Sunday, May 18, 2008
21k xterra temecula trail race
so, i had a race of my own this weekend as well, but it was really on my calendar as a big training day, not an A race like james' (which was a killer performance but i'll let him tell you about it)..
on saturday, i headed out to temecula for the Vail Race 21k "xduro", the final race of the Xterra So Cal trail run series . i had already run the Crystal Cove 15k and Mission Gorge 15k, so adding this one in gave me a shot at winning the points series for my AG, and it looked like it would be brutal fun. the race fit in to the weekend pretty well since james needed to head to temecula to pick up his race packet and do his mini pre-race workout...
we got to the race around 7:15 for the 8:30 start. the forecast was 95 degrees and blazing sun. i got in a 15minute warm-up with 4 pick ups to race pace and headed to the start line. for some stretching and the course talk
i found out the run would be one loop of the 12.5mile xterra bike course for the triathlon held the next day, and a "short" "add on" from the run course. james had prepared me to recallize that this means lots of climbing, more climbing, hills that are "rollers" on a bike, but not so much rollers when you are running up. we were also told that there would be 9 aid stations. perfect! no carrying water for me. just a gel and i'm good to go.
i head to the start line with about 125 others and james points out Paula Newby-Fraser (ex-pro, the most winningest ironman female champion ever) and Katya Meyers, pro triathlete- smart, pretty, and fast!..i was so excited to even be in the same race as them. look how happy i look BEFORE 3150+ feet of climbing in 14 miles.
the cannon went off (literally, and it was scary loud) and off we went. after the first few hundred yards, katya ran off the front pretty fast and i followed 10 steps behind her with two other guys. i had a couple "why am i at the front, just asking to blow up moments? what am i doing here?" but it felt comfortable and i remembered something james had showed me in the morning (c/o GZ)...it said, "how to win a race. (and you click on it and it says:) "Go out hard. When it hurts, go harder". well, i thought to myself, it doesn't hurt yet, let's keep going.
katya stayed in front of me for a couple of miles and then i went ahead for a mile knowing she was right behind me. i told james afterwards that i only went ahead here because i "felt bad" for sitting right behind her for so long. he said, "it's a RACE". anyhow, all was well and good until we hit the long, big climb known as the dam climb. i got passed on the climb by 6 or 7 people including paula newby-fraser and katya and a handfull of dudes. not sure why i was being dropped on the climb (about mile 4 & 5), i decided that the only way to run this race was to run my own race. ease up when i felt like crap, go hard when i didn't. so i kept running. i took a quick wrong turn, but looked back and saw where i was supposed to go about 10 yrds back uphill. no big deal, maybe a minute lost at most.
after the dam climb, miles 6 through 8 were a lot of rollers up on the ridge. i hit an aid station right before mile six at about 45 minutes and decided that the next station would be where i took my gel w. water. well, that next aid station took 4 miles to come! i pretty much almost lost it here, but kept it together somehow. the heat and dehydration were pretty ridiculous. i've never done anything like this. during this time, even though it was a major low point, i think it was much lower for others, i ended up passing and gapping everyone who had passed me on the first big climb and led the women for a mile or two until one woman passed me around 8 miles. i hadn't seen her before and at first thought she was one of the 10k runners and didn't put much thought into it until i saw her bib was for our race about 2 miles later (we regrouped at the long-awaited aid station as we both stopped to gulp, pour, gulp multiple glasses of water after the long drought). she took off a couple seconds before me around mile 10 and then put some time into me for the rest of the race. i had it together and she was in my sights until mile 12, but i kind of had a little bit of a mental breakdown after that.
you see, i had heard someone say before the race , "the course is actually 12.5 miles if its the same course as the xterra bike loop" so i thought it would be shorter than 13.1miles, but prepared to run the whole 13.1 if distance if that's what it was. around 12.5, the course took a sharp right and went gnarly single track uphill AWAY from the finish (oooh....its the bike loop PLUS some of the run course). i almost lost it. the guy in front of me did.
i lost sight of the woman ahead, but didn't see anyone close behind. i knew i just needed to somehow make it, there was only that one women and a few men ahead of me. at 13.1 i realized that i was still not near the finish...WTF? i was getting mad (heat hallucinations here), the race was supposed to be over and i wanted to lay down on cold grass or put my head in ice or something, anything! i was a little out-of-it in general, but i kept running (or shuffling :) ) and made it to the finish in what garmin said was 13.85....i couldn't believe i had made it! i promised james some fist-in-the-air action at the finish and i delivered...
2nd woman overall, 5th overall overall, 1st age group.
my time was 1:55:29 (the overall male winner was 1:51 so it wasn't your average half-marathon+-and i was stoked to be only 4 minutes down from him..) i really couldn't believe that i had placed in the top 3 women, and was totally blown away by the fact that i had come in ahead of some great competition that i never dreamed of racing against! it was fun crossing the finish because i think james was pretty surprised too.
right after the race was my favorite because i got to meet and talk to "my new best friend, katya" :)
she was super down-to-earth and cool overall. i might have freaked her out when i told her that i read bree's blog, so i knew she had just gone to australia, and also that i read once that she liked golden spoon frozen yogurt (my obsession)...i hope i didn't creep her out. i swear i am normal. well normal-ish. anyhow, she was really great and we may run together sometime soon.
talkin' course with Paula Newby-Fraser and Katya...
"...you see..what had a happened was.."
we stuck around for the awards (big props to james for sticking out the 100 degree heat for hours the day before his big race and taking pictures and being patient and awesome and looking like a river rat truck driver...
the 25-29 podium...me, katya, and whoever was smart enough to get the hell out of that blazing sun and not be there. i got a lei! (the only one of the weekend if you remember the all important "bullet point #4"....just kidding..i just can't resist an easy bad joke.)
that's all for now, i have another post coming with my race "strategies" that worked, lessons learned and stuff. hope everyone had a fantastic weekend.
congratulations to everyone else who had great races this weekend including matt who did the sufferfest with me, the other matt who kicked ass in encinitas, trevor who was the green flash, jim who threw down a top 10 pro finish, jaakko who says real men don't draft, and felipe the brazilian god of tri
while i was racing, i truly thought to myself, "i could quit....but then i'd have to right a yucky race report of all the things i did wrong without making excuses...." i think the blog really holds me accountable...because i can't just write it off, i have to write it down!
i guess all you bloggers keep me honest...and i KNOW all you bloggers keep me inspired on a daily basis. i can't wait to read everyone's weekend reports tonight..just me, my fro yo, and my computer while james is at the pads game..YES! (holy nerd)