What this blog is about

Bicycle commuting, bicycle touring, bicycle racing; bicycle ADVENTURING.
To the grocery store, up a mountain, across the country or to the finish line--
it's all an adventure.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Xterra - The Story

In words, how did Xterra go?

Well, to start-- my two pals Jess and Elly brought me to Black Diamond! (THANK YOU!!) I need to get them "Support Crew" or "Cheerleading Squad" shirts, because they're always there to shout at me... though they went hiking that day instead-- and if you saw their pictures, you wouldn't blame them.

But my parents soon arrived, and were troopers in the transition zone-- taking pictures, video, smiling and waving each time I came through. We all had our age written on our right calf, so they had fun guessing people's ages as they ran by!

Oh, but I forgot the wetsuit that my friend Teal had lent me. D*MN! I was really looking forward to the buoyancy and slippery seal speed. And just looking bad ass.

So I swam in my sports bra and bike shorts, which worked fine, though it (or I) was a bit slow. I stayed calm in the water (it's easy to get all excited and thrash) and was VERY excited to reach each bright buoy that marked the swim course. We swam to a teeny tiny island, manned by a girl in a hawaiian skirt and a volleyball that resembled Tom Hanks' friend Wilson, ran across it, then back into water. I have to say-- it was a great opportunity to wipe the snot off my face.

I've grown much fonder of swimming than I ever was-- but BOY was I glad to see my bike!

I've never actually raced my mountain bike, so it was neat to rip around the course and keep pushing. No photo breaks!

I was a bit too shy about passing people, or maybe too complacent to sit on their wheel-- but after I had to stop and readjust my saddle (the nose flopped up so that I looked like a freestyler!), it lit a fire under my bum and I had to really scoot to make up time. I also had NO idea what "15 miles" really meant on a mountain bike, but now I do!

After mobbing down the open stretches, looking gallant for the photographers and bumping along the rest-- I approached the transition zone once more.

Oh.. I still had 6 miles to run. Hmm. I don't really run all that often except when orienteering/adventure racing, soo..

my legs felt GREAT!

I know, right? Legs feel AWFUL after sitting in exact same position, spinning the exact same cadence in the exact same motion on a road bike. But a mountain bike? Heck, you're all over the place on that thing! My legs were FRESH!

Well, perhaps "fresh" is too strong a term. My legs felt better than worse.

I was a bit apprehensive, though-- because I had no idea what 6 miles would do to me. Turns out-- I just had a blast! I only really trotted along.. then I would see a rabbit, accelerate, stop a moment to "draft," that I would ATTACK and zip around them, ensuring that they wouldn't tag on. While I throughly enjoy "chicking" the men (at that point, I had them beat by 5 minutes, as they started ahead of the women), I kept hoping that the next person I'd see would be a woman, to claw my way up the rankings. I never started with competitive intentions, but, you know, why not?

Also-- why do people run on pavement? That just seems stupid. Trail running is about 10,000 times better.

Then the finish came, sooner than I ever thought it would, and I opened it up down the finish stretch, happy to complete my first OFF-ROAD triathlon.

And then-- OH! Ohhhhhhhhh...


Yeah, I had forgotten how my hands had been cramping since the swim, my shoulders clenched and throbbed, and little zings went shooting up my lower back. So I laid down. Happy.

I'll be doing the Portland Xterra on August 14!
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