La vie de vélo

Adventures in cycling and life

Indian Peaks XTERRA 2010

So the Indian Peaks XTERRA in the books for 2010. My first off-road triathlon was a resounding success. And by success I mean that I didn’t drown and didn’t make a fool of myself. I set the bar low for this one and just tried to have fun with it.

The swim
Looks inviting doesn’t it? 61F in the water. 56F in the air. What did i get myself into?

I started the swim trying to keep a steady freestyle going but I lost my rhythm after about 150 meters and the rest of the swim was a struggle with the thin air, waves, wind, people clawing and kicking me as i hyperventilated and gasped for each molecule of oxygen. It wasn’t really that bleak but .. no actually it was. With about 500m to go, I fell apart and basically backstroked/breaststroked/doggy-paddled in. Any attempt to practice my freestyle was halted by hypoxic panic. I just wanted dry land. I think my time was something like 35 minutes for 1km but I really dont even want to know!

The dash
The transition area was about 650 meters away from the lake so that meant throwing on some shoes and running with a wetsuit dangling. I was severely out of breath and just tried to recover so that I would be calm by the time I hit the bike. I suited up in the transition are and hit the trail still reeling from the swim.

The bike
2 laps of a 12k course. Fireroad climbs and nice tacky-but-rough double-track for the most part, with a few sections of technical single-track complete with east coast style muddy roots. I felt right at home. I just hammered the whole time, passing a few people each minute and just riding fairly conservatively. There were definitely lots of people out there who were struggling with the MTB part as much as I struggled with the swim. It was over with before it started, finished the bike leg in 1:10 which felt like the blink of an eye. I saved a good chunk of energy for…

The run
This was a fun run: lots of little gnarly hills, some great views, fun trails, and a 20m knee-deep mud bog. I ran it steady and didn’t push too hard. I passed one guy and got passed by no one … in fact I barely saw another person the entire run. I was just focused on technique and my running legs are feeling pretty good. Did the 7k in about 36 minutes.

I finished in about 2:30 flat. Covered in mud and grinning.

final thoughts
The scene was fun, met a ton of cool people, I loved the course… so I will be back to do another off-road tri.

I really really need to work on my swim first though – my swim was embarrassing at best and a safety hazard at worst!

Looking back I know I could’ve pushed the bike and run legs much much harder .. but my pacing is set to endurance mode. Afterwards and on the ride home my legs were barely tired which means I didn’t push it nearly hard enough. I was really really wishing for another few hours on the bike and another 10k to run. This standard XTERRA distance is just too damn short for me .. which is another way of saying its just too damn fast. I’d need to start doing more high-end intervals and less 8 hour rides if I was going to do this very often. And next year, I just might.

This week, more Tuesday night fun at Lory State Park XC.


August 8, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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