Thursday, September 14, 2017

Turning in my chip- the final blog entry.

This past June, at Ironman Boulder, I gave EVERYTHING I had both physically and emotionally.

In 2012 I was forced to abandon triathlon- it was a huge turning point in my life that in retrospect I am forever grateful for. It took me back to my roots in Mexico (where I swore I'd never live- the irony is awesome) where I connected with some amazing people, and experienced both challenges and gifts that I'd never imagined life would throw at me.

This time, in the middle of a World Championship race, around mile 30 of the bike, I looked around at the motivated, fit girls zooming by, and all I could think of with a slight grin on my face was "dang, I'd rather be at brunch right now". In a sudden moment of clarity, I knew I was done; that life in sport had come full circle for me, and that this time I was CHOOSING to exit. I felt healed, strong, and armed with knowledge of what I want in life, and this was far from it!

So, I rolled into T2, and turned in my chip to an official who asked "are you sure you're finished?", and without hesitation, I said "yes, I am sure".

I knew if I continued to run, despite the fact that my back was also screaming, I could rally to the finish and there was the risk that endorphins, mixed with "I did it despite x..." could lead me to continue down this rabbit hole and through Hawaii and who knows what.

But my soul, my deep down desire of self and purpose, said "No, stop! There is so much more you want, and if you keep at this you're just distracting yourself from, and delaying what you yearn for to enter".

They say when you really close a door, another opens. So this is my dare to the Universe (or whatever you want to call it)... the door is closed. What do you have in store now?

---
Last year, I had a taste of the perfect balance- where I could share sport as a hobby, whilst living life as a normal young woman. Just shy of getting the job, settling into a relationship, and connecting all the little dots, it all shattered. It was one of the biggest blessings in disguise, because through that, and in the months that followed, I grew the equivalent of a decade as a person.

I gripped triathlon again full force, and used it to propel me out of grief, and into relentless power. Once that had been achieved, once I reclaimed my strength, I just went through the motions of training because I was having a blast with friends and trips, and "workouts", but my body was exhausted, and my heart was ready to move on for no one else but ME.

One of my favorite quotes, sums it up perfectly. I hope that in reading this, just as I'm told I've inspired people to train and race, I hope others are inspired to own their downs just as much, if not more, than their ups, and voice their emotions so they can connect, learn, and ascend into so much more than they thought possible- it's the essence of being human. There's no shame in expressing your feelings, and feeling them through. It's the only real, raw, vulnerable, and courageous way to heal and grow.

"I sought help when I needed it and honored my feelings instead of trying to 'be strong' and 'man up' just so everyone could think I was some emotional superwoman. My true strength came from acknowledging my weaknesses, my fears, my heartbreak, and myself." - N. A.
---

Now, sitting in a Starbucks, at the place where my and THE triathlon seed was planted- Encinitas, CA- I have peace and open arms for whatever follows, and am thoroughly enjoying working out for pleasure.

There's no list of goals or OCD planning- because life has taught me that the most wonderful things can never be anticipated, because they are usually greater than anything you could've dreamed up or written down.

Maybe I'll get a job in CA, maybe in Mexico, maybe abroad? Maybe I'll travel a few months.. Maybe I'll fall in love again...

Maybe all of the above
 ;)



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Cycles...

Life is full of them, in every context. Some we open/close overnight, others take longer, maybe even years. Whatever the case, it's when we heed the lessons life is trying to teach us, when we finally outgrow something,  or it just doesn't serve our purpose or path anymore that these pages of our life story turn to another chapter.

Ironman Boulder was a closing of a cycle in my life. It was much more than training these last few months- it was rediscovering WHY I wanted to race an Ironman (which btw, when you can answer that, is when you know you should be doing it), rediscovering my strengths, and more importantly my weaknesses in multiple aspects, finding out who is there for me as a true friend/supporter, what thoughts, feelings, and things do or don't serve me, and what it is exactly that I want for myself at least in the short term of a few years.

To quote one of my favorite authors, and public speakers, Brene Brown, "Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it's having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. It is not weakness; it is our greatest measure of courage." 

That is racing, and that is life lived authentically.

