Month: November 2011

Xterra World Championship Part 1

I decided to do the xterra world championship race about 3 months ago. I had competed in a total of 3 triathlons in the last 3 years prior to worlds. I knew it was going to be a big undertaking but I felt I was up to the challenge. I worked with my new coach Devon Vigus from Vigus coaching, on the bike, who set me up with a weekly schedule along with Vince Sherry one of the founders of the Run Smart Project, which is an online run coaching site. I also worked with Lindsey Sharp who went to the olympic trials a few years back for swimming. She gave me a bit of much needed help in the water. I felt pretty prepared and with my training except for the fear of how much time I would likely be trying to make up after the swim. I was hoping that if I could get out of the water, not necessarily super fast but super fresh I’d be in good shape for the rest of the race. That’s not quite how it ended up going though… My girlfriend Nicole and I got out to Hawaii almost 2 weeks before the race to get acclimated to the heat and humidity. We made a pit stop on the island of Kauai to visit with family before heading over to Maui where the race was held. On Kauai we got in a few workouts including a great ride in the jungle with some really cool views but mostly stayed off our feet when possible. We had a chance to do a little snorkeling which is when both Nicole and I had our first octopus hunt. We handled a live octopus with our hands and I got sprayed with ink, we check it out for a bit more before letting it go completely unharmed. It was a really cool experience, they’re pretty cool animals and we didn’t really feel like we could ever eat one after that. One of the guys we went with didn’t feel the same though, he caught one, put it in a bag, took it home and chopped it up! Later on that day Nicole and I went with her mom and a friend to our first luau. We watched and listened to the story of hawaii told through song and dance. There was even some crazy dangerous fire dancing. At the end of the night I was really tired and thought about how nice it would be to sleep in. Nicole and I had been there for about 5 days already and had taken the necessary steps needed to secure a sure “sleep in”. See, on the island of Kauai there are wild roosters everywhere! I didn’t quite understand, I know they are really into cock fighting there. There are many paintings of roosters in restaurants and in buildings so I got the feeling that the Hawaiians are very proud of there cocks, which I believe is important, if your proud be proud and display them! I myself though could not stand hearing them all day. These annoying cocks would start mouthing off at about 3:45am until about 8 am take a break for an hour crow for a most of the day and stop at around 8pm and start all over again. A super loud fan along with a body length pillow rapped around my head and 4 other pillows was what made for a good sleep in.

Xterra Worlds Part 2

On the 7th day we left Kauai and headed to Maui. Once there we found the cheapest rental car available which was definitely not from the usual suspects. All the car rental booths wanted 460 bucks for the week, it didn’t matter if is was an economy car or and SUV for a few more bucks. I think the gas company gives the car rental agencies incentives to make the gas guzzling suv’s the same price as the economy cars, what a racket! Anyways, Nicole called around and finally got in touch with Paul from MAUI CRUISERS! The first 10 seconds of the conversation went like this. “hello?…” (paul’s cell phone crackles) “hey do rent cars?” Paul: Super enthusiastic almost in a joyous yell, “FU*K YEAH I DO!” We were sold! This guys was awesome! He wasn’t at work when we called him but said if we could wait for about 15 min he’d pick us up in his tiny red beat up pickup truck and drive us to the rental lot. He also told Nicole during the first 20 seconds “Remind me about the story I have about Pine st.” For the next 2 hrs we listened to the story about Pine st. and a bunch of other stories Paul had for us. Usually this is the type of thing that would really annoy me, especially since I was hungry, but not this time his stories were great and the car only cost 170 bucks for the week. I highly recommend renting from Maui Cruisers. They might not be brand new or luxurious but they’re fuel efficient and will get you where you need to be and back.We hopped in the car and headed to were we’d be staying for the next week. We built up our bikes and got ready for the next day. On wed. we pre rode the bike course which was apparent it was going to be tough right from the start. It was an immediate steep pavement climb over to a dirt climb that led you to some windy climbing which dropped you off where the real climbing started! Plus the sun was climbing and was right over head so it was scorching by the time we were half way done. I estimated my race time would be about 1 1/2 hrs judging by the time it took to pre ride. We rested the for the remainder of the day. The next day we ran the 10k run course and it reminded me very much of the ride course, lots of climbing. The race profile said roughly 4,000ft of ascending on the 18.3 mi. ride course and just under 1,300ft of ascent during the 10k. Nicole was happy to have a chance to check out the run course she’d be racing on in only 2 days as she was competing in the Xterra 10k trail run on sat. Friday was a day of doing pretty much nothing but resting. Sat morning Nicole got up at 6am and got ready to race. After she ate she got in the car and headed to the venue. I followed on my bike 30min later. When I got there she had already warmed up and was doing some final stretches. I wished her good luck and she jumped into the start line that was about 800 strong, more than half of them being 10k racers, the others 5k racers. The gun went off at 9am. I rode around for a bit and then saw here coming in for the finish line. She was running hard across the beach which happened to be one of the only flat sections of the whole course, the soft deep 250meter stretch towards the end of the race leading to the climb to the finish. I was cheering and she was working, the look on her face said she was glad she was almost done! She ended up doing so well. She finished 15th in her age group and 47th out of all the women there! Great Job Nic! After the race she rested for a bit and then we headed back to the room where I got everything together for sunday, race day

Xterra Worlds Part 3

Sunday morning I got up at 6am and ate, the race started at 9am. I had all my race gear set so I didn’t have to do any last min running around. I tried not to get too nervous and told myself relax and have fun. I rode over to the venue to warm up it was only about a 15min ride. Once I got there I put my things in the transition area and headed down to the water. I had about 20 min till the start of the race, I swam for about 10-15min and got lined up. The cannon blasted and we were off. 630 people into the water at once. I got elbowed in the goggles a few times and took a couple accidental gulps of water. I made it to the first buoy thinking that was fast, I’m flying, I felt pretty good. After making it around the next buoy and back to the beach I was feeling it. The second time around that first buoy didn’t come up so quick, in fact it didn’t feel like I was ever going to get to it. I did around the next and back to shore. In the transition zone I grabbed my bike and I was off. The game plan was to conserve a little on the bike, not go out too hard and be smart. I had a lot of ground to make up and I felt like I was still trying to recover from that damn swim. It was tough getting by all the racers that were now on the course. It was slow getting around people that weren’t as strong on the technical sections. I knew the leaders were pulling ahead every time I had to hit the brakes and wait a second to pass. By the end of the bike I was feeling pretty good but knew what I was in for during the run. I started off hoping my legs would loosen up a little and I’d pick up the pace. I felt like I had been running for about 10min uphill when I saw the first mile marker. I couldn’t believe it, this was going to take forever. I continued and the terrain rolled, I picked up the pace where I could and ran smart where it was steep (ran slow where it was steep). By the end I had come up with a 6:29 run pace that I was happy with considering it was at the end of a hot grueling race with so much ascending. I finished 35 over all which was a good jump from the 129th spot I got out of the water at. I finish just 5min back from Lance Armstrong ,he beat me out of the water by 5 min. and had just placed 4th at xterra nationals a month before. It just goes to show everyone really brings out the big guns for Worlds. After thinking about those things if felt pretty psyched to have had such a good kick off back into off-road triathlon. After the race Nicole and I got some halloween costumes ate and finished off the day with an xterra costume party. Yeee Haaaa!