Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cville International Tri - 7/27

Ok. So, when you are feeling a little bored of your normal work-out... what do you do? Ah... sign up for another race. This time it was the Charlottesville International Triathlon. It was also an opportunity to participate in an event with friends from my morning Tue/Thurs run group.

Road Triathlon, Denelle? Are you serious? Yes. .9mi swim; 24mi bike; 6mi run

Sunday morning, Shawn headed to work... me too. I racked my bike next to a few friends and headed to the water to stretch. There were over 2o0 participants, but solid competition... enough people in Cville and Richmond talk about who plans on showing; many of the competitors were people I didn't know. For me... this was a work-out... low pressure... driven by the need for a little exercise. Heck, I had to remove the cob-webs from the road bike in order to prep for the event.

Women 30 - 39 were the 4th launch of the event... the water felt cool as we entered the water and prepared for the start. The first lap was ok... it took a while to get comfortable, but by the end, I started to coast and not only pass other girls, but people from other heats as well. I tried waving to a friend of mine under the water second lap... but he didn't see me... oh well.

Transition was hard... road shoes are slippery... note to self. However, I was excited to get on the bike. Yeah legs! Legs felt good... a little sore from mtb ride w/ Shawn and folks the day before, but still nice. I saw Joy about mile 4 and was happy to see that she was doing well. A little after, I was passed by a woman in my age group... incentive to pedal harder. Yeah legs! I chase down the cyclist for a number of miles. I pass my friend Jake who was having a solid race and wished him well (and teased him a bit too). A few miles from transition, I see this woman toss a full bottle of drink at a mail box; not cool... but whatever. Jokingly I say, 'Awe, I am telling on you...' Wow... what stress does to a person... she flips and starts yelling at me about my negative attitude and that she threw her bottle there so that the owner of the house would find it... oh... or so she could go back and pick up the bottle later (right). Either way, I congratulated her on her great bike leg and wished her well on a race that must have been less than optimal... Oh... then I dropped her and finished minutes ahead... I didn't even see her during the next transition.

Trail running shoes on. Race belt on. Water in hand. Its 500 m later when I curse myself for not putting on a hat to protect my eyes from the sun.... but manage without. The run is two 3 mi laps on the Dam loop+. Lap one I see my friend Kate who is spectating. Hi Kate. I also learn that I am in 2nd place. Cool. Lap two... I'm glad that I'm almost done.

End result: 3rd woman overall. 2:32:23. Swim... not so great 14th overall. Bike leg... 2nd by 10 sec and 5th place run. My T1 was a whopping 2:06... whoa. too long. It was good training and great to see friends doing so well. Another note to self: Road biking is fun; I should do it more frequently. Any mtb takers?

Morning Run Group Stats:
Joy 5th/11
Jessica 8th / 11
Annette 4th / 9
Hank 9th / 17
Jake 4th / 18

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Xterra EX2-7/13

Ok, so i am a little late with a post about the Xterra EX2 event... the weekend in MD. I'm posting this on the BF site for Jason. Here you go... JH..

7:30 Saturday- Hop in the car w/ Shawn and meet Kate and Ed at the Panera
7:35 Saturday- I should double check if my mtb shoes are in the car
7:40 Saturday- Go back in the house and find my mtb shoes
8:05 Saturday- Into Panera for breakfast fixins & loading the dynamic duo's stuff into the barge
8:30 Saturday- Are we there yet?
9:20 Saturday- Shawn, why is the police man pulling us over? Arrgghh.
10:40 Saturday- Did we take a wrong turn?
11:05 Saturday- Are we there yet? Soon.
11:45 Saturday- We arrive at Rocky Mt State Park.... EX2 venue.

