Monday, August 04, 2008

Operation Mountain Goat: Week 5 Recap & Race Report

Moving sucks... that's all I am going to say about that. Last was week I was busy at work, spent many grueling hours packing, unpacking, moving furniture, and on top of all that getting my workouts done. By the time the weekend rolled around I was pretty beat down.

Saturday morning we got up and Beth charged out the door for a long group ride and I relaxed a bit and then got my race prep workouts in.... A mellow ocean swim, 15 mn run w/ accelerations to race pace, and then 75 minutes on the bike with some race pace efforts. I got back from the ride feeling pretty good but there was still a lot of work to do around the house. We spent the next 6 hours doing more unpacking, moving, throwing crap away (mostly my stuff! just kidding beth). We finally finished up around 6pm and I was beat.

We hit El Caribe for dinner and then came back and tried to relax a bit before going to bed. Sunday morning came a lot quicker than I wanted and even though I was so tired Saturday night I slept like crap. I got about 4 hours of solid sleep and then tossed and turned for another 2 hours before a 4 am wake-up. It was probably the worst night of sleep I have had in months. Perfect timing!

Race Report.


Like I wrote last week, I was really looking forward to this race. This was my third year in a row racing at Snow Valley and the race has grown every year. This year Conrad Stoltz and Shonny Vanlandingham showed up to race and support Avia who has sponsored the race the last couple of year.

Pre-race:
We got on the road early and were at the mountain around 7am. I checked in and got my gear ready to go. I ran into Conrad before heading up to the lake and we talked a bit about training and racing. He told me to take it easy on him... I think it's more the other way around. I did all my pre-race warming up including a solid climb on the bike up to the lake and t1 (2 separate transistion areas).

Swim:
I have never been able to have a good swim at altitude and the lake at Snow Valley is at 6500ft. With Xterra Nationals (Tahoe) in 2 months and at roughly the same altitude I really wanted to have a good swim. The problem I have at altitude is just totally blowing up. With the lack of oxygen it's really easy to go too hard too early and not be able to comeback... and then it's game over.

ready to roll.


So I made sure to go out easy and not get too tangled up with anybody. The plan was just to slowly build my pace and effort through the 1.5 lap/1000 yard swim... and that's just what I did. I found some feet for most of the first lap and then slowly started to speed things up. I even ended up pulling a pack of four guys to the finish and came out of the water in 4th or 5th and never once felt like I was going to blow up. Solid. It was my first race swim in my Zoot Zenith and it was killer. The suit is awesome!

Bike:
The bike course at Snow Valley is pretty short at only 11 miles but there quite a bit of steep climbing and technical, loose descents. When I talked with Conrad and a couple other athletes before the race all of them said that the descents were gnarly, super loose, and rutted out. So without having a chance to pre-ride and get a feel for the descents my plan was to cane it on the climbs and be pretty cautious on the descents. The last thing I need is to take a spill and a chance at getting hurt when my big races are still to come.

I got out of T1 and out on the bike in 4th place and I just hammered as soon as I hit the first climb. I was able to move into 2nd place, behind Conrad, by the end of the first series of climbs. I just kept hammering the climbs and cruising the descents... and yes... they were very sketchy, especially on the second lap when I had to deal some lap traffic. I finished the bike in 2nd place and all alone.

heading into t2


The run:
This is one of the hardest on Xterra circuit. It's only 4+ miles but there is a TON of super steep climbing... and the altitude doesn't help either.

heading out of t2 and up the easiest climb on the course. I like this video because you can see me giving Beth a high-five right before jumping over a deep ditch.


I headed out on the run 4 minutes behind 1st Place - Conrad, and probably about 4 minutes up on Shonny, and 5 minutes on any other amateur. I went hard but being "no-mans" land is tough. I don't think I went all out but had a very solid run and maintained my position.


Finish:
2nd Overall
1st Amateur
1st AG

Overall Podium. Conrad, me, Art


video of the awards... If you listen closely you can hear me calling Conrad a sandbagger!

I was really happy with the race considering how tired I was going in. It was also fun trying to track Conrad down. I knew there wasn't really any chance of that but it was cool knowing he was the only one ahead me and I was actually racing against him. I got the chance to talk with quite a bit after race about everything... racing, training, bikes, sponsors... a lot of good info. Check out his race report... he give me some props... kind of. I did not almost get chicked!

"see what had happened was..."


I was also very fortunate to have a great support crew on hand. My sister, nephew, aunt & uncle, my sisters friend and son, and my biggest fan Beth were all out there cheering for me. I definitely appreciate and it does help me go faster and have more fun.


Me and my Homeboy Jon. He got 2nd in our AG and is getting to charge the Pikes Ascent in a couple of weeks... gnarly!


back to work, training, and more unpacking/cleaning!

14 comments:

Luke said...

gettin brave bro...

simultaneous high five ditch jumping and calling the caveman a sandbagger!!

hahaha...great job bro!

Zippy said...

Dude, you outran Conrad; check out the splits!

Jim said...

Great race and even greater talking with you last night, although Mom did the most talking.

Like I told Beth, the "Pink War Paint" is working.

Keep up the good work....

Jaakko Hiekkaranta said...

WHAT!!! No one pic with a beer in hand!!! What's that all about?? :)

No seriously killer race once again! wow, you'll be the top guy in very little time me thinks!!

GZ said...

Tell me that Conrad is like 8 feet tall. Because you look about three feet shorter than him here. ;)

I know you dug in this race a bit. I can see it in that walk up to the podium.

Sweet that you put a bit of fear into the caveman. Way to live it.

Matt said...

Nice little one-on-one training day with the Caveman replete with private consultation. All that, kidding aside, is in the tank. Believe!

runninggunner said...

Nice work!!! You laid it down.

Moving does suck.

Flatman said...

Way to go, James...you rocked it again, DAWG!

FatDad said...

Great race! Way to throw down.

emkruse said...

Great race - the goat vs. the caveman. Congrats on getting mountain goat week 5 in the books. Are you hopping from rock to rock and eating tin cans for breakfast by now?

SixTwoThree said...

Way to kick it!! Think of it as a post-move recovery :-)

emkruse said...

Hey -- question. Have you ever seen an elevation profile for Ogden bike and run? I know it's climb, climb and then climb some more. But I'd really like to see elevation graphed over distance. Like something you'd get from a Garmin since our group won't be able to pre-ride and I can't find anything on the website. Ideas?

Ryan Denner said...

conrad was scared bro!

http://www.amateurendurance.com/2008/08/avia-xterra-snow-valley-athlete-interviews/

Jim said...

Great write up in the Xterra Snow Valley article.

Remember in in the beginning, when no one saw you coming ? Well the cat's officially out of the bag now!

You are now a force to be reckoned with !!!