Guernville /Windsor, California - Beautiful wine country , cool weather, and my first race as a pro triathlete in the Vineman 70.3.
Morning started with the usual Oatmeal and Banana. I usually roll out my calves with my Trigger point kit and read my bible first thing in the morning, but our place where we were staying was so small that there was almost no room to roll. So it was breakfast and Proverbs.
Alot of well known and accomplished pro's showed up - namely Mirinda Carfrae, Tyler stewart, Leanda cave, to mention a few of the 15 pro woman that day. I honestly thought i would be a bit nervous going into the race, but i was so excited to finally be a pro, and any day that i get to swim, bike and ride is a great day, so i was feeling really blessed to be there in the first place, especially since I had been on the fence as to whether i could race or not. I had been suffering some injuries the last month of so, but i was going to give it my best shot, and get another great experience under my belt. This was only my 4th 70.3, and all so far have been big learning experiences which i have used towards success in the following race. Nutrition, and fluid intake - a big one, but more importantly, i learn more about myself and what I can do out there.
All started well. I was wearing my Xterra speed suit that I have worn once before since pro’s wetsuit allowance temp is 68. Yeah cold... I am not sure how much faster the sppedsuit makes me, but I sure feel fast when I put it on. So that has to count for something, right ? Gun when off 2 min after the men pro’s took off. We got going and it was a mad chase from the start. I always usually start strong and fade about 200 m in to it, and today was no different. I was swimming in the main pack, and very surprised about that since I haven’t been able to swim much . But that unfortunately was short lived and that main pack put some time on me very quickly. There was a 2nd little pack that formed, which I was in the lead of, I could feel someone touching my toes almost every stroke. I was part wishing I could trade places with whoever that was since drafting usually makes their job way easier in the water and I needed all the help I could get. We swam down the lake, which was beautiful but also foggy, and when it came close to be that time to make the turn , I looked up and saw no more buoy’s ahead and no other swimmers ahead either, so I thought the next buoy was the turn buoy. I took that turn and swam 100m all the way to the 2nd turn when I realized no one was touching my feet anymore. I stopped, stood ( since it was shallow ) and saw the main pack coming my way and my pack swimming off further down the lake. I realized I had turned too soon and swam a good 100 meters off. I dolphin dived trying to get out the way of the pack heading my way and then swam as hard as I could to try and rejoin the 2nd pack and get the draft but I was too far back to close in. so I just put my head down, got into a rhythm, and enjoyed the swim back, laughing at myself in disbelief as to what I had done. Came out in 33 min. not too bad for the extra 150-200meters I added.
What was funny about this was that 5 people were standing around me as I was getting my bike, asking if I needed anything .A nice little pro perk.
So where this gets funny is when I was trying to get on my bike. I had my shoes on the pedals ready for me to jump on and go, but unfortunately we were on a steep hill coming out of transition. As I was trying to get on my bike, I am not sure how but I kicked off my shoes from my pedals and they both went flying down the hill. I had to lay my bike down and go get my shoes and then put them on one by one before getting on the bike. People on the sidelines went from cheering and clapping to words of “hang in there” and “don’t worry you will get it”, a pretty funny sight. I finally got going when someone yelled that I had dropped something, but it was too late to turn back down the hill and get it. I soon after find out that I kicked off my speedometer and cadence counter which is a nice thing to have on the bike, since I really watch my cadence when I cycle. I was just going to have to wing it …
Bike was fun but somewhat technical with all the turns and bumps to avoid, a good challenge ahead since I wouldn’t consider myself a very technical cyclist. It was so beautiful out there and it was cool and shaded, a definite plus coming from the Austin heat. I managed to catch up to 3 girls on the bike, dropped 2 of them, and one girl stayed nearby the whole way, which became a good thing because later on I went off course twice because there were some turns with no marking and no person there directing us. She called out to me each time to turn back, I would then catch up and pass her and then go off course again shortly after. Was pretty funny the second time it happened. When I caught up to her I thanked her once again we chatted for a bit and then I headed off. About mile 45, right after the last water station, I hit a big bump, and off went the rest of my gel’s and my container holding my saltstick tablets. I was rather amused at this point with all that was happening, so I shrugged it off knowing I would probably be ok since the temperatures were so cool. Came into Transition as 10th pro. A 2:38 bike time and in good spirits.
There was no space on the rack since it was open racking and most of the pro’s were all back , so I had to rack my bike on another rack down the way, and then run back to find my shoes. Unfortunately there was a bee that decided to camp out in my shoe overnight, Since we had to leave them out the day before because of it being a two transition race. I am not allergic to bees, thank goodness.
Started the run, and was feeling really good. I was not cramping, not breathing hard, but unfortunately a tendon by my Achilles was acting up. It likes to play this game where it locks up to where I have no mobility in my ankle and makes it painful to step on. I would get it loosened up and then it would happen again. I was also feeling a sharp pain in my calf, an area that I constantly have to get treated for since I like to run and ride on my toes. I continued to run for 3 miles but unfortunately the pain got worse and I had to make the hard call to continue and possible cause worse damage or to stop the bleeding right then. I had run a race before with the same pain and finished it, but then been out for 3 months, so I didn’t want to make the same mistake. It’s hard to think of the long term goal when you are in the moment but I knew I had many races ahead of me and I got as much out of today’s experience as I could.
All in all, I loved being out there and it was a great day of lessons learnt. I came away from that race motivated and excited. I know I need to really keep up on taking care of myself after training sessions so that I keep myself injury free. It’s been too easy in the past to finish a hard session and be too tired to not do the necessary icing, rolling etc.
I have taken a good mid season break and have a few weeks now to get myself healthy, and put in a good training block for my end of season races.
I will be doing The Sweet and Twisted Tri, The Austin Tri, Branson 70.3, Austin 70.3 to finish off the year. With maybe an additional race but undecided as to which one since we will be pretty busy with Tri Team Transport, and I have to work it around that schedule too.