Tuesday, December 21, 2010

XTERRA Nationals

Two weeks after the SOS triathlon, and I still hadn't had the time to get in a single workout. Even though I felt like crap, I was hoping that I'd be well rested and somewhat still acclimatized to the altitude to be able to perform somewhat decently at XTERRA Nationals (Ogden/Snow Basin, Utah). It was a quick weekend trip, and Kristin came with me to this one!!!!

The event was cool. XTERRA always puts on a good show. Nationals marks the end of the US racing season, and its by qualification only. I finished the season ranked 2nd in the Northeast Region (M 30-34) after Dave who was in first (I'll get you next year buddy). The two of us and Suzie made up our little East Coast Crew. This is us on the way to the pre race dinner/awards ceremony.
The swim started and I lasted about 2 mins before I had to float on my back. Don't know what it was, maybe a combination of altitude, tight wetsuit, cold water and over-excitement. I guess it could be summed up as a panic attack, which I cannot believe happened to me. But there you have it, I was gasping for air, floating on my back, and trying to meditate myself back to some type of normalcy. Seriously contemplated raising my hand to have the water patrol pluck me from the race. After what seemed like forever I started to get back under control and continued swimming, but was limited to about 75%t of normal effort. Anymore and I couldn't breathe enough to keep up.

Got on the bike, and same feeling... had nothing from the get go. Was limited to about 75% of what I was hoping for. Not good since the bike already plays to my biggest weakness - climbing. It was a 20 mile, almost entirely uphill ride. Felt like I was going backwards, got passed by over 100 people.
Then came the run. After my first few steps I already felt better. Trail running at altitude was a very familiar feeling thanks to the TRR experience the month before. I settled into a good pace an had a good run in the hilly/technical trails at Snowbasin.

I crossed the line in 3:29 something. Was 146th place overall, 21st in my age group. I guess that is not so bad considering that only the 350 fastest Americans were competing, and I live at sea level. But this will go down as my worst, and most disappointing performance of the year. Not planning on doing this race again anytime soon.
After the race we headed down into Ogden. There was a street fair going on with live music, all kinds of shops, food stands, bars, and a Crit race. Kristin and I hung out and had a great time all evening. Very cool place and vibe that you just don't get around here.
Here is a great recap video of the event...

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