Tuesday, June 28, 2011

XTERRA Little Rock

That's my bike in the middle, I got there early

My second Xterra race is in the books. Although I didn't get the result I really wanted, I left this race feeling better about my chances in future races. Again, I think one of my biggest hurdles is nutrition during races and in everyday life. I know what I need to do with my diet outside of racing, it is just a matter of putting it into practice. During races I am still a bit perplexed. I've got a few weeks until my next race so I plan to experiment with some different liquid calorie drinks. In the past races I have relied on Carbooms and water. That combo has worked for me in the past during training rides and runs, I guess it just isn't working for race efforts as my energy levels dropped late in both my races this year.

I put together 3/4ths of a solid race, here is the re-cap:


After getting beat up during the start of the Eureka swim I was feeling a bit nervous that I may not be a good open water swimmer. I scoped out the swim course the day before and was feeling better as the distance looked short. I was in for a rud
e awakening as what I thought was the start of the straight line swim was actually only the second of four buoys. No big deal. This swim was a water start versus a beach start, I heart water starts! I picked my spot as the furthest swimmer to the right, strategery at its finest. I'm a left sided breather and was able to keep an eye on the competition and the shore the entire swim. I finished the 800 yds in 14 minutes.


I was really looking forward to a much easier bike course than Eureka, it didn't happen. Although there weren't massive climbs like Eureka, this course made up for it with numerous rock gardens. Adding to the toughness of the course is that it is newly cut and very dry. Finished up the 13 mile bike feeling strong in an hour 12 minutes.


I started the run like gangbusters. I felt really good straight out of transition. I passed a fellow age grouper on the first climb which put me in third place out on the course. For the next two miles I was on cruise control, I passed one guy puking on the side of the trail. At the first aid station, I got a water and a sports drink, the volunteer told me I was half way finished. He was wrong, I was cooked. All the fluids and gels I had taken in just seemed to by sitting in my stomach like a brick going nowhere. My feet didn't want to turn over quickly, I had hit the wall. All I could muster was a slow jog the last two miles. At this point I started to get past by several people, at least six and three in my age group. I slipped from third to sixth in my AG in the last mile. Frustrating. This brings me back to fueling during races, I've got a few products I am going to try out in the next couple weeks.

Overall this was a much better race than Eureka and again I learned a lot about myself and what it takes to race Xterra. Less than a month till the race in Indiana, I'm really looking forward to it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Races, Diet, and New Shoes

Four XTERRA races in just over two months. Here is what it looks like:

6/25 XTERRA Dawg Dayz Little Rock, AR

7/23 XTERRA DINO Versailles Indiana

8/7 XTERRA Iron Will Jonesboro, AR

8/20 XTERRA Lake Degray Arkadelphia, AR

To put it mildly, I'm stoked. I got some time off from work in July and I picked the closest race I could find, an xterra in Versailles, IN. I have never been to Indiana and have no idea what I am getting into but that's half the fun, the unknown. I just wish I could have gotten my vacation approved for a week earlier then I could have made the trip out west to the XTERRA Mountain Championship. Oh well, I'll take what I can get. From here on out I will have a race every other weekend, then off for a month till, hopefully, the US Championships in late September.

I've been watching some clips from races on xterra.tv, great for motivation if you are struggling to gear up for a workout.

After last weeks race, I have been trying to focus on my diet a little closer. NUUN tablets in my water at work, replacing one meal with a salad, and more fruit have been instituted in my daily routine. My goal is to be back down to the low 150's by mid July, I'm sitting in the mid 160's right now. Here is one of my latest salads, cold Quinoa gives any salad "legs" so hunger doesn't follow shortly after the salad is consumed.

Smoothies in the morning. A great way to get a headstart on your servings of fruits and veggies

Start with this:

End with this:

One more item. I switched back to Brooks Cascadia running shoes. I still love my Zoots, but for serious trail running the Zoots just don't hold up. I'm still going to use the Zoots for short road sessions or track running, but I am going to race in the Cascadias.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

XTERRA Eureka Springs

Not exactly the performance/result I was hoping for, but it felt good to actually get to a race and finish after the set backs I have had. My alarm was set for 630am, but when the first bit of daylight came through my window at 530 I couldn't sleep. I was on the road with all my supplies loaded headed for breakfast at my wake-up time. At the race site plenty early, my transition area was set up with still an hour left till race start. Plenty of time to get really nervous.
I'm not one to be long winded so I'll make this race re-cap short and to the point.
I got knock around by other swimmers, had a tough time catching my breath, swam almost half the course breast stroke, found my stroke half way through, ended strong passing at least a dozen from the half way buoy.
I know the course well and today rode it well. I did have heavy legs coming out of the swim and struggled up the first climb. Everything was going well until about two, three miles to the end of the bike leg. While dismounting my bike, my right hamstring cramped. Not a big deal for the bike, but the cramped leg would end up really slowing me down on the run.
Pathetic. My cramped up Hamstring slowed me to a virtual crawl. Ended up taking me almost twice as long to finish the 5 mile run. I almost didn't leave T2 because I knew what layed ahead of me, miles of suffering. I worked through the cramp and found some sort of form somewhere between mile 3 and 4. I hung in there and finished the race which now I am really glad that I did. Total time of 3:34, I was shooting for around 2:50.
I learned a lot today and I am hoping I have a better race in two weeks down in Little Rock

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Almost Race Time, Finally

A little over two days till my first XTERRA race of the season, Xterra Eureka Springs. This season definitely hasn't gone the way I had planned, I've missed a few races for a variety of reasons. My first race was supposed to be the South Central champs in Waco, but a conflict with work kept me from getting the time I needed to make the trip. My second race of the season was Xterra Lake Degray but it was cancelled due to flooding rainfall. Third race of the season was Xterra in Ruston LA but car trouble left me stranded for the weekend and set me back financially.

So now it is June and I have yet to secure any points towards the National Champs in Sept.
That's all about to change. I have four races here in Arkansas scheduled between this weekend and my birthday, Aug 20th. Also, I am looking to add a race sometime in the middle of July. I have three races in mind, all are about 11-13 hours away. Not sure which race I'll attend but I am leaning towards Xterra Dino Versailles. First things first, I have to get the time off work.

More frequent posts to come and hopefully a race report on Sunday.