Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Inside the Box






Whew! I guess it's been awhile since I updated this thing... so much has been going on I don't even know where to begin...

A few weeks ago I finished up my first semester volunteering with Boulder County Headstart. I'm so thankful for the group of kids I was given to work with and also the support of the Athletes for Hope and look forward to working with this organization more in the future. In addition, I had the opportunity to help out the running after school program at Columbine Elementary School. The overall purpose of the program was to get the kids outside exercising with a more specific goal of getting them ready so that they could complete the Bolder Boulder 10k which happens annually in Boulder on Memorial Day. I foresee some future Usain Bolts in this group... =)

In addition to racing after speedy kids, I've also been racing some myself. In my last post, I mentioned that I was racing in the Monterrey World Cup, a race that ended up being a disaster for me. The swim portion of this race took place in a narrow canal that was about 4 feet deep and not too wide...not the most ideal setting for a group of 70 people to swim through at once. Needless to say, I felt like I was in a boxing match trying to move into a good position most of the swim and came out of the water feeling pretty spent and just a couple of seconds off of the main pack. I time trialed a couple of laps but was never able to catch them and pretty much blew up the second half of the bike. I'd never competed in a race with a field that big so it was a definitely a good learning experience for me...I'll know what to expect in the future.

Last weekend I competed in another race, a continental cup that was held in Monroe, Washington, just outside of Seattle. Before I recap the race I have to comment that this was just about the most perfect race weather I'd ever seen in all my years of racing...high 60's and partially sunny...pretty much a triathlete's dream! Anyways, the elite women's race started right around noon with a just barely cold enough for wetsuits swim in Lake Tye. I came out of the first lap of the swim right in the middle of the pack and lost a couple of spots on the second lap but still came out in good position, only a couple of seconds off the main group. After a very bad taking off my wetsuit 1st transition, I headed out for the bike, just off the first group. I worked with an Australian girl who exited transition around the same time as me and we quickly worked to reel in a couple more girls to form a pack of 6. About 6 laps into the bike, I was moving up to take a pull when my bike started to fishtail and I almost smacked into some of my group (sorry girls!). I quickly realized I had a flat in my rear tire :( I wasn't sure exactly where the wheel stop was but knew it was probably somewhere near the beginning of the lap. So I rode the rest of the 5k lap on the flat very very slowly and approached the wheel station only to learn that unlike in World Cups, there are no neutral wheels in continental cups. At that point I thought I was done but luckily Chris Tremonte saved me and let me borrow his rear wheel so I could continue on...thanks Chris! I don't think I realized how much time I'd lost at that point so I continued on and time trialed the rest of the bike. When I got to the run, my legs felt pretty heavy and sore but I was able to work into a rhythm and get a good turnover going heading into the finish.

Looking back at my past two races, I thought "What good can I possibly take away from these races??" That's when it dawned on me that I'd had two races without getting any penalties for having my equipment outside of the box in transition. This is something I was penalized for many times at the end of last year/beginning of this year. So, that's where I'm at right now... down, but definitely not out... and still having a blast!

My next race is a continental cup in San Francisco, California, a race I've done twice before. But before that happens, I get to visit some of my favorite family members in the midwest and celebrate the 90th birthday of one of my biggest fans, my grandpa :)

Happy summer everyone! Chug that water and don't forget the sunscreen!