I'm back home now, after achieving the one goal I had for IM Boulder: the slot to Kona. It'll be my fifth time on the island for that race, 10 years after my first Ironman which happened to be Kona! So to say it is special, is an understatement.

After a solid few weeks of incredibly needed rest I look forward to putting on the best preparation of my life for this Ironman. It starts a new cycle with immense experience, growth, grit, and connection to the people that are really my pillars for this fabulous journey.

Let's go over Boulder briefly....

First, I want to thank Andree and Chris Miceli for being the most wonderful hosts during my stay! Spoiled doesn't even begin to cut it. I met them in Cabo when they were there for IM in 2015, and that's the cool thing about triathlon- in one weekend you make friends for life.

I went in to Boulder, mentally ready and of course physically since I had prepped well for IM TX and also had that event in my legs. But that was a double edged sword...a couple weeks ago I felt the deep fatigue in my legs that just wouldn't shake. I did nothing too "long" in these six weeks between the two Ironmans, but still it lingered.

The swim was the best part of the day, it was a beautiful morning, and the Res is awesome. Exiting the swim, I found myself right next to Larissa- our newest 18-24 IM AG World Champ also from Mexico! It was super cool to head out onto the bike together :)

About 20miles into riding my legs were shot. Just bricks. Fortunately, I was enjoying the ride/scenery too much so convinced myself to just get to T2 and it was okay to hand in my chip there.

So I got to T2, and I honestly have ZERO idea how suddenly I was running. It was robotic, like I didn't even think and just headed out.

I ran about 8-10 miles decent, at least it qualified as "running" so this pumped me up and got me thinking dang I might just be able to finish this quite well, what a lovely surprise. Then slowly from there, everything fell apart.

This was unlike anything I'd ever experienced in a race because it wasn't mental demons, it wasn't caloric lows, or GI upset, or cramps....it was UNPLUGGED, DONE, ZAPPED, LEGS WILL ONLY WALK STOP TRYING TO RUN RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

So at mile 16 the walk began. Larissa passed me and yelled to hang with her. LOL, girl was moving! I smiled and told her to keep at it because I was beyond done.

Then an angel came by :)... At around mile 10 I had met this guy in a Timex kit, later to find out his name is Kyle, we briefly exchanged some words of encouragement and I ran ahead. At about that mile 16/17 aid station he saw me walking and said "Oh no, you said you want that Kona slot, you're not gonna miss it! Move your a**!" He was moving slower than Larissa, and it was like hearing my coach say none of that this hurts business, how bad do you want it?! So the jog of death began.

We walked the aid stations, and trotted the rest. The last 4 miles were an indescribable agony. It literally felt like I had to lift 200lb legs each step.

But then, there it was, the finish chute... Kyle and I ran in together, and he was right- KONA BABY!!!!






Wednesday, May 31, 2017

We fine tune who we are by filtering out what we are not....

Hi! Ha!

It's been almost a year since my last post, and so many life changes, adventures, races, new friends, old friends, highs and lows....I kept wanting to post an update, but it just seemed overwhelming at times.

Now I feel there's been such a delay that it can be easily summarized...

You may or may not know, I moved to Mexico City for a few months last year (what I thought would be at least a couple years- figuring if I really couldn't stand the city at least I'd land a solid, decent paying, job that could grant me "experience" and eventually justify a work visa back to the US).

I spent 3 months on countless interviews- some for really exciting opportunities, others not so much. Regardless, the salaries and hours were akin to selling my soul. No thanks. Add in the traffic, the pollution, and just the every day hurdles of a city like that and I realized day by day that the simple, and at times too-peaceful, life in Cabo was beginning to resemble UTOPIA.

Eventually, I did get an offer and was one day away from signing the dotted line- but felt like I was betraying my entire self in doing so.

In addition to a personal issue, the decision to honor what I value in life and of myself, had me packing my bags quicker than when we got hit by Hurricane Odile lol, and back to Baja I went :)

Despite the harsh realities on the career front, I had an AMAZINGGGG time racing and traveling all over mainland Mexico and truly did come to appreciate the many things Mexico City has to offer. It will always be a place I enjoy returning to for brief periods at a time.

