Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Costa Rica!!!!

With super-star Hillary Biscay. Not only is she tough, she makes a mean coffee...

This weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica for part of Rev3 Tri Series. I got the call a few weeks before saying this trip would also be part of our Team Trakkers launch. At first I was a little hesitant at the idea of racing in February, but on the other hand how could you pass up going to such a beautiful place? I knew my fitness would not be the greatest at this time, but then again I think we are all in the same boat. No one wants to be killing it in February only to be burnt out come October. So I got my mind ready to go, only to get hit by a blizzard that left us indoors for nearly 2 weeks! Not such a big deal, but during this time I got my new awesome Kestrel 4000. With the conditions I was never able to ride the bike outside. Again, not a big deal but as you know with riding on the trainer you never switch gears and it's difficult to tell how the bike handles. I knew it was a sweet ride nonetheless!

So off I go to Costa Rica! The coolest part of the trip was meeting up with old friends, and making new ones. I'm so excited to be a part of Trakkers. I can honestly say everyone on the team is amazing--not just as athletes but as people. This says a lot about the team. I know that I want to be surrounded by good people, and this team has a plethora of them. The great thing about Rev3 is that you are treated like a Professional. They just really get the details down, and I'm excited to race in the series this year. On Friday we had a series of events to attend and Saturday we pretty much had all to ourselves. I did some short riding, swimming, and running with Kathleen (absolute super-star, 2 x Kona AG overall winner). I was so impressed with her. She broke both her thumbs in an accident in October and had just started training again. It takes a lot of guts to be a new Pro and go into a race not feeling prepared. And on top of it leaving her son home, what a star! Again, this was the first time I had ridden my bike outside and I absolutely love it! I was ready to go!

Race morning I got my Endurance First Pre-Race down and was feeling pretty good. I planned on drinking the EFS on the bike and taking some gel. There was some confusion about the swim course. We started and somehow got a bit off course. The pack diverted back on but somehow I went totally blonde and continued on the wrong path. I was frustrated because I should have been more aggressive at the start, there was no reason for me to be swimming off the back and losing contact. On top of it, I kept getting stung. Some say it was jelly fish, others say sea lice (wt? gross). In any event, by the time I got out I knew I had some serious time to make up and took off. We were told this course was flat, which kind of became the running joke. We had to climb a huge hill that seemed to go on forever. I actually kind of liked it- before getting stuck training indoors I'd been training a lot on hilly terrain. I started my first big descent and threw the bike in the big gear and started hammering down. There was a local biking on the course and I wasn't quite sure what she was doing. She wasn't part of the race and I knew I was going to overtake her at the round about at the bottom of this hill. I tapped the brakes and my back wheel came off the ground. Next thing I know I start wobbling and braking more at this point would be worse so I think to myself, "Okay, you're probably going to crash so you need to get over on the dirt and try to avoid that pole." So I prep myself, tuck my shoulder in and get ready to go down. This all happens so fast but I just lay there as the locals surround me. They were so sweet and genuinely concerned. I also heard, "click click click" and realized they were taking my picture!! HA! Not my finest moment! I got taken to medical (with a really hot doctor that Bree called the Costa Rican Doogie Hawser which kind of killed it for me) and knew nothing was broken, just half my skin was left on the Costa Rican country side. If anything, I can say I crash well! I also learned several things. First off, this crash was a 100% avoidable. While it was a difficult course, I know that in the end I was the match that lit the fire. I took a lot of things for granted. I should have known the course better. And by that I mean not just driving it, but actually getting on my bike and riding it. Also, I had no business going that fast on this section. I went down at nearly 40 mph. Without being completely comfortable on my new bike I should have been way more conservative then what I was. Lastly, since I had lost contact on the swim I was rushing myself instead of "keeping calm and carrying on." I need to trust myself and not rush through things. This is not just in racing, but everyday life. This is how accidents happen! Lesson learned!

After the race we had several photos to take. I put on a smile, took some advil and had a good time! Really the pain did not settle in until I got on the plane the next day. By the time I got home I totally became a big baby. Hey, my husband and kids are being really sweet. I'll take it when I can!! I'm on the mend for the next couple of days and hoping nothing is too serious. Looks good so far.

I really want to thank my sponsors! They went out of their way to make this happen--Trakkers, Rev3, Kestrel, Avia, Endurance First, TYR. And a huge thank you for the local support. 918xc jump through hoops to get my bike built, Superleggara to get my fit, and Zoellner Chiropractic to get my legs treated last minute. I can't thank the Tulsa community enough!