22 July 2014

XTERRA Mountain Champs

XTERRA Mountain Champs
Race Equipment, Setup & Nutrition
Swim - 2XU Race Goggles, 2XU X:3 Wetsuit
Bike - Pro Cycling SW Epic, Rotor 3D+ SRM w/38-27 Q-Rings
           Effetto Mariposa Sealant in Fast Trak 2.2 Tires, Front 23psi, Rear 28psi.
           Rudy Project Windmax Helmet
Run - Colorado Running Company Inov-8 Trailroc 245
          1st Endurance Visor

The XTERRA Mountain Champs is always a brutal one and higher altitude, non-stop climbing and some punishing downhills.  After some last minute prep thanks to SRM and Pro Cycling to get my bike dialed in all was set to go.

Live Broadcast Interview With Good Morning Vail before XTERRA Mountain Champs

Suzie Snyder and I setting up T2 early, the run course goes half way up the mountain behind us.
At 7500 feet I approach the swim at bit differently, with a brisk 67 degree water temp it was a 2XU X:3 Wetsuit day, from the gun I started hard for about 10 or so strokes to get into some clear water then settle into a nice steady rhythm and pace.  There was a decent group that continued going hard and opened a 30-second gap on me at one point in the swim.  I didn’t panic and over the two laps of the lake and a few of the athletes popped off of the front group.  After exiting the water and jumping on my bike I was only 5 seconds down from the front group and began to gradually close the gap down Mauricio who what out front.

Somewhere on the long climb up Beaver Creek, SRM just saying more power!
With a 2000 foot ascend ahead I settled into a good steady rhythm with Ben Hoffman and slowly chipped away at the gap, about 3miles in Josiah, who has really improved his swim over the course of the year, cruised on by, I picked up the pace to stay with him and use him to help close the gap to Mauricio.  Everything was clicking well for him and I was just a touch off form and could only stay with him for a very short period of time.  Mauricio tried as well but Josiah steamrolled up the climb leaving us in his wake.  At 4 miles Ben and I caught Mauricio as we continued to climb a mile-paved section before starting the last dirt ascent before the start of the downhill.
Mauricio, myself and Ben headed up the switchbacks before the paved road ascent.
I was working on getting my First Endurance EFS in as much as possible but something I ate or drank to much before the race had caused my stomach to cramp and even when it felt better every time I put a small amount of liquid in my stomach would cramp up.  Ben put in a small effort on the paved section that I couldn’t follow and new comer Ryan Petry went after him has well.  Mauricio was on my wheel like gum and we soldiered on up to the peak of the course at 9300 feet.  I knew that I could open up a gap on Mauricio and close the gap to Ben and Ryan on the downhills and more technical sections of the course, I closed to with in 30 seconds of Ben and Ryan but they battled up ahead and as we traversed the Village to Village trail across the mountain.
At the crossover on Village to Village trail.
I tried to take in my hydration but my stomach was not cooperating and they continued to put small amounts of time in to me on the flatter sections while I closed on the downhill and technical sections.  As I started the run they had a little less than a minute on me.
SRM Powerfile of XTERRA Mountain Champs, lots of climbing very little descent.
The run is tough no matter how strong you are, there is almost 1500 feet of climbing over 5.5miles and it is done over the course of two long climbs.  I started out pretty well and felt like I was ticking along okay, how ever I am not sure if the lack of hydration or calories or if my legs were just not there I started to fade just after the first aid station and my stomach was not any better even when I tried to sip on a small amount of water.  Just before the start of the downhill from the first climb Mauricio passed and I did what I could to keep the legs turning over but I was slowing to a shuffle.  Once on the next I steadily hear the footsteps coming from behind as Alex Modestou and Ryan Ignatz passed on the way up an interminable dirt road climb.  I was hoping that I would be able to open up the legs on the descent down to the finish but was not moving well enough as Chris Ganter flew by and I struggled in to the finish in 8th.  It was well off what I was aiming for and what I am capable of.

Getting aero for next weekend thanks to Paul Mitchell and the Stylists from the Colorado Springs School.

No rest though another chance to show off all the work I have been putting in as I am headed to Calgary for the 70.3 race this weekend.