I finally made it home, did laundry, got groceries, and put the bike back together. Therefore its time for my post-race write up! Ready or not here we go...
The race was going to take place sunday morning, so we flew out to Miami on friday. Friday morning was off to a rough start as I randomly threw up on the pool deck before boarding the plan. Thats not my normal pre-race routine. I didnt know what was up, but I knew that come race morning it would be okay. The flight went smoothly and the bikes all made it in one piece (probably my first time nothing has ever been broke!) As much as I wanted to go lay on the beach I had to remind myself to stay inside and celebrate after the race. Luckily, I had a crew of 8 with me, with half of them racing, so everyone was pretty much on the same page. Early to bed and early to ride...
Saturday morning I knocked out all 3 pre-race workouts and was feeling pretty good. I was super glad to have gotten in the ocean and prove to myself that the swim was not going to kill me. But hmm, Little did we know...(see further down). The rest of the day went about as normal as can be. Stretch, lay around, eat, packet pickup, and so on.
The only thing different was attending my first Pro-meeting! My name/pic was also posted on a board with the other Pros. Pretty cool!
4 AM Sunday & Race Morning! Eeeek! I am always so cold when I wake up (nerves and adrenaline)! I find my pants and jacket and bundle up while I drink some coffee. I am getting into the zone. Once in transition I see them all. Only one word can describe it all: Intimidating. They are intense, and I am now officially the small fish in a sea of big fish. My coach told me this before hand, but I kind of thought nothing of it. Well Reality strikes, and I found that I was actually pretty nervous to toe the line!
The sun was finally starting to come up and as I looked out into the ocean, I could see that the waves were not exactly the waves from yesterday. Tidal waves was more like it. In fact, they couldnt even get the turn buoy to stay and it kept drifting away. Great. I tried to brace myself for what was about to happen, but needless to say I had no idea.
Swim: The gun went off and in we ran. Smack. Wave 1. Smack. Wave 2. How am I supposed to swim? We turned the first buoy and off they went. Nooooo. I was getting sucked away. I went into survival mode. Literally. I no longer cared about my time, and just cared about getting out. Thats when I was mentally lost in the game. I was riding the waves. Wave ride...kickkickcickci...wave ride. This was not swimming. Finally, buoy #2. Wow this is going to take forever!! Its okay, just keep going....I finally exited the water...almost 3 minutes behind the other ladies. Boo, not exactly the swim that I have been working so hard for. Then I start running for transition and glance down at my watch to see the dreaded blank screen of death. Crap! No heart rate data, no time. I was lost again.
Bike: I never realized how much I really did use all my data to help myself gauge intensity. Usually, I just race, but today I wanted to be conservative in hopes of putting together a good run. But, I had nothing. I just tried to mentally get back into it but I wasnt even trying. I remember thinking, Liz your not even breathing hard!! I was in a state where I couldnt find my grove. I remember one gear was too big but the one next to it was too little. Where did my legs go? I took my second surge and continued to drink. One thing that felt right: my nutrition. My bike was sub-par, but we learn from everything.
Run: My dismount was beautiful and I ran into T2 to see only two bikes hanging. Sad day, but okay your not last! I ran out and after about a 1/2 mile my legs came back. Again, I had no pace so I really had no clue what I was running. I wish I would have known so that I could have pushed myself harder. No running cramps, no leg pains. Just a bunch of people running into me (they didnt close the boardwalk so everyday pedestrians were literally knocking me over! Frustrating). I crossed the finish line and just walked right away. No PR, but pure survival. It wasnt a good race for me, but you live and you learn.
On the other hand, I finished Top 10 Pro females in my debut race (this was actually my goal, so why am I upset)? A bad day can still be a pay day, and a debut is a debut. You have to start somewhere and I cant let me head lay low. I will get my spark back and I have a long season ahead of me. I am happy to be living the life that I do and doing what I love.
I cant thank all my friends, boyfriend, family, and sponsors enough!! Tru Tri Sports for letting me get off work, OutRival Racing & Endurance Films for magnificent coaching and support. Kiwami, TYR and Rudy Project for legit apparel (atleast I looked good!), First Endurance and Boundless nutrition for helping me recover fast, Third Coast Trainingfor keeping my body healthy and loose, and to one of the most important of them all...Bay Area Schwinn and XSics for travel day support. Thanks to all my "fans". You all inspire me!!
With every bit of hard work, also comes a little relaxation. Heres some pics, Enjoy!