Stormin’ the Fort!

This weekend we completed our 2nd Olympic distance triathlon!  It’s a 1.5K/1500m swim, 40k/24.3mi bike and 10k/6.2mi run.  This race for us is quite a challenge.  While we are able to train for it all season, competing in it is a different story.  You push your body harder, farther, faster than you do in practice and leave nothing on the course when you cross the finish line.

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Mike did really well!  He finished first out of the water in the Men’s Under 40 group which is really awesome and then headed out on the bike leg.  This is where he caught a pretty tough break.  The turn around point was not set up and the volunteers were not ready, so he and the top 10 riders rode another 1-3 miles off course (farther than they were supposed to go) until a cop told them to turn around!  Talk about not a happy camper!  So he huffed it back to the course and tried to salvage his race.  He had a great run and was able to finished 7th in his age group!  I’m really proud of him for working hard after the bike leg disaster.  I’m so proud of you babe!

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  • Swim: 16:54
  • T1: 1:44
  • Bike: 1:18:51
  • T2: 0:32
  • Run:51:50
  • Total Time: 2:29:49

It’s tough to compare last year’s times with this year’s times because the swim course this year was closer to regulation distance (last year’s was 1/2 the size it should have been); the bike leg was close to the same distance but they changed the course slightly taking out a huge nasty hill (which we were TOTALLY OK WITH); the run course was the same distance but a slightly better route this year.  We both were able to make huge improvements between this year and last year.  Here is last year’s blog on Storm the Fort.

I had a pretty good race.  The swim felt really good minus the log (or something hitting my leg – and it wasn’t another swimmer because no one else was around! I checked!).  It took my legs a little while to get going on the bike but once they did I felt pretty good.  The run was where my race got “fun.”  This girl I train with that is in my age group started her run about 1/4 mile in front of me.  I knew that I wanted to and probably could beat her but I was going to have to do it slowly and over the course of the entire run.  I slowly plugged away at it and was within striking distance around the 7k point.  At that point I kept her right in front of me until the last 1/4 mi and I just sprinted until the finish.  I knew I could hold out my run for that distance and wasn’t sure if she would challenge me!  I was able to finish in front of her by a small margin! I was very pleased with my race and was shocked to find out that I finished 1st in my age group!!

  • Swim: 20:25
  • T1: 1:24
  • Bike: 1:20:21
  • T2: 0:32
  • Run: 53:11 (about an 8:45 pace!! my fasted tri race pace ever!)
  • Total Time: 2:35:51 (about 20 mins faster than last year!)

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Polska Pack- the famous “12km” hike

Technically, the students came for hiking camp.  So we did a little hiking on the second day.  We left with backpacks full of water (at least the Americans did) and our lunches and off we traveled.  We walked about 1.5 miles or so to get to the trail head just on the outside of the town of Rabka (where the camp is).  We then trekked about another 2 miles through two small towns to get to the bottom of the mountain. 

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The scenery was beautiful and breathtaking. 

We then hit the actual trailhead and began our ascent.  We hiked up and up and up and traversed boulders and changed scenery for the next few hours and quite a few more miles…

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all to catch a glimpse of the view from the top.  It was marvelous.

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I felt like we could see for miles.  I for sure sweated through my shirt.  At the top we regrouped and one of our students, Eric, gave his testimony.  It was a nice time of reflection and rest before we began the trek down the mountain.

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Then began the descent, and we had a long way to go.  Along the way we made sure to take plenty of breaks, visit with a local pregnant dog/mutt, pretend we were sound of music in a field, learn to count to 10 in Polish, and

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get lost!  Yes, the small group I was with missed a turn somewhere along the way and ended up adding a few more miles to our already lengthening trek.  In total I think we ended up doing about 13 miles (a few more than the promised 12km).

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We missed a turn by the railroad tracks and went up this long hill trying to find the next trail marker only to realize it was someone’s driveway.  Oops.  So we kept walking along the road until we found a town.  We figured there at least we might could get some help.  Off in the distance we saw a large steeple and thought, let’s go there because that should be the center of town.  It took a while but when we made it to the church, we realized we were in Rabka, and we were overcome with gratitude.  I probably had a tear in my eye (or 2) knowing that we at least made it back to the town.  Even with our extra time out on the trail, we stayed positive and really did enjoy our first day of hiking (and the 2 ice creams (lody) some of our group had once we reach town probably helped too). 

This picture is of the mountain (off in the distance) we hiked to and climbed up from the sidewalk right out in front of our camp.

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I’ll have you know, even with all of our triathlon training, I have never hiked 12 miles, run 12 miles or trained for 12 miles… But the Lord is faithful, no matter the task.

Polska Pack–Mam na imię

(that means: My name is…)

We arrived at camp Sunday evening with the understanding that the students would arrive around lunch time, maybe a little sooner.  Monday morning we woke up around 7am to, “the students are here!!!”  Good driving on the bus drivers part I guess, but they arrived way sooner than we expected.  So we hopped out of bed and got ready in minutes and welcomed the campers in our rudimentary Polish.  Talk about being flexible.

The first day was just spent hanging out and getting to know each other.  It didn’t take long and by the end of the day we felt like we had already spent a few days with them.  We even took a short trip to the town pool.  Short because the water was FREEZING!!

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In the evening we had some of the guy leaders do an awesome skit of synchronized swimming.  It was a great way to dive into camp, showing the students that we were going to hold nothing back!

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Each evening we worshiped in both Polish and English.  Our first service was taught by one of our own Jonathan who spoke about God’s gift of grace.  The students then participated in a tangible object lesson and painted rough pieces of wood with the word łaska which means grace.

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Totally awesome first day at camp.