Tuesday, May 15, 2007
XTerra Castaic, 4/29
Hot. Really really hot. The race, I mean. Not this:
Now that I have your attention ...
Mass swim starts SUCK. Twice I got kiced or elbowed or assed in the head and had my goggles dislodged and gulped some good lake water.
I'm finding that a lot of these race courses are not very ineresting as mountain bike rides. The course designers want them to be challenging (good race reviews), but not dangerous (bad for insurance), so this usually means non-technical rides with LONG, STEEP climbs. There are fun sections (like the cool, rollercoaster section with the steep downhill banked turns!), but they go by too quickly. On the first lap I was pushing the turbo a little hard and overheated -- at one point near the top of one of the longer climbs I even had to stop and dismount in order not to pass out, because my vision was tunneling and I was getting dizzy. I figured this was a bad way to start the descent.
Dehydration was definitely a factor. It was pretty much inevitable, given my planning on there only being about 1000' of climbing on the ride, a tidbit I read off the course website, and only riding with one bottle. It turns out that the bike course had more than 1000' of climbing on EACH of the TWO LAPS, and did I say it was hot? My bottle was gone by the time I was done with the first lap, so I took the fairly unorthodox step of stopping to fill it up at the lone aid station before continuing on my second lap. The second lap, incidentally, went much better after I decided to say "Whatever. Just finish. Enjoy the ride." And I did. (No other ride photos were taken because my lovely photographer was out on a run. Plus, hiking up that crap would have sucked.)
On the run I was getting chills, which would have felt GREAT in the heat, had they not been a sure sign that I was well into dehydration -- it was at least 80F outside. (Photo: charging out of T2 ... just before I yelled to the photographer, "GIVE ME YOUR F'ING HAT!")
Nonetheless, I managed to grab 3rd in my age group (this has more to do with the agegroup than it does with my own racing), which meant I got to take home a sweet pint glass with the race organizers' logo on it. It's like they knew who would be racing. Sadly I had to provide my own beverage to fill my trophy. I accomplished this immediately upon returning home, and have done so several more times since.
Coming up: Temecula. Hotter, looser, longer, and more people. I think I'll Strap a cooler full of ice and capri-suns to my bike. Oh, and otter pops!
Look upon my Waltworks and smile.
Posted by sdl at 3:45 PM