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!

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