I love to do this race every year, and this year was no exception. Normally XTERRA Deuces Wild is followed a week later by XTERRA Four Corners. But this year the scheduling didn't work out and they fell on the same weekend, with 4 Corners on Saturday and Deuces on Sunday. I wasn't going to blow my race at Deuces by racing on tired legs, and I know how long the drive between Show Low and Farmington is, and I wasn't going to miss out on the Deuces raffle. Deuces is a superior course, and all the Tri Girls were going to be there, so 4 Corners was getting cut from my schedule this year.
Zac and I left on Saturday morning to get to the race with enough time to see the TTGs finishing up the road triathlons. That evening we went to the raffle, where I won a set of LG tri shoes, and Liane won an aerohelmet. We did some trading and switched prizes, and it worked out well. Sunday morning we arrived early and got set up in transition. Zac would once again be doing the relay with Shari, with her swimming, him doing the mountain bike, and her doing the trail run. The water wasn't as cold as last year, which was great.
I had all of my wisdom teeth pulled 2 weeks before this race, so my training leading up to it wasn't the greatest. I decided to take all the pressure off and just go out there and do the race and not worry about it. I got in the water, and decided to go out easy on the swim. This race I actually swam really straight with no navigation issues. I started catching and passing the guys that had a 4 minute head start on us, and only had a few issues getting around some of them that liked to swim in S patterns. I felt really good in the water, which is why when I stood up on the boat ramp I was shocked to see a swim time of 21 minutes. I had done the swim last year in 17 minutes, and my first year racing in 22 minutes. No way had I lost that much time. After the race I checked the results and lots of times for people that I know are fast swimmers were much longer, so I decided the course had to be long.
T1 went well, then it was time for my favorite part of the day, the mountain bike. I crushed the downhills and then was disappointed to see the gate to the forest was shut. Last year a rail in the fence was knocked down so that we could hop over. This year I had to lift the bike over the fence, then climb over. Oh well, this happens all the time on other trails so it wasn't too big of a deal. Then it was time for the climb and the usual log crossings. Except this year there had been a lot of trail erosion. The log that we normally climb over had a huge gap between the underside of the log and the trail. I decided to lay the bike down, crawl under the log, and drag my bike under like a dead body.
After that it was the usual climb up the trail, and this year I made it much further up the hill than previous years. The trail was in great shape. The massive downhill followed, which was a blast, then back through the forest and over the fence before heading back to transition. On the road I saw that I was getting close to the 1:40 mark for my bike split, and wanted to have my split be under that. So I hammered on the road up the hill to transition, passing a couple of guys giving me strange looks like "why the heck is this crazy chick hammering into transition???" and hopped off the bike with an official bike split of 1:39:42. Woohoo! Small victories.
It was hot by the time I hit the run course, but I did my best to run as much as possible. My pace was definitely slower than last year, but it was also 20 degrees warmer. I didn't want to do anything stupid out there, so I made sure I was always comfortable. The lake crossing wasn't too high this year, but it was so hot that I splashed through it to get wet. Then this year there was a "shortcut" option, where we could cut across the swamp and back into the lake before heading up the boat ramp. Heck yeah I'm doing that! I made it as far as I could in the mud and then splashed down and started swimming. My trail shoes filled with water and sank like a rock so my form wasn't exactly the best. Zac, Nate, and the TTGs were on the shore cheering, and I was happy to get out because I had less than a mile to go. Some chick came by pushing hard, but there was no way I was going to follow. I just kept going along at my happy pace. I finished in 3:13, which is only 1 minute slower than last year. The chick that blazed by me was in a chair and the medics were looking at here. There were a bunch of people looking pretty bad in the shade at the finish, but I felt great and was glad I wasn't one of them.
I got my awesome finish line popsicle, then we headed over to the lunch area and met up with the other TTGs. I slowly ate some watermelon while I waited for the digestive system to reboot and come back online. It was awhile before I could nibble at the Mexican food provided at the lunch. We waited for awards, and Zac & Shari took 1st place in the relay and got cool trophies! Zac and I changed, got some more food, and headed back to Tucson. Overall an awesome weekend!
Zac rockin' the Elvis jersey for the race:
Start of the women's wave of the swim:
Done with the bike:
Heading into the water on the trail swim:
Swimming the trail swim:
Emerging on the other side:
Shari & Zac with their cool trophies: