Friday, March 16, 2012

Desert Tri 2012 [So Hot Right Now]

 On March 4th, my teammates and I participated in the Desert Triathlon (International Distance). For many of them, this was their first triathlon- ever! The day before the race we all traveled out to Palm Desert for practice- which ended up being about the same distances as our race would be the following day- 25+ miles on the bike, 10k run, plus a swim in the lake.  Not exactly ideal for racing, but since Desert Tri is not our team's main event for the season, we just look at it like a "very organized practice".

I had been fighting a nasty cold the week before, so on Saturday I took it a little easy at practice, and did a little extra hydrating- knowing what was ahead of me on Sunday. I didn't feel 100% on Sunday morning, but I was really glad I was there to practice racing, but even more glad to be there to watch my teammates run their first tri- and help as much as I could with any questions they had. It ended up being a great race- great weather, swim in calm water, flat bike and run course. The swim started out a little crazy- the girls in my wave were a mean this year- punching and grabbing and swimming over people. All that is par for the course, but they seemed exceptionally nasty this year! After the first buoy, things calmed down a little, and the swim was nice and calm.

The bike course was flat, with the exception of some small little hills right out of transition- and the terribly paved roads leading into the park! I lost a bottle two days in a row biking down that road! I stopped to pick it up, as it was so early in the race and I knew I would rather have my gatorade + carbopro and loose a minute going back for it, than trying to power through on water from the aid station. The rest of the bike course was pretty uneventful- with the exception of my speedy teammates passing me and shouting "Go Team!"

The run started out OK- my first lap of the two lap course around the lake was alright, though the day had really started to heat up. I didn't power though too hard- I wanted to save some for the second loop. Unfortunately as I started lap 2, I got a familiar feeling- a little nausea, water sloshing around in my stomach, and then some chills. I was overheated- just like at Vineman last July. I knew what to do- I slowed down, poured water over myself and tried to cool down. I also knew that I really was not going to be able to run much more of the course. I walked most of the rest of the second loop, but pulled it together to run it in for the last 1/4 mile or so- to my cheering teammates!
I decided the best way to cool down would be to get in the kiddie pool full of ice and water... and bottled water, too.

We all waited for everyone to finish and cheered everyone in. It was a great day for the team- everyone did really well- and we even had a few people podium in their age groups! Amazing!
After the race, we cleaned up a little and went to Chipotle (as we always do after this race) before all heading back to LA. I re-hydtrated all the way back, but still ended up with a raging fever by the time I got home. Oops!  Life lesson learned: Don't do two international distance triathlons two days in a row in the desert when you're sick! Despite being sick and having a not-so-great race, I wouldn't have missed it for the world. As I said to Coach Brad after the race, even though I was sick, we do it "for the love of the game"- the game in this case being triathlon, and hanging out with super amazing people!