Hi friends! How was everyone’s weekends?? I hope you spent a lot of it swimming, biking, and running! Remember how I told you last week I was really nervous for the Solana Beach Duathlon? Well turns out it wasn’t so bad and I’m so happy cause it’s been forever since I’ve done a race, let alone a race recap!Let’s rewind to Saturday night and the foods that attributed to Sunday’s race day success. Anthony and I went out for Italian food with a couple of our friends. Decided to play it safe and stick with pizza with sausage and bell peppers. Not pictured: the three loaves of complementary bread they brought to our table. I definitely accomplished all of my carbo-loading goals. Normally I wouldn’t eat dessert the night before a race but a trip to Hammond’s for ice cream flights was too good to pass up. Plus, everyone knows ice cream and donuts are my biggest weaknesses so it’s really everyone else’s fault for suggesting it. Not my lack of self control or anything… Four flight flavors were: birthday cake, blueberry cheesecake, cinnamon swirl, and butter pecan. Two of my friends got PB Oreo and I’m still kicking myself for not adding that flavor to my ice cream flight. Boom. Race day. I was kind of freaking out about the bike portion of the race since I’m still not very good at shifting on my TT bike and don’t even get me started on how much I struggle with making right hand turns. A bunch of my friends and teammates have done this race before so as I was racking up my bike, they gave me a course overview and told me what to expect for the turns and where to pick up speed on the run. I headed to the start for the duathlon and for the first time in my 4 years of racing, the race did not start on time! We were set to start at 6:50am but because the street patrols were late, we started almost at 7am. There is a first time for everything. One of my girlfriends who lives in Solana Beach texted me the night before telling me she was going to come watch me race! She is the reason I am on Breakaway Training (her bf is one of the coaches and a pro triathlete), my advisor at UCSD, and since I’ve graduated, one of my sweetest and most supportive friends. I didn’t expect to see her until the finish line but there she was, waiting at the start of the duathlon before I even got to the start. Now that is friendship! After catching up with Kristen for sometime at the start, we were off! Since we started the race late, I felt like I lost some of my warm-up and the first quarter of a mile of the duathlon mile run did not feel so great. My hat was falling off, my quads were tight, and oh yeah, did you know San Diego gets humid nowadays?! Then somehow, half way through, my body decided to wake up, remembered it was in a race, and I finished the first mile with a 6:24 min/mile. Note to self: take out your sunglasses before the transition, not during. Spent a little more time in struggle city than I would like getting my bike, helmet, shoes, and sunglasses on before heading out to the mounting area to start the bike leg! The goal of the bike part was just to build confidence. My coach and I talked about pushing the run beyond my comfort zone but staying safe when it came to the bike. That meant getting passed A LOT but also building my confidence in racing on a bike again! After two scenic loops from Solana to Encinitas along the 101 highway, I finished the 9 mile bike leg in 33 minutes and it was time to bring it home with the final 5K!The second transition to the run was a lot smoother than the first. By the time I started the 5K, the humidity had really started to set in but the overcast made a world of difference. For all of you that know me (or follow my blog), heat and I are mortal enemies (this is going to make my triathlon in 2 weeks super fun). I would take humidity and overcast over humidity and heat any day. I know, I’m the worst Floridian ever. One thing I started to do more during hard runs and races is looking at my pace on my Garmin. I don’t know why I didn’t do it before but it has helped me make huge improvements in my training when I know there are certain numbers I want to hit. I told myself I was not allowed to go over 7:30 minute miles during the 5K and finished the last duathlon leg in 22:18. My cheering squad at races just got even better with a puppy to greet me at the end! Elle’s first race and I think she’s going to like this sport considering every triathlete brought their dog to the race. Finished in 1:05:08, which is a 5 minute PR from my last (and first) duathlon in October. Once I start making improvements in my cycling, I think duathlons and I can become great friends! Just some of the coolest coworkers ever at the race. Both Carlos and Jason did the triathlon and braved the open water ocean swim that I had zero interest in. Finished 8th female overall and 1st in my age group. I promise there was another girl in my age group but I guess she didn’t want to stick around for the awards? I have some of the best friends and support systems in this sport! Ever since I joined Breakaway Training, I constantly have friends who challenge me and make me a better athlete everyday. Not to mention friends like Jason and Kristen who give the best pre and post-race pep talks. Can’t imagine what I would do without this community.
Thank you Breakaway Training, Coach Felipe, and all of my orange family teammates! It was awesome to hear people cheering and yelling your name, high-fiving people on the 2 loop run course, and wishing each other luck once you saw them on the course. Special thanks to Jon for his thumbs up when I felt like my legs were going to fall off in the last loop of the run. I think it’s safe to say the dogs had a great time at this race too. And of course, the perfect recovery involves a huge chocolate donut.