Swim, bike, run.… does that make me a tri geek now?? Hehe. I did my first ever Xterra race this weekend in Whistler, BC !!! Not sure if I already have racers amnesia or what, but I had a great time. Painful yes, but it was a lot of fun, and I only mildly embarrassed myself in the swim.
Okay, ya, the swim......this was basically my second swim in the wetsuit and probably my sixth swim since I decided this is what I was doing.… and my first mass start swim (yuck!!!). First 50m of the swim actually went really good and I was thinking "wow, maybe this won't be that bad". Then someone's foot knocked that idea out of me and replaced it with a throatful of lake water. So in the middle of the swim I come to a complete stop, sputtering and chocking. Didn't take me long to remember i was still in a race so I got moving again, but all that drowning I was doing took a lot out of me. All I could manage to do was a little breast stroke and yes, I did some backstroke in the race. Finally I got my rhythm back, only to realize the group I was swimming with had completely missed the first bouey!!! Doing extra distance was the last thing I needed, but I turned around and swam back…ugggg. I did notice not everyone was silly enough like me to backtrack back on course. Finishing the first 750m we had a short beach run, the most painful 30m ever, then back into the water for a second lap around the lake. My second lap went much smoothly and I was a little surprised when I made it to the bike to find mine the last lone bike of the pro rack, haha.
But I get a head of myself.… no one told me just how hard it would be to walk let alone run out of the lake. Pulling myself out of the water I was thinking "smooth, fast transition onto the bike, no problem"........pulling my arms out through the wetsuit I miss judged the set up from the beach to the grass, yup you guessed it, I tripped!!!! Arms stuck in the wetsuit I fell flat on my face and T-Rexed around on the grass for a couple seconds before I could get myself back up!!! Haha, I really hope someone got that on tape!!!! Transition wasn't so smooth either, buckles on bike shoes are not the easiest thing to do up while you're trying to go fast!!! And my honey stinger sponsor Clay was standing there cheering, and more then likely laughing his ass off at me the whole time…way to impress the sponsor!!!!
The bike was a hundred times better. Once I managed to get my gloves on, which was another difficulty, and get moving I felt pretty strong. And this course is a mountain bikers course without a doubt!! Tight and technical and lots of bridges....yippee!!! I started the bike the 13th woman (last pro) and finished the bike in 3rd place......unfortunately my great transition time is added to the bike time so it really doesn't look ad impressive as it felt.
Heading out on the run I really didn't know what to expect, but I knew Danelle Kabush was hot on my heels. This was a really tough run up and down a lot of great and very hard mountain bike trails. Danelle caught me really fast and passed me like I was crawling so I ran in fourth place for most of the run. Had a couple good tumbles on the run.…tripping and staggering all over the place. An finishing the damn run on a long downhill!!!! Super yuck!! There is an art to running downhill fast and I don't have that yet. With less then a km to go Emma Garrand caught me, please let me note she is a runner, and I lost fourth by 9 seconds!!
So all in all, I finished 5th in my first Xterra and had a blast. More then a little cooked right now, but excited about learning how to swim better. When you start more then 8 minutes down right off the bat it's a long day of catch up. Huge congrats to Mel McQuaid grabbing another Canadian Championship title very handedly! And to fellow mountain biker Brandy Heisterman who had an awesome day in second place. Mountain bikers 2 Xterra Pros 3. Not too bad
Now I'm getting myself in cross shape for Cross Vegas in 9 days, yikes!! But first I'm going to enjoy an ice bath back at Alta Lake in Whistler!
Huge thanks to all my sponsors for helping through the weekend. Pro City Cycle, Lazer Helmets (which are actually very easy to transition with, VellendTech for my Sidi shoes, Genuine Innovations, Oakley and Planet Foods with all the Honey Stinger products that helped me get through the day. Also a big shout out to my mechanic Regan, Pro City Sistas Jen for the awesome wetsuit (though I think I needed the model with the built in propeller ) and my mentor and superstar Mel (thanks for the gentle nudge to give it a try)!!