I wasn’t trying to do anything but have fun with my final series of four races over the last five weeks. I was disappointed in myself after IM 70.3 Worlds. Not really because of how I finished, but because of my attitude. Somewhere on that course I lost the fire and the fun, and focused on the hurt and futility. That is not how I want to live my life, and it’s not how I want to race. Unable to end with that taste in my mouth, I was really looking forward to getting my groove back.
Coach G and I arranged my training schedule in these last 5 weeks to allow for free time, rejuvenation, hanging with my man friend, and short, high intensity training. Each week capped at 9-10 hours, including races. I smelled some roses, drank some beer, ate lots of dessert, sat around in PJs, and swam, ran, and biked a bit. Bliss.
And it worked! I won the amateur race at the LA Triathlon with an off-the-bike 10k PR. I went to Maryland to visit family and race in the Rev3 Half Full Triathlon, raising money for the Ullman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. The focus of the weekend was honoring my sister-in-law the best way I know how – competing fiercely, having fun, and giving it my everything. I won the race there, with a .9k swim PR. The next weekend I ran the Xterra Point Mugu 7.5 trail race with some friends, won and set a course record. I celebrated the small victories of each race and training session, focused on the positive and ignored the negative for a whole month.
Just when my body and mind were about to give up, I had one last day of fun at the LifeTime Tri in Oceanside this weekend. The morning dawned surprisingly cold and foggy. I might have expected it if I’d checked the weather, but I wasn’t really thinking that far ahead. The swim was a pretty ridiculous adventure, trying to find buoys and other swimmers through the fog. The poor lifeguards chased us down all over the harbor, trying to keep us on track. I swam with my head out of water for half the time, straining to see. I wasn’t wearing a watch, so I wasn’t even considering the time it was taking to navigate. Turns out it was 25 mins and change.
The bike course was mostly flat and fast, but we were slowed down by temps in the 40s and the fog. I just focused on keeping the legs moving. I couldn’t really feel them, and wasn’t looking at my computer. Turns out my cadence was 80rpm, about 8-9 rpms lower than usual, but power was only a little low. Maybe that’s normal for numb legs? The bike time was 1:07, a little slower than usual. I had passed two ladies on the bike and was pretty sure I dismounted in first. Then, I struggled unsnapping my helmet for almost a full minute! My fingers just refused to function.
Heading onto the run it was, of course, impossible to feel my lower legs. I wasn’t really sure what they were doing, so I tried to remember what running should look like, and do that. It wasn’t super fast, and I got passed with about 2 miles to go, but I wasn’t even bummed. It had been such a great weekend, spending time with Artie and racing, that second place felt just fine.
After the race, we celebrated the season in spectacular fashion at the Stone Brewing Company’s Pour it Black Festival. The festival featured just about every dark beer one could hope for. I tried 14 new beers and loved almost all of them. My notes are mostly illegible, but I know it was great.
Thanks to everyone on my team this year, who pushed me to work every day toward my best self. Thanks to the support of Skechers, I set new PRs on the run and can’t wait to hit new lows this winter and next year. Thanks to Gerardo and Fortius Coaching I was inspired, had training partners, and had fun training hard. Thanks also to Bonk Breakers and Pur Pak for keeping me fueled and healthy, Thanks to Moo Motion for the most excellent and comfy tri kits to train in. Thanks to Cynergy and Specialized for the bike and bike support. Thanks to Dusty and Reynolds for my new favorite wheels. Thanks to Fitamorphosis and Balanced Strength for getting me strong and resilient. Thanks to Triple C, Rachael and Artie for the unconditional love and support. And, thanks to my friends and family, and anyone who sometimes reads some of these race reports. A large support network is all anyone can ever hope to earn.