Monday, May 30, 2011


Hopefully everyone is enjoying a nice long Memorial Day weekend!! I am enjoying a day off training and work and thought I would finally sit down a write up the Xterra South-East Championships race report. It was the last race in the block of 5 races in seven weekends that went Vegas, Waco, Spain, Santa Cruz, and Pelham Alabama. With all that travel and racing it wasn't a surprise that the bulk of us were suffering either from the Spanish Plague, the Santa Cruz influenza, or just plain old burn-out. After spending a couple of fun days with the Sista in Sausalito, I jumped on the red-eye Wednesday night bound for the "deep south". Unfortunately it wasn't a direct flight so I got a couple of hours of sleep into Dallas, then about another hour curled up on the mats in the kiddie play area at DFW. Got into Birmingham just before noon and headed over to the infamous homestay house. I first stayed with fellow Xterra triathlete Jerry Ryan for the race in 2008 and have since returned for the race each year and spent the winter of '09 and '10 training there as well. Now it is almost like my second home. JR single handedly hosts about half the pro field in his home and way too much fun is had by all. Unfortunately this year several of the "usual suspects" were absent, and greatly missed, but we managed to keep it full of laughs anyways. JR is the only person I know that can type in southern drawl and is never without a great saying or "Jerryism" for any occasion. Did a bit of training in the days leading up to Sunday and tried to ignore how incredibly horrible I was feeling. It was going on 3 weeks with a cough and congestion and the body was pretty much just done. I kept telling myself that I felt pretty good going into Santa Cruz the week before and didn't race all that well so maybe going into this race feeling terrible would mean a great race, hey why not!!! I was pretty happy that is was going to be a non-wetsuit swim until I got in the water race morning and felt like I was going to drown. This is a feeling that I rarely experience!! Bigfish felt more like deadfish bobbing hopelessly upside down in the water about to die. Lined up for the start next to Mel and shared a few laughs before the gun went off. Never even made close to the front of the swim as Craig was set on taking it everyone this time and followed Seth and Brandon into T1 with Conrad and Dan right in the mix. Oak Mountain has some of the best singletrack around and the trails were in perfect condition. I quickly forgot how I was feeling and simply had a great time riding. Being a bit more relaxed I guess helped me out as I was keeping it really smooth and holding off the other gals really well and much further than last year. Mel past me just before the climb up the North Trail head road and Renata got me about 2/3 of the way up. Held off Shonny until after Blood Rock then surprised myself with hanging with her on the descent!! (if you have ever seen her ride downhill you will know exactly how excited I was by this) Looking at the results after I was super happy to have taken over 7mins off my bike split from last year. The race was thankfully two weeks early this year which meant the temperature was only in the 90's!! The run was also a new course and cut out the second half of the hardest,steepest uphill/downhill combos I have ever had to suffer through. Still the run turned into a simply put one foot in front of the other suffer-fest for me and thinking just about everyone else was feeling the same way.

Finished up in fourth and overall pretty happy with the race. Enjoyed a nice evening out with the crew after the race before heading back to Tucson Monday morning. Big thanks to everyone in Bama for once again making this the favourite stop on the Xterra circuit!! Already looking forward to next year :)


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