Friday, March 23, 2012

Rev 3 Costa Rica Race Report

So, so happy! I would be lying if I said I was not nervous for this race.  I was going into this race with the most fitness I have had since being hospitalized for the first time in July of 2010.  It wasn't like last years events to just show up and cross a line. I had goals, I had a plan, and I was anxious to see where I was at. I am looking at this year as my real "rookie pro" season.

3:20am wake up call and the six of us were out the door by 4am.  No need for any long sleeve attire here as the temps were already mid-70's. The TYR carbon kit was all I needed. We headed down our back-wheelin' hill and arrived at Playa Conchala with the sounds of wildlife in the near distance.

For starters, this race taught me a lot, gave me a lot to practice, to learn and a new prospective on racing.

The swim was a beach start.  It felt great to be back in the TYR Sayanora that has been tucked away for so long. I knew this field was stacked but looking back realized that it was my open water skills that held me back.  This was a great learning experience.  To be stacked up against these phenomenal athletes (not to mention how fast these girls are in the water) and see where I fell back.  From the initial contact with the water I was a body length back. I made it up and was with the huge lead pack (8 of 12). Around the first buoy I had to play catch up again, then the second buoy the same thing happened (didn't learn the first time!). I found myself swimming just off the lead group.  Coming in from the first loop I went to stand up and was swept back into the ocean, literally, had to start swimming again to get back to shore. It made me laugh and was even more pathetic that all the half ironman racers were there to witness my little "yelp".  I was now going to be leading the second pack the second loop.  I came out of the water 8th, not what I am used too, but realizing that this Olympic distance racing is no joke.  Immediately two girls passed while running on the sandy beaches to mount our bikes.

 (Finishing the second loop. Know this because I am not being swept back into the Ocean as the previous loop.)

The bike ride was two loops with big climbs to and from transition.  This was my first race and third bike ride on the new Specialized Shiv. I am in pure LOVE with this bike.  I have also learned to love to climb now.  Before, (meaning before my training hiatus) I was solid at the flats and at a high cadence, things have changed a bit and I am needing to find the balance between using my strength (low cadence) and being able to keep a high cadence, I prefer above 90.  This is where I have work to do and will do a smaller race here locally in order to just focus on racing with a high cadence again. I passed a girl on a climb and the first loop (there are lots of out and backs) was able to keep an equal distance on all of them, with the lead group of riders making a couple minute gains.  The second loop was a different story.  As I was maintaining the same watts but was getting passed.  I think it was a combination of them speeding up and me not being very efficient and grinding on my gears.  The things I know, yet, need to learn to apply again.  My effort though was beyond where I thought I was capable with my watts nearly 50 higher than the last Olympic I did back on September of 2011. And my HR was exactly where I thought it would be so overall, outside of bike handling I know I gave it my all on that day.
(Seriously THE BEST photo I have ever seen! Bree dodging cows! Her laugh, the humor, and really what describes and defines this whole trip is captured here.)

I started the two loop run course in 12th and had felt so great on this run a few days prior.  My legs just didn't want to go. I am a firm believer that your bike sets you up for a solid run and knowing now how low of a cadence I maintained this run is of no surprise. Each loop consists of approximately 1.5 miles of beach running, soft, but not quicksand soft. Then a little out and back trail through Brasilito and then up, up, up the road and through the golf course, then a nice downhill through transition and repeat.  By the start of the second loop I was chilled and a bit nauseous. The heat? More fluid? Not sure, but it was a battle of my mind and body. The locals were more than generous with their sponges, literally chasing us down and keeping us cool, at least for a few minutes.  It was the most refreshing feeling when they soaked us. Heart stopping, bone chilling, refreshness.  With Erin hot on my heels I decided to run as strong as I was able until she caught me (great mental thoughts, right?!).  But the miles kept ticking and I was not hearing her footsteps, so I had to keep going strong.  The last .25 miles (the course was 6.5) are the real quicksand super soft beach running, I should have been down on Alki practicing.   Thank you for pushing me to the finish line and for sharing an ice bath!!

I am excited that this season has finally started.  TYR has stood by me for years on end now and I can not thank them enough for the speedy swim attire, the stay-cool-and-look-cool-kit, the goggles that make the buoys so visible and the love from the TYR family. To Gerks for keeping the Specialized Shiv dialed in and ready to go at all times. To Cyclops for keeping me honest in my training and helping me "see" fitness gains. To Powerbar for the tasty fuel that keeps my engine running. To Zoot for the amazing shoes that feel so wonderful to slip into before hitting the pavement. Rudy Project for keeping the sun out of my eyes and my head safe.
And to my coach whom I laughed at when he told me the watts I was capable of when we first started working together. Thanks for getting the most out of me with my training limitations.

To the Rev 3 crew.  Your friendliness, your generosity, your kindness are what truly set you apart from any other race.  These are characteristics that can not be "learned" but are ingrained in each of you. Myself and the TNM crew that witnessed your top-notch assistance in everything this past week have nothing but praise to say about you and your events.  Thank you so much for all you do!

And lastly, my friends, teammates, family and husband. You each continue to inspire and amaze me day in and day out.  You help me be a better person, coach and athlete.

Until next year Costa Rica, you will be missed!


rr said...

Congratulations TN! Way to kick off the rookie pro year... :) See you at Honu?

Steve said...

awwwww, I love TN. :)

Best wishes always. :) xoxo

Elizabeth said...

Congratulations, T! So proud of my coach, friend and mentor! :D Can't wait to see your progress this season, and to get stronger on the runs with you!! XOXO

Jill said...

Congrats, T! I know the season will only get better for you... I look forward to seeing continue on your road!

Marc (Purple Teeth) said...

Nice job. Congrats!

Kim said...

Great post! So proud of you Teresa!!

Libby said...

oh so awesome girl! congrats and excited to see you kick off the rookie pro year right. so proud of you for overcoming so much to get to this point and it only gets better from here!!!

Christie said...

What a great way to start off the year!! You are such a positive and great person to look up to! :)