Sunday, June 14, 2009

Better late than never?

Yep, it's been over a week since the race and I am now just getting around to writing the race report, oh well. The fourth stop on the Xterra tour was held at Farragut State Park in Northwestern Idaho, just north of Coeur D'Alene. The site was absolutely beautiful and the course was flat and fast. In the past I have never liked wetsuit swims as they tend to help the non-swimmers much more than me but after three races in a row in cold water and my great Nineteen wetsuit I feel like I have finally mastered the wetsuit swim. The race was a noon start, so while the water was still cold the air temperature was nicely warmed-up and I wasn't as concerned about my calf being cold and tight coming off the bike and heading out on the run. Just as a precaution I decided to race in calf compression tights which although looked absolutely ridiculous I think helped keep the calf extra happy. I'm undecided whether I will continue to race with them on as I feel like they make my legs feel heavy, but for the first race back it was better safe than sorry. The pro's got our own wave start one minute ahead of the first amateur wave and we were off into what turned out to be a really rough two loop swim. This time I decided to sit in on the first lap and let someone else do the work. At the short run between laps it was Seth, Craig, Conrad and myself with a nice gap. Once back into the water the guys seemed to back off so I went to the front and pushed the pace and once again led out of the water with just Seth able to hang on. As it turned out I put nearly five minutes on Mel, the next women out of the water.
Conrad and myself at the swim lap
Finishing up the bike
Out onto the bike, what I thought was going to be a relatively easy bike course since it was so flat turned out to be very hard. As Mel put it you had to peddle hard the whole time with none of the usually breaks a more hilly course usually provides. I still had the lead going into the second lap and was getting pretty excited about the possibility of reaching T2 with Mel and having a serious foot race. Mel caught me midway through the second lap and while I wasn't quite hanging onto her wheel she was only inching away from me. That was until I took a corner and wondered why it felt like my back tire nearly washed out on me. Unbelievable, I looked down and sure enough my back tire was completely flat. I jumped off and quickly tried to fill it hoping the Stan's would seal the leak but I apparently did not pass canister quick fill 101 and only got my tire half pumped when the valved jammed. I decided to take my chances and gingerly rode in the rest of the bike on about 10 psi hoping that I hadn't lost too much time to the girls behind me. I got into T2 safely and still in 2nd place and started the run. After not much running in the three weeks since Michigan, I wasn't sure just how I was going to feel. I felt pretty sluggish and people mentionned that I looked like I was running very cautiously, but even with the long uphill climbs in the middle the calf managed with no pain or tightness. I was feeling pretty good about my 2nd place spot until Danelle 'running like a freight train' Kabush came by me just flying. Apparently after two warm-up races Danelle had found her second at worlds form and was right back in it. The rest of the run was pretty uneventful and I finished with another 3rd. I even managed to remember to smile as I crossed the finish line. Three races and three podiums, I can't really complain but I am still eyeing the next two spots on the podium. Local legend Jenny Tobin and Emma Garrard rounded out the top five.
Women's Podium Emma, Danelle, Mel, Me
Big thanks to my awesome homestays for the weekend Jan and Paula who offered up their house to Dan, Emma, Craig and myself. We had this great apartment above their garage to stay in and except for Craig's pre-race Quinoa meal mistake (he isn't use to eating much fiber) had a fun time. Sunday after the race ended up being a marathon travel day starting with an early trip to the airport at 5am and finally rolling into home at 2:30am the next day. (ouch) When planning out my season I had decided to skip the Xterra race this weekend in Richmond as the course with a crazy short swim and very technical bike didn't suit me well so even though I had to drop the Alabama race I felt it wasn't worth adding Richmond back in. Instead I got in a good solid week of training and feel ready to go again next weekend for the Xterra South Central Cup race in Arkansas.
Emma and Dan took some great pic's of the race site which I stole and put in my gallery. Also included are Erin's crazy post-race antics which among other things included throwing her leftover morning oatmeal on Craig's rental car that I was driving back to Spokane while he enjoyed some post-race beverages. We had hoped that the freeway speed would blow it off but I ended up having to clean it up before we returned it the next morning. As for her randomly jumping out of her car and running up the hill with me yelling out my car window, I still don't know what that was all about?!!!

No comments: