Friday, May 22, 2009

XTERRA Midwest Cup Race Report - Erin

May 17th, 2009
9th Pro Woman

Where to start? It was the first race of the season, my first race as a professional and first time running over 30min in a very, very long time! Considering those factors, I went into the race with absolutely no expectations.

The swim - No only was it a brisk morning (32 degrees), the water temp was only 61 degrees...brrrrr! No worries, the faster you go, the faster you'll warm up, right?!? Haha, that was my plan of action. The start went well and I was able to settle into a decent pace after getting around the madness of the first 200 meters. I always forget how intense the beginning of the swim is, geez! I didn't have the best of swims (5th woman), but was pleased that I didn't go off course and beat Will Kelsay out of the water. He'll claim in was in front of my at one point, but it was only during the run section between loops :)

I told myself that this race was all about smiles so that's what I attempted to do :)

The Bike - T1 was absolutely hilarious as I had not done one transition practice nor taken my wetsuit off yet this year and it took me absolutely forever to get my crap together. This is where Will got his, he's fast getting out in and out of transition. At any rate, this was such a fun bike course and I was really excited to get out there. The first part of the bike was super fast in tight trees with absolutely no sunlight. It was still really chilly and my hands and feet immediately went numb. The 2 creek crossings per lap didn't help warm the feet up much either! I was really hoping to get a killer ride in and either walk or trot the run, but the harder I went on the bike, the more my hips kept cramping up and I couldn't apply any power whatsoever. After coming through the first lap slower than my practice lap the day prior and feeling way more exhausted, I was really frustrated. I figured it was because I was cold and my muscles weren't firing, but about 3 minutes into the second lap, my saddle completely slipped and the nose pointed straight up. It had obviously been slipping the whole time pushing me backwards which was why my hips kept tightening up. I spent the rest of the lap pushing it back down every time it would slip up...which was every couple minutes! As I mentioned earlier, this race was about smiles and I immediately let it go because it wasn't worth being upset.

At least I didn't hit the big mud pit on the left of this picture before a creek crossing, stuff my front tire and fly straight over my handle bars and submerge myself face first into the creek. Seth Wealing had a fall similar to the dude below but unfortunately it wasn't captured on camera!

The stories from the guys behind him are absolutely priceless though!

The Run - T2 was even more comical as my feet were beyond numb coming off the bike. I was lucky to have the bike to hold onto while running into transition, but once I racked my bike, I fell right over attempting to put on my shoes! I hobbled out on the course and miraculously ran/trotted the entire course. Quite slowly of course and definitely not pain free but I did it.

The finish - Yippee, I finally made it. Because I wasn't even certain I would finish, I was thrilled. Deep down, I felt a little bitter as I wished I was healthy, fit, fast and running without pain, but I know it will come soon enough and Worlds aren't until October. I honestly couldn't have asked for a better day and it was so nice to have the support of my parents, little brother and grandparents! Thanks everyone :)

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