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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">Longest RR of mine this year...... </span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;"><Xterra National Championship></span></p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">September 25, 2010</span></p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">Ogden</span><span style="font-family:arial;">, UT</span></p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">1500m swim, 30K MTB, 10K Trail run</span></p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">13<sup>th</sup>/13 AG</span></p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">84<sup>th</sup>/91 FOA</span></p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">277<sup>th</sup>/290 OA</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">~ Prelude ~</span></p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">Influenced by DH, I started riding off-road here and there last year.  Our son (10) who enjoys mtbking happened to need a bigger bike, so late last year we purchased him Gary Fisher Marlin, a decent beginner MTB for his age/skill, with me sharing it in mind (until I get my own, much better bike)!  As I rode more regularly, doing off-road tri races became quickly one of my goals in 2010.  After trying one MTB race just to see how I could handle an unfamiliar course in early May, I successfully finished two Xterra races in May and June, 1st and 2nd in AG respectively.  Then I completed my “A” tri race, Racine HIM, in July.  Then I was ready and excited to tackle a fall marathon training.  That was when I received an invitation to the Xterra National Championship.  I finished 2nd in my AG in total point in the Midwest region.  Obviously not much competition.  After putting some thoughts into it, I decided to take it and just challenge myself.  The bike course per its description sounded horribly hard.  The first word out of my <span style="text-decoration:underline;">own</span> husband’s mouth was ‘you wouldn’t be able to finish it’ - one of his riding friends, Greg, did it last year.  Ha, he doesn’t know me yet after 15yrs of marriage?  One thing nobody can take away from me is the challenging spirit.  It turned out that there would be a trail race DH could try, a friend from NYC also qualified and decided to go, and a few local friends also decided to do it.  I was undoubtedly excited for this opportunity as the days went by.  Getting all the logistics nailed was a total pain – I had never flew for a race, and we got to arrange kids’ care, do I want to pay $200+ to fly my son's 30.5lbs hardtail to climb 19miles….. etc. etc. </span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">~ Day before the race~</span></p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">All my hardwork for preparation for the trip paid off– thing went pretty smoothly.  I shared the hotel near airport with a friend from NYC, Heidi on Thursday.  On Friday picked up a rental full wetsuit (I own only sleeveless and the water temp was originally reported at 57F), then headed to Ogden.  As the mountains got closer and closer, my heart was beating so hard I could see it moving – am I going to climb that?  Then the biggest nervous wrecking event of the day – meet a total stranger (though I communicated with him via e-mails several times) to borrow his bike in Ogden.  Can you believe this guy was willing to let me (= total beginner) use his $3500+ Full suspension bike???  Anyway, as the e-mail communications with him suggested, he turned out to be a super nice guy.  He helped me setup his bike to my liking (not that I could tell the difference on the shock levels, tires, air and all), gave Heidi and myself a quick tour of some of the bike course and left his own baby, totally trusting it in my hand.  The packet pickup and all the festivities were exciting.  Ran into all of the people I was expecting there, Jon & Sandy – first time at the Championship but super veteran Iron couple, Greg & Heather – both have done this course before, and Greg was racing again this year while Heather wasn’t due to an injury  – talking to them only cemented the idea of HARD bike course.  Jon & Sandy pre-rode the course and told me I would be fine, just stay with granny gear from the get go.  Heidi and I attended the champion’s banquet in the evening.  I sat next to the Mayor of Ogden – pretty cool – he has been in the position for 11yrs and went through all the excitements of the Olympic and I was told that he has been the key to the area’s effort to make Ogden/surrounding area to be the Nation’s premier outdoor playground.  He himself was doing the long course race (in addition to the Championship race, there were regular Xterra races – short & long – as well).  Throughout the evening, David texted telling me one delay after another on the two flights he was taking after dropping the kids at his parents.  The time he got to the hotel:  12:57am.  Our plan was to get up 5:30am to be ready for his 21K trail race which would start:  7:30am.  Life couldn’t be better.</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><img alt="SAM_0088.jpg" class="bbcode_img" src="http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh237/ytischler/SAM_0088.jpg">  the moutain view scared the *beep* out of me.</p>
<p><img alt="bikesetup.jpg" class="bbcode_img" src="http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh237/ytischler/bikesetup.jpg"> going over the bike</p>
<p><img alt="xterranatbike.jpg" class="bbcode_img" src="http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh237/ytischler/xterranatbike.jpg"> getting the bike course overview... yikes....</p>
<p><img alt="SAM_0095.jpg" class="bbcode_img" src="http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh237/ytischler/SAM_0095.jpg"> with the Ogden Mayor</p>
<p><img alt="bodymark.jpg" class="bbcode_img" src="http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh237/ytischler/bodymark.jpg"></p>
<p><img alt="xterranatbike2.jpg" class="bbcode_img" src="http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh237/ytischler/xterranatbike2.jpg"> view of the resovoir in the back</p>
