Las Olas Triathlon Race Recap

So I qualified for Nationals at the Las Olas triathlon........ Weird, right?!?!?! Before I go into all of the emotions I'm going through right now let me give a quick recap of the triathlon.

I was ridiculously nervous going into the race that day. It hit me the night before that I would be coming back to the triathlon world. I love participating in triathlons mostly because I get to really test my body on how much it can take. Sprint triathlons are my favorite because you're literally trying your hardest to sustain a relatively fast speed in all three sports. I set all my gear the night before and put all of my body markings on.

When I woke up I felt the nerves in the pit of my stomach. I was able to have a banana and relax before driving over the race. Thank goodness for my mom who came over at the crack of dawn to make sure E was taken care of in the morning. I grabbed all my stuff and headed out.

The drive over to the race site was pretty easy. I got extremely flustered when it came to parking. I had bought a VIP ticket during packet pick up and it seems as though the VIP parking lot got full relatively early and I couldn't find the second spot. Luckily I kind of "winged it" and parked at a paking lot nearby (of course I had to pay again). As I walked my bike over to the transition area I became a little intimidated by all of the people walking in and all of the gear they carried. Let's just say I am not too extreme when it comes to all of the triathlon gear; I'm a minimalist.

I set up my bike in the transition area. I was soooo excited because I got the end of the rack and I was able to comfortably set all my stuff out. I made a couple of friends while I set-up and saw some old friends who were racing as well. In my head I was giving myself a pep talk and telling myself I was going to hopefully kick butt.

We headed towards the water and all at once I started panicking. I had only trained twice in the pool in the past 6 months. Prior to those swims I hadn't swam in over 2.5 years. Insane, I know. The waves looked choppy and a looming rain cloud was coming closer and closer. Our wave didn't start until an hour after the transition area closed. It wasn't too bad because I ended up finding someone I knew at the start line and just spent the time talking to them.

Right before the swim (about 10 minutes before) the sky opened up and down poured on us. It was freezing and I tried jumping around to get warm. I had never wanted to get in the ocean so badly in my life. The water was definitely warmer than the rain. Once the horn went off we all sprinted towards the water. I always make the mistake of being in the back. So as I started I was kicked and trampled on. I really should be in the front since I'm typically one of the top 70% girls in the water.

As we took off and made our way towards the first 100 meters I began getting scared. The waves were coming down on me and I kept swallowing water. At one point during the swim I actually felt as though I was going to drown. I remember dead stopping and trying to pull it together before I was able to freak out in the water. Luckily I told myself not to die for E and set back out to finish my swim. About halfway through the swim I picked up the speed and pulled away from the rest of the group. My overall time for 500 meters was about 14 minutes even with my freak-out. This is something I definitely need to work on.

As I stepped out of the water I jogged to the transition area and put on my shoes. I don't clip in to my bike so I literally transition to my running gear. The whole area was soaked from the passing rain and I carefully tried to dry my stuff off before putting it on. I was dreading the ride because of the wet roads. I tried not to psych out about crashing and possibly reinjuring my elbow. I was so nervous about injuring myself that I waited a solid 30seconds behind two cyclists as they dead stopped to clip in at the mount area.

Once I finally got going I started off a little too excited and had a 23 mph pace. About 3 miles in I realized this was way too fast for me and settled to about a 20ish mph pace. The ride was actually not too bad and I had room to spread out. I was a little irritated with people passing on the bridges after seeing a clear sign saying no passing was permitted. Those bridges by the water are just rickety and hard to cycle on (even with the carpet they laid out). The other thing that really frustrated me was the fact that some of the men I passed would block me out. It's almost as if their egos were hurt that a girl would actually be passing them. No worries when I see things like that happen it fuels me to kick their arse a little bit more. As I got closer to the transition area I picked up the speed and ended up coming out 2/33 in my age group on the bike (even with the rain)!!!

As I put my bike away and prepared for the run I started feeling better about the race. Running is typically my moment to shine. However, this race really kicked my butt physically. By the time I got to the run my legs felt like jello and I didn't know what pace I would actually be able to sustain for 3 miles. I started off at about an 8:00 min/mile pace but ended up averaging about 8:45 min/mile. The first half of the run was good; however, once I hit the turn around point it went all downhill. The wind was pounding into us and I felt defeated. I tried so hard to keep up my speed but my legs would not cooperate. My time was about 27 something minutes which is not that great for me.

