Race morning, I walked out of the hotel, only to walk back in to find any sort of rain/wind gear in my suitcase. This is supposed to be Vegas in April people, think hot & dry. Unfortunately, the conditions were reminiscent of Oceanside 70.3 just 2 weeks ago. Rainy, windy and definitely colder than O'side. I had a few #FML moments as I couldn't feel my fingers or toes and the race hadn't even begun. I took a quick jog to warm up and then threw on my wetsuit. Honestly, I was totally dreading the 57 degree water for the swim, but I reminded myself that I'm a "pro" now and I need to suck it up.
SWIM: 1500 meters 21:20 / 2nd pro female
I dove into the freeeeezing water, and was once again so glad I had on my Zoot Prophet. This thing is fast, but it is also warmer than many other wetsuits I had tried. I struggled to put my face in the water and did a 2 minute warm-up with some head-up freestyle. In Xterra, the pro wave goes off at 9am, 3 minutes before the amateur waves. I lined up near the front and put my head down and went hard when the cannon went off. I was out of breath and struggling those first 300 meters or so, wondering again why I put myself through this (sorry, just being honest). BUT, after 300, I realized that I was with a nice little (3 people) pack and near the front of the race. AND, the pace was totally manageable. I caught a glimpse of Melanie McQuaid swimming next to me and thought I was in a good spot. At the turn around buoy, we found a couple more feet and I swam behind 2 men (Josiah Middaugh - eventual men's 2nd place and someone else) for the remainder of the swim.
|That's me in the pink cap down right...hangin on to feet!|
T1....wow...I don't even know what to say here. I need to get my act together. It was like Oceanside 70.3 part deux but worse!!! I had to put on gloves, arm warmers, and a Camelback in addition to my Mountain Bike shoes that have a clip/ratchet situation...All of this with complete ice blocks for hands. It was SO bad. Lesley (eventual 2nd place woman and current Xterra World Champ) was in and out while I was fumbling and so was Melanie. The only saving grace was that Kate M. was having just as bad a T1 as I was, so at least misery loves company...
Bike- 30k- 1:34:18 - moved from 4th (after transition) to 10th pro...
|Thanks, Dane, for the photos!|
|I think my cheer section, Jordan is yelling for me here, hence the smile! Or maybe I'm just laughing at myself ;)|
Okay, so the course is mostly fire roads, some single track LOTS of up up up and down down down and some loose & rocky descents. My only goal for the bike was to finish. I'll be honest here, I've ridden a mountain bike less than 10 times in the past year, so I know "where I'm at" and was willing to just go with the flow and not put myself in too much danger. I kept trucking along, and over the course of 18 miles, 6 women passed me and a bunch of age group & pro men. I crashed twice, one time wiping out fully right in front of Kate Major (sorry, matey!) and then dropped my chain on 2 climbs. Other than that, I was actually "impressed" with my ride and I must admit I kind of had fun. Ok, I was slow, but you can't expect to be a mountain bike genuis when you really don't ride one. I had to take all the technical sections really slow, but I rode them! I only hopped off my bike for one section on each lap. I was scared a bit on the bike, but also amazed at how the laps flew by. Before I knew it, I was heading back to T2, stoked to get my run on...P.s. I was SO impressed by these Xterra girls on the bike, damn they can RIDE!
Run- 10k- (42:26 moved from 10th to 8th, 2nd fastest run)
Ok, so the up up up, down down down thing continues here. There are lots of long/runnable climbs and steep quad ripping descents. There is also one holy-crap-you-want-me-to-go-up-this-thing? climb that requires 2-3 minutes of straight up hiking. It was NASTY. I passed 2 girls on the run, moving from 10th to 8th place, but I wasn't able to close the gap on Kate, who was in 7th. I ran strong and focused in my head on picking off all those age group men who had blown by me on the bike. I also focused on not giving up. I kept reminding myself that this was a race, but also a workout and I was making a nice deposit in the fitness bank with this one. I'm hoping to cash in a bit at Wildflower in just a couple weeks!
|Happy to finish....|
|The real race- Lesley Paterson & Renata Bucher duke it out in a 1/2 sprint finish!|
*Thank you to Zoot for taking on the local girl and supplying the best gear & shoes out there- love my new race kit!!!! I'm swimming better than ever in the Prophet wetsuit and I love love love to race in my Ultra Tempo 5.0s. Cannondale- LOVE my LEXI decked in SRAM, & although I didn't need 'em for this race, if I did I would thank Race Day Wheels. Thanks to Nytro for keeping it all in working, blinging' order and Studeo DNA for my bike fit & so much more.
*Thank you to Dan Selstad, Rehab United, & MRM for helping me build my chassis, recover quickly and stay healthy-.I use so many MRM products, but I couldn't function without my Hydration Factor & Reload. Rehab United- functional strength 2x/ week, ART with Selstad every other week...the secret sauce!