Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tom Torrance's Update from Hawaii!!!

Oh man, first time blogger. I don't know whether to be happy or sad about that. Well, Erin's out running and everybody else has headed back to colder climates, so I basically stole the keys to the car here. Does anybody read this? HI VICKI! This being my first experience hanging out with the tri crowd, I really didn't know what to expect. But if need be, I was all ready to roll with some new tri-geek material. And let me tell you, it came in handy. When Branden (Rakita) started giving me crap on the flight out here about "ohhhh, the mountain biker can't swim.", I knew that I was in for a fun trip. And FYI....I can swim. It's just not very pretty and most of the time it involves some sort of inflatable animal.

Erin's last post left off with us spending a little time on the beach while some surfed and some swam. Well, I didn't do much of either. The Halloween party got me into bed around 3am. I was up at 6am, and back to the party location to look for one lost cell phone. That was only the second time that i'd lost it that day. That's just the engineer in me fighting its way through. It did eventually turn up. I'll skip the details in order to save some face here.....but thanks goes to Ryan (Decook) for saving the day. Anyway, i spent most of the day sleeping on the beach. It was amazing.

Well, yesterday was Tom's day. On the way back from the beach the day before, we stopped into a bike shop to inquire about some proper singletrack in the area. We were given a map and some rough instructions on how to find the sweet stuff, and we were ready to go. Needless to say, I was more than a little excited.

Oh, my new friend Chris (Christine Jeffrey). The girl stopped making fun of me long enough to score 5th place overall!

Anyway, off to the trail.....the Makawao Forest Reserve. The drive there took a little longer than expected, as the navigator was a little off the back. Erin eventually lost map privileges. :) But we did finally make it to the trailhead.

Having spent the entire day before laying in the sun, it was a nice change to get lost in some trees.

The trail was a mix of Northern California darkness with turny midwest singletrack. Good times were had all around.... Well, except when Erin decided she'd ride up ahead and not stop at the intersection, leaving us wondering where in the world she went. she's swears that she didn't see it. I swear we need to tie a bell or something onto that girl.

OK, Erin's back now. We're going to go riding, then maybe surf a little. I'll end this with some lesson's learned from my first Xterra experience.

1. If given the chance, Xterra guys like to wear as little as possible and touch each other

2. Don't unseat your tubeless tires the night before the world championships if all you have is a floor pump. (I actually already knew that one, Branden just reinforced it for me). On the bright side, my wheels did get top 20 at the World Championships.

3. It's probably not the best idea to shave your head(Blake Voges) the evening after spending the entire day racing in the sunshine of Maui. I do appreciate the dedication to one's Halloween costume though.
4. I didn't really learn anything from this photo, just found it kind of amusing.

5. No matter how much you try, you're probably not going to fix 5 years of colorado mountain bike tan in a week

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Race Update and Maui Happenings


As always, a more detailed report will come later, but here's the short version. It was an absolutely beautiful day but pretty hot with little cloud cover. I got pretty beat up in the swim, but found some good feet and had a great time. Hopped on the bike and was leading the amateur race until about 90min into the bike when my back started to seize up a bit forcing me to get off and stretch it out. Apparently I didn't have the core strength on the really steep climbs and my saddle had shifted pointing the nose straight up...I didn't realize this until after the race, but whatever. At any rate, I had lost all power in my legs and started getting passed by all sorts of girls. I got a little frustrated but finished the bike and headed out for the run. Not the best of runs but it got me back into the top 3 overall females. I finished first in my age group and missed the overall amateur title by 2 minutes...grrrr :) However, I am super excited about my world title (and not crashing like Branden - see below) and for everyone else who had a great day. Also it was so great to have Tom out there supporting all of us and giving my family updates the entire time. Thanks buddy, you're the BEST!!!

As for the other fun stuff going on, Tom went out on an epic ride on Saturday by himself that had me worried out of my mind when still wasn't back after 5+hrs of riding, but the pics he came back with were pretty cool. He's still working on the whole tan thing, but it's getting better :)

We had a pretty crazy time at the awards ceremony and the Halloween party after the race. Chris was 5th pro female which was amazing and fun to see and well, there was just lots of ridiculousness with costumes and water bottles filled with vodka and lemonade later that night!

Monday was pretty low key with a nice trip to the beach for some surfing, relaxing and skin burning. Blake and Ryan were catching some good waves while Tom was attempting to even his tan.

