I drove out to the desert Friday at noon, with my mom and daughter, Sydney in tow. Upon arrival, I was able to get a 30 minute sunset run in before bed and was feeling excited to race on Sunday! The next day was a flurry of activity: I had some friends from Tower26 racing in the sprint the next morning, so I rode my bike to watch them race. They did so well! My dear IronQueen Tara Wachter (who got me started on this Ironman quest) arrived shortly thereafter, and we had lunch in Old Town La Quinta before picking up race packets, riding 12 miles of the course and swimming in the very green, mucky Lake Cahuilla! That’s where I ran into Rob Lea who I met at Kona Training Camp and Katie Morse (who is also a SOAS Racing ambassador). One thing I love about races you run into a lot of people you know. It’s such a great community!
Tara, my mom, Syd and I had an early dinner and were in bed by 8:30pm. After an ok sleep I was up at 5:15am. I made us eggs and mash (Puffins cereal with applesauce, almond butter and jam) and bulletproof coffee (2 Tbsps. grassfed butter, 1/4 tsp vanilla and coffee/espresso all whipped together with a hand blender). We then grabbed all our stuff and headed to the race start at 6:15am. The sunrise was unbelievable….there was a bit of a cloud cover which stayed through most of the race…Thank goodness, because the day before, I was getting baked by the sun!
I set up my transition and was able to do a warm up run to the port a potty about 1/2 mile away, then get my wetsuit on so I could swim a bit before the race start. However, my group didn’t go until almost 25 minutes after the elites went off. Standing around in a dripping wet wetsuit in anticipation of getting back into the water was not appealing.
Before I knew it, the gun was off!
The swim. I started the swim easy, swam over some people and was dead on with my sighting. I would sight every 6-10 strokes, and I felt I was right on target with each buoy and didn’t get caught up with people NOT knowing where they were going – Tower26 training at work! After the first buoy it felt like there was a nice current giving me some push. I felt good the whole swim, there was only 3 times that I recall not being able to get my breath on my 2nd stroke which made me have to hold my breath to the next stroke…that was weird, I hadn’t had that happen before and I am not sure if it was because of the cold, not being used to a wetsuit or what. Also I love swimming in my Blue Seventy Helix!!! Wow! I didn’t do a lot of kicking and tried to save my legs for the bike which totally worked.
The bike. I jogged out of the water up to the transition which was maybe 250 yards away. Couldn’t get out of the wetsuit very quickly but was able to run the bike to the bike mount and go! There was a little uphill and then a fast downhill where a girl fell just 5 bikes in front of me. As I rounded the corner there was another guy down on the ground with blood all over. I asked if each were ok, but it shook me a bit. The ambulance was coming up the road as I passed. I ate a 1/4 of a picky bar about 5 minutes into the ride, and I made sure I stayed over 20 mph. About 25 minutes later I ate 1/4 of a bonk bar, feeling good and passing alot of people. Then I had a GU at about 50 minutes into the ride.
The run. I got off the bike, ran to my transition and started off on the run. There was a little downhill, and I looked at my watch and saw my pace at 7:40 then we started to run on the sand which slowed me a little. I kept thinking quick feet and keeping tall, looking straight ahead and keeping my good posture. I felt good until I hit mile 2 and I started to feel a little crampy high in my stomach and bloated or full…
We ran 2 loops around the reservoir and there was a lot of loose rocks, dirt, divets and bumps…it was not the best to run on. On the second loop a big guy stumbled and fell right in front of me. He was okay, but I really started to pay attention to making sure I was picking up my feet. I finished strong and I was happy with my finish.
On Friday, I was asked at what time did I think I would finish and I said maybe 2:30…so I was almost right on. I finished in 2:29:16 1st in Athena Division and 6th in 40-44 age group!
Rob finished 2nd overall… My dear friend Tara finished a little over a minute before me and another friend/mom, Jennifer LaCorte from my daughter’s school finished just after me and there were others from Tower 26 that were there and finished strong!