It was an experience that I had to live, and do not regret for even a second. That city had taunted me for many years, and I feel it was inevitable that one day I'd try it out.

Most of the traveling last year was (surprise!) to triathlons, and that was another silver lining- getting to check off all the races that when living in Cabo are just too far to go to all in one season!

Throughout all that Olympic/draft legal racing, my back pain started to subside, and my stubborn AF little voice inside started to wonder ... "can I make a comeback?...."

Naturally, the second I landed back in Cabo, equipped with some altitude training and "race weight" by default haha, I wasted no time in laying out my goals for 2017.

It helped that I had already singed up for our inaugural Los Cabos Marathon, which took place end of January. To add to the fun, a few killer athletes had recently moved to Cabo and so the perfect training bubble was in place!

The marathon went well- it was a super gnarly course, all along the hotel corridor, with relentless climbs and downhills that just crushed the quads. But the trail running prep for the marathon plus the race itself, formed an excellent base for the year.

I kicked off the season at the La Paz Olympic- which is one of the best, most beautiful, races out there. I placed first in the AG, and 2nd OA behind by new training partner, and stud, Cibelle.



After that the focus was on Ironman Texas to qualify for Kona. It was a race I'd mulled over registering for or not all winter, but went for it just shy of 2 months out, because it seemed far enough to get in good form, but close enough that I had no time to lose motivation, or get overtrained for.

I did manage a mountain bike injury and a nasty head cold (of course!). Nonetheless, come April 22, the hunger to race was at its peak, and I was thrilled with the result. It landed me one spot and a few minutes short of the 3rd Hawaii slot for the 30-34, but to pull off a 10:15 feeling solid was enough to keep me pushing forward. Either way 70.3 Worlds was still on tap.


In less than 48 hours I signed up for Boulder, and that brings us to today!

There are no expectations for Boulder other than to bust my A** for that Kona slot. The body feels good, the inner demons are being quiet, and so it really boils down to controlling what's in my hands, and accepting what's not.

Ironman is an incredible metaphor for life- all you can do is show up, give your best effort, and let the chips fall where they may.

----0-----

See ya'll June 11, in CO. Thank you to my family, friends, supporters from all over that I have never even met, but ya'll reach out (it means so much!), my new coach, and some very exciting new sponsors!!!






Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Detour

Last Friday after coming home from racing Challenge San Gil, down in Queretaro, Mexico,  I was out doing a 2hr ride on top of a morning run and lunch swim- a little rev back in the engine to kick start the final push for Vineman.

I’ve been registered for Vineman since finishing Cozumel in November where I surprised myself with a solid result given minimal long distance training. All year, subconsciously or consciously, I kept delaying the beginning of actual Ironman training until “surprise!”, it’s July and I barely have time for anything before a taper.

Still, knowing how quickly things become boring and monotonous to me, especially when training 99% solo, I really only needed 2-3 long rides and runs to top off the pretty consistent training I’ve had all year and race fresher than in other IM’s, but perhaps better.

Somewhere in that 2hr ride on Friday though, I had to be honest with myself. I have no desire to race Ironman. The only reason for me to toe that line again is to break 10hrs, and I’d really need a miracle to do that right now. Regardless, I have other things that I’d much rather focus on that breaking down my body and numbing my mind like that again.

What a relief it is to just do what you really want and know is best for you! It’s not like anyone really cares, and there’s no pressure from sponsors, family, or friends…but somehow the commitment I had made to race, and race well, was becoming too much to let go of.

It’s been a lovely few days of hanging out with old friends, doing yoga, lifting more, and I’m excited to head out for random group rides and keep this relaxed approach going.

Through my forced exit as an elite and a couple years not racing at all, to contemplating a comeback, I’ve now arrived at a wonderful sweet spot of sorts: I want to be the weekend warrior- enjoying the social aspect of training and racing, and tackling manageable, fun, and healthy distances.

So the focus right now is on landing a full time job in a city that I had never ever …EVER… entertained as an option. MEXICO CITY. Yep.

