Race morning did not go as smooth as most other races. I got up at 4:15 AM, ate my oatmeal with almond butter and got my things together just in time to leave at 5 AM. So far so good. With the address in the GPS we were on our way; so we thought. As we're getting close to the race site, we realize we were driving to the wrong UNO. With a brief moment of panic, I frantically re-searched the address and realized we were another 15 minutes away. Needless to say, a smooth morning turned into a panic, rushed morning. We made it there with plenty of time to spare.
Since the weather was so bad with winds averaging 30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph the race was turned into a duathlon. We were all well aware of the changes that were being made a couple days before the race, which allowed time to plan our strategy. Never have raced a duathlon before, I really wasn't sure what to expect. The plan was to go out with the pack and sit in. Well, when the pace dropped to a 5:30, I decided it was a bit too hot and I held back just a little, to be sure I wouldn't blow myself up; in hindsight, that was a mistake. I could've easily sat in and came in and out of T1 with the pack of women, instead I came in about 20 to 30 seconds behind, which meant more work to do on the bike in very windy conditions. I rode harder than I've ever ridden for the first hour and 15 minutes; just trying to make up the time I lost. Within that time my nutrition bottle ejected when going over railroad tracks. I hesitated for split-second, but then decided it was very important to go back and get it. To go without those calories on the bikes could've been disastrous. Again I was playing catch-up trying to make up for another 30 seconds or so. I pushed hard up to about an hour and a half and I decided it was time to let up a little so I can have legs to run. That was a good decision.
Post race I was filled with mixed emotion, I was hard on myself about my placement and for not going with the lead pack of women during the first run, knowing good and well I could have but didn't because of fear of how much it would impact the rest of my race. I was happy with my nutrition and my ability to push myself to new limits on the bike. I also was happy that I felt pretty good during the entire race. A good friend of mine told me this upon my arrival home, "Rest up and train hard then rest more and train harder!". I couldn't say it better myself if I wanted to.
Even though I didn't finish where I would've liked to, I definitely took some good things home with me. I want thank all of my sponsors: First Endurance, Zoot, Colorado Multisport, Zico, Pro Energy Towel, and the Right Stuff for all the support and motivation. Without you all I wouldn't be where I am today. This is still the early part of the season so I know deep in my heart that I have many many more races and great races at that, in the near future.