Pucon 70.3~Race Day. The Volcano. Part 3 of our Race-Cation.

Race morning didn’t start off like any of my other race mornings. I didn’t sleep a wink the night before. And when I say I didn’t sleep, I mean it. I woke ML up at 5am. I tried to eat some breakfast. I couldn’t eat. My stomach was in turmoil. I didn’t feel sick, but I did feel nausea. I attributed it to nerves and decided to not fight it. I figured that when I felt hungry, I would eat. That was my first mistake race morning. I believe that I had about 50-100 calories for breakfast.

ML and I scampered down to transition, which was only 2 minutes away. I met up with my Perro. It was good to see my fuzzy black friend. The lines into transition were long. Officials were checking bracelets and helmets. No big deal though…

Body Marking Check out my hot new Betty designed Splish Suit! Thanks Kristin and Ira for putting all of my ideas into place. I love it! xx

Bike set up Michael’s sweet ride and his Brooks Pure Connect shoes!

More body marking More body Marking. And yes, ML is taking the pictures. He loves this sort of stuff… :)

My sweet ride Here is my sweet ride. I love my Kestrel 4000!!!

ML and I went our separate ways. As I left Transition, a security guard stopped me and said something in Spanish. My response: No Hablo Español. Instead of trying to communicate in English or find someone who could communicate, she spoke louder and louder. Ok, I’m not a deaf, I just don’t speak Spanish. Lucky for me, someone who was watching this whole thing go down, translated for us both. Basically the security guard was trying to tell me that once I left, I could not come back in. Ok…fine. As long as I’m not getting arrested. After I finally left, I did my pre race jog, went back to the hotel room, put on my new TYR Freak wetsuit, and ML and I made our way to the swim start. Still a bit worried about not eating, I asks ML if he had some Liquid Shot. He had forgotten it.

Because there were only 5 women racing, we started with the men. Ugh, I hate this. I am a bit timid in the water and my biggest fear is getting pummeled or getting my teeth knocked out. Yes, I imagine this. As the year goes on and as races go by, I become more and more aggressive. But I really do dislike starting with the boys. I feel like the women’s race should be given more respect. We should be given our own race start. Starting with them men gives a different dynamic to the women’s race tactics. For example, fast women swimmers can sit on a fast man’s feet and get a nice advantage. Plus they can hang on for a limited amount of time in the men’s pack. It is a bit frustrating. But the bottom line is that triathlon is racing and I need to learn how to deal with it and become more aggressive.

Despite being faster and more fit in the pool, my swim on race day was average. Because I wasn’t aggressive, I completely missed my group and swam with a dude, who ended up blowing up which meant that I pulled him around the race course…Awesome…

As I ran into transition, I was struggling to pull my zipper down. I was frantic. I kept thinking…Oh god, what if I have to pull a “DEDE” (from REV3 Knoxville) and rip this $1200 f&*%ki&% thing off. Ryan from TYR would not be impressed and I would feel horrible. I was screaming, please help me in T1…and of course no one understood me. Finally, I figured it out, pulled the zipper down, and peeled out as fast as I could on my Kestrel.

Crap! Help me get this F*@c%8n% thing off!!!

Right away, I felt amazing. I was trying to drink and eat as much as possible as I knew that my dinner and breakfast were not substantial. Riding felt easy. I passed one of the pro women who was 2′ ahead of me out of the swim seemingly right away. She tried to stay with me. However, once we hit the slight uphills, she dissapeared…

I noticed Valentina and Carla just ahead. They were probably 1-2′ ahead. They looked strong and I loved that they were riding fair. I kept on thinking of how strong I felt and of how the Cycle Ops trainer rides had really helped. I wasn’t worried and I kept doing my thing. I was getting stronger and stronger…until about mile 38. I was getting light headed and dizzy; I contemplated stopping. I felt weird. I went down my mental checklist of issues that I have had in previous races along with my lists of how to fix issues. Finally, I figured out that it was a food thing. At that point, I ate the rest of my 800 calories of food, which included EFS liquid shot, one on course gel, and 400 calories of EFS. After about 10-15′, I felt amazing again. The same woman that I had dropped on the hills reappeared. She tried to pass, but she wasn’t strong enough. I ended up pulling her back to T2.

As I entered T2, I knew that I may get into food/hydration trouble. I grabbed my liquid shot, but it was too little too late. I had ridden the last 18 miles without any food, only water. I was in damage control mode. I did run really well for about 4 miles. However, at this point, I had a complete and total glycogen bonk. I started running backwards; I was in survival mode. CRAP.

