Surprise! I got to race today :) Having watched this race two years ago, I was really bumming about just sidelining it again. That would be the third race this year where I would be playing cheerleader- so over that.
Yesterday I rolled out early with my coach to ride through camp Pendelton and halfway to San Clemente and back, for 3.5hrs- a moderate ride finishing up 3 weeks of some solid, injury free training! I had to be back early to take my brother to the shop and get his race wheels on, drop his bike off at packet pick up, etc. It was a great ride where my knee was once again super cooperative and I casually mentioned to KP "hey, wouldn't it be cool if I could race and just finish this block off with some speedwork of whatever I can muster right now?" When he said, "yea not such a bad idea if you really feel your knee wouldn't be setback", I immediately began plotting....hehehehe. Long story short, I was lucky enough to get my chance to race :D
The day played out great. My brother and I arrived with just enough time to set up, and get in a 10min w/up swim. I would normally jog for warm up but the less I pound on that knee before a race, the better.
The swim was pretty good. I stuck where I wanted to be until the third boey and then
"bye-bye fast swimmer people" (or just those that can suck it up more in the water). Got out not last, thankfully. The bike actually felt pretty good. By the time we climbed up and began the looped section, which is really cool by the way, I let the reigns go a bit and pushed as I knew the knee was not going to be giving me problems on the bike :)!!
The run went awesome, I felt good. Legs were heavy as expected, but I ticked off the first two miles in low 13. All went good until mile 4 where my knee started to hint that it was getting pissed, but nonetheless I finished just fine.
OMG I am so so so happy to have finished a race feeling strong. What a perfect end to the week(s).
I raced pro wave and came in 5th (out of 6, ha). But who cares, this was an awesome race for me with what I've accumulated since Honu. Why did I race pro if I would have won my age group by a large margin (as some people love to inquire)?
1) I'm trying to go pro. 2) I look forward to more challenging competition. 3) There's nothing that I need more than to get my a** kicked into gear 4) I have years to see my peak and one of the best pieces of advice I got from Gordo in AZ was to give myself the opportunity to race the best, get crushed, and learn to be humbled.
I think the greatest difference between age groupers and pros, which has still been one of my problems this year (as my inpatience leading to injury proves), is that you cannot possibly peak/feel stellar/expect to win at every race. An athlete whose advice I highly value once told me that at least once I should know what it's like to be decreased to a walk on the run and have practucally the entire field pass you, because only then will you get rid of the stupid pride that you always have to be shining like a freakin star.
Pros know who they are, what they have done, and are capable of, and go into the majority of races not in optimal form, but willing to compete with every ounce of effort. It'd be lovely to taper for every event to be 'oh so cool', but that teaches us nothing about what we're capable of enduring.
I am thankful beyond words for Honu and every other race between now and October that will serve no purpose other than to allow me to do what I love more than anything else which is racing, and get me faster for the one and ONLY AAAAA race- KONA.