Colorado Triathlon- June 4, 2016
Recently, I have been training even more fervently than usual. My mom switched cancer drugs a couple of weeks ago and they have left her utterly drained. We hope that this side effect goes away with time (along with a terrible metallic taste in her mouth that renders any food, even chocolate, disgusting). It’s been a transition and I feel a little helpless suggesting foods that never seem to work, and being unable to help with her unrelenting fatigue. The things I can control, however, are the time I devote to being at home with family and the time I devote to training.
To anyone who is new to my blog or anyone who needs a reminder, I chose to race triathlons for Epic Experience to raise funds for them last year and am continuing to do so this year. It is not a one and done deal for me. I hope that racing these triathlons and training for them throughout the season provides others with a visual and physical embodiment of my determination to not take life for granted. Epic gave my mom her life back. She lives it to the fullest, and even with this new found fatigue, she continues to attend her 6 AM strength classes, run on top of North Table Mountain, and soak in all of the experiences she is blessed enough to enjoy with good health and stamina.
I have the unique opportunity to push my body to become faster and stronger while enjoying races that challenge me both mentally and physically. I want to do my best to take advantage of my circumstances while also spreading awareness for an organization that helps Cancer Thrivers to gain the confidence they need to take life and live it.
Race morning, my alarm went off at 4:40 AM. I WAS PUMPED. First race in a year and I was shaking, nervous, but above all, ready to nail it. I had been working hard since February and it was finally time to show myself that it was paying off. I jammed out to my classic pump up playlist and drove up to boulder with all my stuff. I met up with my good friend Geneva at the race, and we had already calculated how long it would take her to complete an Olympic distance aquabike and how long it would take me to complete the sprint tri. We were gonna be close to finishing together.
The reservoir was perfect temperature. At 68 degrees, I was able to enjoy swimming in a wetsuit without being too hot, and it was just cool enough to keep me feeling alert and awake. Other than the sun making it hard to spot the buoys on the way out, I had a great swim without getting kicked in the head! I took the final turn and made a straight beeline for the shore. I was the second girl in my age group out of the water, and had dropped 30 seconds from my time last year. Solid.
Heading out on the bike, it took a while for me to catch my breath. There was some leapfrogging back and forth with a girl from my age group for the first 5 miles. I finally won out and pedaled away to gain some distance on her. I took the entire bike conservatively, knowing that biking too hard would cause losses on the run, and that was what I really cared about. I focused on drinking fluids and maintaining a consistent cadence. I got back to transition with a bike about 2 seconds faster than last year, so I can’t complain!
I got out to the run feeling strong, but I really forced myself to slow down the first half mile. I’m incredibly prone to going out too hard and nearly dying on the last 1-2 miles, so I was determined to prevent that. I made it to the first mile marker and aid station feeling pretty good, and grabbed some water to splash on myself and cool down. After drinking some of the water, my stomach started to feel sloshy. Uh oh. Mistake. Mile 2 became a struggle to maintain pace while dealing with the sloshing and side cramps that ensued. I was worried of losing pace, and I didn’t want anyone in my age group to pass me. Luckily, by the time I hit mile 3 the cramps started to subside and I pushed hard, knowing that I was going to regret not giving it my all.
I crested the last tiny hill and could see the finish. All I had to do was maintain strong pace and maybe, just maybe, build up enough speed to hit the slip and slide. Well, I achieved the first objective, but since the slip and slide is on an uphill and I was quite exhausted, I maybe slid 10 feet before coming to a stop and having to crawl to the pool on the other side. I was pleasantly surprised to find my friend Geneva in the pool! We had practically finished together and were both proud of our races!
The next race is coming right up on June 18th, Lookout Mountain Triathlon. The course will be more hilly and challenging, but I’m ready! As always, thank you for donating, and the link is in the top right of my blog! Thanks for reading, and happy racing!