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.