Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Why the XTERRA in Richmond Rocks!

XTERRA Atlantic Cup Race Report - Will

The XTERRA Atlantic Cup in Richmond, VA (new name, same venue) is the bomb diggity when it comes to fun races courses. Crazy swim in a river, sweet trails that are right downtown, and a run with several XTERRA style twists.

So here is my new fashion statement. I've determined that rolling the top of your suit into the bottoms to give yourself a "muffin top" is totally hot. I'm gonna do that all the time from now on. Not only that, but if wearing your swim cap and goggles while trying to put gloves on isn't cool, then I don't wanna be! It helped me shave a few seconds off of transition, which is a good thing because I lost a couple of minutes on the swim to the leaders.

I'm always impressed that Brightroom Photography finds a way to get shots on the lamest sections of the course. Look for the section that least represents what we are riding, and they are there. If I'm not mistaken, this is XTERRA and last time I checked that means we ride and run OFF road. Most of the pictures they shot for the day were on the only road section of the entire course.
I was really excited about the bike though because there was this one section where I did this one thing, that totally saved me like 3 seconds (you know what I'm talking about Conrad). I was so proud, that I shouted a big a WOOHOO, when I did it (even though no one was around to see my righteous move).

One of these days, after I learn how to swim fast, I will eventually have people to race with. I did 100% of the run by myself. Its kinda fun to be out there pushing yourself on your own, but at the same time I yearn for the challenge of racing my heart out in some head to head competition.

I did have a solid enough race to finish 9th, which earns some good points for the Pro Points Series. Staying top 10 in the series has been a goal of mine for a while and it looks like it'll happen this season!

Its Richmond! It wouldn't be complete without a quick trip to the med tent. Nothings serious, just a case of wussy-itous.

It was great to see my old college buddy Farleigh at the race. We used to be on the University of Colorado Triathlon Team. We reminisced about good old college times. Such as when we snuck 2 people into a Mexican resort in the trunk of a car.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

XTERRA South Central Race Report - Erin

June 20th, 2009
Little Rock, AR
6th Pro Woman

Swim - Let me just start with saying that it was 87* at 8:30am and we didn't start until 10am! By the start it was in the mid 90s and freakin' HOT! The tiny body of water we swam in was not only murky and filled with who knows what, but it was a refreshing 88*. That's warmer than bath water! My plan was to swim as easy as possible and try my best not to overheat. I did just so and the funny thing is that I actually swam faster than I ever have. I really focused on the new things I learned during my swim stroke analysis and really stayed long and strong versus fighting the water and trying to catch up to the other packs. I was super excited and now have a much better outlook on swimming :)

Bike - Although I swam pretty easy, I was still exhausted from the hot water and the insanely hot air temperature. The course was really rocky and bumpy and really worked your whole body. My plan of freezing half my hydration pack the night before and filling the rest full of water to dilute the sports drink/calorie concentrate was an absolute disaster. The thermal pack didn't allow the bladder to melt and I only had a small amount of water and no calories! Talk about a bad time not to have fluid or sugar!!! At that point, I was already so hot that I just put it in cruise control with the goal of simply finishing the race. The two loop course was actually really fun, but the heat just made it 10x harder.

Run - As I was coming into T2, I saw Will soft pedaling into transition. He told me he had overdone it, crashed a few times and wanted to wait to run with me because all he wanted to do was finish too. WOW...talk about a teammate! By this point, it's already noon and well over 100*. The first 2 miles of the run were completely exposed and false flatish uphill. After that, you have a 300-400ft full body climb/hike up these crazy cliffs. Had Will not been with me and brought a water bottle, I honestly would never have made it. I was going off course, I was falling backwards, I was completley dilerious! At the top, we traverse for a good mile or so until you start to descend back down through loose, rocky switchbacks. I finally got my legs turning over, but was still suffering like a dog. The final part of the run consisted of another 300ft climb (a little more gradual) but very exposed. I almost cracked, but Will saved the day again and kept reassuring me I could do it. After another technical decent on the 'rock quarry', we hit the forest for a mile or so and to the finish...THANK GOD!

