Truth be told, in the days before the race, I was feeling less than sunny. I had not tapered and the three days beforehand were unfortunately more stress-filled than I would have preferred. Rest? Ha. Pre-race nutrition? Ha. Both were completely out the window, including a number of stress induced eating sessions that involved Ben & Jerry's and several large bags of kettle chips. The best laid plans? Well, they oft go astray. A huge mood adjustment was required.
Nonetheless, a sunny Saturday morning lifted my spirits and my sister and I brought my niece Lily down to the race site to participate in the kids fun run. Her very first race!
|Pre-race hydration is critical. Note the contemplative expression - that is one serious game face.|
|Checking out the competition's gear. Are those shoes faster than mine?|
|First race in the bag! Ribbon pinned on by an Olympian, no less!|
|Recovery face painting and nutrition is key. Ice cream contains protein for recovery.|
The kids race was a game changer for me. Instant mood boost. Watching Lily "win" reminded me of the joy in racing. Forget all the excuses and reasons and head games and negative thoughts....the only one holding me back is me! So with Lily in mind, I made it my mission to run with abandon.
My mood was further lifted by an absolutely stunning race morning. It was one of those (unfortunately rare) amazing sunny Vancouver summer days that induces complete June-uary amnesia and makes me swoon over the place I am lucky to call home. The ocean was calm and clear, and there was a beautiful hazy mist over downtown as the sun peeked out.
The gun had not even gone off and I loved racing.
The swim start was particularly nasty, with a running beach start. I got kicked in the face, the right lens of my goggles broke and I did the entire swim with my right eye closed. I was resolute. Nothing was getting in my way.
I transitioned out of T1 in 36 minutes. For me, that is blazing. I had no idea how far back I was, but it was closer than I usually am. Which means one thing....ride like there is no tomorrow.
I won't lie - the next two hours, thirty minutes on the bike was a journey into the pain cave. I worked hard the entire time and kept a smile on my face. It hurt in the best way possible.
|Digging deep at the end.|
It was an incredible day and a huge personal best for me....12 minutes and change faster than last year. And honestly, the time mattered less than how I felt at the finish - it was awesome to feel that I had not let life get the best of me and truly know that I gave it everything I had.
Huge thanks to Speed Theory Vancouver for their unfailing support and for volunteering at the event, to all of the amazing volunteers and organizers, to Coach Bjoern for tough coaching that reaps rewards, and to all my teammates and friends on course and off.
And the biggest thanks of all to Lily, for reminding me to put away my sh*t and run like a kid.