We hear it time and time again from people we know out of state that wouldn’t want to move to California as they really like experiencing four seasons. Well too bad they weren’t with us this weekend in the Palm Springs area as they would be able to see California does produce more than just sunshine and blue skies year round!
Saturday after a short masters swim session and packing up the car we headed to the Palm Springs area for our kick off triathlon of the year. When we arrived at the “expo” around 1 p.m. it was warm and windy. There was something different about this race expo…there was hardly an vendors there and the ones that were there were down to a table and bins of their inventory. The wind gusts were so bad that they had to take down their tents and booths! Prior to us arriving we saw a lot of buzz on social media about horrible wind gusts that morning for the Sprint tri.
We are campers and there is a camping option at the Desert Tri so we proceeded to the “primitive” campground section to set up our tent. We should have taken a clue from the two tents that were already there as they were both about to cave in and/or blow away. We were optimistic and got our tent set up in between the wind gusts. Once the tent was up it was apparent we needed more robust tent stakes so Matt had me man the tent (we put all our stuff in it to make sure it wouldn’t blow away) and he headed back into town.
While he was gone I sat inside the tent on my cot watching one tent side continue to cave in and out between the 25 MPH wind gusts. I was confident with everything we had in the tent to weigh it down it was not going to blow away. The factor that was on my mind was all the dust and sand coming in our tent that the winds had stirred up. Every item in the tent was coated with dust/sand!
When Matt came back he further secured the tent and we weathered the wind/sand storm until around 8 p.m. that night! We were able to heat up our food and eat in the car to escape the wind for a bit. Now came the wait and see for the 80% forecasted rain. We waited and waited and it never came. When we got up at 5 a.m. we got our pre race meal and prep done and had a window to take down the tent before the race. Matt tried to sweep up and brush off our stuff as best he could before stashing in the car to deal with at home. The rain drops started to hit just as we were folding up the last pieces of the tent!
We hopped on our bikes and rode over to the transition area about .25 mi. from our camping spot. We were able to set up our bikes and gear before the rain started coming down. Luckily I brought a couple bags for us to put our shoes in so they wouldn’t be soaking wet before we started the bike and run.
The rain continued throughout the race. We both decided not to mess with adding extra layers so were racing in a traditional tri tank and shorts (see below). The bike was wet and everyone was cautious on the corners. By the end of the bike my feet were bricks and my hands were numb. Normally a bike to run transition takes me 2 minutes or less that is when I can feel my hands! I didn’t have small motor movement and couldn’t unclip the buckle on my helmet! I also left my new running shoes with race laces at home and brought my old ones with traditional laces and couldn’t tie my shoes! I looked around and no volunteer to be found to help me out! Finally after 4 minutes I was able to unclip my helmet buckle and decided to start running without my shoes tied. I ran out of transition and saw a group of spectators and yelled “Can someone tie my shoes? I can’t feel my hands!” Sure enough the tri community always comes through and a stranger tied my shoes so I took off!
This weekend is what my friend Alison calls, “no fun – fun”! The crazy twists and turns and moments of discomfort always lead to lasting memories and character building!
After the race we pealed off our saturated clothes and shoes, put on dry clothes, grabbed some Chipolte and hit the road. To top the weekend off we drove through snow in the mountains on the way home!
So any of you that don’t think you would like living in California without four seasons, don’t worry we have them! Maybe not the traditional seasons but variety none the less! Now we are dreading our standard beautiful 70 and sunny weather cause it means we have to deal with cleaning all our camping gear! California problems, we’ll take them!