I have been updating all the pics daily so check em out!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Race Morning in Maui

The sun has not yet risen, but the weather report is calling for a beautiful sunny day in the mid to high 80s with little wind and lots of humidity...splendid! I don't have much to post other than I'm super excited to race in about 3 hours and that I'm not too sure I really want to leave Maui! Even though we haven't really started to relax due to getting ready for the race today, we've still had such a blast out here with everyone with lots of good laughs. I have posted pictures on the 'My Pics' link to the right for the trip so take a peak...some of them are pretty funny. At any rate, if you are interested, the race will be streaming live video and race updates online at 8:30am Hawaii time, 12:30pm MST and 2:30pm EST - just click on the pic below. I'll post a quick recap later today or tomorrow but there is lots of partying to be done after the race and I could be a little distracted! Alright, off to chow down some breakfast! Wish me luck!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Travels and a quick update

Holy crap it's a long way to Maui...I haven't been on a plane for that long since I lived in Europe and had to make the trek back and forth several times a year! At any rate, despite being picked on by Tom and Branden the entire trip and the 4 hour time change, everything went smooth sailing. The above pic is the view from our condo....sooooo pretty :)

So today we went down to the race headquarters to register and to get in a bike ride on the 'practice course'. The best part is that Tom 'Mr. Anti-triathlon' Torrance had to sign up for a one day USA Triathlon license just to ride the practice course with us...haha, too funny.

Better yet, he had to put an XTERRA number plate on his bike!!! I bet all his mountain bike friends are laughing now!

We then went for a short swim in the choppy ocean, watched Branden make fun of Lieb's gigantic goggle-like sunglasses then back to the condo for some lunch and a little rest.

A fun BBQ in the evening made for a great first day here in Maui. Lots more to come so stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

MAUI - Here we come!

Apologies that the posts have been limited recently, but departing for a couple weeks is always chaotic with all the clients. I have been running around like crazy the past couple days, but all to Hawaii! I have never been there before and cannot wait. Shep has helped with the final touches on the bike, wheels and tires, and all I have left is a massage in an hour, a quick grocery trip and LOTS of packing! You better believe there will be tons of reports over the next week with lots of exciting news and pictures. The 2008 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPS is going to be a rockin' time...whoooooaaaaaa!!

Friday, October 17, 2008


Apparently this makes Tom laugh...

Monday, October 13, 2008

XTERRA National Champs Race Report

Lake Tahoe, Nevada
October 5th, 2008
1st Amateur - National Champ

After a bit of a weather scare the day before, I was a little stressed and unsure about what to expect race morning. Giant swells in the water, cold temperatures and rain are not something I'm familiar to racing in but figured it would be a good experience and a great way to deal with the unexpected. Thankfully, the storm had moved out and I woke up to bright blue skies, a warm shining sun and water smoother than silk. The air temperature was a bit chilly, but we honestly could not have asked for better conditions.

The Swim - The waters of Lake Tahoe are pretty cold year round and do not get any warmer in October! Yes, it was cold and neoprene hoodies were a must. It was a clockwise 2 lap swim with nothing too exciting to report. It definitely wasn't the greatest of swims but not the worst either. On the first lap, I kept drifting to the left making the loop much larger than it should have been but the second lap I found some good feet to stay on and easily cruised into the beach.

T1 - I don't normally report on transitions because they're usually smooth sailing but this race happens to be a little different :) So I get out of the water and we have a 1/3 mile run to the transition area. I had set aside an old pair of flats to run in but after getting out of the water, I had no feeling in my hands or feet and getting the speed laces open wide enough to get my feet in was nearly impossible. After finally sitting down and dealing with that debacle, I was off running to my bike while stripping the top half of my wetsuit off. I get to my bike, rip off my shoes, and start pulling off the wetsuit. I get to the ankles and I'm seriously stuck. I, again, had to sit down and pull the suit off from around my feet. By now I'm in total panic mode as this never happens. I then started putting on my wool socks which became another challenge but knew if I skipped that step, I'd be one sad girl on the bike. I had planned on wearing a beanie and light jacket but because I was so worked up, I was already on fire and decided to ditch that idea. I began putting on my super warm gloves which became another difficult task as it's kind of hard to get thick gloves with wet hands that have no feeling in them. At this point, I've probably been in T1 for 5min and wasn't even finished! My goofball self forgot to put on her helmet and camelback before her gloves which made buckling those two items quite complicated...there goes another minute!!!
The Bike - After getting passed by about half the field in transition, I was pretty fired up and ready to lay it out on the bike. I immediately passed several girls and got into a good groove. As we started the climb up Tunnel Creek, I kept sticking to the plan of keeping a really low cadence in order to keep the heart rate down and it was working fabulously. I kept picking off my competition until I found myself ahead of several pros and in the lead of the amateur race. I kept focused and had a great decent despite crashing during the pre-ride and finshing in the pitch black. Turns out going really fast when you can see is a lot easier!!! I couldn't believe how great my legs felt, even after all that climbing. I'm usually one to blow up half way through or just not go hard enough and this bike was truly a breakthrough in finding that happy medium.

