solo climb of Montana's Granite Peak

Maybe it doesn't quite count as soloing Granite Peak (Montana's highest at 12,799 feet), since I did do the technical section with two guys from Salt Lake, but I did free solo the ascent and was fully prepared to go it alone. In fact, I was overprepared and was carrying far too much weight on this trip, which (along with the route itself) made for a miserable descent. Frankly, I would not recommend the Froze-to-Death route to anyone. I haven't done it personally, but I know two people who have done the Avalanche Lake route, and it sounds highly preferable. The technical part, which is after those two routes meet, was a lot of fun and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is really comfortable rock climbing. Of course it's not necessary to ascend ropeless, there was a guided group ahead of us roped up, but there really isn't much exposure on the few truly fifth-class pitches.
In short, it was great to knock of highpoint #38 (especially after failing two years ago), and I would definitely rank it as the second most difficult of the state highpoints I've done so far (and I anticipate it remaining so once I'm done), behind Denali.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

2013 Bastrop Lost Pines Triathlon

Today was the fourth annual Bastrop Lost Pines Triathlon. Unfortunately, I was not able to match, let alone beat, my time from last year. Nor did I match my feat from the two previous iterations of winning my age group and having the best bike split. I lost some time from each leg of the tri, but the biggest chunk was about two minutes on the bike. My overall time from last year of 1:20:22 dropped to 1:22:57 this year. Perhaps most frustrating is that I was only 31 seconds behind the guy who won my age group (and also, I later learned, that this was his first triathlon, but he is a cross-country coach and smoked me on the run).

The race went pretty similarly to last year's. I started the time-trial start, snaking pool swim about 20-30 people back. The main difference this year was that instead of starting in the water, the timer started after passing an RFID reader before jumping in (they made a point of saying no diving, but my friend didn't hear that and was penalized for doing so). On the last lap I got bunched up with the two people who had started behind me; we all came out of the water at about the same time. The bike went okay. The fact that I set new personal best 5- and 20-minute average power marks and still had a slower bike split pretty much says to me that I'm fatter than I was last time (more weight to push, more power needed to push it). The run wasn't too bad. Numerous parts of my body were burning at the highest point of the course, roughly the 2-mile mark. Thank goodness there was some flat and downhill after that for some recovery before the last two smaller hills, or else I would have been walking.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Jack's Generic Triathlon

Today I raced in Jack's Generic Triathlon. With a new venue (Lake Pflugerville, which also hosted a tri in June) and a new "double" intermediate distance (two laps of each leg versus one lap each for the sprint), there's no way to compare my time this year to last year. And since it wasn't quite Olympic distance (it was a 1000 meter swim, a 26-mile bike, and 6-mile run), I can't compare it to any of my races at that distance. Also, while the swim and run courses were basically the same as Lake Pflugerville Tri, the bike course was different. Based on an educated guess, I thought I might finish somewhere around 2:30, and somehow I hit it almost exactly, finishing with a total time of 2:30:16.