Writing, Running, Being.

The finish line is a shifty Thing and what is life, but reckoning?
Ani DiFranco

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Xterra Lory

I did the Xterra Lory off-road triathlon last Sunday. I was sort of dreading it. I agreed to do it only because my friend Natalie wanted someone familiar to suffer with during her first triathlon. I was not thrilled about doing a triathlon I had not (even a little) trained for. BUT... I knew I would be glad I did it once it was over so I sucked it up and got in the water.

Natalie and I before the race.

I haven't been in the pool in months and I haven't consistently swum in years so I didn't expect much more than just finishing the swim. Once I got going it felt really good and I decided to race this race rather than just finish it. I finished the swim (1/2 mi) in 13:48, 10th-ish out of the water.

I was super nervous for the mountain bike ride because when Natalie, Brian and I rode the course a few weeks ago I had a really off day. Certain technical spots that I knew I could ride were really getting in my head and I took the descent like a wuss! I never got over that ride until the bike part of race day. Turns out triathletes (the ones on my end of the pack) don't ride the technical spots anyway. That was actually really frustrating and exhausting. The first 1.8 mi was a pretty steep climb. I pushed hard up since I planned to get passed like crazy on the switchbacky downhill. Occasionally I would get behind someone I wanted to pass, but lacked the guts to do so until someone came up behind me and wanted to pass. Then I would just follow those people around the guy I wanted to pass. This method proved pretty destructive as I lost a lot of time and places to my hesitation. Gotta work on that.

The downhill section was about 1.5 mi and whatever was chewing away at my brain when I practiced the course was gone. I rode it well and only got passed a few times. I was so relieved when it was over though. That's when all my nerves and bad vibes about this race finally melted away. The rest of the course was pretty flat and fast. That doesn't mean I didn't get passed a lot though! Haha! My excuse is that I don't have a mountain bike of my own right now and have only gone on 4 rides this summer. Again, it's been years since I have ridden regularly. I just feel like I need to include that little disclaimer. I finished the 10.5 mi bike in 1:14, no idea what my rank among women was.

Next up was the run. It was hot! I didn't hydrate properly on the bike. I blame my poor coordination and lack of bike handling skills. They left me high and dry for the run. We ran up the same climb that we rode up. It felt much steeper this time though. I shuffled up, but did not walk. I slowly picked off other competitors and got passed by one. On the downhill I passed several more people. My goal was to pass everyone I could see on the downhill and I did! Then it flattened out and I held my place. I had no idea if the course was 4 or 5 miles (it was 5), so I was freaking out a little. I drank about 16 oz of water on that short course. It was hot! I felt a little wobbly like I was going to pass out so I took a gel. Before I knew it I was off the singletrack and it was downhill on the road to the finish. I caught another woman about 100 yards from the finish and 2 men. Run time was 47:20. Then there was a 40 foot slip and slide with a blow up pool at the end. I dove onto the slide but it wasn't very silppery. I bounced. Decided that was enough humiliation for one day and climbed around the muddy pool at the end of the slide. Done!

Final time was 2:19:03. 4th in my age group and 25th female. I'm actually pretty happy with that and would love to train for it and do it again next year to try to beat my time. But past that, I think I'll just stick to my 2-3 running events per year. I will always like the simplicity of running best. Fewer things to remember to pack!

Sorry for the lack of pictures, but no one needs to see me in my tri-tard uniform! Not. Flattering.


Laura said...

Congrats on coming 4th in your age group! :-)

AM-GoalsfortheWeek said...

I'm so jealous of your swim time! and you didn't even train for it! ugh. not fair.

but very cool you did the tri w/your friend, and you rocked it. embrace it girl!;-)

Mom said...

This makes me want to do a tri again- will have to this summer!

tara said...

Great Job.

zbsports said...

The race seems so interesting and challenging. The event is tough and looks everyone is happy to it. Good post too.