Monday, September 22, 2014

2014 Xterra Aliso Canyon 16k Recap

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I certainly had a great weekend and I am going to tell you all about it. But first I'll tell you about how my race went since that is probably the only reason you are reading this blog post.

(warning: the color orange is rampant in this post)


The Xterra Aliso Canyon trail run is held on a Saturday while all the other races of the Xterra So-Cal series are held on a Sunday. So on Friday after I got off of work I did some last minute packing and then my family and I headed off to Orange County. Of course as soon as we leave I start remembering stuff that I forgot to pack such as the food I planned to eat before the race and my Garmin heart rate monitor strap. I have only been really wearing and paying attention to my heart rate monitor for a couple of months so this was the first race I really planned on racing by it. But that was  not an option anymore. Thankfully I remembered my Garmin watch, which I have had actual nightmares of arriving at a race without. So it could have been worse.

Race Day

Our hotel was 10 minutes away from the start but as I have learned in some of my past races like Xterra Black Mountain and the OC Marathon that I should still plan on arriving extra early or I'll be late. Luckily for me, we had no issues with getting our free hotel breakfast, arriving at the race, and finding a parking spot. Mrs. Speedypants and the kids decided that they were going to volunteer at this race so they could be distracted from the excitement of waiting for me to finish wouldn't be bored. So they headed off to the volunteer tent as I went to pickup my race bib. Afterwards I met a blog reader of mine, Wally. He was very nice and of course I was awkward. Later I looked up his race times and our times are very close so I am looking forward to racing him again in the future.
Pre race selfie

The family that matches together, stays together.

At 7:45am the race started and I was stuck in the port-a-potty line. Of course I was going to miss the start, why wouldn't I?

At 7:48ish I started my race.

Miles 0 - 4 - The first mile was really fast for me. It was downhill, I had race adrenaline, and I was minutes behind everyone else. By 3 miles I realized I was still running too fast and going at my 10k pace. I actually caught up to the race though. This first part of the course was shaded and beautiful and I was feeling good.

Mile 4-5 - This was the big climb up out of the canyon. I just hiked as fast as I could up and I actually passed a few other runners.

Miles 5-8 - These miles were rolling along top of the ridge where we were exposed to the sun. It was a reminder that it is still summer in Southern California. I was able to keep a good pace but my legs were starting to feel heavy from the constant uphill and downhills.

Miles 8 - finish - Mile 8 was steep downhill back into the canyon. I bombed down as fast as I could safely. By the time I was at the bottom my legs felt like lead. Looking back at my splits I was still moving well but it felt like I was running in slow motion and the hot humid stagnant air in the canyon was like a sauna. I finally reached the finish and I was drenched in sweat, and water that I poured on myself.  I got to see Mrs. Speedypants at the finish line and my son and daughter were passing out the finisher medals.

Official Time: 1:38:45
Overall Place: 121 out of 225
Age Group Place: 14 out of 19

My Unofficial Time: 1:35:16
Overall Place: 102 out of 225
Age Group Place: 13 out of 19

Race Summary

I feel that I did the best that I could. I am very happy with my splits. My loose goals for this race was to finish in 1:30:00 and I was really close to that. My other goal was to finish top 15 of my age group so I would earn Xterra race series points. Earning Xterra points has been a goal ever since I started these Xterra events and this was the first time I achieved that goal. I really liked the t-shirt that was given out but the finisher medal was tiny. it is by far the smallest medal I have ever gotten. Other than that the course was great, and the family had a fun time volunteering.

After race selfie and photobomb from my daughter
Son hard at work
Mrs. Speedypants hard at work at the Finish line

Rest of the Weekend

After I showered and changed we went to Panera Bread for lunch. If I can't get my IHOP or Denny's after a race than Panera is the next most awesome place to devour all the things. I had sweated so much and ran so hard at the race that my leg muscles kept cramping up so we went back to the hotel and I did some self leg therapy by alternating time in the cold pool and the hot tub. 

In the evening we all went to Big Air Trampoline park. The kids had a blast jumping off the walls and it was surprisingly fun for us adults as well. 

Sibling battle royale

I'm the biggest kid in line.

Foam block pits are impossible to get out of.

Sunday morning we all came home to our normal lives. Mrs. Speedypants went to work and I lounged around watching Football and rested my legs. 

It was a great weekend.

Tell me all about your weekend.


  1. Nice job! I've wondered about trying one of the trampoline places with the kids. We have an actual trampoline (which we haven't put up in two years), so everytime I think about it, I just say, "Well, I could save the money and put up the trampoline."

    1. Thank you! The kids had been wanting to go for a while but everything looked fun, so I wanted to jump around too. lol.

  2. Well done! I love that the whole family was involved and in matching colors. The Jayhawk volunteered at Snakebite and is excited to do it again but I think that is because they let him have free beer. Racing without a garmin use to be my fear too, until I was forced to do it and ended up with a PR. Now I can't decide if I always should just for luck.

    1. Thank you EB. The kids were happy to get free food and got to keep the volunteer shirts. I think they enjoyed it because they felt like they were part of the race.

  3. Nice work on your race!
    That pic of you in line is pure awesome, haha!

    1. Thank you. I wasn't going to let the toddlers have all the fun. lol.

  4. Awesome job earning points!!! And shout out to the fam for volunteering! It's awesome to see young ones involved in racing on either side of the finish line! We love those trampoline places, not sure I'd be able to take one on after a race, but they are a lot of fun. Probably more so for the adults! :)

    1. Thank you Jen. The kids were actually asking if they could volunteer at my next race. :)

  5. Congratulations!! Great race recap, and awesome time for your race too, even with your few minutes delay spent in the toilet - great work! Haha, that was a lot of orange, you're right. Your family would fit right in over here in China during the summer holidays where it seems the go is for families to all wear identical matching outfits when on holiday. :)

    1. Thank you Lou. I seem to be having a lot of issues at getting to the start line on time. lol.

  6. Awesome job! I think it's always fun meeting blog readers. :)
    Love that your fam volunteered too!

    1. Thanks. :) It is a nice reminder that people actually read my blog. lol.

  7. Great job racing a tough trail! How wonderful your family could volunteer!
    I would love to take my kids to a trampoline park, but I don't think there are any anywhere near us!

    1. Thank you! The trampoline park was fun and didn't cost much, so keep an eye open for one if you do any traveling.

  8. Great race! Bummer about being in the bathroom line when it started. But good job making up for lost time, and how cool that your family volunteered!