Two weeks ago was the Indian Peaks Xterra. I love this race for several reasons, it's literally in my own backyard about 40 minutes from my house at Eldora ski area, the course is super fun and the race director always puts on a good show. Last year I won this race and knew I was in for a tough race this year with Kelly Cullen toeing the line with me. Well, toeing the line isn't the best description as the race is a time trial start so you don't ever really know how you're doing. The race director, Paul, insisted that I get the privilege starting first since I was the defending champion. So, I jumped in the cold lake first and was passed by 3 men in the swim and Kelly caught me right at the end. I've been doing some mental work around my performance in open water swims and was pleased that I had a much improved swim than I have been lately. I'm convinced it's because of the Brainspotting I did with my clinical supervisor (Google it if you're curious).
After a long run to transition (4 plus minutes long) Kelly and I were off on the bike. I opted for my Specialized Era to take advantage of the full suspesion on the somewhat rocky course. I figured I'd get pretty beat up on my hardtail and I tend to ride better when I'm not frustrated by being bucked around by rocks, Doug can attest to this. It was great to have someone to push me on the bike. Kelly and I rode together the first lap of the bike playing a game of cat and mouse. On the second lap I lost a little steam and Kelly was suddenly out of my sight. I still ended up biking over 2 minutes faster than last year, so no complaints here. Coming into T2 I knew Kelly was ahead of me and the only way I was going to beat her was to catch her and put time on her. I quickly put on my Avia Bolts and was off but no such luckin taking over the lead, as I found myself in "no mans land", unable to see anyone in front or behind me. There is one point on the run that is out and back and I could see that Kelly had a few minutes on me. As much as I tried to pick up the pace after this I had to accept that this year is Kelly's year and cruised home to take second overall. It is great to see several new pro women on the Xterra scene from Colorado...it's exciting!
This was the second year I have helped the race director with a pre-ride of the course a few weeks before the race. Just like last year I really enjoyed helping to provide the newer women with a safe, comfortable and encouraging introduction to Xterra...it is very rewarding to me! Next up is Xterra Lory next weekend.