Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Xterra Indian Peaks

I didn’t do a race report for Xterra Buffalo Creek (too much was going on and I bombed anyway), so I’m going to do one for Xterra Indian Peaks.

For those that don’t know, during the swim at Xterra Buffalo Creek I was kicked in the head, and didn’t end up finishing. I probably could have, but I got in the race marshal’s boat to recover and that’s a disqualifying move - c'est la vie.

Indian peaks’ lake is pretty small, so it’s a staggered swim. Ranked on anticipated finish times, racers go into the water every 5 or 6 seconds. The result is a nice even group of swimmers rather than one big frothing mass.

Despite the staggered start, there is a tendency to clump up. I swam with the same group of about 8 or 9 swimmers most of time and only had one incident. Towards the end of the swim, I put on a small burst of speed and caught the person in front of me. My head was about even with his waist, and I was right next to him (he was on my right). During the freestyle stroke your arm makes an arch in the air, enters the water in front of your head and shoots forward. Because of my position relative to the guy in front of me, my arm made the wide arch and speared the guy right in the neither region between his legs. I breathe on my right side, so I saw it as it was happening, but due to momentum I was powerless to stop. All I could do was go push forward and get lost in the crowd. Luckily with wet suits, swim caps, and goggles, it’s hard to tell who’s who. For some reason, after that happened, the song “strangers in the night” kept running through my head.

After the swim, we had to run 600m to the transition area. It was all up hill, and seemed much farther. I slipped out of my wet suit and donned my bike gear. As I started the bike, I realized that I forgot my sunglasses….to late now. The course is on the nordic ski trails of Eldora ski area. The trails are short, so the course zig zaggs up one trail, down the other, back up the first, down another, across one, back across another, and so on. It was well marked, but hard to tell how far you’ve gone.

The course is shorter than Buffalo Creek, so I was expecting it to be easier….it wasn’t. The course was steep and very technical. I was burned out by the end.

Not only was the bike course harder, the run was much harder as well. There isn’t a flat bit of ground on the thing. About 100 yards out of transition the trail goes up for awhile. At the top of the hill my quads were starting to cramp, so I pulled my foot up behind me to my butt to stretch them out….my hamstring cramped up so bad I didn’t think I could straighten them out again. The rest of the run was a blur.

Despite the fact that I really underestimated the course, I had a great time. There were lots of pro’s there, the weather was great, the trails were really fun, and I finished. My friend Jason did really well (he was with Hannah at the end of the run as I was coming in. He yelled, “dude, I’ve already eaten my lunch…hurry up!).

I don’t have anymore races scheduled for this year, and that feels pretty good. I’m going to concentrate on work, school, and exercising for fun!

P.S. Regarding the pictures - there all of me…sorry. Hannah had the camera. Also, I’m probably going to jail or at least going to get fined for using some of the race photos with out buying them. I would have bought them but they don’t offer a digital format. They only offered large print for $40.00, and there is no way that’s going to happen.

And now your moment of ZEN…..this is my favorite Easter cartoon. I was cleaning up my picture folder, and didn’t want to wait a year before posting it.

While I’m at it, I also found this old Monty cartoon that I always laugh at (you'll have to click on it to read it).