I have always lived a life of organization. Everything needs to be organized, categorized, alphabetized and so on. So when it comes to training, I like to do the same. I set out the best training plan that I can fit into my life that my body can handle and start rolling. Monterrey 70.3 was the earliest I had ever competed in a triathlon; so, this was a bit of an experiment. After coming back from injury, I felt extremely fit, and I believe it showed in many areas of my race. When I arrived in Mexico, I had a stressful first evening trying to get a taxi and get to the hotel as I speak zero Spanish. After finally making it to the hotel quite late, I realized that not only had my bag been open when it came out on the carousel but that my cell phone charger and Ipad charger were both gone.
Finally, the race was here, I had prepared as best as I could, and it was time to go. Or was it? The past few years I have been blessed to be able to compete as an elite/pro triathlete. This is highly beneficial because the elites go off and leave me in the water giving me plenty of space and clear line to swim. This time, however, I was racing as an age group athlete, and my wave took off over an hour after the professionals. So, when I finally did start, the canal was full of athletes that I would spend the next 1.2 miles trying to swim over and around. When I finally exited the water, the rain began to fall. The elites had nearly finished a bike lap by then with their earlier start, but unfortunately I would be biking the full 56.2 miles in a downpour of rain.
Despite the rain, I managed my fastest bike split on a 70.3 even with a rough back cramp the last 16 miles. What gives me even more confidence for future races is the fact that I had to walk my bike up a hill on both laps due to the pouring rain on slick cobble stones that prevented people from biking up. As I took off on the run, I knew to go out conservative, but cool weather mixed with moisture was like a dream come true. I flew through the first few miles picking off hundreds of age groupers who I had been catching all day. There was only one problem. I was starving. I had been hungry since 35 miles into the bike. Looking back, I should have taken on more fuel, but with the cooler temperature I felt good, so I hadn’t eaten my last two gels on the bike. By mile 8, I felt dizzy and sick. I knew I had to walk and start eating at every aid station or this trip wouldn’t even produce a finishing time. So, for four miles I jogged very slowly and walked every aid station eating oranges, gels and drinking Gatorade. Finally, midway through mile 11, I felt a little better and put a last decent surge in to finish at 4 hours and 55 min. This was a solid 25 min slower than I had hoped for, but when I consider the 20-25 min slower than projected run, a crowded swim course, and walking on the bike portion, I have to be happy with my effort.
This was not my fastest race, but it was a successful one due to the fact that I finished. What I can take from this race is a greater sense of responsibility for organization. While I thought I had it all figured out, life threw me a curve ball, and now I will be more prepared in the future. Nearly five hours of competing with no one to talk to, and not even a single fan to say "Good Job" in English; perhaps they were cheering in Spanish, but needless to say it was a lonely day if I wouldn’t have had my faith. The constant conversation in prayer with Jesus pushes me, reassures me when I want to quit, and helps me to overcome obstacles I never thought possible. I owe a special thank you to my mom who spent tons of time on the phone and researching this race trying to use her Spanish and travel background to help me in every way possible. With all the stresses of this trip she did a fantastic job of keeping me calm and helping me through. My dad I also need to thank as it was his idea to use office labels to make my creative numbers, and without that I would have wasted a trip. I am blessed to have such a strong relationship with my Savior and with my amazing parents that he gave me.