Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Xterra Buffalo Creek 2014

Xterra Buffalo Creek
1500 meter swim
22 mile bike
5 mile run
8000' elevation

Despite the ominous looking early morning fog rolling over the lake it was a perfect day for a race. 

The morning started out a bit chilly when I arrived at the race site at around 6:20 a.m. but once the sun rose above the hill in the picture shown above it warmed up nicely and stayed about as perfect as it gets.

I have more photos of the course here from last year's race and here from this year's pre-ride.

This year's race went way better than last year in part because last year I got sick from a gel very early on the bike and it took a good hour or so for my stomach to settle.  Also the training from a coach who actually knows what she's doing.  Also the new bike with the fancy suspension lockout.  Lots of non-technical climbing on this bike course and being able to lock out both front and rear suspension made a huge difference.  I cut 11:33 mins. off my bike time from last year and 3:02 mins.  off my run.  The swim was way short this year and I think it was long last year so it's not useful to compare swim times.  Overall my time was 24:02 mins. faster but again, the short swim means 14:35 better at least, maybe even faster if I'd had a relatively faster swim.  Still, a huge improvement and I was very happy.  And it was a very fun day, I felt great on the bike and was able to push myself on the run though the last few miles of the run did not feel so fabulous.  But they're not supposed to if you're doing it right.  Plus some bling, third place in my age group.

On the run I ended up running nearly the whole thing with another woman who was in her 30's and doing her second Xterra, her first race being Lory.  We ran the last few miles side by side, pacing and encouraging each other and near the finish line her boyfriend appeared with their boxer and cheered her in to the finish.  And something about this seemed awfully familiar.  Finally the memory from Xterra Lory bubbled to the surface.  As I was walking back to my car after Lory I heard a woman complaining to her boyfriend that the race had been too hard and no way was she going to do Buffalo Creek.  Now normally I would keep my trap shut but something compelled me to intervene.  Maybe because Xterra needs more women, maybe something about this particular woman, I don't know, but I piped up and told her what a beautiful, fun race Buffalo Creek is and as long as she puts in some training over the summer she'll love it, it's such a fun day.  I assured her the course wasn't technical, very fun smooth singletrack, challenging for the length of it (22 miles) and the climbing but SO much fun.  I know she can totally do it.  And as it turns out, this is the woman I was running with for the past 52 minutes.  After we cross the finish line I thank her for pulling me along and she does the same and I ask her by chance did she remember if a crazy lady tried to convince her to do the race back at Lory and oh yes, she remembers.  And yes, she had a great day and loved the race and was very glad she did it.  What are the chances of that? 

This is my last Xterra before Nationals and I'm feeling pretty good about things after this race.  There is one more off-road triathlon the week before Nationals that I might do as a rune-up race, still undecided about that.  Very happy with my season so far, can't wait for Nationals next month.

Final Stats

Swim:  1500 meters/1640 yards, 25:41 swimming (1:34/100 yards) and 25:56 official time.  Swim was definitely short. [last year about 33 mins. swimming time (2:01/100 yards)/35 secs. wading through mud and 1:46 dash up the beach for official time of 35:21]

T1: 2:31 (last year 2:32)

Mountain Bike:  22 miles, 2:23:25/9.2 mph  (last year 2:34:58/8.5 mph)

T2:  1:00 (last year 1:05)

Trail Run:  5 miles, 52:51/10:22 min./mile, (last year 55:53/11.11 min./mile)
Total:  3:45:44 (last year 4:09:46)

3/4 Age Group, 33/49 Women, 176/212 Overall
(last year 9/10 Age Group, 44/57 Women, 177/211 Overall) 

Swim:   3/4 Age Group, 21/49 Women, 128/212 Overall
              (last year 6/10 Age Group, 133/211 Overall)

T1:         1/4 Age Group, 17/49 Women, 101/212 Overall
              (last year 6/10 Age Group, 107/211 Overall)

Bike:      3/4 Age Group, 34/49 Women, 179/212 Overall
               (last year 9/10 Age Group, 198/211 Overall)

T2:         1/4 Age Group, 8/49 Women, 57/212 Overall 
              (last year 1/10 Age Group, 58/211 Overall)

Run:      3/4 Age Group, 40/49 Women, 186/212 Overall
              (last year 10/10 Age Group, 192/211 Overall) 

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