Life: A Race Report

So.

I raced Napa Valley sprint and won. And Morgan Hill and it hailed. And then Alcatraz this past weekend.

This picture kind of sums up that race:

I actually dove off the boat. Yay me! And then I was swimming, swimming as hard as I could to stay with who I thought was Charisa, but she just slid away from me. Fuck. I think I said a bunch of other swear words in my head. My arms were killing me and I couldn’t figure out why I was swimming so shit. My whole race was already over. I suck, I suck, I suck. Oh, look, there’s another pro girl! Maybe I don’t suck!

The other girl started heading too wide and the current was so strong I didn’t want to get swept past the beach. So, I watched her go and swam straight. I was pretty proud of myself for actually making a decision instead of just following the pro girls around like a scared lemming. She swam way to the right and came back and we got out of the water around the same time. AND, we did it under 30 minutes! Not too bad for me.

I did some ‘shit where is my bag,’ ‘shit I can’t get my wetsuit off,’ hopping around and then ran what felt like the longest transition run ever.

When Charisa caught me not even two miles into the bike, I was determined to stay with her. Determined. It worked. For like 100 feet. She did end up having an amazing race, so I guess that just wasn’t happening.

I kept pushing the bike and I knew I was having a good race, because I made it all the way to the Cliff House before seeing the first guy headed back. And I got all the way to Golden Gate Park and never saw any of the women on the way back. I’ve never been able to do that before!

There was some stupid stuff — braking on turns when I didn’t need to, not drinking enough, dicking around too long trying to open a pack of chews — but it was a pretty good ride.

I headed out on the run just 3-4 minutes out of the group of girls that were 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th. But, I got into my head then. There’s no way I’m going to run the same speed as them, much less 3-4 minutes faster. I just need to have a nice solid run. Just don’t blow up. And that was ok for a little while. But, obviously, you have that kind of attitude and you don’t last real long.

This was when I looked good:

I made it almost to the top of the stairs before seeing Andy Potts (or really hearing him) headed back. I pushed the downhill hard. And then we got to the sand. I came to almost a stop. They wouldn’t let us run down to the water’s edge; we had to run in the deep sand. It turns out my running form is not conducive to running in deep sand — and by that I mean because my run form sucks. I drag my feet a ton, I don’t pick them up, I don’t take big enough strides, my ankles and knees collapse in. It got ugly. Every time I looked up the turnaround wasn’t any closer.

At the top of the sand ladder, a girl passed me. I hung with her. I passed her back on the downhill and tried to make it stick. We hit the single track trail, though, and it was a solid line of people. That picture above — imagine it just filled with people running up. I was running behind two guys, there was no where to go, no way to go any faster, and it was fast enough. On the stairs down, the girl passed me back; she did some crazy weaving, jumped in front of someone, down a bunch of steps, in between people and was gone.

For 10 seconds when we hit the bottom, I tried to catch back up, then I just wanted to lay down and go to sleep. My arms hurt so much, they just hung there. I realized I was NOT running fast – not sure when that happened. Why wasn’t I done yet? I suck.

Another girl passed me with half a mile to go. I watched her go. I don’t care much when amateurs pass me in a race. Probably a bad attitude, but I figure they started behind me, so even if I pass them back, they still win. Either they’re really good or I’m really sucking, so nothing to do about it now. (My attitude needs work.)

With 400 meters to go, another girl passed me. I even swore out loud. I thought I might cry. I had nothing. How did the race fall apart in the last mile?

Then, I realized she was a pro. I wasn’t in last. I didn’t suck. I couldn’t let this go by. I couldn’t. I had to fight for it.

I started sprinting. She started sprinting. It looked like this:

Then, like this:

I ended up 12th pro. I was 12th last year too — but this year’s 12th was a lot better race actually. It was a big improvement over last year and the year before that. But, not as big an improvement as it should be.

And, then it was my birthday.

Oh, and Steve and I got engaged.

Busy life.

10 thoughts on “Life: A Race Report

  1. Hey, I am kinda new to your blog. New as in I never commented before, but you haven’t blogged in like 6 years. 🙂 I don’t even remember where I picked your blog up from. Obviously a comment somewhere. I remember seeing something about you lacking confidence. That is the stuff I like. I mean as an outsider… me… looking in, I would think you should have all the confidence in the world.

    Oh well, just letting you know. That end looked painful.

    Good luck. 🙂

  2. Busy indeed. Great that you sprinted the finish – I like the first photo because you can see the other girl bent over miserable along with you rolling on the ground. nice. also, you don’t suck.

  3. I cheered you on the bike course but you were bombing down a hill and focusing on that. Rightly so. You looked great!

    Way to kick it at the end – sprinting when you’re spent is amazing.

    Happy belated birthday and CONGRATS to you and Steve! So happy for you.

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