Kimberly’s Blog

Xterra World Championship: An Epic Training Day

Posted by on 11:09 am in Kimberly's Blog | Comments Off on Xterra World Championship: An Epic Training Day

Highlights: – Getting my picture taking with Ironman Legend Scott Tinley – Finishing the race in one piece – both me and my bike – Seeing all my Xterra Race Friends Downsides: – The weather Lessons Learned: – Travel with mud tires (skinny ones) – Cleats on mtb shoes would be helpful To quote one of the announcers on race day “if it were easy they would call it an Ironman,” and I have to agree after finishing this year’s 21st Xterra World Championship Race and I can say this having completed a few of each distance race. Race morning started out with 6 – 8 foot swells at DT Fleming Beach in Kapalua Maui, pounding the shore and the swimmers who were trying to get out through them or back to the beach during the 1-mile swim. Several days of rain had turned the 20-mile bike course into a mud pit or slip and slide causing hundreds (several hundreds) of us to hike a bike for a good portion of the 3500 + foot climb, the run, well let’s just say hike a biking for hours followed by a 10 K run does not always make for a solid run, oh and did I mention the run climbs 1000+ feet. To start from the beginning, I arrived in Maui feeling excited and that my goal this year to break 4 hours was possible. My training had been going really well the past few months. I felt faster in the water, solid on my bike and had really been working on my run. I got up Thursday morning and headed out on my bike to pre ride the course. A lot of people were telling me to just ride the lower loop, the upper loop was a mud bath, but I was determined to ride the whole course and needed to see what the conditions were like this year for myself. As I started climbing up to the turnoff for the upper loop I was thinking this trail is in great shape, it can’t be that bad up top! I made it to the turn off and kept on climbing. Shortly thereafter the mud pit began, a very slip & slide descent – barely safe to try and walk down + a long slosh pit of crap that on race day no matter what I told myself I would have to run thru! It was over pretty quick and I was back peddling away and watched the miles fly by, there was the occasional mud spot but all ride-able and I ended the day feeling ok my goal is still achievable! What I did not count on was Mother Nature bringing nonstop rain Thursday afternoon, what seemed like all day Friday, on & off Saturday, oh and race day too! The day before the race when I normally put my feet up, relax and tell myself tomorrow is going to be great, I decided to go and cheer on my friends who were racing in the Xterra Trail run series. This took me down to the swim start (where the runners come out and head to the finish) and the waves! I was watching a few of my friends getting tossed and smashed in the water and decided what...

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One Frigid Swim, A Great Bike & Run = Fun!

Posted by on 10:00 pm in Kimberly's Blog | Comments Off on One Frigid Swim, A Great Bike & Run = Fun!

I definitely did not feel ready for Xterra Tahoe City. The weeks leading up to the race I had been on the road quite a bit for work. Add to that the temperatures in Tahoe had dropped back into the 30’s at night and I knew Lake Tahoe was going to be one cold swim! Race day came before I knew it! The night before I made a decision to race with no expectations, just go out, treat it as a training day for Xterra Victoria and have fun. Because of how cold the lake was I warmed up with a run before putting the wetsuit on and heading down to the pier. I jumped in with about 10 minutes to go before the start, I lasted about 2 minutes before hoping out and finding a sunny spot on the pier to try and stay warm. The first lap was tough, mentally tough, telling your body it’s ok to feel this cold and to just keep swimming. The swim is one of the clearest, you can see the bottom the whole time so I just kept my head down, one arm after the other, starring down at the bottom to keep my mind off the cold and it must have worked! Lap two flew by and before I knew it I was climbing up the ladder, racing down the pier, up a short hill and across the street to the transition area. The whole time my hands and feet were so cold, I was struggling to get my suit un-zipped and down to my waist before entering transition. I finally got it and managed to wiggle out but boy was it hard to do everything else, helmet, shoes, sunglasses, gloves, check. Out on the bike I was shivering, shaking, but it didn’t take long to warm up, at least most of me! The first part of the bike goes straight up hill, you climb for 13-16 minutes, after that it is pretty fast with a short climb in the middle and before you know it you are flying thru the meadow and starting your second lap. I had no idea how I was doing, after the first climb I really did not see many people, a few guys as I started lap 2, but I kept on pushing and was feeling pretty good! I came into transition not looking forward to the run, it also starts straight uphill! I made this transition quick, deciding to forgo socks, slipped on my shoes, grabbed my race belt and nutrition and took off running. I made it up the hill (last year I walked) I felt pretty good so I told myself to just keep running! As I neared the trail head I saw one of my mountain bike team members, she was volunteering on the course, she told me I was in third place – I was really confused, how could I be in third place. Anyway that got me a little excited so I kept on running – up more hills! The run course is one of the hardest runs, it goes about 3 miles up hill and then 3 miles downhill, keep in mind you are at altitude (6500+ feet), oh and I did not wear socks was getting...

