Saturday, July 27, 2013

XTERRA - Triathlon with Dirt and Blood

Today I took a step into the dirty world of

and it bit me and rewarded me.
Tonight I have an icepack on my face and a 1st place trophy on my desk.
Neither one are pretty.
My cheek bone is swollen and my face is puffy and it is bruised.
Uh, where am I going to put this?
Months ago Robert and I decided to sign up for Vineman 70.3. He signed us up. He got me in. But by the time he got around to signing himself up - all of 7 minutes later- the roster was full and he was on a waiting list. He was wait number 795. Yikes! Vineman was supposed to be our 27th Anniversary celebration, and it didn't seem as if it would be much of a celebration if we weren't both commiserating, I mean competing, I mean eventing at the same event.
Although he was on the wait list, I thought it would be a good idea to sign us up for something else in July that would be a SURE thing...something we could both do and if Vineman 70.3 was not to be our celebration, then this "other" event could be.
I signed us up for XTERRA Snow Valley.
I signed us up for the Sport Triathlon. How hard could that be? I mean even if we both got into Vineman 70.3, then this little XTERRA race could be our "recovery" race.
The sport triathlon showed that it was a 500m swim, a 8.07 mile bike and a 5k run.
Shoot, that's nothing compared to a REAL sprint triathlon, or an Olympic Distance, or a half iron distance.
You can't compare.
Okay, well, I can and I will.
But it isn't pretty.
But damn, it was fun.
At XTERRA Snow Valley we got a lot of altitude.
Okay, there was a little attitude, but mostly altitude.
What is the altitude in Snow Valley?
According to Wikipedia the base altitude of Snow Valley is 6,800 feet.
That's where we parked our running shoes.
Okay, see that big hill in the background? Well, we had to ride/push our bikes up, up, up to the swim/bike transition.
Photo: It's looking a lot a race site here at T2 and finish line. Lets get the party started.
Actually, we didn't quite go that way, we went a different way, a way that my friend Paul said would take us 15 minutes more, but save our legs. Who was he trying to kid?
Riding/walking to transition 1 mile UP!
After putting our running shoes in transition one, we traveled about 1 mile UP hill to transition 2. My heart rate was in Zone 5 by the time we got to T2.
Take a good look behind me. How many women do you see? Yeah, not too many. There were WAY more men than women. (FYI to single women - WAY MORE MEN!!!!)
But I am so lucky that I had my guy with me in transition.
I just kept looking around at the gorgeous view....ladies, I am talking about the hills and the sky. It was beautiful. Did I mention if you are single, you should really thinking of trying XTERRA.
We started off with the swim and holy moly, I could not get enough air. I mean 500m is nothing, but I could NOT get enough air. My entire swim was swim, stop and breath, swim, stop and breath and it took me 16 minutes to do a 500m. Yikes!
Then the swim was over and I cram all my stuff is a white kitchen garbage bag with my number on it and tie it up and hope to heaven that it actually makes it way back to me because I wave bye-bye to it and off I ride.
And what a ride. I was NOT prepared. I have ridden Sycamore Canyon in Riverside and I have ridden Skyline Drive in Corona and I even placed 2nd in the Mountain Bike Triathlon last year at Wildflower, but I was NOT prepared for this.
As I was riding through here I was thinking, "uhm, why did I not get to take up the lifts? I had to ride/push my bike all the way up here?" and "What goes up, must go down."
This was a definite UP. Most people were walking (aka pushing their bikes) up this and I am a firm believer in going with the flow, so I pushed my bike, too. A couple of hard-core mountain bikers with 2 percent body fat did ride their bikes up this hill.
I know this looks a lot like the other pic I have but it is different place. Some things are the same. Less oxygen, along the lift line and down hill.
The first thing I said when I crashed, "Is my nose bleeding?"
"No," my guy answered.
"Are you sure because DAMN my face just hit that rock and it feels as if it should be bleeding."
Something was bleeding because I had blood on my shorts and my legs and just about everywhere I looked, so how could it NOT be from my nose because my face HIT THE ROCK?
Hard Headed!
My front tooth was a little loose and I could feel the swelling in my cheekbone.
At that point I wanted to call it a day...for about five seconds.....Then someone ran up the hill to me and was talking on their walkie-talkie and asking me how I was.
 I did NOT think about my bike for one minute.
I thought about my FACE.
I got up and righted my bike and made Robert take a picture of my owies and the rock that I smashed my face into.
You will not believe how SLOWLY I rode down the rest of the bike course. Some of it I walked..and it was down. I was shaky and bleeding and my right arm and leg were throbbing and I was NOT going to give one more piece of my skin to that freaking mountain.
I made it down and thank you Paul Halliday!!! He was in transition and actually took my bike from me and hung it on the rack.
I got my running shoes on me and started the run, which most people walked/hiked.
I ran/jogged as much as I could.
I love when I see pretty flowers!
Hiking or running?
Just keep following the arrows!
It was nice that at one aid station I saw a fellow Triathlon Connection friend Chad!
Eventually the arrows led me to this.
I took Spanish in high school and I have been hanging with a Spanish girl and a Mexican chica, so I know what that means......and look the people are walking.......
when they should have been running because there he was right on the run course....DEVIL!!!!
Okay, they can label it Mount Devil...but I am calling it BITCH!
Yeah, you run/jog/walk up and down that and then you name it something better than Devil or Bitch.
I dare you.
By this time my bloody knee/leg and aching face/body are starting to stiffen/ache on me and I am so happy to see this
So I started to run/jog/walk/hobble a little faster because I heard there was beer at the end and soon I saw this
And I finished.
I got all my gear and put it in the car and then I made a pit stop at First Aid.
While the nice firefighter/paramedics were hurting me by scrubbing out my wounds, we chatted about all the other injuries that had been through there.
They mentioned a guy with a separated clavicle.
That made my injury seem so minor.
(Later I found out that my TC friend Darren was the separated clavicle guy).
Next Robert and I walked over to the results board and I got a good laugh.
I had pulled off a "Harriet Anderson".
First place in my 50-54 age group for the XTERRA Sport Triathlon.
At first I felt as if it wasn't really an EARN because I was the only one in the age division and then some of Harriet Anderson's words came back to me.
(Harriet Anderson is 78-years-young and going to Kona for her 23rd time this October. She is usually the only one in her age group and gets the Golden Ticket. I was lucky to be able to run/job/walk with her at Vineman 70.3 a couple of weeks ago).
A win is a win!
If other people were competing they would be out there on the field!

 I'm taking my win.



















  1. Great race report! So sorry to hear about the glad they didn't slow you down too much. I earned the same trophy for my age group in the Duathlon...yep, I pulled off a "Harriet Anderson" too!
    Great meeting you on Saturday...looking forward to seeing you on a Trail Angel ride soon!

    Trail Angel Laura

    1. Congratulations Laura on your win! A win is a win! It was nice meeting you, too! I will definitely be at a Trail Angel ride soon. I did sign up for Over the Hump mountain bike racing on Aug. 13. I will be wearing my CWOD tshirt. I need lots of mountain bike practice.

  2. Congrats! but that was some rock you hit. ouch. and i missed hearing about the guy w/ the separated clavicle. oi. That hill you had to run down is crazy! least you didn't get chased by Diablo. ha!

    heck of a trophy. i kept thinking, 'how are winners going to display that?'. Well it will make a nice piece on the desk. ;)

  3. Thanks Christine. I have my trophy on my ironing board shelf. Diablo was perched on a safe spot on the side of the trail. If he tried to run up or down it, I think he would have toppled. LOL.