2018 XTERRA Oak Mountain
No prize money, but no flats either, so I'll take that as a win! It's good to finally have a clean race from start to finish.
Photo Credit - XTERRA
My swim is rapidly improving thanks to Grant Gamblin and Northern Lights Swim Club. It was an awesome feeling to be in the lead pack in the swim, even if it was only for the first 500, then I came out of the water leading the second pack, instead of trailing the second pack like usual. Unfortunately, I lost some time in transition due to putting on socks, so I lost the group that I pulled through the second lap the swim. I've been wearing socks this year to fend off my inevitable blisters, but it might be costing me more time than it's worth. It took a while to get comfortable on the bike and be able to push the corners and accelerations, but after a while I was able to find my rhythm and bring a few people back. I felt incredible the first mile of the run and Will Kelsay was charging hard to catch me. When he eventually did catch me, I hung on as long as I could but blew up as soon as we crested the next hill. This race wasn't as hot as the Philippines but it was still pretty hot for this pale northerner. I was able to let the legs roll on the downhills, but I really struggled to get any turn over on the flats and climbs. In the end, I finished 10th. I'm happy with 10th for now, but I know there's so much more in the tank and that I'm just getting started. Each race back into triathlon I'm taking so many things away to learn from and train for. My takeaways from yesterdays race are: - My swim is on the right track, I just need to work on the muscular endurance. - I need to practice biking all out immediately after swimming, I've always struggled to find my rhythm right away on the bike. - My run intervals need to be both longer and shorter. I'm lacking my top end speed in the run, and I'm also lacking my ability to hold speed for more than 10 minutes or so. - Last takeaway, I'm on the right track with my training and I feel like I'm beginning to justify all the sacrifices I've made over the last year. Going part time at work was a huge risk, but I'm proud of myself for giving this dream another shot. Thank you Andrea for your understanding and support.
Below is a course preview I made in my spare time before the race.