I'm finally able to sit on my butt and relax at my local coffee shop. It's going to feel pretty good to reflect on this past week of EPIC-NESS. The memories will always be there, along with the scars (i'll explain later). Before I get into all the San Juan 70.3 stuff, I REALLY need to knock out a few "shout outs". First off, these past few months have been very difficult, specifically when it comes to running (or lack of running). I'd like to thank my coach Hank Campbell for really keeping me positive during the recovery process. Not being able to run with intensity, slowly feeling the endurance and speed slip away, has been lame. To be honest, it's been ULTRA lame....ANYWAY, all of my friends have been extremely supportive, helping me keep my head on straight. Scott Rubin's Active Release Technique has aided lower leg strength/recovery, Jessica Glover @ Jett City Espresso has been fueling me with perfectly balanced salads/scones for lunch and obviously my sponsors have kept my training affordable. A huge whopping shout out to Flying Fish Bikes in Tampa, Nuun Hydration, Maui Jim, Felt bicycles, Picky Bars and Protandim! Everyone I know provides me with strength. Every single ounce of support is appreciated and it's all I think about while I'm in the "Pain Cave".
The always exciting "Race Recap"
I'll keep this short and sweet:
Swim like a fish: I swam medium/hard, worked on "saving the legs" but in the future, I'll kick more and look for more speed. Also, I hope I can get involved with a fast pack of swimmers next time, it makes the difference. It's the key to a fast swim, just watch the Pro's. Water temperature was perfect, with a heavy opposing current at the end.
Bike: The first 20 miles left my back a little tight so I decided a break was needed... I crashed. DON'T worry, I broke the fall of my bike, so it's safe:) A sharp 180 + slick painted line + too much speed = Oil Slick. Step #1 after the crash, stop the Garmin...Step #2...fix the wheels/chain...Step #3, continue to kick butt (don't forget to start the watch). After the quick relaxing break on the side of the road, I felt even better...no more tight back! All in all, the course was well designed/marked/supported, with only 2 major groups of obvious drafting. Headed back into town I hit some heavy rain and I noticed there was an unwanted cheater on my wheel. I quickly went into "drop this a-hole" mode. That included some solid acceleration and random zig zags (and flipping the bird), leaving that cheater behind. I would also like to add that O'Donnel and Rinny also crashed...so I feel honored to crash on the same course:)
The Run/Jog: So it already was known...it would be a slow run. Which is exactly what it turned into. The steep inclines did a number on me, however the aid stations were AWESOME! The kids were totally on point with ice/water/coke/tequila (kidding) and a great attitude. Hardest half marathon I've ran and WILL be back to conquer it next year. I'm gonna hide a razor scooter on the run course though (shhh). This was the first race I've ever required assistance at the finish line. I was carried directly to the ice bath, the best feeling ever! Pretty sure I scared the Poo out of Jesse.
At the end of the day, NOTHING and I mean NOTHING compares to the feeling of a "finish". It's completely emotional, no matter how many times I've done it. Even if it's not a stellar race, the sense of finishing keeps me EVER motivated. Learn from every race and appreciate the hard work, motivation and support you've utilized to get there.
The entire "build" to this race has been very busy and the best learning experience. I've been working with some very talented, positive athletes and am very grateful I can help others achieve their goals. Finally....a HUGE thanks to Jess Bono. She came along as my support crew. Literally, she worked with the intensity and care of 10 people. From amazing food, tons of walking, telling me I'm "Awesome" (all the time)...even though I get a little snappy, she definitely kept me level:) We also were lucky enough to meet up with some very talented Team RWB athletes. We were hosted twice for dinner for a home cooked meal and great company. Thank you to Hila Levy and here family for having us.
A big season is on the horizon and I can't wait to meet or exceed my own expectations! Oh by the way, if you ever go to Puerto Rico...be prepared to wait awhile for your food. It's delicious but I suppose you can't rush a good thing??? Right? Oh Also, I did manage to qualify for 70.3 World Championship, but sadly cannot compete due to a Age Group Worlds in London :( Bummer...