If you know me, you’ll likely spit your coffee out reading that. But it’s true. This year, and certain wonderful people, have made me see that concrete jungle as a world of possibility, culture, excitement, challenges; no longer just a threat of traffic and pollution. Perspective is everything!

I found myself going more often in the last few months than I’d cumulatively been in years.  With each visit I saw myself living closer to family, meeting new people, and expanding my career to the point where one day if I choose to, I can justify a foreigner work visa because I’ll actually have the professional experience. Or maybe I’ll actually love it and stay. Who knows? No one- certainly not me. It's scary, but it’s also incredibly fun.

Hakuna Matata, the circle of life. I love the irony of going to live in the city that brought me into this world and one, which I had sworn off entirely.

Since moving to Mexico 2 years ago, my country has given me a lot more back than I gave it credit for. 2016, so far, has been full of great times and adventure- there’s nothing in me yearning to go back to the US at all.

Being a big believer in the Law of Attraction, I can’t help but smile as the interviews roll in since taking this detour. I don’t want to jinx it, so won’t name the company, but this afternoon I’ll be Skyping with an Ad Agency that everyone in the SMU Ad/Mktg school had their eyes on- lo and behold they have a Mexico office ;)

This blog doesn’t have much momentum anymore since it was centered on my athletic career. So these posts are more of a diary than anything. I can’t wait to look back in a few years and remember the time when I made yet another big shift into another thrilling chapter of life.

The journey…it’s all about the journey….

Sunday, December 6, 2015

ANYTHING Really is Possible

Up to now, that Ironman slogan hadn't meant much to me other than a motivating marketing quote from a company who's races I participated in. From my first Ironman in 2007, it had been something that was easily possible because all it took was logging in the long miles and staying headstrong- so that even with a massive breakdown in pace on the marathon, I could stagger to the finish line.

That possibility was *completely* taken away in 2012 when I DNF'ed Ironman Louisville after getting off the bike with over 60 miles of locking back pain and gathering my thoughts and strength in the porta potty of T2 barely able to stand, and seeing if I had the courage to open that door and take on the run course.

Save dignity, I made it past the first couple miles of crowds cheering "you can do it!"- and I furiously thought, "no, I can't! This isn't about discomfort or a mental bonk- this is disastrous- one more step and my back will break,  type of pain!".

Soon I found a little building with a stair hallway I could hide in, cry myself a pity party, and then walk to turn in my chip.

3 years later, I still didn't think I'd see an Ironman finish EVER again. But my new life in Cabo was finally taking form after a few emotionally difficult years dealing with separating myself from triathlon, moving to an essentially new country despite my citizenship to it, and leaving behind family and friends to venture out entirely alone.

I'd found my purpose with people as passionate for sport as I, and was setting out on making my life work tie in directly with what I love to do most- be active, healthy, and help out the greater community thorough this lifestyle.

With this excitement, triathlon entered again in a new light: as a way to stand for the athletic movement in Cabo, be an example to the local kids, and travel and seek out new adventures and experiences.

Little by little more things seemed possible.

As driven as I was for Ironman Cozumel, there was an undeniable amount of nervousness of can I really even finish?! I told my coach that I didn't really grasp what I had achieved in my younger years in Ironman until now- that youthful fearlessness was such a weapon!

It comes down to this- remove fear from your mind and you can do absolutely anything.

Coach P eased my mind the night before saying this was just a long day- a picnic for the steady and strong. Just be a machine, and don't overthink it. This was my comfort zone and I just needed to trust that my body knew exactly what to do.

It sure did.

The race unfolded as follows...

Thursday morning, I woke up after a series of naps resulting from food poisoning (which tends to plague me before a big race), and continued hugging the toilet until I literally would miss my flight if I stalled any longer. I debated dragging the luggage into my car and going at all- when you feel deathly ill even something that important to you and which you've worked so hard for, seems meaningless at the time.

I'm glad I summoned up the energy to get my butt in the car, as I'd regret if massively if I'd chosen to stay and victimize myself.

Pedialtye, bagels, potato chips, gatorade, juices, and mineral tablets galore later, things were looking up.

