Friday, March 03, 2006


.....apparently, to hike up to here. I had plans for tomorrow (Saturday) to hike up Flatiron Trail and then along the Superstition Ridge (if you click on this link, read the summary and then scroll down to skip driving directions and get to the hike description.)A group of friends-of-a-friend were going and one of them invited me. But when I called to confirm that it was still on, I got the news that most of the group felt I was probably not conditioned enough for that much of a hike, including some hand-and-foot climbing and a distance of 11-12 miles in the course of the day. They didn't think I had enough hiking experience. They didn't know if I could climb over boulders with tricky footing or hoist my own weight up a ledge. They were afraid I'd get into a pickle of not being able to continue, and not being able to go back. Essentially, they didn't think I could do it and did not want me to go.

Well, that might cure me of any delusions of grandeur I've been having over my last 6 weeks, during which time I've run a marathon and a half-marathon and cycled 2 centuries 2 weeks apart (the half marathon coming on the weekend between them.) I biked about 480 miles in February.

So instead of this day-long rocky desert mountain challenge to my stamina, which I'd been eagerly anticipating, I'm doing this on Sunday:

The Arizona Senior Olympics Triathlon. 450-yd swim, 20K bike, 5K run. I can get there, do the race, and drive home before my husband even gets out of bed.

From tough-gal, can't-take-her-down marathoner/cyclist/hiker to the Senior Olympics, in the space of about half an hour (from when I found out I was dropped from the hike till I convinced the SO staff to let me in as a late registrant.) Gosh, I'm aging fast. I went and looked in the mirror and I didn't look any different.

I guess there aren't enough actual senior triathletes to put on a triathlon, because it's open to all age groups (the "Generations Triathlon" -- the other events have a 50-yr-old minimum-age requirement.) However, it's a Senior Games event and I am registered as (gasp, choke) a senior, and competing as a senior, in the 50-54 age group. Uh-oh, I'm at the "older" end of my age group, those 50-yr-old youngsters will stomp me.

If I do really, really well I could qualify for the National Senior Olympics, to be held in Louisville, KY, in June 2007. I couldn't find a qualifying time for the tri. For 10K it would be 55:00 for me; for 5K, oh, heck, I forget, something like 28:00. So no doubt qualifying in the tri will be a challenge. Letssee.... 450-yd swim should take me maybe 13 minutes; 5 min transition; 20K bike is 12.4 miles, maybe 50 minutes; 2-minute transition; 5K, 30 minutes -- total, an hour and 40 minutes. Let's see how close I can come to that. I don't know if it's a Nationals qualifying time but let's just see how close I can come to 1:40 for this race, just for the heck of it.

I hadn't expected to be doing a triathlon of any length before June at the earliest and haven't done any tri-specific training (bricks etc.) OTOH, I hadn't expected to do a 100-mile bike ride before August. Too bad we're not staying here till April 9, I could just go ahead and do IM Arizona. Except I'm sure registration is closed and I don't think I could sweet-talk them into letting me in.

Check out the links I gave to see pics of the hike I'm not doing.


jessie_tri_mn said...

That's the exact hike my husband and I tried to do while we were there last year. We were going along great and eventually got lost and just couldn't find our way to the top of the flatiron. It was well over a hundred degrees at noon when we finally got out there (I know, a stupid time to go!) and coming from Minnesota (50 degrees), we were in for a shock. We both had very full camelbacks when we started and ran out of water 2 miles from the car!

nancytoby said...

Like I said - obviously those hiker folks DON'T KNOW ELLIE!

I think for the triathlon, if you participate, you're eligible for Nationals.

You're going to have FUN! Don't hold back, remember it's a sprint and GO FAST!! Don't forget to check out your bike and clean and lube the chain and gears today!

Flo said...

Yeah, obviously the hikers don't know you very well.

Have a great time at the tri. Go for it and show those old folks how it's done ;)

Geek Girl said...

Ellie, I've done some hiking when I was in much worse shape. Unless you're carrying a backpack, I think you're probably in good enough shape to do it if you've just run a half marathon.

Tammy said...

That's it! Let me at 'em! These "hikers" are obviously enemies of the Black Knight Army who are trying their mental tricks to make you think you're a senior...gasp! amazons and I will fall upon them like a swarm of killer bees, and sir iliketoast shall bring his executioner's axe! Wooorahhhh!!!

Vickie said...

If anyone can do this, you can! You are more than a "Senior" Olympian. You are an IRONMWOMAN!

Ellie said...

T-metz: The Black Knight fights Sunday as well. He shall battle gastric pain as I battle geriatric prejudice. Together we shall conquer!!!