This has happened several times in my life. I see something that I want to do are I guess it just gets ingrained somewhere in my mind and the one day magically it happens. It’s awesome stuff. This weekend was one of those times.
Several years ago I remember going to one of the Xterra Championship races and watching a couple of pros give a presentation they called Xterra University; tips and insights from the pros to the newbie’s. Very cool. I so wanted to be up on that stage. It’s just the way I am. I wanted to be in front of the crowd and not just in the crowd.
Its funny how life works sometimes. Last week the race organizer from the First Coast Xterra race contacted me and asked me to do the Xterra University.
I was honored.
A bunch or people showed up to hear me speak. They asked awesome questions and I got amazing feedback. It was like a little dream come true. Fabulous.
Oh yeah. I need to race as well.
Walking down to the beach on Sunday I wasn’t fooled. From the boardwalk the waves didn’t look that bad. It’s always different when you are standing in the water. There were decent waves. Nice.
Standing at the start I realized that I couldn’t hear the announcements because of the crashing waves. “Huh, wonder what he’s saying…”
Some dude says, “15 seconds.”
Almost instantly I heard a siren and saw people waving. Must be time to start.
Swimming in waves is super fun. If you don’t dive through them then you get launched off the backside and belly flop in the water. Nice. Saltwater up the nose is just what the doctor ordered.
It’s also fun sighting off a buoy that keeps disappearing. Fabulous.
Found the big orange floatie in the water and turned left.
That’s when it happened. I got kicked in the face.
I love saying that. I got kicked in the face. Sounds like a song that Colby hates. “Sick ‘em on a Chicken”.
So I got kicked in the face and one of my eyes got a good dousing of salt water. It’s a little like having someone throw salt in your eyes….
It actually is someone throwing salt in your eyes. I’d rather get kicked in the face.
So the waves were pushing me towards the shore. That really didn’t work because I had 4 buoys to swim around. Parallel to shore was what the rules said. For a while it was really fantastic because I had a couple of guys to my right getting washed into me as I tried to stay on course.
Finally it was left turn and into shore. Swimming with the waves is much better. I tried body surfing. Excellent! It wasn’t as excellent after the wave passed because then you got sucked backwards till the next wave came. Awesome.
I crawled out of the ocean and ran by a bunch of guys on the way to transition. I entered transition in 3rd. That’s a good result for me.
I got on my bike and was trying to put my gloves on in the 30 feet before I entered the trail when I almost did one of those embarrassing fainting goat crashes. I decided that I could take 10 seconds to put my gloves on before entering the forest.
The guy who came out of the water second was there and let me go.
I was onto the trail in second place.
There is just something about going from an ocean swim to a technical mountain bike. It’s a tad challenging. I was trying to adjust to the new sport when some dude came up behind me and asked to pass.
Holy crap. Are you serious? OK, I know who you are. I had spoken with him the day before. Local guy. Lives right down the street. He’s a on a relay. I let him by and we started jamming.
We flew through the course. I started to feel good and his lines were perfect. We blazed the course in a crazy fast time. We just rocked the thing. I had the fastest leg of the day except for some dude from Poland who lives in Jacksonville. He actually caught up. We were many minutes in front of all others.
So fast biker dude handed off to his runner and I changed shoes and took off my helmet.
So Jacksonville is one of the hottest and most humid cities in the land. When I got up at 6am it was already 80 degrees with “instant sweet humidity”.
Running in this whether is hard. I ran the “5k” in 20:30. This course isn’t super hard but it is very twisty and at 9am super hot. It could have been 2.5 or 3.5 miles. Don’t know. Didn’t measure it. It did suffer the whole way. With the exception of the one water station and a few glimpses or bikers through the trees I didn’t see any humans. I had a big lead so it was hard to run very fast.
Actually I did see the guy behind me for a while. Polish dude actually caught up to me right after transition. He garbled something about being a biker. I looked back and he was gone.
I finished and I was happy. Second onto the bike and passed the leader within a couple of minutes. Spend the rest of the race in the lead and won my first Xterra race!
The results were a bit cryptic at the awards. I believe I had the 3rd or 4th swim, 2nd on the MTB and fastest run by 2 minutes. I won by two minutes over 3rd place and eight minutes over 3rd. Good results for me!
Things are really falling into place physically now. My injuries are behind me and I am starting to really get in some good training. Happiness follows!
Now I train. Ironman in five weeks. Can’t fake that one. Train and recover the two words that I need to live the next five weeks. Ironman…