A few weeks ago, I thought I was going to have to pull out of this race. I had been sick for about a 1 ½ months off and on with walking pneumonia thrown into the mix. I was finally able to work out and do my first long ride of the year and longest run since Surf City 2 weeks before the race. To say I was a bit nervous and concerned was an under statement. I knew I could do this race, I have done it before, but my minimal training had me concerned. Riding Santiago Canyon the last 2 weeks before the race gave me some much needed confidence. It’s amazing what you can do when you have a great base, even being sick as long as I had been. I guess that’s why we have great coaches to give us the plans we need and the execution is up to us. Thanks Coach Joby Gutierrez at Team FC. You knew I had it in me, when I wasn’t sure anymore.
Love getting ready with my Canada girls, Jillian Chaney and Adrienne Miller. Just isn’t a race without them. Saw our 4th IMCA lady, Katie McEwen and several of our Team Mates, way to many to list in T1 getting ready. Question of the day. Booty up or not. Water temperature was 62 degrees, so no booties.
I got a big hug from my Alumni coach Martha Szufnarowski from Tri La Vie in the swim corral. Can’t believe I am in the same age group with her, but no worries I know I will never see her again, she’s way too fast for me.
Coach Joby said to swim to my ability. Honestly, from not being able to swim in awhile, no clue what that was. I did know I wasn’t supposed to have a leisurely swim, darn that was my plan. The water was beautiful and perfect. I was keeping a good pace, when I got kicked in the jaw going around one of the buoys, no worries it was an accident and I didn’t think I was bleeding (like I could tell in the ocean). I had a couple of drinks of the ocean water, not planned, but inhaled some fixing goggles a couple of times. I got back into a groove when A MAN pulled my ankle and tried to swim over me. Really, there was plenty of room, I kicked and he went away. Got going again and A MAN, must have wanted me out of his way, because he punched my foot, REALLY. Ok, this was the most violent race I have been in. I continued to periodically kick, so I wasn’t swam over anymore. Bubbles, what’s with bubbles, I know they are supposed to help some way, but I don’t remember how. I do know, as I was getting passed up, the bubbles were fun to swim in and seemed to help.
I had an awesome swim at this race. Almost cut off 3 whole minutes.
Mike Arrabia was right behind me coming up the swim ramp and into transition. Nice to see a team mate. Long run to actual transition. Decided on arms warmer earlier on, so knew it would take a few minutes longer.
I had a plan and I knew I had to follow it and not veer away from it at all or it could spell disaster. I had to trust in my coach that the wattage he set for me was based on my training or lack there of, so my only concern was the 1st big hill and flatting.
I saw a girl in Temecula Valley Tri Club kit and set my sights on her, literally. I was going to make sure she was in my sights at all times. I know people thought I was crazy, because I always say WEE on the down hills and I don’t care who hears. I even yelled in the tunnel and the guy behind me did the same. We were having fun. Right knee started acting up, so I would just spin more to let it relax. Interesting enough, my knee never gave me any issues on the hills. I started to look forward to them, because I wouldn’t feel any pain. I saw the big hill on the base and remembered last year when I flatted out. Marco Sifuentes for G2 Bikes promised me I wouldn’t flat with these wheels. I am so happy to report he was good on his word. This big hill was my biggest concern of the day. If I could get up it, the rest is a piece of cake. I looked up twice and remembered Bill Davis telling me “Only look up at the hill once, and then just keep pedaling”. That flashed through my mind like a bright neon light and helped me get up all the hills of the day. Thanks Bill, you were with me, when I knew you were miles ahead. I started getting tired the last few miles, but pushed through it knowing I was almost off the bike. So ready to be off.
I was walking funny off the bike, a bit sore. I got out of bike gear and into run gear and took off.
I loved the fact they put the port-a-potties right outside of T2, because I didn’t want the extra time included in T2. I am following my plan. First couple of miles easy and then get to pace by mile 3. Didn’t work out that way, so decided by mile 4, nope. Knee was kicking in, so decided to just go with the flow and try and pick it up when I could. Darn ramps on the pier, killer first time around on my calves. Didn’t want any calf issues today, so stopped and stretched quads, helped a bit. Saw all of cheer squads from Team FC and Tri La Vie, thanks for all the cheers, helps every time. Saw Arran Auld and wondered if I could catch him, it was worth a try and I needed a target. It was great seeing my team mates all over the run course and Paul McGregor taking pictures and letting me know where everyone was. 2nd loop I walked the steep hills and then would get to my pace. Started dumping ice and ice old water down my top, especially down my back to keep my lower back in check, worked like a charm. Not sure if anyone else saw a snake on the course, but after the turn around on the 2nd loop a snake was wiggling across our path. Thank goodness, this gentleman came out of no where and just swooped it up. I wanted to pick it up the last couple of miles, but knee what not in agreement, so kept my pace. Had to pick it up at the last aid station, with all the zombie kids cheering, Tri La Vie ladies and Team FC team mates, no way not to sprint it in at that point. It felt great, but I knew that was all that was left in me, because I staggered a bit after crossing. Didn’t feel bad, but I knew I was done for the day.
I am so thankful that I was healthy enough to do this race, for all the cheering squads, my coach’s belief in me, my friends, family, Team FC team mates and the Two IM’s ladies.
Final Notes: Never caught Arron on the run, but did catch up to the Temecula Valley Tri Club girl and spoke with her a few minutes about one of her Team Mates Rick Wessels. A bunch of us in Temecula and Murrieta were rooting for him to start and finish the race. I am ecstatic to report he finished the race. Overall great day, except for the SUNBURN on my arms and back, guess I forgot suntan lotion. BOOO