Finish - Holy crap that was hard. I am so proud of myself for getting through it and NOT going to the med tent! Yes, that is a huge step for me as I'm usually the first to head over. This isn't the first time Will has run with me in a race and helped me to the finish line and having a friend/teammate like that is absolutely priceless. Thank you sooo much Will and if I could do the same for you, I would in a heartbeat.

Friday, June 19, 2009

XTERRA Atlantic Cup Race Report - Erin

June 14th, 2009

7th Pro Woman

After the crazy travel debacles and my stress levels beyond healthy, I went into this race with absolutely no expectations. Not only was there a potential for duathlon because of high water levels, this is probably the most technical course in the series and Erin ≠ technical!

The Swim – Yes, we did have a swim and it was absolutely hilarious. Although the current wasn’t nearly as strong as it had been the previous two days, it was still flowing pretty well. I honestly had to swim at a 45* angle just to keep myself from drifting down river. Even though the water was way higher than last year, there were still several gigantic rocks through the swim that just come out of nowhere. When your head is submerged in the James River you can’t even see your hands much less anything in front of you…ugh, so disgusting. I ended up having a killer swim coming out 2nd with a pretty good gap. This was the best swim finish for me ever so I was super stoked.

The Bike – My 2nd place lead didn’t last long. Over the next 30 minutes, just about every person behind me came flying by like I was standing still. I was excited I didn’t have any fit issues, but I still didn’t feel very comfortable or confident on the new bike at all. This is not my kind of course with lots of technical sections and windy, narrow trail. Luckily, I only crashed once but did ride very conservatively and SLOW as crap! I’m definitely looking forward to some good training and practice on the 9.9 once I get home and really dial it all in.

The Run – I knew the other girls in front were pretty far up there so I decided to just throw down as hard as I could for the first part of the run that is flat and straight. After climbing up the Mayan Ruins (a section of 2-3ft broken down stairs that go straight up and require full body use to get up), I got right back into a fast pace. As soon as we jumped into the final technical singletrack, I completely hit the wall. I might have run a bit too fast during the first 4 miles or maybe just didn’t eat enough during the bike, but all I know is that my pace slowed to a screeching halt and the technical sections seemed much harder than normal. I hate to say it but my knee was totally killing me too so that definitely wasn’t aiding the process of getting me to the finish line any faster:)

The Race – In the money Baby!!! Although this was yet another frustrating and nothing resembling ‘perfect’ race, I was happy with it. I had a great swim, learned a lot about the different things I need to do on the bike and gave the run the best effort I could. Racing week after week is really hard without having much base from the winter, but it’s such a great experience and with a healthy body, I know it can be much better!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

XTERRA Northwest Cup Race Video

Friday, June 12, 2009

XTERRA Northwest Cup Race Report - Erin

June 6th, 2009
Coeur d'Alene, ID
8th Pro Woman

This is the first time I have ever had an afternoon start and although it was a bit awkward, it was kind of fun and definitely a new experience.

The Swim - Brrrrr and holy waves! We were told the water temp was around 55*. The worst part was that it was really windy which made for some super choppy water. No worries, I got through it just fine...slow, but safe. I did, however, learn a big lesson on the day. I knew the run from the lake to transition was on really rocky and steep terrain and because I didn't have any other shoes other than my race flats, I thought it would be a good idea to bring those down and put them on to run up. As I put one foot in, I filled it up completely with rocks and sand and remembered that Will told me to be careful of that because I didn't want any debris left in my shoes for the actual run section of the race. After realizing that it would be nearly impossible to get all the rocks out before the run, I decided to just carrying them. Ha...what a stupid move that was. Talk about disoriented! Trying to get your wetsuit off with one hand while running up steep, rocky stairs after swimming in freezing cold, choppy water is probably the hardest thing EVER!