T2- I roll into transition and they announce me as the first amateur female and that I have a 10+minute lead which was super cool. I found my rack position, got the run shoes on, grabbed the race belt and hat and started to run towards the 'run out'. For some really strange reason, I thought I was running the wrong direction so I immediately stop and start running the opposite direction. I then hear everyone in the crowd screaming at me tell me I'm going the wrong way. I stopped, blurted out a 'not so nice word' (while laughing of course), and finally found myself going the right direction.

The Run - The only two words that describe this part of the race are slow and enjoyable. I knew I had a big enough lead to win the amateur race and that there was no reason to go hard as Maui is only a few weeks away, but I was still curious to see how I would have compared to the pro women if I really threw down. At any rate, that idea went out the door quickly and cruised the windy and fun course with a big smile the entire way.

The Finish - Crossing the finish line and hearing your name announced as National Champion is absolutely breathtaking. Giving a victory speech on stage in front of everyone is even more thrilling. Without the ongoing support from my family, friends and sponsors, this wouldn't even be a dream, so thank you. This win was not only a huge honor, but a big boost of confidence for the World Champs in Maui. All the hard work is finally paying off and I can't wait to see where it goes next :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Speeding Tickets and Asshole Cops

Yes, I was speeding and yes, I probably should have gotten a ticket, but it still doesn't justify the attitude from the jerk-off cop who pulled me over. We all know your cool uniform gives you this distorted feeling of empowerment and authority, but trust me, you're still just an average dude with an ugly badge.

I know you want to hear the story, so here it is. Tom and I were in a hurry to make a yoga class that we were already late for. After being stuck behind a car going super slow on a one lane road, I immediately accelerated quite quickly around it as soon as the road became two lanes. The guy behind me followed me then cut over in front of the other car and took off like a race car going mach 10. I saw the cop as soon as the other guy passed me and instantly slowed down. I figured that since the other car was still going at least 25mph over the speed limit that the cop would go after him for sure...Good guess, but no. He pulled me over and told me that even though the other guy was probably going 10mph faster than me that he didn't get his speed on radar and therefore couldn't go after him. Yeah, exactly what I wanted to hear. Then, the dumbass tells me that instead of giving me a ticket for going 51 in a 30 zone, he'd only give me a 49 in a 30 which was the lowest he clocked me at. THANKS BUDDY! Grrrrrrr...

I bet you can imagine what kind of mood I was in the rest of the night! Lots of M&Ms cured that problem though :)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

2008 XTERRA Amateur National Champ!!!

As always, a more formal race report will be posted later, but figured I'd give a quick update from the Sacramento airport as I'm sitting here playing on the Internet!

The race couldn't have been more perfect. The weather was great, the body was responding well and we had the best support group to date! I came out of the water in 3rd then quickly moved up to the front within the first mile of the bike. I had a great groove going on the big climb and felt amazing throughout the rest of the ride. I had a 10+min lead coming off the bike so decided to just cruise the run which was super fun. Great day all around for everyone as Branden had a kick ass 5th place finish, Ignatz came in 9th and Will rocked a solid 12th.

The best part, of course, was the evening of madness at the bar with the XTERRA clan and all the crazy athletes. You can see more ridiculous pictures on the 'My Pics' link on the right :)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Race Morning in Lake Tahoe

I don't have time to say much other than brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...but since I'm sitting here eating breakfast and trying to get in race mode, I figured I'd give a short update on the happenings from Lake Tahoe.
After smooth travels Thursday morning, I met up with the XTERRA TV crew for some interviews then went out and pre-rode the course with the clan. It's a beautiful course but quite sandy. I took a good digger going a little too speedy and almost got trampled by everyone behind me. It was pretty funny.

Friday was a bit cooler but perfect for a good jog around the course and a great test for the freezing choppy waters in the lake. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, but definitely not my cup of tea. We finished off the night with a great dinner at the condo with all the parents in town for the race...the Rakitas, the Kelsays, the Bogurts and my parents.

Yesterday was the Nevada race and because there were 5ft swells in the water and it was absolutely freezing, they turned it into a duathlon and cancelled the swim. YIKES! Still got in a steady ride, easy jog and got the bike all fixed up and ready to go. We then went down the the pre-race banquet where we had some delicious dinner and got some fun awards. I was Miss Quality of the year and Regional Champ so I got a cool jersey.

Alright, enough random babble, I need to get changed and ready to get my hurt on. Stay tuned for some updates in a few hours...or days :)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

It's Tahoe Time!

In just a few hours, I'll be jumping on a bus to catch an early morning flight from Denver to Reno where Branden and I will get on a shuttle and make our way to Lake Tahoe. Training has been going great and I'm super ready to race, but it looks like the weather is going to be a unexpectedly cooler and wetter than planned. No worries, I've packed everything I own and should be just fine :) My parents will also be there which should make for a great trip and fun times...more to come so stay tuned.