<p><img alt="SAM_0091.jpg" class="bbcode_img" src="http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh237/ytischler/SAM_0091.jpg"> finish line at beautiful Snowbasin resort area</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">~ Race day~</span></p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">In spite of nightmare-ish logistics of dropping David’s at his start, setting up T1 & T2 at a different place, parking the car and taking shuttle bus and all, thing went well, other than I was freezing at 37F temp early in the morning.  I wasn’t preparing for this ‘desert’ climate.  It was nice to be hang around with Jon & Sandy who have done maybe 30+ ironman together because they were so relaxed and kept reminding me just to “take it as it comes”.  I was ready to have this grand adventure. </span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">~ Swim ~</span></p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">It was a mass start with 290 championship athletes including pros.  The first time ever swam in long sleeve wetsuits - they fit well but I still noticed my arms got tired unexpectedly toward the end.  I knew I swallowed some air, but no big deal, nothing new after all.  I got out of the two loop swim course in 31min and change.  Slower than expected but I wasn't in a hurry - a loooong day ahead of me.  Took my time to run on painful gravel-cemented area to T1.  Wetsuits came off easily.  And I headed to the unknown.....</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">~Bike~</span></p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">The first 1.5mile or so was on a short flat single track then the side of the paved road to get to the Wheeler Canyon.  Maybe 2-3 miles of pretty wide double track, not horribly steep, but nonetheless it tilted upward.  I was on the granny gear (and never came out of it for the next 3hrs) and many zoomed by me.  One woman was on the side of the trail, having an altitude issue (overheard the conversation with somebody).  Wow, already...I was worried a bit.. I developed a bad headache the day before.  The swim was at 5000ft above sea level.  After this relatively mild climb compared to what was ahead, we headed singletrack.  Not so technically difficult but just steady, constant climbing which never ended.  I just kept my head down and maintained nice easy cadence while letting others pass.  Before I knew it, the serious downhill started.  I thought the 1.5mile straight downhill was about mile 10, but it came much earlier.  I was relieved the climb wasn't as difficult as I was lead to believe.  I welcomed some relief, but that was short-lived.  The downhill was pretty sharp and rocky.  And oh, I didn't tell you, the bike I was riding had a disc brake, which I had no experience with, other than once last week riding the $$ demo bike.  I have never ridden a long continuous downhill like that.  There are no such trails in Michigan!  This is after all MOUNTAIN!!  Holly cow, it was scary.  And being scared on downhill is absolutely not a good thing.  Your body stiffens up, brake too often (the brake I was not familiar with).  Plus I was already riding 1hr or more straight climb so fairly tired and you need all upper body strength and lower body strength/flexibility to keep the bike under you on constantly changing terrain with rocks, narrow bridges, roots, fine soil, etc.  That was when my first crush happened.  I hit one rock in a wrong way and I tumbled - lucky me, I am lefty and always fall on left.  Right side was a ridge.  Bike landed some funny way on me and hit my right calf really badly.  And immediately the calf became a rock - very similar sensation as the calf cramp.  Three riders behind me passed as they asked me I was ok.  Looking back it could have been much worse.  I was very concerned about the hard-rock calf as I continued on the downhill.  I was afraid I couldn't climb up again nor run.  Fortunately as I moved my heel up/down and it started feeling a bit better.  After surviving the straight downhill, the climb resumed again.  I just kept going, going and going uphill.  I knew that was all I could do, no bail point or any course support.  There were some narrow twisty technical sections which reminded me the home course, but I was fairly tired and didn't tackle the area I could have with fresh set of legs and mind.  Nonetheless, I completed the section and came to close to the Snowbasin resort where T2 was and where the regular short course ended.  And David was there yelling to me "go, go, go".  That was Mile 12 or so.  To the Snowbasin from the Pineview reservoir where we swam, we climbed 2300ft.  I told myself I could ride 7 more miles - and for this 7 miles, what goes up had to come down because T2 was at Snowbasin resort.  From here, we literally went up the ski hill.  At that point, majority of the championship riders already passed me and many regular long course riders did too.  After all, the regular long course athletes are locals who ride this kind of terrain all the time....  I had to get off and pushed the bike, seemed eternity to get to the top of the big ski hill.  Then much tougher climbing was waiting for me.  And once you got to the higher, and the other side of the mountain, the view was breathtaking.  The leaves’ color was just starting change, beautiful tall fall blue sky.  I wish I could have stayed there longer to enjoy it.  All this time, I was hydrated well with water/Gatorade.  I even stopped at one water bottle exchange to take a minute or so break to get cold fresh water.  But I couldn't eat much.  GU tasted absolutely disgusting and chewing beans didn't go well either.  I was feeling ok, mainly thanks to a big breakfast.  Then descent started.  And the downhill was switchbacks with full of fine soil or sand or whatever you want to call that brown dust.  Oh and rocky too.  I crashed again - I lied there for seems-to-be-forever trying to figure out how to remove my left foot off the pedal sandwiched between rock and bike.  I kind a laughed.  It was just funny.  I had little strength left to keep the bike under me.  The next - I don't know 10-20min or much shorter - was probably the toughest part of the bike course to me.  I was so concerned about climbing, but never thought about downhill switchback could be so challenging at even a snail pace.  All I had was little upper body strength, foggy and totally spent brain dealing with constantly changing terrain.  