I just finished my 3rd XTERRA triathlon and I couldn’t be happier with how this race went. Although I didn’t have as much time to train for this as I had wanted after my half marathon, I did have some quality workouts that really set me up for a good race. The most important of those were my tempo runs up Barr trail towards Pikes Peak and my 3 open water swims. I came into this race with more nerves than my half marathon 6 weeks ago, but I knew I was prepared enough to do well. With my sweet and supportive husband and fellow triathlete and friend, Dionne, I was nothing but calm race morning. My hope for this race was to not stop at all and to push hard the entire race. At Wave 5 of the swim I felt comfortable enough to swim without stopping. I finished the swim a tad slower than last time, but I didn’t stop and freak out. I did get kicked in the face by a swimmer swimming in the opposite direction who clearly crossed into traffic. It was a good thing I double capped like my friend Harley had told me to do. I was out of the water in the mid 18’s and had a much quicker transition to the bike. The bike was fun and tough. I was breathing hard 90% of the time. I got passed a few times by some faster male bikers on the first lap but then I passed quite a few people on the second lap. That was a clear sign that I should’ve been in a faster wave group. I ended up getting stuck behind a slower biker in a line of 7 people because this lady refused to let us pass for almost 5 min. That was really frustrating. Even still, I finished the bike 4 minutes faster than last time. My second transition was also faster off the bike. My run went surprisingly well, and I didn’t stop at all the entire run even on the steep switchbacks. All that training on Barr trail gave me the confidence to keep pushing slow and steady. I finished the run 4 minutes faster than last time as well, putting me in 3rd place for my age group. I was only 10 seconds behind the 2nd place girl. I couldn’t be happier that I overcame my fear of the lake once again and didn’t stop pushing hard the entire race. These XTERRA races are grueling and they push me to my limits, but I love it so much I will keep coming back until I get a 1st place finish in my age group.
Mike and I were so excited to do a half marathon together in Las Vegas. We flew into Las Vegas on Friday evening and my parents picked us up at the airport and had our numbers waiting for us. Since we came in too late for the Expo my dad picked up our numbers when he picked up his own. Mike and I stayed at the Waldorf Astoria hotel since it was kind of a race/birthday weekend. We got into the hotel, made our massage reservations, and ordered the most fabulous chicken and spaghetti dinner to our room. We got up at 2:30am and were out of our hotel and into an Uber by 3:00am. We met up with my dad at the bus pickup and then we all rode the bus up to the starting line. The weather was perfect. We got to the starting area in enough time to go to the bathroom and warm up. With 10 minutes before race time Mike and I headed to the starting line. When I realized that the start was further down the road than I thought I started to jog. I made it to the front of the startling line with 2 minutes to spare. I was going for a PR today of sub 1:30 so my miles needed to be no slower than 6:50/mile. I started out running in front of the 1:30 pacer group. They kept going ahead of and then behind me for much of the race. I eventually tagged onto the tail of a really tall guy who was running the pace I wanted to hold. We didn’t talk but it was good to have someone to run next to. The first 9 miles were all at 6:40 pace and I felt awesome. As we made our way further down the canyon and sun started shining on our faces, I used my tall friend to block the sun from my face for 4 miles. It would have been perfect if he hadn’t stopped to use the bathroom at mile 8. Still, my body felt good and I wasn’t breathing hard. I made sure to thank him after the race. I continued on with a fantastic pace until mile 10 when the course took a turn upwards. That mile and the two after were a bit slower than they should have been. Miles 10-12 were low to mid 7’s. I had banked enough time that I knew I could still break 1:30 so I mustered all the energy I could and started to pick up the pace for the last mile of the race and clocked a 6:56 pace for the 13th mile. My official time was 1:30.19 for the Revel Mt. Charleston Half marathon but myself and several others clocked the course as long by .10 so my adjusted time is 1:29.43!!!! I placed 2nd in my age group, 7th woman overall and an overall 47th out of 1988 runners! This was the fastest half marathon I’ve run since I was 20 and pre 5 kids. Mike and my dad both ran great races considering they were both injured. Both came in under 2 hrs. Mike finished in 1:56 with an injured knee. He amazes me! This was his first race in over a decade. Afterwards, Mike and I went back to our hotel to eat, sleep, get a massage and sit by the pool the remainder of the day!