I haven't written anything in a while, I thought I would write a little about the beginning of the 2015 season!
I have been fortunate enough to add a few more sponsors this year. I am continuing to work with Xterra Wetsuits and am still a part of Tribal Multi Sport. One of my new sponsors is Outspokin Bicycles, they have set me up with a new PR 6, Quintana Roo, with which I have spent many hours with this off season! :)
Epix gear is another sponsor I am excited about, I will be sporting their gear this year, they made me a colorful, custom racing kit which is very comfortable to race in. First Endurance is my favorite sports drink/nutrition and they have are now one of my sponsors as well.
I have also had the opportunity this year to join More Than Sport, a company who works with professional athletes who want to help others in the community or projects far away. I have chosen to work with Girls On The Run, a great after school program here in the Tampa area. They have many locations around the US. I attended one of their programs and met some of the girls (3rd-5th grade) and the coaches. They teach the girls how to recognize their inner strength, be active, confident and at the end of every 3 month session they participate in a fun, 5k run. It is a great way to introduce the girls to sports and running in a positive environment. I am looking forward to working with them this year and running with some of the girls in their 5k in May.
Training this winter has been going well. I felt confident going into my first race of the season at Oceanside 70.3 that I had done everything I could to be ready. I have never been to Southern California and was really excited to visit. My Uncle lives in Venice and was going to come to my race. Afterwards I was going back to LA and he was going to give me a tour of the area! He loves cycling and is a part of a cycling group in LA and wanted to show me some great training routes he rides.
Finally the weekend was here and I was on a plane. I was feeling ready to race. I knew it would be a tough pro field with a purse prize of $60,000.
My friend Nick Chase, who was also racing, had already been in the San Diego area for a while training so he picked me up from the airport and we headed to Oceanside. What can I say? Oceanside is a gorgeous beach town. It was better than I had expected. Lots of surfers everywhere, plenty of sunshine and waves :) When I arrived on Thursday, we met up with another teammate and went for a swim, the water was refreshing. I went for a run on the run course, got something to eat and went to sleep for almost 14 hrs! Traveling there was a long day and I was exhausted. I felt much better when I awoke in the morning.
The next day I picked my bike up from Tri Bike Transport, went for a ride to make sure everything was working properly. I charged my shifters, put a new tube in my front wheel, since it had been a long time since I had replaced it. I studied the course maps, I knew exactly where I was riding, I had brought extra goggles, extra kit, full and sleeveless wetsuit... I was ready.
Race morning, Nick and I rode our bikes a couple miles to transition. I racked my bike, went for a jog and got ready to swim. Since the water temperature was almost 67 degrees I decided to wear my sleeveless xterra wetsuit. I feel like I over heat quickly in my full if the water is too warm.
The horn sounded and the race was started. I had a good swim, exited the water with a group of about 6 girls, I felt like this set me up for a good race, I would do some work on the bike and then run for it!
I got on my bike and tried to settle into my pace. It was a very foggy morning so I couldn't see much around me but the road. Eventually the fog lifted and I could see some of the scenery in camp Pendleton. After about 10 miles I could tell my brake was rubbing my disc wheel. There were some bumpy parts in the road starting off and I could have hit a few bumps causing my disc wheel to become lose. I had decided to ride with a Zipp disc for this race even though I usually use Reynolds wheels in training. The disc continued to rub on the brake, I stopped a couple times to see if I could tighten it or fix it. It eventually became worse and locked up causing the hub to separate from the wheel. At that point I realized it is just one of those things that happens and you can not do anything about it. I realized my race was over. It was disappointing but it is part of racing sometimes. A couple of guys from media stopped with me and called the Tech van. They said they would try to be there within 30 minutes. I just sat on the guardrail and watched the cyclist go by. At least I had some beautiful scenery around me. About 45 minutes later the first van pulls up, he took a look at the wheel and said to fix it he would need some tools he doesn't have. He calls another Tech van to see if they have an extra wheel or tools. They said they were busy but would be heading our way. After another 30 minutes the second van arrived, they finally fixed the wheel and said I could ride back or they could give me a ride. He added "it's a really scenic ride from here, lots of hills." Since they were able to fix my wheel I made the decision to ride my bike back to transition and finish the race. I do think there are some circumstances where it's ok to not finish a race, if you are injured or as a professional, if you have a race the following weekend and you are out of this race, then save the legs and be fresher for your next race. Neither applied to me at the time.
I was happy to be back on the bike- it was just about having fun now. Nearly 4 hours later I was back to transition. There were so many spectators along the run course, it was an amazing venue. There were a few steep hills on the run and it was getting very hot out. Some of the run went along the coast and through some neighborhoods. I was very happy to see the finish line that day. Other people on the course we're an inspiration to me when I wanted to throw in the towel and call it a day. Oceanside is a great venue and I would recommend it.
After the race I went to LA, we took the scenic route. Stopped in Laguna for lunch. Sunday I spent the day checking out the LA area. I had a great time in CA, despite having quite the trip back home after my 10 pm flight was delayed causing me to miss my connecting flight in Phoenix. I had to stay in Phoenix for the night only getting about 3 hours of sleep before going back to the airport to catch my flight to Tampa. Everything in life doesn't always go as planned but that's life ...sometimes all you can do is smile and enjoy the journey!