Thursday, May 05, 2011

South Central Championships in Waco.

I decided to make a trip south to race in South Central Champs this April. I really wanted to get an early season race in this year and I also wanted to have a chance to qualify for worlds earlier in the season. I have family about an hour and a half from Waco, TX so this race made sense.
It was a long road trip with a two-year old but I brought along my crew (mom and my 12 year-old niece, Alyssa). After a night with Grandma we headed to Waco on Friday to pre-ride. It was a super fun course! I had heard it was a good course but I didn’t have high expectations for TX. The course was really fun and twisty single track through the trees with short steep climbs and it suits me well even though I have only been on bike a handful of times. Saturday I was feeling good and excited for the race on Sunday. I went to the venue listened to the race brief for tips on the course and all then headed out for a little run. About 20 min into my run I rolled my ankle pretty bad. I was really upset as I made my way back. I found some ice and talked with the man in charge of the med stuff for XTERRA, he was really nice. I iced like crazy that night, but I have to say my confidence was not real high.
Race morning I got up extra early to try to stretch my ankle and get some of the stiffness out. Set up transition and tried to prepare myself to race through some pain. The swim was in the river which is something I have not done before. My plan was to swim hard so I could get on the single track early. I felt pretty good on the swim but felt I was all along alone only to look and find that on the upstream portion I was swimming way inside of everybody which would be more in the current and that isn’t fast. I didn’t feel too bad though. I got out made a good transition and hopped on the bike but when I looked at my watch I was not impressed.
I love the bike portion and as I said I knew this was a good course for me. However, being from Winter Park, where everyone is still skiing, I haven’t had much time on my bike yet. I hit the bike hard and felt good with only a few minor “oops” one over the bars and one to the side. I tend to do that on the bike I get to amped and I make silly mistakes. I made some passes but felt pretty alone out there so I had no idea where I was in the pack. I did turn in 9th fastest bike split (including pros). I finished strong and prepared myself for what I knew would be the hardest part. My run has always been my weak link so that didn’t help. I slipped on my Newton’s and headed out. As soon as I started I just tried to change my mindset and tell myself that I am not a bad runner and I can pass people on the run. I was surprised at how strong I felt despite the ankle. I knew it was hindering me some but I felt good. That early season focus on my run is paying off, big shout to coach Jared. The last part was hard mottled clay and that was the worst. I made it through the finish and went straight to the med tent for some ice. I still had no idea where I had finished then my mom went and got my time card and I found that I was 2nd in my Age-group which means I qualified for worlds!
I ended up 12th overall 4th Amateur. Not a bad end to a roller coaster weekend.

Big thanks to everyone who helped.
• Newton, the shoes felt great even with a sprained ankle, light and fast.
• Marie, my reflexologist who helped with oils on my ankle.
• Jared, my coach, obviously all the run training has paid off so far.
• My support crew, my mom and niece Alyssa who not only take care of my crazy two-year-old but help me out a lot.

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