This was officially my first “pro” race I have ever done and I was a bit nervous and self-destructive. There was a huge part of me that kept backtracking everything I did to prepare for this race. It felt like for every step forward I made – I would take 4 huge leaps backwards. It’s totally annoying when your mind acts like a giant bitch and your body just wants to do what you have been training it to do. For someone who hates to be just a bit less than perfect – the fear of failure was weighing super heavy on my mind. Last year – I raced in the amateur elite division where I rarely lost and I knew moving up to pro, I would rarely win but I wanted the challenge to push myself to higher levels. I want to awe-mazing so why would I not race against the best in the field. Well today I got to do that and it was a hell of a challenge.
The announcer calls out for all the professionals to line up and prepare for the start of the race. It wasn’t longer than a few second before the gun went off. I had a quick look around and didn’t see much of the other females as the women and men were starting off as one big group. Gun went off and off we went. The swim was a boxing match and I forgot to wear gloves and a helmet, shit I wasn’t even aware it was a boxing match. It’s been 6 months since I raced and my last race didn’t end so pretty so yup this was a tough start. I had NO swim plan, no tactic, nothing – it’s like I went into the swim as a total newbie. I’m upset at myself and I know better. I kept swimming off course – Jumping from feet to feet and not keeping a clear mind. I didn’t push or dig hard enough and eventually got punched so hard in the face I literally had to stop swimming. I’m still a little confused about what happen with my swim since I have NEVER Swam so horribly. Honestly- that pace, the sighting, the tactic, it’s embarrassing and awful for the level I’m competing at. At this point I need to really re-evaluate my training regimen for my swim and figure out exactly what happen out there.
Once out of the water, running into transition and seeing one sole bike on the rack – sigh – was a little discouraging. Although, I know what I can do on the bike and I’m confident of my bike skills. The first few miles were oh so painful, but once I got rid of my water legs I felt fantastic. That was till I passed a group of men on a bridge and was making my way down. On the way down I was passed again by these men. A parked (P-A-R-K-E-D) Official decided that I was at fault for someone coming down a bridge and passing me and ME not falling back within 15 seconds is my fault. Let me explain this again – coming down a bridge – I was passed – the official is parked – How do I fall back? Do I brake? Oh well – I’m called to actually dismount my bike and wait until my penalty time is over! AHH I’m actually stopped from over 25+ mph to zero! All the ground I had just made up is lost and now I’m sitting here with lactic acid building in my legs! Time is up. I’m angry and going even faster. I wanted to sub 60 minutes on my bike and now I have a 2+ minute penalty. I ended up having a sub 60 if you discount the penalty time so I’m happy with my bike time and I’m happy with myself for getting back on the bike and grinding through it. I’m NOT happy with the shirtless dude that loves to draft off people in races!
Once again I’m in transition and there are a lot of bikes in there – sigh – but I’m still in it! I start my run and I feel like crude. It is no fun running after biking hard. As a long course racer I tend to take the first mile a bit easy and in these short races I know that will come back and hurt me pretty bad. Nevertheless I started to pick it up towards to second miles and felt a decent tempo but not my best run. Around the last mile I got a horrible cramp towards the center of my belly. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to run back so I slowed the pace /breathing a bit and was able to get in a decent run. Not happy with my run – I don’t like when I run 10K’s in the 40’s. I feel like I pushed harder out there but I guess the first mile combined with the last mile did me in!
Today wasn’t the best of all races but now I know where I’m at and where I need to be. This swim will always bother me and until I can figure out what happened out there I will be doing endless laps and tempo swims!
Three weeks and I’m off to New Orleans 70.3!! Happy reports ONLY for that race