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Xterra Renegade Race Recap

Posted by on 11:45 am in Kimberly's Blog | Comments Off on Xterra Renegade Race Recap

After Xterra Real in early April, the thought of waiting until the end of June to race again seemed like a long time to wait! So I decided a road trip to Southern California was in order for San Dimas Xterra Renegade. Keeping the training going was a little tough as it seemed each weekend we would get rain or snow, making outdoor riding difficult. But a few road trips to Reno and Auburn helped to get me outdoors and on the bike! Race weekend came before I knew it and off I drove to Southern California. I was excited, but also anxious! There were going to be a really strong field of women from the local area at this race! Ten hours of driving later I found my way to the hotel, got a bite to eat and called it a night, wanting to be well rested to pre ride the next day. What a beautiful day for a pre ride, the sun was out and it was hot, my car said 90! Once packed I headed out to find Bonelli Park. I obviously took the scenic route and ended up driving around the lake, I finally found the “Swim Beach” the official start of the race. They were just starting to set up the transition and the finish area, the course had not been marked yet. I had brought a map with me, which was a good a thing, however it wasn’t until I hit a few dead ends that I decided to pull it out and actually look at where I should be riding. About halfway thru I ran into a few others pre riding and also winging the route. One gal decided to join me on the last 3 miles of the loop, this race was going to be her first triathlon, little did I know at that time that she was going to smoke the course and win the overall, way to go Annie!! Anyway, we finished out the ride, making a few wrong turns but still getting a good feel for the course. By the time we got back to the parking area the race crew was just setting out to start marking. I decided it was time for me to go eat, hydrate and put my feet up, if tomorrow was going to be as hot as today I better be well rested! On the way back to the hotel I found this great spaghetti house called Vince’s – super good take out! Well feed, hydrated and packed for race day I called it a night! Race morning came fast, as they normally do since I am not a morning person. After a good breakfast I packed up the car and headed back to Bonelli Park. Check in for this event was race morning, it went pretty fast. I got my packet gathered my stuff and headed into transition to find a good rack and get set up. One of the things I like about Xterra is you meet so many great people from different areas and the races bring you all back together and this race was no different. It was getting close to go time so I headed down to the water to warm up, the lake was a warm...

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Xterra Real, Granite Bay CA.

Posted by on 3:26 pm in Kimberly's Blog | Comments Off on Xterra Real, Granite Bay CA.

