So it is now the one year anniversary of when I started swimming and I was met with a challenge I never expected in Richmond. An open water swim that is actually more similar to an obstacle course and management of current's, islands, and eddies....all of which I never understood in the past. One year ago, I decided I was going to do an sprint XTERRA and because of that race I was going to learn how to swim. You can ask my swim coach Jim Murphy, I have come a longgggg.....wayyyyyy.....since then. I would like to say that I have gradually switched over from a doggie paddle type of stroke to more of a freestylish type of stroke. With the help of masters swimming sessions, my local swim coach, swim labs, and perhaps more stupidity then braveness....I have enjoyed this adventure of developing a feel for the water and picking up small pieces of knowledge immensely. Below I have attached my secret pirate map of the Richmond course including swimming against current, finding hidden sand bars, avoiding old trees and things that cut feet in the water, and of course the bull shark right under the rapids:).
But what I haven't talked about yet is possibly the best part of the whole XTERRA. The mountain bike course is phenomenal!!! As in more fun then most UCI mountain bike or cross courses I have ridden. Right in the middle of downtown Richmond with super fun rocky drops, rolling singletrack through the trees, short punchy climbs, and of course the crazy fans with beer bottles lined up along the course. I think this course was not at all what I expected but everything that I love:)
Last but definitely not least, was the trail run. The perfect end to the day with mostly flat sections following the edge of the river along RIchmond. On a hot June day in Richmond, the course went through shaded sections of trail, through creeks up to my waist, and along a riverbed that required rock jumping and even a ladder to climb out of. Definitely not my strongest run coming off an injury but after this taste of Richmond you can count me in for next year!
So the summer has finally arrived as well as the local XTERRA, mountain biking, running, and open water swimming season! I was a little bummed to have fallen in May while trail running and possibly broke or bruised another rib. I went through the same routine for about 2 weeks of problems breathing, sitting up, running, swimming, and biking. However, I had already planned to be in Richmond for father's day with my Dad coming from West Virginia to watch. So ready or not, the summer was here!
Finished off my Richmond prep with my first sprint triathlon in boulder! 5th overall and won my age group. First time in a while that I was back on the road bike too. Always amazed how I can manage to make my t2 last longer then my t1. This time I was trying to be super stealthy and get into my shoes while they were on my bike....and proceeded to drop them all over the road for at least a mile. Was super stoked to have my Van Dessel tri suit and be able to represent a company I love and really am proud of supporting! Thank you Van Dessel and Edwin Bull!