Run!Running: I must be on the first loop (of 3). I look pretty strong. I’ve already deleted the bad pics. :)

To be honest, I’ve had a lot worse shit happen to me in races. I decided to suck it up, try to eat as much as possible, and salvage what I could of the final 9 miles. Every time I ate, I would run great for a few minutes, then die again. My run split was 1:43, which was about 14/15 minutes slower than what I had run in 2010. Yes, I was a little bummed, but triathlon is racing and I needed to be a lot more prepared than what I was.

I have never eaten more than 800 calories on the bike…ever. However, I have never been unable to eat a good dinner or breakfast before my race. This is something that I need to be prepared for the next time.

Here I am finishing:

FinishI threw my Team Lovato visor out to the fans in the bleachers. And man, was I ever happy to be finished!

Happy to be finished, disappointed in raceI think this pic says it all: I was happy to be finished as I was SORE, SORE, SORE from lack of food/liquid. But I was really pissed at myself for being unprepared and having a crap run.

I was greeted at the finish by my absolutely adoring, but PISSED off  husband. He was extremely angry at the lack of integrity by one of my peers. I guess he watched her blatant drafting during the race and even signaled her to stop. I shook it off and told him to do the same. I can not control what others do. Some people are just desperate and at the end of the day, her terrible morals didn’t matter to me. My crap run is what mattered. And more than anything, this is why I was disappointed.

Even though I have been racing as a pro since 2003, I never cease to learn more about myself. Especially since starting to coach myself, I have become smarter. I am constantly learning more and more by not putting my career in someones else’s hands. However, because I have gone through some terrible times in races, I find that I have become a bit more apprehensive. I need to get over that. I am healthier, happier, and fitter than ever and I am really excited to put this race behind me, get into another block of training, and rip some tail!

After the race, I waited for ML and the awards. I was so extremely pleased for my honey ML who was 3rd and for my new friend, Valentina, who was 2nd. Michael and I had the opportunity to get know her race week. And she is a delightful, young talent. I am excited to see how fast she goes in the future!

One of the aspects that is pretty cool at Pucón is that there are two awards ceremonies. One ceremony at the race sight for the top 3 and one at 5pm for the top 5 pros and age group awards.

Mens' top 5Men’s top 5

Women's top 5Women’s top 5

And look who came to the awards to cheer me on!

Priscilla!It’s my new friend, Priscilla: the same young girl from the grocery store.

After the awards, ML and I invited Priscilla and her family to our room to give them some Team Lovato Schwag. I told Priscilla that if I gave her a kit, that she could never forget me when she is a famous professional triathlete. She mad me a promise!

Priscilla

Maximo!Check out her cute cousin, Maximo! Adorable!

After all was said and done, and after my  nausea subsided, I was ready to eat. (BTW: I’m NOT pregnant!) Funny enough, the soreness went away after some big eating.

Marie Jose and ValentiaHere is a picture of Valentina, me, and Marie Jose (Valentina’s sister) at the post race party for the pros. I fell in love with these girls.

The boys!Here is ML, Guillermo (our pro liaison), and Valentina’s husband…arg. I can’t remember his name…)

Ben Hoffman was hanging around too, but I can’t seem to find any pictures of him. (Love that guy…He’s good peeps!)

We stayed up late, drinking, eating, having fun. It was a great night with new and old friends!

The next morning, at 6am, ML and I decided to climb the Volcano (at 9,000ft). This was something that we missed in 2010, and I was NOT going to miss it again! The 5:30 wake up call was ok for me, but ML struggled a bit…hehe.

We joined Ken Glah’s group with about 15 others for the Trek.

Getting fittedHere I am getting fitted for our expedition.Getting ready to hike

It took us 4hours to climb 2 miles. And I think that we were a “fast” group. Here is a picture of ML and me. I’m not sure if you can see the massive amounts of Zinc on my face, but it was much needed! The sun was intense!

The volcano!

Here is a picture of the volcano. The weather conditions were perfect!

Dor1 and Dork 2

Dork 1 and Dork 2.

The group!

Here is a picture of the entire group. Thanks Ken!

I’m not sure if you notice the “go-Pro” that ML is wearing on his helmet. He wore this thing the entire day. Of course he never read any of the instructions. I would like to point out that none of the very cool video of us sliding down the volcano was ever captured…I hope that ML decides to read directions in the future… :)

Amanda and the guideHere is a picture of me and one of our guides. The guides were great! Total professionals!!!

The views!Here is a classic view from the top!

PlasticoSee that big orange thing tied around my front side?? It’s “Plastico”. Here I am getting ready to slide down the mountain on…plastico.

I think it only took us about an hour to slide down the volcano. What an amazing experience.

After the day was finished, Michael and I found a really nice Peruvian restaurant in town. What a day…what a race, what a vacation….I love Pucón!

Done...