Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Beginning: Sarasota Pan American Cup

So this was my first race of the 2013 season. I came into the race so ready to compete! Because I had a solid winter training block, I felt strong and ready for this early season race.

I came into Sarasota two days before the race and went through my normal pre-race training in preparation for the event. I felt really good on the bike and run, but my swim felt a bit forced and sluggish. In the pre-race meeting, I looked around and saw so many great athletes. This made me a bit nervous, but I was really excited to test my fitness against everyone!

Along with being my first race of the season, it was also my first chance to qualify for a spot to compete in the Under 23 World Championship race in London in September. My goals for the season were to finish top 10 in at least two pan american cup races as well as qualify for U23 Worlds. I knew I had it in me to reach both of my goals at this race. In order to qualify, I had to be the first USA U23 finisher, finish within 5% of the winner's time, AND finish in the top 1/3 of the starting field. 

As the race started, I quickly dove into the water to find myself underneath two girls. I fought with both of them for about 20 strokes before I decided I was just losing more and more time. At that point I chose to forgo the battle and just go around. As I looked up, I saw the whole pack swimming out in front of me. I was crushed. I worked really hard the first half of the lap to get up to some feet. After the first lap, I looked up before I dove back in and saw two distinctly formed packs in front of me. I tried my hardest to reach that second pack, but I still felt flat and the gap was too much for me to bridge. 

Coming out of the water, I had two other girls with me. I had a super fast transition, and was excited to get on the bike to prepare for my run. Early into the bike, we bridged another racer, so we formed a pack of four. We managed to work well together, but not at a pace I was hoping for. That aside, I felt great! I was strong, confident, and relaxed the whole bike. I knew that if I was in a quicker pack, that I would have been able to keep up. My winter biking really paid off.

As I sped through T2, I was really excited to get out onto the run. I hit the first turn around and saw that I easily dropped the girls in my pack, and was starting to reel in a few more runners. This was a huge confidence booster for me. I started in 12th and ran my way to 10th (got into the money!!). I was really pleased with my run time. I went 37:31 which is a great start to the season. I know I can make huge strides from there, and I am excited to prove myself throughout the season! 

In the end, I was the first USA U23 to finish, and I made the 5% threshold of the winner's time. Unfortunately, I was not in the top 1/3 of the field (I would have had to place 8th), so I did not earn a spot for U23 worlds at this race. Regardless, I am super happy with my first race of the season, and am excited to keep gaining experience in the elite ranks.

A special thanks to all my sponsors through z3 triathlon triathlon team! I also want to thank God for all my talents. Without his gracious love and gifts, none of this would be possible.

Next up: St. Anthony's 5150 

1 comment:

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