Friday, July 20, 2012

EX2 Xterra race report

Wow, I can't believe that exactly a week ago I was leaving for Maryland. Time is going by too fast. Since I got back I've been working, trying to ride, and spending most of my time in a post-race coma. I will be the first to admit that I was WRECKED after that race!!! And sore in places that normally don't get sore. Like the bottoms of my feet, and my ankles. I'm still a little sore but the good news is that I no longer feel like my legs are blocks of wood and both of my pinky fingers are bending again. Hurray for recovery!

Here's my mucho belated race report:

I had a really bad night's sleep the night before the race. In my previous post I mentioned that our room was right next to train tracks and I wasn't joking. It seemed like a train was stopping outside every 30 minutes. It's lights were shining thru our curtains and it was LOUD. 

It felt like I had just fallen asleep when my alarm was going off. Toni and I loaded up the car, ate a quick breakfast and headed to the race venue. We got there two hours early and already the parking lot was full. Are you kidding me??? Racers were already completely kitted up and even had their Xterra tattoos attached. I set up my bike in the transition area and then went back to the car and drank some coffee. I felt like a total slacker but what was I supposed to do? If I started warming up two hours in advance I wouldn't be able to run when the race started.

Finally it was time to warm-up (which consisted of me running back and forth between bathrooms) and then head to the start line. The triathletes were being sent off in waves seven minutes before the duathletes. Everyone around me was talking about how wet and slippery the course was going to be but I was no longer worried. I figured the best approach was to "just go for it" and pretend that I knew what I was doing. Even though my pre-ride was bad I usually can handle rocks :-)

We were off! Instantly our pack started to break apart. My goal was to place in the overall (and by that I mean win the overall) so I was a little worried at how dead my legs felt. Three women slowly pulled away from me and I tried to keep them in sight and not fall on my face. Some of the trail was completely insane. Huge clusters of slippery roots, rocks all over. I have no form when it comes to running and I certainly have never run on trail like that. I must have looked crazy because I was basically using trees to stop myself from sliding and taking giant leaps over big rocks. It was actually kind of fun minus the fact that I rolled my left ankle about five times.

By the end of the third mile I was in second place, about a minute behind first. She kept looking back at me and all I could think was that I NEEDED my bike asap. As we were running downhill I could see the triathletes biking up it and was really happy to see my little sister right behind the lead group of men. It made me smile all the way to the transition area.  I had a really long transition (oops) which pushed me back to third place but within the first mile I had taken the lead. The bike portion was completely awesome and I felt like a different rider then the day before. I was able to pass a ton of guys on rocky downhills, cleared the loose uphill with no problem and had a blast. Part of the race took us through a campground and there were lots of people sitting on the sides cheering us on. I DID NOT want to get off of my bike.

After two laps we headed back to the transition area where I had another slow transition that involved double-knotting my shoelaces and checking them twice. I had no clue how many minutes I had put on the other females. Once again the run completely kicked my butt and once again I twisted my left ankle repeatedly. Stop that!!! My endurance was definitely helping my race because I kept passing runners...and a few people still on bikes. It was obvious that everyone was suffering...including me. It was hot, humid and technical.  We had to climb up a really rocky hill and there was no running involved. More like jumping and balancing over boulders. Talk about a total body workout.

I was able to cross the line as the first overall female. The bike portion really helped me out as I had built over a 20-minute lead. I'm glad I didn't know that during the run because it might have been tempting to slow down a bit :-)
As happy as I was about my race, I was even happier about my little sister's. She had a really stacked field and finished 1st in her age group and 5th overall. She had a huge lead out of the swim, was passed by one female in the bike, and the rest passed her during the run. Once she gets her run out.

In fact, I need to watch out :-) Our bike splits were pretty darn close. She's coming for me, I just know it!

Today is the first day that I feel somewhat normal again. I still find it hard to believe that I was more sore from a 24-mile xterra then I was from the Lumberjack 100 but it's true. Every single part of my body was sore. I'm sure the crashes played a huge part in this soreness as well, but still!

During my pre-ride I said that I was never going to do another duathlon but I'm sure I'll find another one to do. In fact, it would be fun to go back and do the EX2 next year. It was one of the most organized races I've ever been too and the promoters did a great, great job all the way to the finish line. In fact, the finish line might have been one of my favorite things about the race. As soon as I crossed there was a volunteer standing with my choice of cold beverages, and a few feet away another volunteer was chopping up fresh watermelon. If I would have known it was going to be like that at the end I might have run even faster.

Now it's time to get ready for one of my favorite-est races coming up next weekend! I can't wait!


Lindsay Rodkey said...

If you're really getting Xterra obsessed, this isn't super far for you:

No run-bike-run, but they have a kayak-bike-run.

Danielle Musto said...

Don't tempt me Lindsay :-) That's the same weekend as Ore to Shore plus I don't own a kayak. Though I would like to see my coach's face if I told him that I was going to have to start doing kayak intervals too!!!

Jason said...

nice work! those folks do put on some great races. I've done their 9 and 12 hours of Cranky Monkey races and they are awesome.