Wednesday, June 30, 2010
You betcha. It’s actually all I can think about lately, so you’re stuck with it too. Sure, I’ll till occasionally ll something outta my ass for this here blog, but for now it looks like the XTERRA Whitewater is the dominating subject matter for now. In fact, I end up talking about it wherever I go.
Yesterday, I headed over to the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center for my usual lunchtime exercise routine (run day as a matter of fact.) When I arrived there, I ran into my good pal Peter, who is quite the accomplished XTERRA athlete. In fact (as I may have mentioned before), he’s the one that got me interested in the sport in the first place. After discussing the particulars of the course, he came to the conclusion that the run-between-the-swimming action will be, gulp, dangerous. He said that he ran across the island before the man-made pond da udda day, and that there were several large logs that could pose a hazard when they are wet. His words, “someone’s gonna break an ankle.” Shit. Not to mention that he saw shards of glass on the gravel road leading up to the island. And y’all thought I made that shit up, huh? Well, I thought I did, but it turns out that it’s true.
So, what the hell do I do? Do I grab an old shitty pair of shoes to leave by the Catawba river to put on for the run-between-the-swimming action? Or, do I just tough it out and run the course Southerner-style, sans shoes. Hell, I didn’t start wearing shoes until I was twelve years old, so I had plenty of experience running around barefoot. I don’t want to have my feet all cut up for the bike and run portions of the event, but I also don’t want to spend extra time looking for my old dingy shoes when I get out of the river, and then going back after the race to retrieve them when it’s all over. It would be much like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Damn it.
He even mentioned something interesting in the bike leg of the XTERRA. He doesn’t really agree with the decision to run the entire trail at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, rather he would prefer that we cut out a few sections and do two laps on an abbreviated course. The mileage will be the same, but that would cut out the chances of cheating, he says. Cheating? WTF? Well, there are quite a few cut-throughs available on the trail, and he says that he has seen people cutting the trail in the past. Personally, I’m not too worried about that. If people want to cheat and make themselves feel better, then they can have at it. Personally, I wouldn’t cut the course, since I’m trying to see what I can do out there, and I’m actually just competing against myself. However, if I lost out on a podium spot because some jackass cheated, then I would be pretty pissed. Hopefully there will be plenty of course marshals out there to keep that from happening. They do need volunteers for this event, so check it out. If you’re local to the Charlotte area, then hit up the website to sign up to be a volunteer. You’ll be doing your part to make sure the race is fair.
Since I am kind of tapering off my training for this event, I haven’t been pushing too hard lately on anything (swimming, biking, and running.) However, to keep up with the competition side of things, I will attempt to race tonight in the Summer Series at Colonel Francis Beatty Park. While I won’t be super-competitive (I’m usally not anyway), I think that just getting out to race will help calm my nerves before the big event next weekend. The weather forecast looks bleak though, since they are calling for scattered thunderstorms. Hopefully I can get out and race. Otherwise, I’ll be stuck riding my road bike in the rain for uh, training. Yuck.