I even wished there were more uphill’s instead of this downhill.  I had one (easy) fall at one of the switchbacks I couldn't make by losing the balance.  There was one female rider, obviously the regular long course athlete, kept talking to me 'take it slow, you are doing fine, take your time' from behind before finally passed me.  Then sharper straight downhill with gravel - yeah, another scary - and I was finally home.  Total 3000ft climb.  I did it.</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">~ Run ~</span></p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">David was at the same place as I previously passed him before heading the last 7 miles of the bike, taking a picture of me.  I came to my T2 spot and sat there massaging my still super hard calf for a few minutes.  I knew I would make the 6mile trail run somehow.  A few minutes later, David came yelling at outside of the fence 'what are you doing, time to run!'.  I walked up toward him who was pointing to a different direction as the 'run-out', and told him I was thrilled finishing the grueling bike course and not in a hurry.  He accompanied me on the run course - which started on, what else - ski hill.  Up again.  We walked.  Then the trail became more like runnable trail course.  I enjoyed his company very much for the next 2mils or so.  Then after we passed this older male athlete, he yelled something about 'no outside assistance allowed for competition' or some B.S.  I knew he was one of the oldest, have been to the world.  I didn't want to take a chance to DQ after coming this far.  So I told David to back off.  I went on my own, running slow but steadily.  I attempted to eat gu a few times but couldn't keep it down.  I think the grand total calories during this 5hr ordeal was about 400calories.  I didn't feel that bad though.  I just didn't care much about the time at that point.  I just wanted to keep chugging comfortably.  Then the downhill came and of course my legs felt better.  I ran pretty fast, if the mile marker was right, I ran 6:5x.  Not that it mattered.  I was so thrilled to make to the finish line - still many people around; I had at least 5 people cheering on me.  I couldn’t hold my excitement and happiness - I even heard the announcer said my name and 'she got a huge smile'.  I completed the toughest race in my life.</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;"><img alt="SAM_0102.jpg" class="bbcode_img" src="http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh237/ytischler/SAM_0102.jpg"> With the skil hills behind me.</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">~after race ~</span></p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">I didn't feel any during the race, but my L shoulder and the bottom of L thumb started screaming.  Hit the medical tent, got ice on my shoulder and splint on my thumb.  Looked like a medal of honor for my fight.  Shayne, the guy who rented me his bike was at the finish line cheering me on. As he gave me a hand to get his bike and my T2 stuff,  he said he was thinking about his bike not giving me any troubles.  What a kind man.  I can't imagine doing all the climbing riding my son's heavy bike.. I couldn't thank him enough.  Apparently my crashed didn't cause any damage to his bike.  Sigh of relief.  David, chatting with Jon & Sandy who did well in the middle of their heavy training for IMAZ, found an opportunity presented to him to take Jon's carbon 29'er to the last 7 mile part of the bike course.  Boy he was happy to ride.  That was after 21K of trail running (pretty much the same course as our bike course minus the last 7 miles), and ran the trail run course with me then on his own.  He had a blast.  Came back and said 'I couldn't believe you rode that', and he was super proud of me.  He ran his first trail race well, too, finishing mid-pack in the bunch of local trail runners.  Though his training has been minimum, I am sure he will have a PR marathon in 3wks.  </span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">Getting cleaned up and getting ready for dinner with Greg & Heather was challenging because I couldn't use my left arm/hand at all.  I never realized putting a ponytail for somebody else was that difficult.  David just couldn't do it.  Ogden is obviously a historic town and it happened to have a Harvest festival in the evening.  The streets were packed with locals/athletes and it was CRAZY to say the least.  Unfortunately I had to miss the video presentation of the championship race because I had to go return the rental wetsuit, but it was pretty good from what I heard. </span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">~ next ~</span></p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">Would I do this again – somebody asked.  I am not sure.  It is extremely difficult – it is in Utah and all the courses in Michigan are baby walking trails compared to this.  This race was totally absolutely out of my league, as I expected.  Even the winner said this was the toughest climbing course (his strength is technical course) of all Xterra’s he raced.  Having said that, however, this year being my first off-road race year, I have a lot of room for improvements.  Maybe.  Maybe again.  Qualifying for Natls wouldn’t be as difficult as it originally seemed.  Many qualifying athletes wouldn’t make a trip to Natls from this region and roll downs are available.  Meanwhile, I have lots of work to do.  Quite honestly, though, getting faster at local trails and placing well at local Xterra races will sound just fine for me now.  I wouldn’t like DFL in my AG the second time.</span></p>
<p>     </p>
<p><span style="font-family:arial;">As of this writing, my x-ray results for the shoulder and hand are not in yet.  Hand is ok now but I still can’t move my shoulder much.  I will resume running, maybe train for a late fall half.  Swimming and biking will have to wait for a while even nothing is broken.    </span></p>
<p> </p>
<p>In short, it was absolutely a blast.  I was very glad I did it.  I enjoyed every minute of 5:01:38.  <img alt="" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/headbang.gif" style="width:26px;height:28px;" title=""></p>
<p>I have to add; geez, I was slow. </p>
 