After dropping Kate and Ed off at a hotel, Shawn and I hit the trails. First lap we played, stopping over technical areas to pick fun (and manageable lines). The EX2 bike course is comprised of 2- 7mi laps. Each lap is 1/3 road or fast, flat lines, 1/3 root/rock gardens, 1/3 ROOT/ROCK GARDENS (really). I picked up the Ziggurat hard tail for the loop. I found the trail much easier than last.... everything rideable, which isn't the case for a majority of the EX2 participants. Two notable parts of the course are the steep climb, someone's revenge. Short, steep... but really manageble & my favorite a huge rock washout.... filled with 1' or larger rocks. First lap I was 50% on clearing the obstacle. Second lap, I tried the full suspension... which felt great against the massive roots and rocks. Ultimately, its the hard tail for tomorrow... too much flat for the full suspension. The best part of pre-riding the course was seeing Shawn 'play'. He had a blast riding through the different sections of the course.... he was like a kid with a new toy.

Race day:
Shawn and I camped, we woke, washed, ate and headed to the transition area for set up. For some reason, I wasn't feeling great about the race... I didn't have that typical excitement and something just wasn't right with my stomach. Oh well...

Swim: One, two, three strokes.... not right. four, five, six, forty... team lady with the two piece bathing suit... please stop hitting me as you swim. Swim, swim, swim, oh... darn... I'm off course... ok, out of the water. It's a two lap race with a quick run between laps. The second lap I felt better and started passing more people.... but missed my friend Kate. She was having a great swim and I knew I had to play catch-up to find her on the course.

Bike: Thank goodness I am on the bike. Its a road climb before entering the woods and I see Ed on his first Xterra. He confirms that Kate has been out for a while. I hit the woods at speed passing many of male riders that can swim... they started 2-3 mins. before. Easily I make my own path overtaking those guys that are having difficulty with the initial rock gardens (if they are having trouble this early, they are in for a long race). I see Shawn about 15 min in... he's changing a tire. During the revenge climb, I am cut off by a guy walking his bike up the hill (arrgghh). More walkers are to be found at the washout. Luckily, I warn a few of these that I am riding through... from almost a stop, I clear one of the tougher lines through the area with sufficient speed to also climb the immediate hill. 1 mi to the transition for the second loop, I see Kate. I know I've passed nearly every other girl when I see her. I see my mom at transition (hi mom!) and hit the road. I pass Kate on the road, but she's ready to stay on my wheel for the entire second lap. There is one other girl out ahead, a roadie pro... and good swimmer. Kate and I stay close for the second lap and Shawn joins us to keep us motivated.

Transition: I rack my bike. The entire rack falls. Crap. What do I do... a race volunteer sees this and helps pick up the rack. I put on my shoes... grab a hat...ooops. I forgot water... and head out the shoot behind Kate. Pass Kate. Run, run, pass another guy, another guy, another guy. I'm not feeling that strong... but they must be feeling particularly week, especially navigating the rooty trail. The run is pretty technical. At one point, you navigate a rocky ravine. Every step you pray that your ankle doesn't twist. Before heading out of the ravine, you actually climb on all fours up boulders. This is where I find Shawn... and hear him agree that the run course is just 'not rideable.' I head to the finish line... never to see the pro, but knowing that I've closed the gap on the lead she established on the swim. 200 m before the end of the race, I see my grandmother. Veering off course, I hear the spectators yelling me to the finish ( and telling me that I am going the wrong way)... but I want to give my grandmother a kiss first. I do, and sprint to the end.
1st amateur, 1st age group and winner of the regional title again; I've maxed out my points.

Kate finishes shortly after... Ed finishes strong as well. Mark IF finishes ahead of me again... he's been kicking butt these days. It must be the face of determination.... See...
Also, Shawn got in a good workout.

Oh... before I forget... the awards... so Kate and I tried to get a free race certificate for nationals... but each cert was valid for the sport race the day before. Instead we sign up Shawn and Ed. Shawn brushes the entry by saying... but I don't have a wet suit. Quickly we hear that the winner of the wet suit cert is Denelle... Will Shawn do Xterra Nevada? Stay Tuned

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A few days late.. but wanted to get these crit results posted, because they are times from the short-track for the much-awaited CRC Charlottesville Off Road Omnium. Promises to be a super fast, super fun course!