Wednesday, March 23, 2011

MIT-Pro Debut

Overall the day was definitely a learning experience. My morning routine was good. Everything went smoothly. Up at 4:30 and eating breakfast, which consisted of a brown rice wrap with almond butter and honey and an apple with a water bottle of the Right Stuff for additional electrolytes. Out the door in time to be at transition by 5:45am. While setting up transition, I continuously sip from a water bottle with the right stuff and EFS drink, to make sure I am well hydrated and adding the last bit of fuel just before the race begins. The females pros were in the water at 7:17, just 2min behind the male pros.

I really just kind of followed the leader when getting ready to get in the water before the race started. Once we were in the water we couldn’t get back out, so we waited until about 8min before we started. Then we jumped in to warm-up. Well, not much of a warm-up being that the water temp was 71 degrees and no wetsuits. There was a bit of a current from the tide coming in. We all paid attention to it. Then the fog horn sounded and we were off battling for our places. Immediately a group of ladies were out in front and weren’t letting up. I found myself between two ladies and it wasn’t a pretty swim. Literally hitting arms ever other stroke if not every stroke. The current was pushing us of course a bit so I fell back on Jenny Fletchers feet to get to the other side of her. Once I did that I was able to site the first turn bouy on my own and no more hitting of arms. We made the turn fine and started sighting what we thought was the correct bouy. We (Jenny Fletcher) and I come to find out that it wasn’t the correct bouy and had to swim back about 150m to get back on course; FRUSTRATING. Once back on course, I was able to see where I needed to go so I swam hard. I needed to catch up. I could see another athlete in front of me so I was determined to catch her. Once I realized I was making ground on her I swam even harder. I had too much of time to make up. I finally caught up and passed Angie Axman. However, she came out of the water just behind me and managed to pass me on the run into transition. She had a great swim to bike transition, I on the other hand did not. I actually mounted my bike twice…go figure.

My first bike mount I was told to get back off and walk the bike down the curb by the volunteers. I reluctantly listened, knowing it was going to tack on more time that I really didn’t need. So then I go to mount my bike the second time, my left shoe falls to the ground. I had to pick it up, put it on my foot, then begin my ride. Due to frustration, I yelled aloud, “you have got to be kidding me, what next!” One of the spectators heard me and tried to encourage me with, “you’re doing fine.” Thanks for the vote of confidence whom ever you were. It totally made me smile when I was able to get my head back on straight, attention back to the race, during the ride. So needless to say once again, I was playing catch-up. I had to convince myself I had a chance and to keep pushing hard. In the end, I was able to pass two girls on the bike, got passed by Jenny Fletcher and came into transition with a decent bike split.

Then to the run. My bike to run transition was flawless, finally something went right during this race. I could see Jenny just in front of me. I had my eyes on her, not letting anything get in my way from tracking her down. I passed her at about 1/2mile into the run. I thought to myself, one down only too many more to go. But I didn’t let myself get discouraged. I made sure I stuck to my pace and pushed on. Overall, my run was ok. In hindsight, I feel like I could have probably pushed a little harder if I had a rabbit. But since they were all so far ahead, I couldn’t even begin to make myself go any faster. In the end, I had my fastest run ever in an Olympic distance race. So, proof is in the pudding, training is paying off. I now just need to get rid of all the unnecessary glitches. MIT, my pro debut was a learning experience. I had a lot of fun and couldn’t thank my sponsors enough for all their help. (Specialized, 2XU, Profile Design, Right Stuff, Smith Optics, and First Endurance) Without them I wouldn’t have a fast and aero bike, comfortable race kits and compression gear, and the necessary nutrition to make my races a success. I can promise on thing, when it comes to races glitch free, you all will see me higher up in the ranking. It may take a few races to get the nerves out of my system. But I will be there…

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