Sorry I have not written anything in a while. Since my last blog, I got married! (in Vegas at the Valley of Fire) then went to Hawaii for our honeymoon. I took a few weeks off structured training and have enjoyed the winter. My niece was born on Valentine's Day and it's been amazing seeing her grow over the passed month. I have been staying very busy to say the least.
For the last couple months I've been dealing with a foot injury and have had to be careful about how many miles I'm running, I have had to take some days off and just run every other day, until it finally healed, just in time for my first race of the season, Puerto Rico 70.3.
I wanted to do an early season race, considered Oceanside 70.3 but my coach and a few other teammates were doing Puerto Rico. I had never done this race and it is closer to home than CA. I decided to try it, even though I have heard about how hilly and hot the run can be on this course. I looked at this race as a challenge for me. I have had issues staying hydrated in hot conditions and really tried to work on my nutrition these passed couple months to make sure being dehydrated wouldn't be a problem. I made some small changes to my race nutrition plan, I felt like I had put in all the work I could, with low running mileage because of my foot. The week before this race I got sick and had to miss a couple days of work. I felt so awful I wasn't sure if I would be recovered enough to race, but what can you do? I just rested a lot and tried to get better as quick as possible.
Puerto Rico is about a 2.5 hour flight. I arrived on Friday morning and wanted to do a easy training run on the course and check out a couple of these hills I had heard so much about. It was around 10am and it was already very warm. I got burnt on my run which surprised me- the sun is very strong there!
Race morning I was a little nervous. I went for a warm up run, stretched and got in the water for a swim. The water was 82 degrees. I started to get a little more relaxed after swimming a little. All you can do is your best, nothing to worry about... but the first race of the season always gets me!
I had a good swim start, stayed relaxed and the first 500-700 meters seemed to be with the current but after that we turned and it was against us. It was a little frustrating, I felt like I was swimming slow. I also miss judged a buoy and swam a bit out of my way. :(. It happens...I just tried to get back on track and move on. This wasn't one of my best swims but I was just a couple minutes out of the main mix of girls.
The transition between the swim and bike was very long. About 500-600 meters and once in transition we were on the far side which made it farther. I exited the swim with a couple girls and started out on the bike with them.
The bike started off on the interstate. I love it when the interstate is closed for the race! I really enjoyed the bike ride. I had my target power numbers I wanted to hit and was staying pretty consistent. The bike is 12 miles out, then 2 loops and 12 miles home. I thought the 2nd loop may be a little cluttered with the age groupers but it worked out pretty well. There was plenty of room on the road for everyone. It was nice having other cyclist on the road, felt more like a race then some of my solo bike rides in the past.
We rode next to the coast for a little bit and through some less populated areas. It was very hot and they did have lots of aid stations available. I picked up a bottle at almost every one of them and poured it on me and drank as much as I could before throwing it to the side. My focus on the bike was staying hydrated and hitting the power numbers I train to. I had a good bike ride (2:25) and was off the bike in a good spot.
I made a few changes to my bike, I changed my saddle and I am a lot more comfortable than I was all last season. Also, thanks to Flying Fish Bikes for making my bike ride like new again! :)
Getting off my bike in transition my legs felt very heavy. I took a small water bottle with me on the run, since it was so hot and I was told there were no water stops for the 1.5 miles into the fort area. I was glad I did have some water with me.
I did not come close to my goal run pace. I did know this was a tough course but I was a bit slower (like 10 min!) than I had planned. There was an immediate hill (bridge) starting the run which lead into another hill. I knew after that hill was the big hill, then a downhill and a slick brick road which leads to the area they call the "microwave" out and back next to the coast on the side of the fort. It was very pretty but no aid stations on that stretch. I also noticed a lot of random cats out there! Coming out of the fort was a steep uphill on the brick again. It was never ending and a two loop course. I could not wait to get to the finish line. It was a painful run and I actually felt accomplished crossing the finish line. They did have lots of water, ice, cola, Gatorade at all the aid stations. I feel the hills were more my downfall than anything. I felt like I did stay hydrated and my nutrition plan seemed to work.
This was a good start to my season! Getting back in the swing of things with my running, I am looking forward to see how I can do in my upcoming races. I finished in 14th place OA (4:44).
Next race will be St. Anthony's Olympic triathlon in St. Petersburg. No traveling needed! :)
Until next time...