Fear, trepidation, nervousness, these were all the things I was feeling as we towed the line for the Xterra 2015 West Regional Championships in Las Vegas, NV in April.
Coming off a couple years of repeated knee injuries and surgeries and more recently leading up to the race, a synovectomy to relieve residual swelling I had from a menisectomy in 2012, I was not sure how my knee was going to handle the tough, steep terrain. This was the first time I was going to run since the surgery in late January.
Not being the strongest swimmer, I decided to ease into the race and started near the back deciding I could pass people and speed it up the more comfortable I became. The swim went well and I settled into a comfortable pace and came out of the water in decent time for me. Although, there is definitely room for improvement!
Transition went smoothly and off on the bike we went. The weather this year was absolutely perfect!! Cool and slightly cloudy with a little breeze and not the hot, super windy conditions this exposed course is known for. I felt strong and pretty confident on the bike for being so early in the season and the first race of the year. I ended the bike with no mishaps and came into transition in a podium position in my new age group of 40-44.
I knew the run was going to be tough, but didn’t know just how much. As I left transition I instantly knew it was going to be a looooong 10k. My legs had no turnover what so ever and there was no snap to my step. My knee held up well but in the end I was passed by 9 runners in my age category and was humbled as I crossed the finish line, which was a glorious sight to behold.
You can’t fake this race and it definitely favors the fit and prepared. I was extremely proud to see my fellow teammate capture the overall win and another good mate take second.
In the months since, my knee has done super well and we’re still working on that run……