Last Thursday my race sherpa, good friend Brian and myself departed in the dark to get to
beautiful Snowbasin, Utah for the Xterra USA Nationals. The drive was uneventful except for almost running out of gas, almost being the key word. We arrived in time for me to do my first interview for Xterra TV...I wore my finest shoes for this:I was feeling very ready to race and had some great mountain bike results from a few weeks prior that had my confidence high. Race day went well and I learned some lessons. I came out of the swim in about the same position I normally do. The swim was more calm than last year. I was only punched in the face once and was able to stick with a small group most of the swim.
I quickly started to move up on the bike. Snowbasin is the ideal course for me, it's at altitude and is mostly uphill. I picked off several women and found myself holding on to Shonny's wheel longer than I ever have when she came by me. I lost a little bit of focus on the top loop of the bike. They switched the bike course from last year and we climbed more single track than before. I was getting flustered trying to pass people in this section. Lesson one, be more aggressive when passing and stay focused. I came into T2 in 4th and struggled through the run. I don't know what it is with me and this course but my legs seem to cramp on the run. I didn't resort to walking like last year but was unable to climb the hills well or maintain a good turnover. Lesson two, I can't depend on my running history to get me through races anymore, I need to run more. Renata and Christine passed me in the last mile of the run and I was unable to hang with them. I ended up 7th overall and the 2nd American. It was a close race with 4th-7th being separated by less than 2 minutes. Congrats to all my Melrad teammate, especially Mel for her big win!
I was certain that I could get a podium spot this year and I am finally within striking range. So, I missed my appointment with the podium this year but I'll be back next year! And, it's not too late to have a break through race at Worlds...
Thanks to all my sponsors Avia, Specialized, GU, Profile Designs and Nathan. Also, a huge thanks to Doug and Katherine for all their support on race day!