The Bike - The first race on my new bike!!! Hell yeah it’s flashy, fast and beautiful, but let me tell ya, without the correct fit, it doesn't work well at all :( Because I had only done 3 rides on it before the race, I didn’t get a chance to dial everything in and I ended up being way too stretched out. I felt my lower back tighten up immediately after the first short climb and couldn’t get it to calm down afterward. Standing up on the pedals and thrusting my hips forward helped pop some things back into place, but having all the power coming from my back and not my legs definitely didn’t help me get anywhere fast. I swear one of these races everything will be just fine and I’ll be able to hammer and thrash my legs are much as possible…haha.

The Run – You’ll all have to see the video footage of this, but literally within 3 minutes into the run, I tripped and face planted right into a huge pile of rocks and sliced my ‘good’ knee right open. I didn’t think twice about it and got right up and started running as fast as my little legs would go. I’m not sure if it was the adrenaline pumping through my veins or that my ‘bad’ knee is starting to heal, but I honestly had no shooting pain throughout the entire run which was a first! Other than the blood gushing out of my right knee and the pain of running a super technical trail, the run couldn’t have been any better. I definitely wasn’t the speediest on the course, but I wasn’t the slowest either and I actually felt like I was ‘running’. WHOOOAAAA…this is good!

The Race – Things are finally starting to come together. Every race has been better and better and I can only imagine it will keep going in that direction. I am learning from the big girls and once I can get some consistent training in, I have a feeling the latter part of the season is going to kick butt! As for the venue, it was absolutely gorgeous and fun to be part of an inaugural race. Thanks to everyone who helped us out and a big thanks to Phaedra who hosted all of us at her wonderful home :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Timex Clinic - Trek Store - Boulder, CO

On Tuesday evening, 8 Timex athletes who reside in Colorado did a ‘Smorgasbord of triathlon’ at the Trek Store in Boulder. Not only was it great to see some of my teammates that I hadn’t seen since camp, we also had a great turnout. Each of us presented on a different topic and had great response from the audience.

Even though it was raining, I did bring the BMW out with the new bike on it :)

I would like to give a big thank you to The Trek Store in Boulder. Every employee there is absolutely amazing. They have consistently been bending over backwards for us and have provided such great service both bike and customer related. If you ever need anything from a local shop, definitely head over there. I promise they’ll get you all hooked up and ready to roll. Click on the logo above to check out their website!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

XTERRA Northwest Cup Pre Ride

Erin and Will were joined by Justin Barnhart (assistant race director for XTERRA Portland) and Matt Berg (top age grouper) for a pre ride of the XTERRA Northwest Cup in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Preview of XTERRA South Central Champs

On his way back from the XTERRA Southeast Championship in Birmingham, AL Will rode the bike course for the upcoming XTERRA South Central Championship in Little Rock, AR. Below is the preview and a little silliness at the end.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Portland Triathlon Clinics

After a crazy day of travel, building bikes, riding the XTERRA Portland course and a 30 second shower, we headed over to the Lucky Labrador to give the Portland Triathlon Club a clinic on 'Erin & Will's XTERRA Adventures'!

We had a great turnout and definitely convinced a few people to get out and try their first off-road triathlon which was really exciting! Check out some of the footage from the night :)

After a big day of swimming, biking and running on Tuesday, we went to the Gecko Tri Club in Portland to do another presentation. As always, Will and I were full of information and lots of silly stories.

Wednesday was a much more relaxed day. We slept in, did a hard swim then got lots of work done before we headed out for an evening 'fun run' with the Ironheads Triathlon Club. We met up with a great group of triathletes and did an awesome loop around a beautiful area. Afterward, we all joined up for a delicious BBQ and some good conversation.

XTERRA Portland Pre-ride

We flew out to Portland yesterday morning from Denver to give clinics and lead 'fun runs' to various triathlon clubs in the area. Although XTERRA Portland isn't until August 15th, we wanted to be able to tell and show our audiences why this course is the absolute bomb diggity and that everyone should sign up! Click on the image above to reach the race website and check out the video below to check out the bike course.