First race of the season, DONE! It was also the first year I had to train thru a real winter, like actual snow on the ground, teaching skiing every weekend, its really cold outside (1 degree) winter! And what a difference a winter makes when it comes to an early spring race! The Xterra Real takes place at Folsom Lake, in Granite Bay; it is a half mile swim, 16-mile mountain bike and 4 mile run. Perfect for those of us getting out of winter and just starting to transition into spring! You couldn’t have asked for better conditions race morning, it was gorgeous, calm water, the sun was out, a great way to kick off my season! I felt great in the water and wasn’t the slightest bit cold, which is unusual for me, I guess training at the outdoor pool with snow falling is a great prep! I finished the swim thinking, I had a great swim, again unusual for me! The bike on the other hand, typically my favorite, was harder than normal! With Folsom Lake being the fullest it has been in five years, the race had a few mud holes, aka very large puddles! By the second lap the mud puddles softened up quite a bit and the same line that was great the first time around, was definitely deeper the second time round, very muddy muck! Granted I literally spent from mid November – April 1 primarily on my trainer, I did manage a few, and I mean literally a few – rides down the hill in Auburn & Granite Bay this past month to get outdoors and get ready. But it wasn’t the same as last year, and my legs felt that as soon as the second lap hit! Regardless, I kept on peddling as hard as I could and really enjoyed the course! I love how fast the Granite Bay loop is, with little techy bits here and there! It flew by and before I knew it I was off the bike and running! Running… again with winter I spent most of my time on the treadmill – or snow running with chains, real chains for your shoes, they take some getting used to! Thank goodness it was a short run! The run course is pretty fun, a few miles up and out on some fire road and along the beach, followed by a few miles down on some single track and rolling trails back to the finish! Which is my favorite part, the finish… always lined with people cheering you through, the announcers and other racers all hanging out saying great job when you come across. I am glad I was out there the night before to pre ride & run a little, it is so beautiful with everything in bloom right now and the lake so full, I find when I am racing I sometimes forget to take in the view! Next up Nevada City Dirt Classic, a mountain bike race, in a few weeks! Totally different than Xterra! But before that, a road trip to Sedona for a week of mountain bike riding and trail running! And the timing could not be better, NOAA has snow in the forecast for us next week! Spring is here,...

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Figuring out the Fat Bike

Posted by on 10:36 pm in Kimberly's Blog | Comments Off on Figuring out the Fat Bike

It’s not as easy as it looks, riding these fat bike things, especially in the snow on ungroomed trails. Getting tired of the trainer and wanting to get outside and ride I joined some friends with the Ride to Recovery group & Project HERO City of Reno on a fat bike adventure. You couldn’t have asked for a better winter day, it snowed on us as we all bundled up and took off on the trails at Tahoe Donner XC Center. First up was Cup of Tea, and after 15 minutes I was feeling pretty good about these bikes. The trail was in great shape, nicely groomed, hard packed, very easy to peddle on with one little hill that got the lungs pumping, followed by a nice little descent. After we all warmed up on the groomers we headed over to the snow shoe trails feeling confident and ready for more “challenging” trails, or so I thought I was! It didn’t take long for my confidence to come crashing down! As soon as I hit Tim’s Trek (a trail I ride all the time in the summer) I felt like a beginner on two wheels, the trail was not as easy as I remembered. For some reason the softer the snow, the harder I was finding it to keep my bike on the trail. I also discovered the easier the gear the harder it was to keep peddling, and the harder the gear the harder it was to keep peddling, nothing seemed to work. Trying not to get disappointed with my “fat” biking ability I made way to the Moon Dance Hut, which I must say took a lot longer than the usual 3 – 5 minutes on dirt in the summer. I was so relived when I got to the hut that most everyone felt the same way about the trail and was eager to head back to the adventure center. Going back down the trail was a lot easier then climbing up, although I still struggled to stay on my bike and narrowly avoided be swallowed up by a tree well! Once back at the center I called it quits, I really had to get back to work! The rest of the group took off for a few more laps of the “well” groomed trails, laughing and chatting away as they left. All in all, a good time was had by all I think, even myself! Would I do it again or will I stick to the trainer, that is yet to be seen! I am still trying to figure out this winter training in the...

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Winter Cross Training

Posted by on 11:04 am in Kimberly's Blog | Comments Off on Winter Cross Training

After a few years of low snow levels and trails open year round for riding and running, Mother Nature decided to return home to Tahoe. I should be jumping for joy right? Actually I am now, but after the first few snow storms all I could think about is how am I supposed to train and be race ready come spring. After a few days of complaining about the white stuff that had taken over all our trails, I dug my cross country skis out of the basement, dusted them off and took up a new sport. A lesson would probably be good, right now I am self taught, but these long skinny skis with no edges have grown on me and become my new best friend, next to my lab Kuta who always accompanies me on the journey to become a good xc skier. Like mountain biking and trail running it is just you and nature (at least where I live) and cross country skiing proved to be no different. It’s great exercise, tough on the muscles – easy on the joints and all you have to do is slide one ski in front of the other. Here’s to a winter of cross training, embracing winter, getting outdoors and learning a new...

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