It is hard to believe the 2018 season has come to a close already and what a year it has been. My last two races in Ecuador and the Dominican Republic are probably my two best executed races this year and it was an exciting way to finish the season.
It has been a quite a while since I have posted and a lot has happened in the past couple of months, but more on that later.
Just recently I had the chance to talk to a local high school cross country team about triathlons, my path to the sport, and what it is like to be an elite athlete. I would be lying if I didn’t admit I was absolutely scared senseless. Anyone who knows me knows I hate being the center of attention and speaking in front of a group. Unless I am talking about what I ate over the course of the day, I generally would not talk for 20 minutes straight about myself. Or anything else for that matter.
I have been doing triathlons as a hobby for about 10 years now, but there is so much more I need to learn and experience. I still think of the sport as my hobby, but I know I have to take everything more seriously (for the most part) and treat it like my job as well. These past 2 weeks consisted of a lot of firsts for me.
Since I love going to new countries, I will start off with talking about Cuba. The experience was really cool, even though it was only a 5 day trip. I think we were able to see quite a bit and really experience the Cuban culture. The theme that accurately sums up the trip, was to expect the unexpected. We tried to be as prepared as possible by bringing enough cash with us, scouting out where to buy bottled water and food, but we had to wing it a lot more then we planned. With zero Spanish skills, we learned some pretty creative ways of communicating only through hand gestures and saying 'Si' and 'Gracias' excessively when we understood (and often when we misunderstood too).
Before every race, I have what I like to think of as, a “tried and true” pre-race routine. I’ll be honest, I love routines. I also know I need to be flexible and if part of my routine does not go to plan, I know I can roll with it. But my body and mind know the drill from the second I wake up on race morning and I would say it has served me quite well this season.
My usual pre-race formula goes somewhere along these lines:
Wake up early… very early. First up is coffee, yogurt, and oatmeal with peanut butter (Skippy of course); in that
order. I always travel with my mini rice cooker so I know I can make my oatmeal. They always say to focus on what you can control and not what you can’t; my rice cooker means I can control my breakfast😊
This past Sunday I made my pro debut at the Richmond CAMTRI Continental Cup and I still can’t help but smile when I think about the weekend. It was a great race and an awesome experience. I want more. I have never raced a triathlon in the afternoon and our start time was 1:30. Generally, I wake up at around 5 every morning which meant I would have 8 whole hours to get nervous for this race. Do I eat my regular pre-race breakfast twice? Or do I just eat my pre-race breakfast for lunch instead? At least then it is still “pre-race,” but not so much “breakfast.” Should I do a shake-out run right when I wake up? Or stay off my legs completely? Can I go watch Maddie race and cheer her on? Or is that too much and it might wear me out? Am I thinking about this too much? Yes.