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<p>Slow in a field of zebras sounds pretty damn fast to me. You went to Nationals....holy crap! YOU WENT TO XTERRA NATIONALS!!!!!! And you toughed it out in grand style. I was so looking forward to this RR and it didn't disappoint. It brought back many, many memories of my Nationals experience. Well done Yosh. Well done!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I hope the shoulder diagnosis isn't anything too bad. Rest up my girl! You deserve it!</p>
 

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<p>Wowowowowowowow!!!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Congrats on extending yourself.</p>
<p>Now, about the fights with gravity you had!  lol</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Seriously, I think it's absolutely great that even though you really weren't sure about the whole thing, you stuck your neck out there and did it anyway.</p>
<p>That makes finishing on both feet all the more satisfying.  You truly conquered a mountain!</p>
<p> </p>
<p><img alt=":D" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies//biggrin.gif" title=":D"></p>
 

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<p>Great, great, <em>great</em> job Yoshiko!!!  I am super impressed and super jealous.  I haven't ridden that specific trail, but I have a buddy in Ogden and have ridden several other trails in the area - those climbs are TOUGH!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Hope your x-rays come back negative and it's just bruising.  Congrats again on a terrific experience.</p>
 

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<p>Wow, that sounds crazy!!!! My DH just came back from MTB'ing in Moab, and his pictures looked insane. That is an incredible accomplishment, you should be proud!!! Great job Yoshiko!!</p>
 

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<p>I'm SO proud of you!!!!  It's a gutsy move going from Michigan bumps to Utah mountains and you DID it!  Really, really awesome and I'm glad that overall it was a positive experience for you - way to show David how tough you are. <img alt=";)" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies//wink.gif" title=";)">  So...when are you getting your own spiffy MTB?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Side note: Did you know the #3 pro (Josiah Middaugh) is originally from East Jordan, MI?  He is a year older than me and used to run against Ryan Shay...fun to see small town MI athletes making it big.</p>
 

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<p>So awesome that you went there and competed.  That is a tremendous accomplishment and you should be very proud of how you did.  It is tough to go and race at elevation as well as terrain that is far tougher than you can find where you live.  Seriously, you did a great job!!!</p>
 

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<p>Yoshi,</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Great report for what must have been an amazing race. Insane course that you couldn't prepare for, high altitude, unfamiliar equipment, and expert trails - and you came through strong, despite a bump or two. I'd be scared sh-tless trying to descend that mountain - especially after the effort/energy it took to climb in the first place! Talk about jumping right in with both feet ... Anyway, congrats on accepting the challenge, finding inner strength that you may not have known you had, and coming out in (hopefully) one piece. Terrific job.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Reg.</p>
 

