Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Maui, Xterra World Championships 2013

Xterra World Championships
10th amateur 25-29
Off Road Triathlon
Maui, Hawaii
The Red Dust Settles
Stand up paddle board and active recovery session.

had a different demeanor, this year, walking into this prestigious event. I knew that with my struggle just several weeks prior, I compromised on fitness to be healthy coming into the event and rightfully, it was the correct decision. I had to assess my goals, and, naturally, set new ones. To be healthy was the priority goal and focus for this race. Anything else was a bonus. I had some long travels to Maui, splitting it into a two day travel session, but would eventually arrive in Maui on Sunday evening a week before the race. Psychologically that was enough time, almost an instant reset for the mind. This race is always one of my best experiences for the season. Hawaii is a magical place and whatever woes one has are soon a thing of the past with this majestic calming island life.

Surprisingly I was enjoying the suffering up the climb

The following day set as an easy day after some long travels, and set up the week for good vibrations. Pre-riding the course on Tuesday with Ben Allen & Jaqui Slack, an Australian and British duo, along with several other athletes, gave me an indication of what to expect on race day. At this point in the game, a few days out from the main event, balancing fatigue and form was the primary focus for me.
Post race ride with my favourite bird. Hi-ilani.

Race morning was like many previous. The conditions were hot with the air standing still, as the trade winds had decided to rest for the day which made for some extreme humidity levels and a greater emphasis on hydration/nutrition for the day. During the race I consumed four 16oz bottles on the bike and one 12oz for the run. I had also frozen 3 zip lock bags with water and cut the tips off so as .they melted it would sprinkle across the body keeping my core temperature low and delay fatigue levels. It worked like a charm. I would use the other two for the run when the sun would be at its highest in the day. A great tip to use for future races and one that is used by 4x Xterra World Champ, Conrad Stoltz, is to simply hold the ice bags in hand while running and allow your body to do the rest.

I had a respectable swim staying toward the front of the 500 other male athletes. I came out the water in good time, losing less than a minute to one of my key rivals and possibly a top amateur swimmer in the field. I knew I could out bike him and upon arriving in T1, I managed a quick bike count noticing only 4 were missing, I eventually would catch him around mile 3 which allowed me to put time between him and I, leaving me scrambling on the run to maintain position. I arrived in T2 in 5th. The sun showed its ferocity during the run and my lack in concentration had me sprawled out on the trail unexpectedly. I had tripped on a tree root and took a tumble in some branches. Let me tell you, it hurt! The run quickly went from a smooth trot to a messy final two miles, as fatigue levels started to rise and hot conditions weathered the body. The 250 yard beach run to the finish line seems to sap any energy you have left and for the second year in a row this course proved its worthy of much respect. I would eventually slip to 10th on the day.

GoPro camera action and hypoxic breathing drills Napili Bay

With a training/racing season that turned slightly pear shaped toward the end stages, I was happy to walk away from Xterra World Championships with this result. Finishing 10th in category, even with the showing of a stacked field, top 50 overall amateur was a satisfactory result and consistent with last year (also considering I had lost a lot of fitness as explained here.)

Congratulations to all 803 athletes that made it. Special mention to Ken, my fellow friend and athlete I coach, on finishing his first Xterra Worlds. Tick that one off your bucket list and welcome to “G-ville”. Also to the Kapuna, inspirational to see a 76 year old man, Ron Hill, who came back from a broken pelvis weeks prior and finished this event. Ahead of the game for sure!

Now that the season has come to an end, I can look back taking many positives away. A big lesson on being patient, controlling the competitive monster within, correct periodization, balancing rest vs. training and note I am moving forward with a clearer picture for the 2014 season, I anticipate higher levels of focus on the details. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped me in some way or form this season. There have been many people and I am humbled and grateful for your support.

To my sponsors at Elite PerformanceChiropractors I am thankful for all that you do for me during my training and racing season. I cannot imagine a training schedule without the support and advice you give me to keep my body in check.

To the guys at Cadence Cyclery of McKinney, thank you for the continued service on my equipment, Giant Bicycles and providing a solid foundation to fuel my training and racing regime. You are a key part of my young career in this endurance game of cycling and triathlon.

Post race get together and a spill in the red Maui 

CycleOps For your consideration to have me on your grassroots campaign and support I receive on discounted products is appreciated.
Managed to find energy for one last run with Ken, an athlete I coach, as we finished the last beach run.

It was a good day for my SkinStrong products from anti-chafe to sunscreen I stayed protected all day from the harsh conditions, beach sand in places it shouldn't be and the relentless sun beaming down on me all day a great product and worth a mention for sure.

Orange Seal Cycling thank you for keeping me rolling and my tires inflated, an innovative and continuously evolving product, never a problem with new tire setups.
Also, a big thanks to the many individuals in my life that make an impact to me daily and have supported my racing in more ways than I can count. Thank you.

Cheers till next time.

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