First, as always I would like to thank my sponsors for everything they have done for me and their support. I could not have won this race without Hoka One One, Xterra Wetsuits, Franco Bikes, Torhans, 2XU and GU!
Have you ever had a moment when your preparations just never seem good enough for an event? That was how I felt going into this weekend's San Diego International Triathlon. It was a physical and mental challenge for me. I felt flat and really did not know what to expect.
Just a 'B' Race
This race is one of my favorite mid-season races after a few early season Half Ironman distance races. I had just come off a third place finish at Wildflower, which took a lot out of me. I went into this race with very little rest because I picked up training again shortly after Wildflower as I am preparing for some “A” races scheduled at the end of September.
The week leading into the race I was dealing with a significant amount of pain in both feet which was really hard to explain. I also had another bike crash a week prior which left me with shoulder pain, stiffness and very limted range of motion.
I had no known injury in my feet, rather, the typical unexplainable clubfoot phantom pain which comes and goes. I was worried how this was going to effect my race. I never know how my feet are going to feel from day to day. My body was weak and tired from the prior weeks training load and I entered this race with no taper hoping that it wouldn't affect my performance.
I arrived at the course feeling mentally ready and prepared for the day, but my body was damaged goods. I awoke with pain in both feet. Tight and sore, I racked my bike and set up transition. I zipped up my brand new Xterra Vendetta Westsuit and headed to the swim start.
I entered the water about fifteen minutes before the start and got a good warm up and indication of how my body was feeling. This was my fisrt time racing with my Xterra Vendetta on and I was not let down. The Vendetta is a very fast and form-fitting suit.
Skeptical about my day, I darted forward when the gun sounded and soon found my body gliding forward in a smooth motion. My Vendetta wetsuit felt amazing and fast. I was surprised how I was feeling mid-way through the swim and thought to myself for the first time that this could be my day.
I foucused on staying positive rather then paying too much attention to my wounded body. I quickly exited the water and headed into T1.
I grabbed my Franco Trifuno Speed and prepared for the long, hilly course ahead. I took in some fluids from my Torhans and was able to get some needed calories from my GU gels and Roctane. Once I felt my nutrition kick in at the top of the climb I realized that I was riding a lot fasrter then anticipated.
I was doing 25-30 mph in many sections. It was a great feeling passing many pros and being led into T2 with a police escort. I thought to myself, I am going to take first today.
I headed into T2, quicky transitioned into my Hoka One One Bondi B’s, and darted onto the course. My feet were hurting badly and I new first place was going to be a battle. After a few miles, the comfort and cushioning of my Hoka One One’s eased my pain and I was well on my way home.
I felt good and new. I was running way faster than I normally do. I only had a few miles left and was focused on finishing strong. I told myself that I wanted this race to hurt and I did not let myself down. I pushed myself beyond my pain and finished first in my division.
The Take Away
There were two things I learned.
Number 1- Just because your preparations are not perfect, does not mean you won't perform well.
Number 2- Staying positive can make the mind and body do great things. I could have let all the distractions of pain, interrupted training sessions and two siginifigant bike crashes within two months pull me away from a great performance. Instead I let it ll go and put forth my best effort and the results were worth it.