Once in Cozumel my aunt picked me up and took me to the best Thanksgiving dinner I've enjoyed in many years. Some American family had their grandmother in town and she followed recipes passed down from generations and it really was grandma's cooking that gave me back my strength.

Friday morning I got the packet, did a short ride, run, and swim to wake the system up and then rested until race morning as best I could.

Sunday came and I felt awesome. The swim start was rolling and I'd never experienced that in an Ironman before. Everything would have gone great with that method had they not chosen what seemed like a theatre prop for the ramp into the water.

With eager athletes that thing shook like it was undergoing an earthquake and as we quickly jumped into the water "one by one", too many of us unfortunately discovered the water was about 2-3ft deep and I started my Ironman day with two scraped knees and a jammed foot I was hoping would come back to life halfway through the swim.

The swim was uneventful- warm clear water typical of Cozumel, and a pace that at times seemed a bit too peaceful. My only regret was not jamming my way to the very very very front of that first corral and holding onto the front group of swimmers. I needed to exit the water with the girl that went on to win our age group.

Onto the bike- BEST RACE RIDE OF MY LIFE. Since a couple long rides in July and two more in September in TX I had not ridden over 4hrs. But the consistency of the year paid dividends!!

I felt I rode 80 miles. I didn't light a single match the whole bike ride and considering the winds this year were way tougher than previous times I've raced Cozumel, I rode better than I could've ever expected.

The run started out great- my legs felt good. But the back was stiff as nails the first 5k. I had way too many internal pleads to stop running and call it. But I just told myself to keep at it until it literally stops you in your tracks.

The run had its ups and downs. Loop 2 of three I felt the best but started cramping right before the third lap began. I upped the salt and came to- until mile 19. At that exact moment the lack of long runs slapped me in the face. It was a survival to the finish line.

This finish cost me much more those last miles physically, than any other Ironman I've done. But the elation from realizing I was about to actually finish an Ironman when a couple months ago I still swore it would never happen was too much and I broke down in tears the last km.

I gave everything I had, and have no regrets. I trained what my mind, body, and life approach allowed and desired each day this year, and thus it was never daunting- it was one of the best years in sport, and a year that taught me so much not just as an athlete but as a person.

Third in 25-29 and 5th female amateur, 18th overall in 10:26. Not shabby.


But if you know me- there's always the desire for more. I missed the Kona slot, and I want Kona.

So Vineman 2016 it is. And the goal is to win Worlds a third time.

2016- I'm a triathlete again and I'm placing no limits.







Monday, November 2, 2015

2015 In a Nutshell

It seems silly at this point with instagram, Facebook, twitter, snapchat, and whatever other social media tools we use, to write paragraphs on what those snip bits covered on an almost daily basis.

But, at the port-a-potty line of 70.3 Cabo last Sunday, a woman I'd never met came up and introduced herself asking if I was Tatiana as she loves to read my blog and is very happy I'm back racing and involved in the sport. WOW! That made me blush and it was so cool to have that kind of reach and appreciation from people you may run into once in your life or maybe not at all.

Triathlon, and sport in general, connects us like that- and it's special. We can all inspire and motivate people when we don't even realize it.

Deep talk aside, I'd like to note for years ahead when I read back at 2015, that I am incredibly thankful for what life has given me these past months!

After accepting the Austria Worlds 70.3 slot at Galveston, I enjoyed an amazing two weeks in Spain that were a welcome change to every other kind of vacation/travel I'd ever been on. I met some wonderful people and experienced things that I thought only exist in movies.

After that escapade, I was back in Cabo hosting our SMASH/DIMOND camp. It went really well, and only cut short due to a tease from Hurricane Blanca, that luckily just caused some rain and power outages...but led to me fleeing Cabo early for the summer.

Back in Texas, I jumped into Lubbock 70.3 to get my butt into gear for Austria training and then followed my good friend and teammate, Dawn Elder ("Kona Dawn"), to a month long training camp in Tucson.

I LOVE TUCSON! We had a ball- and the camp resulted in another fabulous friendship with Lauren Palmer, who I'm sure I'll battle out the 25-29 in Kona next year if the cards line up for us;)! Some other HPB/Smash athletes joined us for some random training days, and I left for Europe feeling fit and in love with triathlon all over again.


