Sunday, July 6, 2008

Randoms and a race report

Working on weekend days suck, especially when there is nothing fun to do. Typing codes in Excel files and watching reruns of the Tour of CA (since boxing is on VS at the moment) doesn't really cut it for me.

I went to Hellyer again yesterday and it was fun again. I got a bike that fit me a little better (and matched my kit REALLY well...freaky). I was the only girl so I won all the women's categories...but I was the only one advocating a women's category. I yelled at some guy for messing up the paceline and another guy thanked me for it. Another guy decided he should be my boss and tell me what to do so I promptly ignored him. We practiced bumping, which doesn't work that well when I'm 5'4"-ish and my partner is 6' tall AND he is uptrack on the steep part of the banking....pretty much puts my shoulder on his ankle. Luckily I have some bumping skills since my friend Alicia and I used to practice on rides. We did an Australian Pursuit (I think that's what it was) and I got some kid out before I got passed and was out. Good times.

I'm going again on Monday so I can start racing when I get back from CO (my super secret altitude training camp).

I wrote a race report on another blog thing for my last XTerra, so I'll post it here to look like I posted something.

Yesterday I competed in the XTerra Tahoe City Triathlon. This was my third XTerra Race, and my first since a race-ending crash in May. I drove up to Truckee on Friday night where I stayed at a rep's house since he was out of town (thanks John!). The most notable thing: the smoke was horrendous. Recent wildfires have covered much of Northern CA with smoke, and it appears it's all collecting against the mountains. The last hour of my drive smelled like a campfire, and I was a little worried about race conditions the next morning.

After a crappy night of sleep, I drove down to the race site to set up and get registered. Note to self: bringing one big bag because you are too lazy to pack a small transition bag is dumb, and having to carry it all over the place sucks. The line for packet pick-up took forever, and most people were freaking out they were going to be late. Not a great way to keep calm before the race. After getting checked in, body marked, and set up, I headed down to the water with two of my customer/friends.

The swim course was originally to be two 600 yard laps with a shot beach run in between laps, but the water level was lower than expected so the run was cancelled. I had two concerns going into the swim: the water was cold and I didn't have a neoprene cap, and the water was really clear and I tend to freak out when I can see things in the water (over-active imagination). Turns out the water wasn't that cold, my wetsuit was just fine. As for the clarity, it was awesome! The loops we did kept us in relatively shallow water, and there was nothing creepy to look at/freak out about. The swim back to the beach was interesting - the water was about knee deep for a couple hundred feet before we got to dry land but the lake bed was rocky and slippery, so the fastest way to get to the beach was to swim along in VERY shallow water (think goggles inches from the ground). Weird.

This race had the longest run to transition EVER: up the beach, along a bike path circling the lake, up some stairs, up a hill, across the highway, past some buildings, and around to the backside of transition.

The bike leg of the race was 22 miles, and was pretty fun. There were a couple hard climbs, the whole course was loose enough to make you pay attention, and the singletrack through meadows filled with wildflowers was a nice distraction. I managed not to crash, and only had to get off the bike for a minor adjustment and to retrieve a Gu I had lost (it was my last one of course). I felt like I pushed hard, but didn't think I was in bad shape.

The run was a 6 mile loop that started out with a steep mile-ish long climb. Enter crappy feeling legs: both legs were cramping from the knees down, and I had the strange sensation that my right leg was shorter than the other (it's not). I walked and stretched up the first climb, and by the time I got to the flatter sections at the top I was feeling better. The course followed some flat-ish single track for a while and then went down the first climb, so I ran the rest of the way in and picked a couple runners off along the way. When i stopped running at the finish my legs were shaking, so I'm pretty confidant that I didn't hold back too much.

The race featured free beer and BBQ (yay!) before the awards so everyone hung around telling stories and enjoying the miraculously smoke-free weather before the awards. I was the only one in my age group so I won by default (it happens a lot), but that does get me 75 points in the US point standings which puts me in good shape for Nationals. It was a good day!

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