Like I wrote about in my last blog post, I was preparing for and planning on really pushing myself to the limit in this race. I was looking forward to a good foot race and “testing” myself mentally by pushing my physical limits. I WAS tested, just not in the way I had planned.
I swam on my own and got out of the water knowing it wasn’t my best swim but that I was still in a good spot. I brushed it off and started racing through transition. When I got on my bike I noticed that my heart rate monitor wasn’t registering right. I tried to fix it a couple times in the first 10 miles but eventually gave up trying and brushed it off thinking, “This will be fun! I haven’t raced on feel and power in a while!” (I race 100% off heart rate and don’t look at anything else during the bike and run.)
Just before the next aid station, the same thing happened. This time my front tire blew, but I thought to ask someone to call the roaming mechanic. He came after I started trying to change my flat again and ended up switching out my whole tire so it was a pretty quick stop (2-4 minutes).
I came up to special needs and called out my number but the volunteers must not have heard so I had to almost stop to get a bottle from special needs. Again, no big deal! I could see Jodie was less than a minute ahead of me so I wasn’t too worried. I was still in contention!
As soon as I got back on my bike I realized that I couldn’t shift. I was in my hardest gear and couldn’t shift at all. I usually race between 90-95 RPMs, but I was down around 50 with the wind at my back and 20-40 with the wind in my face. I stopped two more times to try to fix it but just couldn’t get it working. Mentally I was still with it. I had chosen three phrases to replace any bad or negative thought. So most of the ride back into The woodlands I was saying “Believe your dreams, I am a champion, I dominate.” My legs were getting toasted by the low cadence and my calf muscles were really starting to strain.
“If I don’t finish I won’t have a marathon in my legs and I can do Santa Rosa 70.3 for more points and accomplish another goal of a podium in a 70.3 this year.”
“But what if something happens during that race? I wouldn’t have ANY other race to fall back on.”
“Well, you don’t even know if you’ll get enough points at THIS race.”
“But if I did Santa Rosa, I would have more time away from family and I don’t want that right now.”
“But I hate bad results on my ‘resume’.”
“I told myself I wanted to push myself, this is just a different type of pushing. I’m not battling physical pain, but the disappointment over how horribly wrong things have gone.”
“My legs are so, so dead from that low cadence the back half of the race.”
“I’ll keep going until I see my daughter”
“What about those people who can’t do this? I can’t quit.”
“Stop going back and forth and just decide to GO! ”
In the end I decided to finish. I ended up in 12th place and got 385 more points for Kona, which will probably get me there by the July cut off though nothing is written in stone until it is.
Honestly, somehow God always knows what we need more than we do. I wouldn’t have picked this path but with a sour taste in my mouth I have so much more motivation for Kona! I’ll be honest, this race rocked me for a couple days, but I’m back and ready to push myself to my limits and beyond during this build to Kona!