This is the gorgeous scenery that I got to see at my Moab race this weekend. It was a long drive from where I live, but 16 came with me to keep me company on the drive and also to volunteer at the race. The night before, we went over to check out the lake and I swam for a bit. Then it was out for dinner to get some carbs in.
The morning of the race, I tried to sleep in as much as possible. Sleep is so important to racing well. I might have nipped things a little close. I just had time to warm up in the lake, but not long enough to think through things carefully. I depended on everything going smoothly. It didn't.
I checked the night before to see who was racing with me and saw my nemesis was on the list. It didn't look like anyone else would be competition, but of course you never know until the race starts.
The water was a bit choppy, but after St. George I feel like I can handle just about anything. I just kept going, knowing it wouldn't be my fastest swim time.
Meanwhile, my daughter was keeping people off the carpet that led to transition so athletes could run without falling over people. I grabbed some sandals to run through the rocky, sandy transition area. I had trouble with my wetsuit, darn it! That took extra time. Then I struggled getting onto my bike. I'd left it in the highest gear, which wasn't good for starting on the hill.
Once I was on my bike, one guy passed me, but no one else. I could see about 11 people ahead of me and started to pick them off. My bike computer wasn't working so I didn't have my regular data, but I felt fast. Then I hit the first turnaround and realized why I'd felt so fast. The tailwind became a headwind, all the way up the mountainside, about 12 miles straight. It was a suffer fest, and I just put my head down, stayed in a rigid aero position, and counted pedal strokes to 2,000.
I was the lead woman at the turnaround, having just passed nemesis, but it was marked "sprint turnaround" and there was no one there. I kept going, thinking that Olympic had to go farther, but I ended up on a dirt trail, so I turned back. That lost me some time on my nemesis, but I passed her again. I had to go through sand to get to transition and ended up falling over. Doh!
No injuries, though. Then I got to start the trail run. I've never done a trail run quite like this before. It was gorgeous! Also, sandy, hilly, rocky and wet. We jumped over rocks, climbed big boulders, got lost in the sand, and went through streams. This is an Xterra course, offroad, with a road bike component for the chickens like me. I wasn't fast, and nemesis passed me about 30 seconds into the race at quite a clip. I figured she would beat me pretty bad if she kept that up.
She was 2 minutes ahead of me at the second loop, and then I lost track of her. There was a guy I'd passed who was trying to keep up with me. He kept running hard, then walking. I asked him if he wanted to pass, but he said he was just using me to pace himself. Finally, I could see the finish line and I really sprinted in. The guy behind me pushed me hard. I love that ending feeling. Then, of course, I collapsed into 16's arms. I drank 2 full bottles of water, very dehydrated because I hadn't brought enough water for the bike, which was so much harder than usual and longer. I went out to the lake and cooled off.
Then I came back for awards. It turned out that nemesis only beat me by 42 seconds. If only I'd done better at transitioning! I always say that, I know. There was a phantom woman who supposedly took first, and so I ended up with the third place award. But after I looked carefully at the results, I emailed the race director and he corrected them. So I was actually second. I feel silly arguing about something like that, but it matters for my USAT ranking.
Next year, if I come again, I'd love to drag the whole family and make a weekend of it, touring Arches National Park. So much fun. And sushi for recovery food afterward.