The setting is desert. Beautiful desert. Just outside Vegas.
The race started at 10am. Awesome for not having to get up at some ungodly hour. The winds had picked up a bit by the start and the lake was choppy. In typical fashion I was somehow dropped in the first 100m and spent the entire swim solo. I am not the world's best choppy water swimmer. At one point I was quite sure all the men in the wave behind me might catch and pass me. They did not.
I exited the water 7 minutes back in 9th. Ohhhhh this is not where I wanted to be! I flew threw transition, jumped onto my bike (shoes properly attached) and somehow managed to spend the next (what felt like an eternity but in reality was probably only) 30 seconds trying to start pedaling on an upside down shoe and move myself forward. Two course marshals were watching from their motorcycles trying not to laugh. I think I told them this was how NOT to mount a bicycle properly.
This course is awesome. It is UP and down and UP and challenging. It was WINDY - we are talking 35-40mph, max gusts posted at 67mph - windy. The beginning of the course was awesome, as the wind was pushing me a bit. Then there were a lot of dips through valleys where cross winds threatened to throw me off my bike, so much of my ride became non-aero and just working my best to keep the bike upright while still moving forward.
The final miles of the bike were a massive headwind and honestly just brutal. Seriously - the last two miles felt like an eternity. I managed to come off the bike in what I thought was 7th position, but I really was not sure.
The run immediately starts out uphill. And does not stop going uphill until the finish. It's not overly steep (until the final mile), but it is definitely uphill. On race day it was also into an extremely strong headwind. I kept telling myself to just keep turning the feet over quickly and 8 miles would go by fast. I could see nobody in front of me and the thought of catching any girls or getting paid on this particular day was not something I thought would happen. But I also have learned to NEVER give up.
My Zoot visor (missing in photo) committed wind suicide, along with the barriers behind me.
I ran as fast as my legs would go and when a guy caught me I tried to go with him. At mile 6.5 I finally caught a girl. And then there was another and somehow by the finish I had moved into 4th place and a paycheck.
My chasing earned fastest female run split of the day. I give credit to wanting the race to be over faster, and my speedy Zoot Ultra TT 5.0 shoes.
I am happy to be done here.
I really love this sport. It is hard and sometimes while racing it feels unrelenting. But the friends I have made through triathlon and the ability to push myself to new levels makes me smile. I am excited for the 2012 season and I enjoyed kicking it off with an epic race at Leadman.
A huge thank you:
- Zoot for awesome wetsuit, shoes, training gear and a great support family.
- Profile Design for fast wheels, bars and hydration.
- Tribe Multisport for carrying everything triathlon related.
- Extreme Endurance for keeping lactic acid at bay and my keep-me-healthy multi vitamins.
- Microscope World for a great job that I love.
- PowerBar for keeping me fueled and strong.
- Rudy Project for awesome sunglasses and helmets to protect me.
- Sable WaterOptics for the best goggles out there.
- My parents for cheering from afar.