Finally, a bit of the break through that I have been waiting for!
I am very excited to announce that I finished 7th in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon this past weekend. With that finish, also came the 4th fastest run split on the day.
After the crash in Madrid and after the pre-race meeting on Saturday afternoon, I decided that although a top 10 was a great goal that I would be very pleased with a solid race. I had a lot of incredible company out there on the race course with me and having never seen and only heard about it, I really thought perhaps having no expectations was the way to go.
As we hung off the side of the boat waiting on the start, I could not help by laugh. What had I signed on for? A mile and a half across the bay, no buoys to sight and just a general "direction" to swim, it was perhaps the biggest "adventure" of a triathlon I had ever embarked on.
The swim was crazy. The horn blew and I dove off the edge of the boat and just started following the "lead boat". I got away well but then started to feel the massive chop tossing me side to side. Thinking I had fallen really far back I was happy when I saw two other pink caps and decided to swim with them. It turns out that we were actually swimming in 6-7-8th and came out of the water that way. Although, we had lost a good minute on the leaders.
Heading off on the bike I thought my legs would come around, but I never really got comfortable. I tried to just focus on every moment and to push as hard as I could ever step of the way, but I just never found my groove. The hills probably didn't help as they really made it hard to find any kind of a rhythm. Dismounting, I had no idea what to expect of the run.
I'd heard about and seen You Tube videos of the sand ladder, but I had never actually seen it, so I had no idea what I was in for. The only advice I got was to walk it. About 800 meters out of transition, I tucked myself in behind a guy and let him drag me through the first 2 miles. It was awesome. I felt light on my feet and was running hard but not beyond my capacity. With every step I was leaving other competitors behind and closing in on others in front of me. I survived the multiple sets of stairs, the tunnel, the beach and the sand ladder to have an incredible finish that I am so very proud of.
It is the carrot that I need because it really proves that all of this hard work, all of the sacrifices and all of the signs before that things were coming together are totally worth it. I'm going to tuck this one into my back pocket and keep it because I have not had that feeling crossing the line in a long time and I really enjoyed it!
So, a HUGE thank you to all of my sponsors and to everyone who helped me get to San Fran for this race. A big thank you to IMG for sponsoring my entry and hotel and a thank you to all of the women who were out there with me and who helped push me to achieve such a great result. It really was what racing is all about and such a victory for me on a personal level.