May 14, 2009

XTERRA Del Valle Race Report

Last weekend Monique and I headed north again to Livermore for a nice weekend in the hills and our second Xterra race of the year. The Del Valle park is a true gem and I only wish it was closer to home! The Big Blue team was hosting an adventure race on Saturday and we arrived in time to watch some of the action. What a great place for an AR! It was already heating up in the hills and it would prove to be a hot one for us on race day.

We got in a quick swim and ride on Saturday and then were off to a killer carbo sugar induced evening and got a good night of sleep. The next morning we were running late and running around town trying to find some bagels and coffee. By the time we got to the park we had no time for a warm up but the important thing was I got the coffee going and hit the bathroom a few times! Boom! Race ready ;-)

For some dumb reason, I decided to NOT to wear my wetsuit on race day. It felt a bit tight the day before and I thought I could shave some time/energy off on the run to T1 and the 50 meters we had to run in the gravel between the swim laps. A BIG mistake! I found an old Sugoi tri suit in my truck and decided to wear just that for the race to save energy by not wearing a suit??

I was burning up energy faster than I should have been and wasout of reach every time I tried to find some feet to follow. The water was warm (~62 maybe) but not warm enough for me and the buoyant efficiency that a suite provided was becoming painfully obvious. Between the buoy's I started freezing and my pace was slowing down. I didnt realize until I was on the bike that I was grinding my teeth and had a sore jaw. Ahhgg!! Bad idea! By the second lap of the swim I was just trying to hold on and I got completely anaerobic just trying not to loose too much time. Exiting the water I was somewhere close to 30th place and feeling beat.

Time to get on the bike and warm up! Hammer!! I love riding my bike. Hills, hills, hills and more hills. This course was awesome and I found my legs coming around and warmed up pretty quickly. There were a few people complaining after the event about the hills and our run UP the river but you get what you pay for. . . This is XTERRA!

I felt better and better as the bike progressed but I also knew I was burning matches because I went out too hard on the swim and was trying to "make up time" on the bike. By the time I got into T2 I had moved back up to the top 10 overall. All I was thinking about on the run was "why have I never done a cross country bike race yet??"

The "adventure" run was amazing. Lots of elevation and variety. We ran in a river for nearly a mile where there were slippery rocks ready to take out an ankle and waist deep water in sections that took your attention to your hip flexors while providing a cool relief from the days heat. Once our feet got soaked with water it was up, up, up through some of the most GREEN single track trails I have ever had the pleasure of running on and then some fast, fun descents to crush whatever was left in the quads. Awesome!

I headed out on the run in 1st for my age group but got passed just about a mile in by Lennard who posted the 4th fastest run of the day and was flying by my almost 9min mile pace. I was holding on at this point. . . Luckily, I still finished 13min ahead of the next guy in my age group to grab 2nd place but I dug to new levels thinking there was someone right on my heels. Good times!

I was stoked to have Georgina come out and cheer us on and after I finished we headed out to cheer on the remaining people on the run and grab some pics of Monique. She was charging and I dont even know if she was breaking a sweat. She was talking to us on the run . . . Don't talk girl RUN! She finished 1st place in her age group and grabbed top points for the Xterra series for the race! I'm so proud of her!

Super fun race and a great weekend up north... Next up is the Alabama slamma!


jameson said...

killing dude! that's all i can say!

oh yeah.. and i am glad you not started racing XC mtb races against me!

Luke said...

very cool...the both of you!

Trevor Glavin said...

nice job bud.
Won't be in Bama but will be at all other other Xterra races starting with Idaho.
Maybe see you at those but hopefully sooner.

Zippy said...

Nice job as always. Yeah, Lennard runs FAST.