The anticipated race report from the Lifetime Tempe Tri this weekend!
The morning started out with nerves. It had been since June 11th that I had last raced in a Tri. I was most anxious about the swim since I’d only done one open water swim since the race, and I wouldn’t be allowed to wear a wetsuit. I knew my swim was struggling based on my performance at practice on Friday. Don’t unintentionally take two and a half weeks off.
I wake up to a wonderful encouraging text from Brent, wishing he could be here. I told him IMAZ is the one to be at. I get to the Tri and a few nerves are released as I see so many familiar faces. I can’t tell if it’s because he triathlon community is growing or if I’m growing in the triathlon community. Either way it’s calming to know other people are alongside of you.
I step into the water and make my way to the start. People are bobbing in front of me at we wait for the gun to go off. Here goes! My stroke seems great for the first quarter, but then I can’t seem to catch my groove. I’m not consistent and I’m losing my strength. I get to the second half of the swim and I can pull straight for the life of me, my but is dragging and I know my form is off. I try really hard to focus on my form, but then I start worrying about going straight again. Each time I sight I have to re-correct. It’s frustrating! I come out of the water and I click my watch. 36 minutes. I’m not thrilled at all seeing this time as it’s only 2 mins faster than my Boulder 70.3 swim.
I hear my parents as I’m running to transition and it helps me shake of my disappointing time. I’m so thrilled to see them it gives me some confidence. This race I tried four new things intentionally and one unintentionally. The first two was racing the bike portion in my swimsuit top and without socks. Both of these moves cut down my time in T1 and didn’t effect my race performance for the bike.
My bike leg was great! I had two loops ahead of me with sharp corners and multiple hairpin turns. There was a decent head wind that I fought with purpose. I had to make sure I took nutrition in on the bike, so I had shot blocks and a liquid mixture of spark, biocharge and scratch. With Lobo Blanco, I focused on catching the next person ahead of me. Several times I passed and was passed by an ASU triathlete (don’t worry he only did the sprint), but it was great motivation to keep my speed up. I come up on the second loop and I see Kaitlin, Sarah and Drew, but they don’t see me. I give a big wave as they scramble to hold up signs and yell loudly. I find out later Kaitlin made an awesome sign that says, “Race like a direwolf is at the finish line.” (Because I’d run towards a direwolf and not away haha) I am coming up the service road along the 202 and I hear “Go Maria!!” And it’s Anthony. It’s an instant boost in energy. As I ride along priest he’s yelling at me to pick up the pace. I can’t possibly think how to four, but I sure do try! My average speed on my bike was 19.5 mph! The third thing I tried new this race (intentionally) was in buckling my shoes before dismount. I did it fairly flawlessly and when I got to the dismount line it made for a smooth transition from bike to run. Let me say how much EASIER it is to run your bike barefoot than with your shoes and cleats on! This also makes for a quicker transition.
In T2 I rack my bike, I have my 4th intentional new thing waiting for me, my quick tie shoes. They are a stretching shoe lace that you just clasp tight. My biggest fear with these was not having them tight enough and getting blisters on the wrong spot. No fear, I came out alive and blister free. My last new thing I did was a last minute decision to leave my water bottle in T2. My mistake in not realizing how how it was and how much I’ve relied on small sips of water every so often. I did not feel like I ran to the best of my ability, but I ran the best of my ability for that day. The sun was beating down. A quick cheer from Jimmy as i fly out of T2. The first loop I ask for water and I snag a cup, take a quick sip, and dump the rest on top of me…it was Gatorade! At the next aid station I made sure to snag water. I turn my watch to overall time so as not to race based on pace or heart rate, but how I feel. Well I felt like shit. Each aid station I dumped water and put ice down my shirt to keep cool.
Anthony had made me a deal 2:45-3hrs I only had to run 8 miles later that day, 2:30-2:45 was 6 miles or under 2:30 was no miles. When I realized I wasn’t going to make that “no miles” cut off I worked on staying hydrated and putting one foot in front of the other. My mistake on the run was not taking in nutrition. I might have had that extra boost if I had taken a gel and had constant water. I crossed the finish line, making sure to “chick” the guy in front of me, at 2:48.48 with a 6th place for my age group.
I’m happy with my PR, but overall disappointed in my place and performance on the swim and run. I have to remind myself these things:
1) you rode 40 miles the day before
2) this is a “B” race
3) you got a PR!
Congrats to all the others that raced this weekend! Whether it’s your 1st or your 50th, whether it’s your worst or your best, know that you inspired at least one person that day to change the way they live their life.
I want to share how proud I am of Tanya, Kelly and Jade for competing in their first Tri relay! They let me sign them up three days before the race. I know that what I do each day to train for Ironman contributed to them saying yes that night. I’m so excited for where Tri’ing will take them! Cheers ladies 😊
Cheers to the next great adventure!