Err. Umm. Errrrrrrrr.
How do I even write this post?
Ten months of training. Forty-five minutes of racing. And now the biggest race of my life is behind me.
is hot. Maybe I should say, Mexico is humid A.F.!!!! I had trained
for it (sauna, overdressed, general summer training), but seriously it
was humid. Between checking in to transition and the start of my race
was about three hours. By the time I started I was sweating like I was
running a marathon. I had sweat rolling down my back and the front of
my uniform was completely soaked. Thank goodness there was going to be a
dip in the ocean in the middle of the race.
get started. My wave started at 9:50am and had two other age groups in
it, 40-44 and 45-50. In total there were somewhere between 50-100
ladies starting together. I lined up somewhere in the middle and tried
to not get nervous about what was about to happen. The gun went off and
it was time to move. The race was all inside a park inside of a marina
and there were lots of turns. The first turn was within the first 100
meters and then the first water stop was 100 meters from that turn. I
lined up to take the turn on the tangent and then skip the first water
stop. I mean, who needs a water stop 200 meters into a 2.5k race?
Well, the chick in front of me, that's who. She came flying from the
right side, cutting in front of me to grab the bag of water (yep, BAG of
water) and I pushed her out of the way. Sorry chick. You don't need
water that close to the start of the race.
stayed in the pack for most of the first run, probably running into
transition in the top 10 of my age group. Transition was quick, shoes
and socks off, grab cap and goggles and I was off. It was long run down
to the dock and I took it a little easy to get my heart rate down. And
then I did the most graceful thing ever - I jumped like an 8 year old
boy into the water. The previous day at the swim practice I dove into
the water and my goggles came off and filled with water. I wasn't going
to risk that during the race, so I just jumped and immediately started
swimming. I doubt I even lost a second and my goggles stayed put.
thought I had a great swim. For me it was a great swim. I swam
confidently and strong. My line probably sucked, but with the water
being so clear I just looked for other competitors and swam toward
them. The whole backside of the swim I had a girl tapping my feet. The
whole damn way!!! At one point I told her not so politely to GET
OFF!!! Then in the last couple hundred yards I was able to get on feet
myself and swim in the draft. That NEVER happens to me. It was the
fastest swim I have ever done in open water and yet, it was a solid two
minutes slower than most of the competitive girls. I've come leaps and
bounds this year with my swimming but I still have a long way to go.
water was so beautiful and clear. There were fish and corral and I
really tried to concentrate on my race. I saw those things the day
prior in the practice swim and while I was snorkeling earlier in the
week. But the coolest thing was that there were scuba divers at each
turn pointing you in the correct direction. I couldn't help but smile
and wave to the first one. So neat.
Anyway, I was out
of the water and running up the dock into the second transition. Cap
and goggles off, shoes and race number on. I had decided to do the
second run with no socks, which I had never practiced. I didn't want to
waste time putting on socks and it was only for a mile and a half. Who
cares if my feet got ripped up. But, I struggled with the stupid
tongue on my right shoe in transition and in my head I'm screaming, WHO
CARES! GET MOVING!!! And so I did. But I was in no-man's land. As
much as I could run with those chicks, I fell behind them in the swim
and there was no longer anyone to catch. Well, I did catch about 5
girls during the run but only one was in my age group and all the others
were from the previous wave. I thought I was running well, but I was a
solid minute and a half slower than the first run. I kept running,
though, and as I made the last turn onto the finishing chute, my team
manager handed me an American flag and I got to have my own personal
victorious moment at the finish line.
the end I finished 17th in my age group. Top 20 at the World
Championships? I'll take it. And I went from the 10th American to
qualify in my age group to finishing as the fourth American in my age
group. I race confidently and without fear. To me that's a victory.
But I have to admit, I'd like another crack at the race. I believe I
can do better. Unfortunately, I can't go to the 2017 world
championships as I already have vacation plans paid for during the
championship. But coach and I have already devised a plan to get to the
2018 race. I'm ready for revenge!!!