Saturday, May 14, 2011

Race Reports

Since the last post (which was way too long ago), I raced XTERRA REAL in Folsom, skipped XTERRA West Champs in Vegas, raced XTERRA South Central Champs in Waco, TX, and skipped ITU Worlds in Spain. Life got in the way, and skipping a few races turned out to be the smarter choice.

XTERRA REAL took place on the first non-rainy day after a 2-week deluge. To say it was muddy was an understatement. As the bf put it, it was "the kind of conditions that make drive trains cry." The race was the day after my birthday, and the weekened that my dad happened to be in the Bay Area, so I had my favorite cheerleader in tow.

Swim: water temp was 48 degrees. That was extremely unpleasant, but is good incentive to haul ass so you can get out quickly.

Bike: Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. I had one good crash, an endo about 50 feet outside of transition. running water obscured a hole and I stuffed my front wheel into it. The two-loop course featured running-water singletrack, mud pits that swallowed whole wheels, and carnage galore. I managed to escape largely unscathed, and proceeded to get stuck in my bike shoes for about ten minutes in transition because the buckles were jammed. I recruited two guys to literally pull the left shoe off my foot. Not an ideal situation.

Run: Started off feeling pretty good, but I think a lot of that was adrenalin from the shoe incident. After a mile or so I lost my motivation, and slogged it in.

Finished 2nd out of 2, about ten minutes back, curiously close to the time I lost with my shoe. Oh well! It was fun because it was so ridiculous, and still one of my favorite courses.

XTERRA South Central in Waco was a bit of a mess. I had skipped the Vegas race the previous weekend because recent events had left me feeling a little run down. The Waco course is better suited to my strengths (less climbing, more technical) so I decided to make the trip. I managed to slice the tip of my finger off in my rental car in Austin, which left me wondering if I should proceed with the race at all.

Swim: declared wet-suit legal at the last minute, I think someone was being generous. I raced this last year with no wetsuit, and decided to try it with this year. It was toasty. Swim is in a river, half with the current, half against. Any time the tree cover gave way to sunlight, I started baking in my suit. It felt like the swim took forever, but I guess that's to be expected since I had been skipping the pool.

Bike: fun course, but I never felt like I got my bearings. No real crashes, but not a great performance either. This course is strange in that it is so twisty and tree-covered that you hardly see anyone on the course. I kept thinking I was off-course or the last person racing, luckily I was wrong on both counts.

Run: this run course starts out with a climb up a giant staircase, which is best navigated usings ones hands and feet. The rest of the course is a mix of pavement and trails, and I looked forward to seeing other people, just to have something to try to catch. At some point during the race I irritated my left shoulder, and by the end of the run it had become very painful

I finished 5th in my age group, made a beeline for the med tent to clean my finger, and got a massage to relieve the issue in my shoulder. I now have a massage therapist in Dallas, should I ever need one, who thinks I'm tough. So random. I also made friends with a girl in TX who lives in Redwood City, and we have gone riding a few times since. It's a small world, after all.

Next up is the brand-new XTERRA Pacific Championships in Santa Cruz. I even get to sleep in my own bed!

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