Once I finished I felt so relieved. I had no idea what my time was or how well I really did. All that mattered was that I finished.  I figured I would pick up all of my stuff and figure everything out on my way back to the car. When I grabbed my ticket to see how well I did I freaked out. I got second in my age group. I couldn't believe it. I literally yelled out Holy S&^%. I was so excited. I did it. I wanted to place but I actually did it. Not only did I do it but I ended up finishing top 70% out of men and women in all three sports. I was ecstatic. I wasn't able to stay for my award but I'm okay with that. I was just so excited.

What was even more exciting was I got an email a couple of days later from USA Triathlon telling me I qualified for nationals. Me. Qualifying for nationals. I felt so honored and humbled followed by extremely nervous and anxious. What if I didn't do well.. What if I was the last person to finish... I figured the only way to get those thoughts out of my head was to step up the training. So here I am now - stepping up the training. I joined LA Fitness to swim in their pools and am giving it my all in every workout so I can begin building my foundation. The race isn't until August 12 (MY BIRTHDAY) so until then I will keep working harder and harder. Here goes nothing....

A Week Until My Race

This past week has been rough sleep-wise. E has been waking up a lot during the night. It seems like her teeth have really been bothering her lately which breaks my heart. I've definitely grown a lot more patient with her than in the past. Sometimes sleep deprivation makes you a little crazy and impatient. I've really struggled with that part of me but have finally come to terms with how to handle it all. I'm hoping that her pain goes away soon and we can go back to our one usual wake-up a night hahaha.

Today I crushed my brick workout which I am SO excited about. We cycled about 18.5 miles and maintained an 18.9 mph pace which is HUGE for me. I even pulled a bit, which, again, is HUGE for me. I'm really excited I had a nice ride since next week is the race. It definitely boosted my confidence which I needed. Afterwards I got in a quick mile with my cycling partner. I figured getting just a mile in would be enough to keep developing muscle memory in my legs. I finished my mile in about 7:45. Again, I'm happy with my time given the average speed I did on the bike.

Next week is my race and I have a lot of mixed emotions about it. On the one hand I want to absolutely crush the race since I've been training so hard. However, at the same time I want to take it easy since I'm known to be so hard on myself and will be crushed if I don't do well. I know you shouldn't put pressure on yourself for these things but it's hard not to. It's almost like everyone has this expectation of you to kick butt and you don't want to disappoint. It's crazy to think but it's so true. I recently had a friend admit this same thing to me and she avoids telling people she races so if she doesn't perform well she doesn't get judged for it. Sigh, why can't we just realize that everyone has bad races and it's okay?! Maybe part of it falls on us as athletes. Maybe we should just tell people you know what - yes, I had a bad race but I'm going to get back out there and continue to train hard because it will eventually pay off. Eh - let's see how I handle the pressure next week.

In other news I'm trying to clean up my diet. Let's be real I eat POORLY!!!!! Especially when I finally admit to myself that I probably consume 500-1,000 calories of dessert/sugary items...I know.. I know.. So I'm trying to reduce the amount of sugar I intake. This includes taking things like Gatorade/PowerAde or other hydration that contains a high amount of sugar. I am actually going back to a hydration company I've used in the past: Skratch Labs. They tend to have hydration options (daily/exercise) which contain less sugar than the alternative hydration methods I typically take. I just got my daily hydration powder and use it EVERY DAY. That's huge for me considering I probably don't hydrate nearly as much as I should.... I mean... I drink about 2 cups of liquid a day and that's on a good day... I know... I know... Can't you just imagine how great of an athlete I could be if I actually treated my body better? I'm working on it.

So, I had a good ride, a nice acai bowl as a snack and now I am relaxing before E wakes up. Overall it's been a kick arse day. I'll leave you with some pictures so you can take part in my foolishness.

After our brick!!! I love having my hair in braids during triathlons/brick workouts.

My cycling partner: H! We never get a picture together so I snapped one of him getting ready to ride back home.

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