Wow, lots of updates since the last time I blogged – a bad race, a niece, a good race, and some fun times with family and friends. First up the bad race:
It was a VERY eventful weekend in Oceanside for the Ironman 70.3. First the bad news – my race was pretty awful. I wasn’t feeling great going into the day, but thought maybe I could pull out a decent performance. I realize now that I was probably at the beginning of getting sick – something that was pretty obvious after staying in bed for 3 days post race. Despite the disappointment, I am still glad I raced. It’s always a learning experience and I took away some good new knowledge from this one!
Here’s the quick run-down on the day:
Pre-race warm up – this is the first time I have ever really warmed up before a race. With a cold swim and no real chance to warm-up in the water, I knew I would have to be ready to go as soon as we could get in. I did a quick 15min jog and some bands to loosen up my arms.
Swim – I was excited about the swim this time. I am swimming faster than I have since high school and was happy about some good open water swimming practice at my Kona training camp. Unfortunately I had maybe one of my worst swims ever. I got a great start when the gun went off, but about 10 strokes in my goggles were ripped off. I had to stop to put them back on and ended up at the back of the pack. Finally when I worked my way up to the front of the chase pack, we hit the turn around and I went off course. It took me about the next 7 or 8 minutes to catch back up to girls I was swimming with before and by then I was pretty spent. I assumed I wasn’t going to break from that group anyway, so I ended up just sitting on the feet of the girl leading the chase pack so I could conserve energy for the bike. Although my practice times are WAY better than last year, my Oceanside swim was almost a full minute slower. Ouch!
Bike – not a whole lot I can say about this bike except I was pretty miserable the whole time. It was cold, rainy, and I just couldn’t seem to get the engine going. I really can’t remember ever feeling that awful on a bike, at least not in a race. I think if it had been a training day I would have gone home, taken a nap, and tried again later. But this wasn’t a training day – it was a RACE! Luckily about half way through I caught a girl who had passed me early on and I just paced with her the rest of the way.
Run – On the bike I knew I wasn’t riding anywhere near my potential, but I thought, just stay in it, who knows, maybe I’ll have the run of my life. Well, it was actually a half Ironman PR, but it definitely was not the run of my life. The trend of day continued and I felt extremely flat. I knew my dreams of a great race were over so I switched into – I’m-going-to-get-the-best-training-day-possible-and-have-fun-with-it mode. I saw my husband on the first loop – he knew I wasn’t going to be happy based on the splits he was seeing. I’m sure he was a bit nervous as to how my mood would be during and after the run. I think he was pleasantly surprised when he saw me smile, shrug my shoulders, and say “well, I’m just going to run as strong as I can TODAY”.
No matter what I try to tell myself, I always have certain expectations of race day. I’d be lying if I said I met those expectations in Oceanside. HOWEVER, I was proud of myself for not giving up. I raced the best I possibly could on that day, and although it wasn’t what I was hoping for, I stuck it out and crossed the finish line a little smarter, a little fitter, and with an excuse to have a post race beer. It’s hard not to be bummed when you put so much time and effort into training and preparing. When your day doesn’t go well you can either let it get you down or learn from it. I CHOOSE the latter.
Now on to the GOOD news for the weekend (no, it wasn’t the post race beer). I went to sleep two nights before the race chatting with my sister, who was 9 months pregnant. She wasn’t due until April 7th, but I told her she wasn’t going to make it to April – a pretty bold statement considering it was already 3/29. Well, I woke up the next morning with a text, written in the middle of the night, that they were heading to the hospital. I jumped out of bed and immediately got on the phone. By the time I sent her a message back the epidural had been taken, but the labor was progressing so fast she wasn’t able to call. One hour later I got the news that my precious little niece, Avery Zalet Rivera, was born. My sister sure knows how to do it! I think she was in labor for about 8 hours total and I slept through 7 hours of it!
It was incredibly hard not to be in Ft. Worth, TX at the hospital with my sister to greet the new member of our family, and probably a little annoying for my husband to have to deal with all my excitement by himself. Finally I got some pictures and was able to talk to my sister. I knew everything would go smoothly, but I was so happy when I finally got to hear her voice and that she and the baby were both doing great. I have to say it made it a little easier to get over a bad performance the next day knowing I was an Aunt again.
Luckily I didn’t have to hang on to the feeling of defeat for too long after Oceanside. Two weeks later I was back at it for the HITS series Olympic in Napa, CA. Located at Lake Berryessa, the organizers couldn’t have picked a more beautiful venue for a race, or quite possibly a more challenging one.
HITS is a new triathlon series with a distance for everyone – seriously. They offered an “open” tri which was even shorter than a sprint (100m swim, 3m bike, 1m run) and was FREE!!! How cool is that?
I chose the Olympic distance and just tried to hammer the whole day. It was challenging as the course was extremely hilly, but I walked away with a win and the realization I might be able to bike a bit harder and still have plenty left in the tank for the run. Can’t wait to test that theory!
I even made 3Go magazine online!
After the race I got to have some QT with some of my favorite Team Sheeper teammates. We rented a house on Lake Berryessa and spent Saturday cooking, hanging out, and even playing a little Cranium (my team won of course, woohoo!) I had so much fun the whole weekend, racing again (finally feeling like I was getting my mojo back), and
hanging out with friends.
Next it’s on to Ironman St. George in a couple weeks. I had a great race their last year and I can’t wait to get back!
So my VIP this blog is one of my best friends and favorite people in the world. She didn’t like me very much when we first met, in fact I think she tried to give me away on several occasions. But over time I grew on her and the older we get the closer we are.
This person is my older (not bigger because I TOWER over her even at my 5’4”) sister, Kyle.
My sister deserves the VIP because she’s an amazing mom, sister, wife, daughter, and friend. She’s a school psychologist and has always loved working with children. While she’s driven in her career, she always puts her family first – taking care of their home, her hubby, her son, and now her daughter. I have watched her do such an amazing job raising my now 3 ½ year old nephew – reading to him, taking him on outings every chance they get, making sure he has healthy meals, and most importantly making sure he is the most loved little boy in the world. I know she will do all those things for her daughter and I hope those kids will one day know just how lucky they are to have my sister for a mom. I also hope one day I will be able to follow in her footsteps with little ones of my own.
Thanks Kyle for being such a great role model, I love you!