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, right?!