March 30, 2009

Folsom Xterra REAL Race Report

The first Xterra and triathlon of the year was sure to prove a few things...early season cold water and a humbling highlight to any weakness that I have been slacking on in the past few months. The first race is also a great reminder of just how much love there is for racing in the dirt. Its Xterra time!

There are only about 2 or 3 races I have done three times in my three years of racing and I am stoked to say that the Xterra REAL is one of them. Awesome course, TFB organization that hosts the race is top notch and there is plenty of cool things to do around the area. The water might be a bit on the cold side but the single track and views of the lake are like nowhere else I have raced. Worth the drive and then some. . . Last year, we raced Folsom, it was Monique's first Xterra and she was worried about just making the distance. This year she got to "race it" and dropped about 30min off of her time while rolling her first race in on her 29 wheels.

The official results are not yet posted and TBF does not have the splits yet so I am making some guesses on my time/place here. All a good learning lesson for the first tri of the year and a reminder of why I am racing(love ;-)

Swim -
Brutal - Cold, blender, mass start crazy mess. Nothing that we all do not expect but somehow forget until the next starts. It keeps it REAL. I got a good start and clean water to the first buoy but with my 1-2 swims a week at just around 1-2K yards a session I was lacking the volume to keep a "good" pace. No worries. I slowed it down to my pace that I could manage and just kept it going. My left hand was going numb (I noticed this at the last tri of 08) and it started freaking me out a bit. Was my suit too tight? I am swimming more than 2x this distance this weekend at the 70.3 so hopefully I can get it worked out. Any suggestions??

I think I was somewhere near 25-30th overall out of the water. Today my legs are fine but my back feels like I got beat with a pole. Swimming was my biggest limiter of the race for sure. . . BUT I was stoked that I held back and didn't blow up. Get me on that bike ;-)

Bike -
Although I would not get the feeling back into my feet until I had mile one behind me on the run my legs were with me from the first pedal stroke. Stoked! I love this bike course and me and the Moots were getting pretty intimate on the course...we were one and rockin it. I am not sure how many people I passed but I was railing the turns and hammering without a care in the world of going out too hard. They cut the bike course by about 3 miles this year so there was no room to hold back.

I rode most of the 2nd loop with Tom Lyons and it was the highlight of my race. He truly embodies the spirit of Xterra and is a reminder of what we are all out there "suffering" about. At 48 years young, a family and a real job Tom keeps it all REAL for Xterra. On one road section as we were switching back and forth and ended riding next to eachother...gasping for air he looked over at me and muddered out the words with a smile. . . "I . . love this" Ha!! Awesome! We finished up the 2nd lap moving to the top 10 overall and made quick work of the transition.

Run -
I was not sure how my legs or lungs were going to hold up for the run. My run has been getting there and I was stoked the race was limited to just a four mile run. I could manage. After hurting my foot just a month or two ago I was stoked to be running injury free and I just tried to keep pace with Tom as we started out. Somewhere around mile 2ish I started feeling my feet and form so I slowly turned it up. Up the hill and down to the finish to hold it with no competition in front or behind me. It was a nice finish strong and wrapped up a killer day.

I finished 7th place overall and 2nd for my age group. ..but the prelim results include the pros so because Damian Gonzalas is a pro I believe I will get the 1st place points for the series??? Eric also made the podium for our age group and had a killer race! He dropped 4 minutes off his run split from last year and it was great to see him and his bro out there racing.

I was on to the recovery drink and then out to snap some pics of Monique on her way to a 5th place finish. Go girl!

Really stoked about the results and how the race came together. Sean has been telling me for months about frequency and I am just starting to get it! The next three weeks will be a huge swim and run focus which were my obvious limiters to me as my bike is spot on at the moment. I am looking forward to some more time in some open water sessions and maybe even another Xterra sometime soon - See ya out there!


Zippy said...

Nice job man; you killed it! I'm pretty sure Damien is no longer racing Pro. Sandbagger...

Pedal Circles said...

You guys rock!

Keep it up. Can't wait to read the RR from this coming weekend.

Luke said...

way to get it brotha! ...and tbf really does put on a good show. i started my tri career with a few of those plaques. good job!!