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<p>Amazing job Yosh!  I am so glad you decided to take this opportunity with all of it's challenges. </p>
<p>Get some rest- and heal well!!! </p>
<p>And as Ronbo says... no decisions for a couple of weeks.  For you... add a couple of more. </p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
<p>Thanks all! </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Sometimes I wonder if participating in this race was gutsy move or just reckless, ignorant, bone-head move for a mom with two kids who need me coming home in one piece. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Looking back one thing I wish I did differently was to run harder.  I was so focused on completing the bike leg and I didn't care about putting my best efforts out there on the run.  I had no 'competitor' in me.  Not that I had any chance to compete against those National level Xterra racers, but I always wanted to do my best at any race, competing against myself.  On the run, I walked a lot.  I don't know why I didn't have the inner strength to push myself, not even an interest to do so.. kind of uncharacteristic of me.  Maybe low glycogen dulled my mental state.   </p>
<p> </p>
<p><br><span>Quote:</span></p>
<div class="quote-container">
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>SpartyGirl</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/70355/rr-xterra-us-championship-ogden-ut#post_1949510"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> you getting your own spiffy MTB?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Side note: Did you know the #3 pro (Josiah Middaugh) is originally from East Jordan, MI?  He is a year older than me and used to run against Ryan Shay...fun to see small town MI athletes making it big.</p>
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<p><br>
I was planning to test ride a few potential MTB's right after this race, but I have to wait till my shoulder heals completely.  My view on HT vs FS has changed a bit.  I can't wait to get serious about making a decision!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>As for Josiah, that is good to know!  Your H.S. produced some high high profile athletes!<br><br><br><br>
 </p>
 

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<p>Been trying to find the time to formulate a good response. Works-a-killin me!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>First and foremost:</p>
<p><img alt="" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="width:29px;height:15px;" title=""></p>
<p> </p>
<p>You are badass. You WENT TO NATIONALS!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Sorry about the shoulder. that sucks. Sounds like Heidi also forgot rubber side down too. I'm glad you guys got to meet up.</p>
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<p>Great job, I mean it. Seriously tough azz course and you made it.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Personally, I find it ultimately thrilling to get myself into an event that I am not entirely sure I can FINISH let alone, excel at. Then it makes me want to go back, to improve. That's what drives me.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I am hoping to do some Xterra next year, we'll see how recovery goes. May have to be 2012.</p>
 

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<p>It's been fun following your off-road adventures this summer.  I am so happy that you decided to take the invitation and go to Nationals.  NATIONALS!  You finished the XTERRA Nationals!  What a terrific accomplishment, Yoshiko!  I hope your arm is ok and the x-rays come back negative.  Thanks for the great RR.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I agree with Ronbo: <img alt="" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="width:29px;height:15px;" title=""></p>
<p> </p>
<p>And from me: <img alt="" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/occasion14.gif" style="width:60px;height:40px;" title=""></p>
 

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<p>Nice job Yosh!  Sounds like a beast.  I'm sure there are plenty of races in the midwest you can do and have fun and improve.  There must also be a way to train for the utah event.  Maybe search on some folks that have done well there from the midwest and figure out how they train.   It sounds like it would be tough but could be a good challenge for you.  Just stop getting hurt! <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies//smile.gif"></p>
 

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<p>WTG, Yoshi!  Completely BADASS!!!  <img alt="" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/headbang.gif" title="">  What a challenge and you totally met it!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Did you get your X-rays back yet?  Hope it's nothing too serious.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
<p>You can't see my huge grin at the finish line, but here are some photos.</p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.brightroom.com/view_user_event.asp?EVENTID=61943&BIB=336&LNSEARCH=1&PWD" target="_blank">http://www.brightroom.com/view_user_event.asp?EVENTID=61943&BIB=336&LNSEARCH=1&PWD</a>=</p>
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<p><br><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>cak73</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/70355/rr-xterra-us-championship-ogden-ut-updated-with-the-photo-link#post_1950748"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Did you get your X-rays back yet?  Hope it's nothing too serious.</p>
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<p><br>
Xrays were negative.  But L shoulder still hurts - it is quite an ordeal to put on/remove a sport bra.  I hope no soft tissue damages were done.  Doc suggested MRI if this didn't get better during the next 7 days..  I couldn't have chosen a better time to have a bad shoulder....  </p>
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<p><br>
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