I love my husband not only because of who he is but also what he strives to be. And of late, his goals have included long-distance running. His ambitions require little of me except a supportive attitude and the ability to not worry too much when he disappears into mountains for hours of training. To be honest, I was relieved when one recent weekend was devoted to his first event: the 50K of the Leona Divide 50/50. At least when he disappeared this time, I knew there would be plenty of people nearby if he got dehydration, a twisted ankle, or a snakebite.
Because running 31 miles in the mountains isn't challenging enough, we camped the night before. TJ found a RV park less about 500 meters from the race start. He actually relented to bringing our air mattress for some comfort, but by the time we got to the campground, about 10 p.m., we couldn't find the manager, much less an electrical outlet to blow up the mattress. So TJ got about 5 hours of sleep on the hard ground with a lullaby of nearby karaoke before we awoke at 4:30 a.m. At the campsite, he readied all of his fluids (top left), then we headed to the race start, where he prepped the rest of his gear (top right). It just began to get light as the runners took off at 6 a.m. The early start time didn't dissuade TJ (in the bottom picture right behind and between numbers 222 and 328) and about 500 other runners from setting off for the hills.
Lake Hughes, whose shores came up on the campground (left), and the nearby Rock Inn (right) convinced us there was enough charm in the area that we could put off driving home for another day, even if it meant another night in a tent.
country musician Brant Vogel, at the Rock Inn, but eventually sheer exhaustion for TJ and a food coma for me led to us calling it an early night.
Rosarito-Ensenada Bike Ride was coming up on Cinco de Mayo, but I didn't deign to bring it up, knowing that it was a week after TJ's race; I just figured I'd wait for the fall ride. But when one of TJ's co-workers invited him, he was sold. As were many others, apparently: the Leona start had nothing on the Rosarito start, which had 5,000 people lined up on all manners of bicycles: tandems, cruisers, and even low-riding BMX models.
El Tigre, a not very steep but a very long hill, and saw this welcoming spot in the middle of the plateau, where many people were waiting for friends to pass by (left). TJ and I had managed to stay together (most likely because he was tired from the run the weekend before), so we were able to share some cervezas (right)
For me, the beer was a good idea to take the edge off coming down El Tigre. The speed of the descent scared the crap out of me, but it was a nice break before the final flat push to downtown Ensenada, where both TJ and I met our meta, most thankfully without any crashes or falls (except the tostada with ceviche that I dumped on TJ's lap a little later).
After parking our bikes, we took part in the "finish-line fiesta," which included lots of alcohol and food for pretty cheap, considering the captive and hungry audience. I had a piña colada and quite a few beers to wash down a couple of tacos (and an undumped tostada) while basking in my achievement -- and the sun (I have the farmer's tan to prove it). Just this side of dehydration and sunstroke, we caught the shuttle back to our car, so we could head home for yet another early Saturday night.