Europe can't even be summed up here. Austria is the most beautiful country on Earth. The training at Hotel Mohrenwirt was absolutely perfect. I've never been to or seen such picturesque and ideal training grounds for triathlon, and road or mountain biking.

After 3 weeks alone in Fuschl Am See, my brother and mom joined and we headed to Zell Am See for Worlds.

The race went as best as it could've. I swam and biked my heart out, and may or may not have paid for it on the run but that was the plan- just GO FOR IT. Im happy to see cycling finally clicking- just need to run like I used to with that new bike rhythm.

After Europe I touched down in Texas and raced TriRock Austin which is always a blast! Then it was off to Chicago for Short Course Worlds. Chicago itself I'm enamored with. What a cool city! I hope to return to enjoy it as a pure tourist soon. I had some issues in that race- just felt flat on the run, and a fiasco in T1 with running in bike shoes through literally wet mud puddles resulting in minutes trying to clip into my speedplay pedals.

To end the year, I had the intention of racing Ironman Cabo and again joined Dawn for her final long Kona workouts in Texas.

However, when I returned to Cabo at the start of October I realized Ironman felt daunting. The heat those first two weeks was unlike anything I'd ever experienced. Also, and in hindsight it's even clearer, I was unplugged after that whole summer of training, racing, and traveling. So I opted for the 70.3

That half was important to me as I have a lot of people that look up to me here in Cabo, and I needed to perform to give back in effort what this place and the community means to me.

I probably rolled over the last staple-thing before the turn to the manicured airport toll road at around mile 30 of the bike. I was leading the age group race by 10+ minutes and after standing around for a miracle pit stop from a mechanic or anyone that would loan me a spare wheel, I called it and went on to cheer for my brother, Daniel. He ended up winning overall amateur in his first 70.3!

There's no excuse for not carrying a spare but I'll give my reasons- I have no race wheels here. Daniel even forgot my front and I scrambled to find us another wheel from local friends that weren't racing 1 day before bike check in. He even had to use a front clencher and rear tubular.

The disc I flatted I just bought from a friend a few weeks ago and it had a bike shop glued tire that after the race took me 30+ minutes to peel off. I had no pit stop here...and in the end YES I did say "last race, all or nothing, here goes!".


Bitter sweet weekend as a lot of friends, new and old, were in town racing and we hit up some of my favorite spots. Superstar Mel McQuaid decided to stay a couple more days with me and we went with some other triathlete friends to swim with the Whale Sharks!


.......

What that flat caused though, is a fire inside me that I haven't felt since I last raced Hawaii! It made me so angry that I couldn't put all that hard work to use and showcase it in front of my hometown. Naturally, I looked for what race I could do this year- but not just any, one that could have an end purpose and a lot at stake.

Enter IRONMAN COZUMEL. My last Ironman in 2011, my first race as a Pro, and in my country. BAM! Unfinished business is an understatement.

This last week ramping up the mileage and planning the training showed me that I needed that recovery/taper week leading into Cabo 70.3, that I was EXHAUSTED beyond measure and I couldn't even sense it myself!

Right now I am a mix of awesome emotions- I'm pissed, motivated, ecstatic, hungry, ambitious....I want to go to Cozumel and absolutely race my heart and body out. I want to cross that finish line with nothing left- nothing but a deep exhalation of what an amazing year Ive had and how fortunate I am to be surrounded by wonderful family, friends, and supporters.

Training and racing aside, things in the sport development realm in Cabo are going fabulous! We have a new government in place and investors/local business keen on attracting sports tourism and brining in the infrastructure needed to make Los Cabos an athlete's paradise. I won't share more until things are clearly defined, and honestly because there's too much to share I could probably write a book!;)

Keep an eye out.

