What a weekend!!! The World Championships lived up to all my expectations.
Just being at this event was incredible in itself. Being surrounded by talent, and intensity, and competition was so exciting and intimidating all at once. I am so happy to have had the opportunity to race here with the other 2000+ athletes... especially since this was the last year the event will be held in VEGAS.
We arrived in Vegas a few days prior to the race. I was able to get a swim in the amazing outdoor lap pool, a ride, run...all the normal pre-race formalities. Dropping my run bag off and Heather Jackson came up to me to chat... just about made my day :D Most importantly, those few days before I made a point to stay off my legs as much as possible, hydrated like champ, and visualized executing my race plan - over and over and over.
Race day I woke up to a little rain and as we drove to the race start, it turned into a straight-up downpour; it stayed like that until just before I started to run. I text Coach T and she reminded me to still keep up on the hydration so that the humidity doesn't kill me if the rain were to stop. I was in the 15th wave, so I didn’t get to start until 75min after the first group… not ideal because things get very congested and I have more time to sit and be nervous!
Swim 39:46 Ouch!! This is a non-wet suit swim so I was expecting this slower time. Lake Las Vegas is like swimming through mud, yum! Found my rhythm right from the start. Nothing really went wrong; my swim just needs work, especially if I expect to place higher. I lost 8 age group spots just in the swim.
T1 3:56 Transition 1 was nuts. I knew that this was going to be a longer transition so the day before I practiced going through it 5 times to avoid any silly mistakes. You exit the water and have to run up and over this bridge, then through a grassy area (which was a bunch of mud holes by the time my group got to it), get your bike, then hall the bike up a hill before you mount! There was the longest line going up that hill and it was starting to frustrate me that people were not moving very fast. I allowed that time to let my heart rate come down before getting on the bike. You can tell where you are standing by how many bikes are gone... so I knew getting on my bike I had a bunch of ladies to catch!
Bike 2:50.44 (Pre-race meeting they told us the bike was about a mile long) I was honestly having a great time on the bike. Caught 33 girls in my group moving me from 59th to 26th place. It was raining so freaking hard that it was just making me laugh. Everyone had been prepping for ridiculously hot weather, and here it was downpouring. (Good thing I did all those work outs with sweatshirts and beanies on! lol) My race plan was to keep my heart rate consistent in the 157-163 range and not pushing too hard on the climbs. This race, I was not so glued to my watch and going more by 'feel' which still had me in my planned range when I would check in. I felt really focused and just 'in the game' during the bike. I continuously checked in with myself... 'how am I feeling... can I run fast off this effort... am I thirsty..etc.' Lots of crashes out on the course because of the water! I don't feel like I was able to take advantage of all the descends because I'll admit, the water made me a little nervous. The last climbing section into town was when I felt the most power so I was excited to get my running shoes on! All in all, super challenging course but fun!!
T2 1:29 Nothing exciting here except it was super nice to have volunteers rack your bike for you
Run 1:42 During the last 5-10 miles of the bike course, Las Vegas Sun decided to come out to play and turned the course into a humid, sauna. The first couple groups of the day, were able to run in the rain… luckies! By the time I got to the run, I starting to get pretty hot so I was super happy I drank extra on the bike like T told me to. The run course was either up or down hill – 1 down, 2 up, 1 down (repeat 3 times) no flats. The first loop I took conservative, keeping an eye on my heart rate. Every aid station I dumped ice down my top and shorts and put water over my head. Felt really good until that last 2 mile climb. Kicked My Butt! That section was where I caught 3 of the 6 girls though. Caught 6 girls on the run taking me to 20th by the end. Being able to see my Dad and Janice three times was great... high fived them and my dad would yell out to me what Teresa wanted me to do!! I cant tell you how many times I have practiced progressive runs and I feel like that translated perfectly during this race. That last mile was strong and fast... how it should be!
I am completely addicted to the feeling of finishing an all-out race. Crossing the finish line brings emotion out of my 'emotionless self' that is unexplainable... races like these break through that tough outer shell you create. They allow you to lay all your hard work out when you are confident enough to cross over that line of fear, become vulnerable to the pain and hurt and just be your own raw self... it is an amazingly unexplainable feeling...(clearly):D
Results were posted to show I finished 20th in my ag and I can honestly say I am proud to have finished there... no disappointment whatsoever! This course and the weather and the girls were insane. I followed my race plan exactly and gave it my all. I crossed that line feeling like I wanted to feel. Being my second year racing, what more can I ask?
I say this in every race report but I honestly feel like the luckiest girl to have some pretty awesome people in my life. Words can not event start to describe how awesome my dad is, and I know, if I wouldn't have met Teresa, I would not be where I am today... not just as an athlete but as a person. I also have a few, special friends, that continue to give me such support and confidence to believe in my crazy dreams!!
Another stepping stone in Building My Machine....