So, the race is over and now I can take the time to blog about the trip and of course the race itself.
Thursday afternoon we got into Ixtapa, I stayed the first night with Paty Cebrian, one of the race directors and head of the Mexico City triathlon federation. She was kind enough to let me stay as her husband didn't arrive until Friday :)
I got great sleep, the traveling can really knock one out for sure.
Friday morning I was up at 6, did an easy 30min jog, the grabbed some fruit and coffee and headed for a 1hr ride along the course. After some lunch I got into the ocean for a 30min swim, and thankfully I brought and extra pair of goggles because going in and out of the waves after my swim eventually landed me in the mercy of mother nature and I spun and spun caught in the middle of the wave, goggles gone, bathing suite half pulled down, haha...priceless.
After that I put my stuff together to move hotels...this ended up being a bit of a logistical nightmare. I was supposed to stay at a nearby hotel with the other girls from the Mexican team, but after seeing the cramped conditions (4 girls to a room), the slighlty less comfortable accomodations, and little air conditioning in the new hotel,my pickiness and realization of how relaxed I like to be pre-race led me to beg my mom for help. So she pulled a rabbit of the hat, and one of her friends that works at an awesome line of hotels, got me a 2 night stay at the Hotel Las Brisas, about 2-3min up the road. OMG I was about to cry I was so happy. This hotel is AMAZING!!!! I slept like a baby for 9.5 full hours, especially after the 3 moves with all the luggage, and the 6 taxi trips haha. We had the pro meeting at 5pm and then picked up our packet after so yea I was dead when I finally layed down to sleep.
The race- Well, I found out at the pro meeting that there was going to be $8,000 on the line for first place...rolling down to $480 for 5th. HOLY SHIT! SWEET!!! But, ok, no expectations at all and even coming in top 10 would be amazing, after all this is not only my first ITU, but the swim, so vital to draft-legal racing, is my biggest challenge. Nonetheless, no negative thoughts, I was going to give it everything and mentally race for the win.
The elites had a later start, we racked our bikes at 9:30, and then walked over to the swim start. I did a short swim warm up and then we were off at 10:30....
Swim- great start, I was right there with all the girls (15 of us racing). The first boey was at 250m and right before maybe at 200m, I went from the front/middle of the pack, to suddenly not in the pack. I can't explain it. WTF???? So I looked behind and one girl was right there with me. I slowed and let her get ahead to use her. After all, I didn't want to be responsible for the navigation, nor did I want to pull her the rest of the way. It was 2 loops of 750m each. Our navigation without the pack was more than terrible. Twice we stopped to look around, and the boeys were near impossible to spot, the boats being with the lead pack had no consideration in telling us where to go, haha, understandable. So needless to say, we came out of the water in just under 30min!!!!!!! OMG!!! crap. I pulled ahead of her the last 300m, so exited just ahead. There was a 1-1.5km run from the beach to T1, along the shore, through the hotel pool, lobby, parking lot, and finally across the street to T1.
Transition went by super smooth. I got on the bike and immediately rode as easy as I could waiting for the girl behind, she was from USA. As soon as she came I told her we needed to work toegether and try to put as much time into the girls in front. We did our best but the front pack was working just as hard and kept a steady pace.
Into T2, the heat was on. I loved this weather, this is perfect!!! It made Hawaii and Texas seem as dry as the desert, and as frigid as Canada :)
Run- not going to pretend, I was HURTING. It was 4 laps and half way through the first my body was screaming at me to just lay down on the side of the road. To finish the race completed my day. I pushed metnally more than ever before and that's all I can ask for.
Aftermath....I have no clue what my time was or where I placed. I think 1 or 2 girls DNF'd. But I came out of this race with an incredible appreciation for ITU racing. This is true athleticism. I love it and I'm so glad I decided to take on short course racing and that Ahmed belived in me enough to gear me in that direction. My swim will come along, it will take meters and meters of practice to gain the speed, strenght and endurance, patience and hard work period. No excuses, there have been a number of girls without swimming backgrounds that have succeeded in triathlon at the elite level.
Now it's time to chill by the pool and get some good rest. I ate one of the best meals after!! I came back to the hotel and went to the restaurant down by the pool and had a whole snapper on the grill with rice, guacamole, salsa, and a ceviche of shrimp and octopus YUMMMMMMMMMM :)
Well, back to Dallas tomorrow afternoon.