Late night, cold water…
Xterra Ft Yargo 2018
April 28th, 2018
0.5m swim, 10m bike, 5m run
Finally made it down to this early season race for the first time. I’ve always enjoyed and appreciated the Gone Riding crew for their laid back race and reasonable prices from Xterra Tsali, and it was good to try out their other Xterra race within driving distance.
As many of you reading this with kids likely know, late spring seems to have full calendars, and this year was no different. With a commitment until after 9pm in Nashville on Friday night, I devised a great plan to drive to GA, take the time zone hit, sleep in a rest area for 3.5 hours, and drive the remaining 1.5 hours on race morning. Even found a Starbucks a few minutes from the rest area. genius.
I got started closer to 9:30pm, but all was well. Started getting really tired around 1am EST with the rest area only a few minutes away. perfect… until, I discover the rest area is closed. ouch. It’s after 1am, I’m 1.5 hours or so away from the race and tired with a busted plan. Bring in the Scottish Inn. While $49 is cheap for a hotel room – checking in a 1:30am and out at 4:40am still made it seem expensive. Ha. And that Starbucks that I found and checked the opening time? Turns out that on Saturdays it opens 30 mins later at 5:30. Dang. Choked down some Dunkin Donuts coffee which I can’t understand at all. at all. It tastes like hot water. For some reason, people like Dunkin, and I’ve failed trying to understand it..
Cold water. Water temp was 64 ish degrees, and I borrowed a wetsuit for the first time. Wetsuit was easy to deal with, but the water temp was not. Choosing to skip warming up for the swim may have been the worst decision of the day – I could not hold my breath in the cold water. The immediate, involuntary reaction to the cold water on my face was to gasp. It was uncontrollable. hmm, this was not going well after 50 meters or so, and I was considering my options while keeping my head above water… Continuing to make progress, things got a bit better as I warmed up a bit, and by the second buoy I was good to to. From the third buoy to shore I was in stride and could finally focus on a decent stroke. Wow. Survived.
Bike trails were great. However, the traffic on the single track was challenging. While there were places to pass, the grouping of riders and short up/downs made it difficult and a bit frustrating. Fast trails with no real technical features.
Leaving T2, I grabbed a small Gatorade bottle thinking I’d take a few sips and trash it outside of transition. Unfortunately I didn’t find a trash can, and carried that sucker for 2 miles to the water stop. Legs were a bit heavy, and I was slower that I wanted to be but began to feel much better around the 3 mile mark. Nice trails for sure. Generally wide and pleasant.
Between the terrible swim, bike traffic, and dealing with that bottle for 2 miles, it wasn’t a great race. But as with all Xterra races, it was memorable and left me ready for the next one. Let’s go.