Last weekend was the first of 8 stops on the Xterra Cup series for 2009. Not having raced an Xterra or ANY triathlon for that matter in 2 years meant there were a lot of unknowns of how this race was going to go. I lined up at the swim start with the usual pre-race butterflies, but definitely not as nervous as previous years b/c I had nothing to lose. Had a decent swim in just under 21 minutes coming out with the second pack, about 2 minutes behind the leaders.
My first transition definitely wasn’t the best as my heart rate was sky rocketing and it seemed to take me an eternity to get out of my wetsuit. Once onto the bike, my heart rate felt high but I didn’t seem to be going very fast as Nico Lebrun quickly passed me going up an early climb. I tried to stay calm as Steve Larsen and Brian Smith caught and passed me towards the end of the first of two laps. At the start of the second lap my HR seemed to calm and I felt some rhythm in my pedal stroke. I caught up to and passed Brian S. back, and was lucky when Nico L. got a flat tire. I felt better as the bike wore on and caught a few other male pros that seemed to be slowing towards the end of the bike portion.
My second transition was much better than the first and I was able to find my running legs pretty quickly. Although my run training has been minimal, I seemed to be holding pace with the other male pros up ahead. I caught one other male pro during the second lap and held off a few others lurking behind. All in all, I was really happy finishing 7th and was happy to report back to USA Triathlon that I still deserved to have a “Pro” license. Looking forward to my next Cup race in Idaho in June. Till then, I’ll work on my transitions and do a few hard runs!