Lifesport swim clinic on the beach.... giving out some of our secrets!
It is now Wednesday.... but I am still on Saturday. Since then, every day has felt like waking up from a wonderful dream. Savouring the memories from saturday has not been very hard as everything going on around me takes me back to the beginning of the week-end. –Congratulations on your run Mags-.....-thanks for bringing it up, want to hear more about it??!!- I don’t want to brag but I will re-live that race whenever I can! Hahaha.
It was Christmas morning on Saturday and I got to unwrap all my presents. How often does Santa give you MORE than you have wished for? I remember Lance a’ Clause asking me for my list at the beginning of the year...-what were my expectations in terms of performance- he asked. We had just started working together and I didn’t want him to think I was crazy.... I blushed and said that I would like to have a podium and some top fives in 70.3s ...and finish in the top 10 at worlds in Clearwater. At the time, that sounded like a VERY ambitious plan to me and just thinking about achieving that is what got me all excited an kept me pushing hard through training.
I knew the result at this race would be a surprise, I just hoped and prayed it would be a good one: I have to admit that I landed in Florida with both my escorts: The angel and the demon. As I sat on the bench at the airport pick-up zone for two hours and a half (hahahah, long story), the angel started reminding me of all the good work I had done in the last three weeks, took me back to moments at the pool where I got MAD at Lance for the first time, hitting my fist into the water at my first stroke as I had just finished a very hard set just to find him asking for more... The fastest had to be the last...at the end of a 1h hard practice? Insane....but correct, I got out of the pool that day with a smile! I wasn’t going to forget that –induced- personal victory.
In other moments of reflection, the Devil brought back the fight with the Flu that Amanda and I had two weeks earlier. That deep coughing between intervals....and all that sleeeep! Kind of scary before the world championships, not so nice of the devil to like to bring it up before the race.
Other times, I smiled, thinking about how it had felt to race in Boise, Vancouver and Calgary, where I had felt good, and tried not to think of tired Muskoka and Georgia. Races where it never got going and I was starting to wonder if I had raced too much for a first big season. Oh...and there was also that bike crash at the beginning of the taper that did not make me all so confident when it got on my mind. Early in the trip, it seemed like it would be an emotional yoyo game all the way to the start line! But when I got into the condo in Florida and found all my old habbits, it all came together.I chose my side. I was going to chase opportunity and felt so happy.
THE BIG DAY
I love how Saturday started in the dark. The night before Christmas, you never get that much sleep... I was up early (4:30) and soon laughing in the car with mom on the way to the adventure. Where were the nerves? I was just excited and focused on the task, just where I wanted to be. Before the start, it was a mix of darkness and bright lights, the set of a party. I made it to the swim start on time for a good warm up...sighted my buddies, got a nice pep talk with Justin, a huge hug from Amanda and her usual big smile, there was also mom running all over the place looking after some of my things. And where was Lance? Found him lined up in the croud, calm and reassuring. There was something magic and extremely comforting about him. He always is. So glad to have had him there.
After a good swim warm up and I felt on task, I had just put on my new TYR Hurricane Cat 5 wetsuit and was trying it on for the first time. It was feeling FANTASTIC! We lined up in the bay on the new swim course they had changed the day before. Adding a bit of mystery to the adventure to come. There we were again, lined up at dusk....ready to make things happen, looking ahead into the rising sun. Oh and...may I ask who got the DJ? My favourite music was playing just before the start. This one had to be special.
So there we were, lined up at the buoys, nervous laughs all around, a delayed start, more nervous laughs... and then the gun!!! Girls pounding on my right side, pounding on my left side. A Big kick in the eye, emptying my goggles, catching the chase pack again. A couple of sightings to the lead pack, head back down to push. A nice, somewhat cruising swim, in a pack, getting kicked once in a while but also enjoying a nice constant rythm and an amazing feeling of efficiency that came from all of the good work done with Lance. Out the ramp to transition. At that point, I was proud of my swim effort and focus but still didn’t know anything about my ranking out of the water...
Aim for the Pirate ship on the way out!
Out of transition and on to MY NEW BLUE TRIAD!!! the war weapon!!!! My sponsor spoiled me with a sub 9 AND a 1080 for that ride...first time racing on those too...just flowing, feeling amazing. I had been nervous about the 1080 in the wind but Lance was right. Good choice!
I felt powerful as I chased Michellie Jones down the road at the start of the bike, I passed her at maybe 5 k into the bike , but she didn’t seem like the kind of girl that would let anyone get away. The bike ride was just about staying steady, at a good effort, but still keeping some for the run. I knew this race would be won on the run as the bike was very flat and not so challenging. Jones was strong on the bike, she was going at a good pace and I loved having her there, pushing hard and definitely challenging me. The big surprise of the race was when a HUGE pack of men went by us about a quarter of the way through...it was crazy, it felt just like a bike race for a couple of minutes and I didn’t know what to do! The train went by and it was over. It was the first time I had ever seen a pack like that in a race!...
Now on to the run...the magical part of my race. The run is the true surprise all the time. I never know what to expect. Again, in Victoria, I had some of my best runs ever and was feeling strong but then again...I had also felt that way before Timberman, where I had a disappointing run. SO there again, I had to have faith and hold on! I hoped off my bike and had a quick transition. I then actually had this thought: -Nice! Lance will be proud!!!- (ha!). The started the run OVERPACE. I was excited and feeling like I was going a bit too fast when....Laura Bennett passed me....going even faster (later told me she had recorded a 3:25 for her first K). People started telling me I was eight. I then thought to myself that is was good but didn’t even think about the podium. I just focused on the task and pushed forward. I hung on for a while before remembering my plan to keep some for the last lap. I was going to let her go but keep her in sight. After maybe 7K, I saw that she had slowed down and moved back up. Onto the bridge, I found myself feeling bouncy and great legs, and from there, things just kept on feeling better and better. The effort started feeling easy and girls kept popping up ahead of me....I was sixth, fifth, and the fourth.....the emotion got to me and made me faster and faster, I ran up that bridge so fast with everyone cheering. I felt bad but couldn’t help pumping my fist and celebrating with 3 kilometers to go. Then I got to the mile before the end....with everyone yelling that third was right there....I couldn’t see her..but coach had yelled that she was within seconds. I put my head down and moved into second gear, just as Lance had said. Little did I know, second gear would get me third place just meters before the end of the race!!!!!!!
JUST LIKE A DREAM. I NEVER WANT TO WAKE UP FROM.
I will shortly be putting up a special blog to tell you all about the amazing people that have helped me get to where I am today and that have made Saturday possible for me.
Talk more very soon!
P.S: Anders, we can't find your phone number!