Cheers.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Galveston 70.3

In 2013, I "raced" Galveston after barely surviving Qt2 Pro Camp, and months of underlying fatigue that just wouldn't go away. Only now that I'm healthy do I realize how grey that cloud was that loomed over me. There was almost complete apathy toward being there and taking one more step- I felt bloated and stone legged, annoyed, and just wanting to move on from the world of swim, bike, and run. The back pain lasted for days after, and it wasn't long before I called my coach at the time, Jesse, and said I'm done racing.

In the last 2 years I've discovered that the general health issues had to do with my body's ability to process folic acid, and its need for bio active folate...which I talked about at length in another post. I also did find balance in my life, and got a life ;) haha. As well, maybe it was just giving time, time, but I learned to manage my back pain and spent many of what felt like stupid minutes a day doing tiny exercises/stretches that have accumulated to nothing short of a miracle.

I don't for once take my health for granted, so I know that the back pain is a part of me as an athlete and the spondy as a condition is a part of me as a person in whatever activity or lack thereof I partake in.  So I can only continue the diligence when it comes to this bodily maintenance.

Onto the race...

I arrived in Texas on Wednesday night, got a great night's sleep, and was eagerly at the pool at 6am on Thursday. Everything was going perfect until 11am when a sudden urge to puke my brains out hit and didn't stop until 5pm that I was letting out vile and coiling in screams at the stomach pain. Realizing I couldn't even keep down 2oz of water, and my mom said I looked like death, we headed to Urgent Care. I passed out in the car over. Two IV bags and a triple dose of anti nausea medicine later, and life looked promising again.

The doctor said it was a virus, so not food poisoning, and that if I wanted to race I just had to get as much fluid and hopefully solid food in by Sunday morning (race day).

Cool.

Saturday evening in Galveston was my first real meal aside from boiled potatoes, fruit cups, and bananas. I even felt good enough to have a glass of white wine.

The mistake was made on Sunday morning when I should've been preemptive and downed some electrolyte tabs, or drank a bottle of sports drink with Base salt.

The race----
Swim: I lined up front center, and ended up swimming 99% of the course on Alicia's feet ahead of the whole group, minus one girl that was farther ahead of us. It felt cruisey and the only bummer was having to navigate hundreds of slower age group men from prior waves. I did cramp 3 times on my right calf in the swim and still didn't take the hint to load up on extra salt on the bike!

I lost Alicia through a crowd of those men right before the last turn bouey toward the ramp.

Onto the bike I felt awesome. The Dimond is just ridiculous, that's all I need to say. I opted for a disc in the most perfect flat conditions. I passed Alicia a few miles into it, and then she caught back up with about 10miles to go.

I ended up coming into T1 only about a min ahead. I knew she ran well since she trains with my friend Sam Mazer, and so I just hoped I could run strong and even if she did end up ahead by a couple minutes she had her Worlds slot so I'd be good and have had a breakthrough race.

Looking at my watch if I ran 1:35 I'd be finishing right at 4:35-:4:40 so possibly a 70.3 PR (Vineman 4:39)...I was stoked!!!

Then it happened. Roughly 2 miles in, the quads started to cramp. I stared grabbing bananas, gatorade, and coke at every aid station like I was at an eating contest vs a triathlon. Too late. It was very humid, but I train in heat and I do well in humidity, and have never ever cramped in a race- EVER.

By the middle of the first lap I was about to hand my chip in and call it a day. The pain was ridiculous. Every step felt like my legs were going to buckle and I was jogging at a frustrating pace. It sucks when you feel great but your legs are worthless!

At the middle of the second loop I actually laid down for about 10min and had a massage on my legs to try and get the cramps out enough to just finish.

Devastatingly enough, I got passed with about 3/4mi to go by the girl that got second, and thankfully managed to hang on and finish because the slot rolled down to me for Austria.

Some things are just out of your control, but I do feel a bit of anger at myself for not having the light bulb go off and load up to prevent the cramps. It was such an obvious possibility that I dropped the ball. But, you learn.

That said, I am thrilled that I PR'd the bike with a 2:22 and had almost ZERO back discomfort. Knowing that with even a decent run I might've PR'd for a 70.3, motivates me like heck to put my head down and drill the training for Austria and Chicago.

You never know what will happen on race day but I'm in it to win it so after a couple weeks break, I'll be back to work;)!!