Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cozumel 2016 World Championships: Post-Race Interview

            This really IS one of those videos you have to watch all of the way to the end…

            So what’s next?  That I'm not sure of yet.  I've considered doing some local low-key triathlons next summer (just one or two), if I'm able to do it just for fun and not spend the entire winter, spring, and summer training for and building up to it.  I've also thought about just focusing on pole vault competitions next summer and taking a full break from triathlon for a time.  How I come back from having this next kid will also be a big answer to all of that.  At the very least, I will be pole-vaulting for sure!
            They say it takes three weeks to create a habit.  I started triathlons over six years ago, and it’s not just a summer sport, it’s a daily lifestyle.  Can I imagine NOT getting in the pool, on the bike, or out for a run?  No.  But some time off is also necessary, and then I can move forward doing what I WANT instead of what I feel I HAVE to do.  I can miss workouts and not feel guilty.  I’ll focus a lot on weight lifting and return to the swim, bike, and run each in their own time when I feel like doing so.  And I’ll pole vault as soon as possible after Baby #3 is born!  I know the importance of being active during pregnancy but I don’t need to stress over it, or get frustrated when things don’t go as planned.  It’s time to have some FUN!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Things I've Learned about Cozumel

  • Non-English speakers understand your English better than your Spanish.  Pero yo necessito practicar mi espanol!
  • It will rain. Every day. Even if it is sunny out.  It is like kisses from heaven.  Or the clouds are sweating.
  • If you are on the bike and stop moving, every pore in your body will profusely pour out sweat (even those without sweat glands – it’s pretty impressive).  It must be what melting feels like.
  • You cannot drink the tap water.  But you can buy 10L bottles for just over a dollar.  That is how much you need for one day around here.
  • If you are almost hit by a car when you are out on the roads, the driver would be a tourist.
  • If you have a rude encounter with someone, you can assume they are a tourist.
  • Swimming in the ocean here is the most beautiful swim you could have.  The salt water also makes it the most disgusting.
  • The locals will help you even when you don’t want help.  Then they will expect a tip for doing what you didn’t want them to do.
  • Change your money into pesos.  The bank has the best exchange rate.  Every one else takes advantage of lazy Americans.
  • Things never dry here. Never.
  • Even the air conditioner can’t get rid of the humidity.
  • Being in the sun is like being on the surface of the sun.  Being in the shade is like being in a sauna.
  • If you are in the sun and no breeze, you may die.
  • At the Mega Store you can buy nice pants and sweaters.  After all, it is almost winter here.
  • Every store is required to have one person behind the counter and another corralling people into the store.
  • Lizards are everywhere.  Make friends, not enemies.
  • There are 400 different kinds of milk.  And none of them are refrigerated.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Viva La Mexico!

            We arrived in Cozumel on Saturday, a full week in advance of my race this upcoming Sunday.  I was anticipating it being hot, but you don’t realize how thick the humidity can be.  I’m glad I have a week to acclimate.  Fortunately, we didn't have to change time zones, so that part has been easy!  After Nationals, I found greater focus in preparing for World’s.  Then just over two weeks ago, I came down sick, and it has continued to get worse since then.  I’m now on antibiotic for a sinus infection, but after many sleepless nights, I’m just worn down and exhausted.
            On the evening we arrived, Andy and I went for an easy run, and we quickly realized how intense the humidity would be.  The next day in the afternoon, I hopped on my bike.  Cozumel truly is Triland, as they host Ironman Cozumel, Ironman 70.3 Cozumel, and other ITU races.  They have a road dedicated to cycling that can be used for training and racing.  I was able to preview the bike course this way.  It was strange having a route be absolutely flat.  The road was in pretty good condition too.  I only saw the ocean a few times on the ride, otherwise it was lined with trees and greenery, which also provided some shade, which is a relief to know for on race day.  I got back and Andy and I headed out for a run, also previewing the run course, and I ran the first 5K at a fast pace.  Fortunately it was cloudy, but the heat and humidity was still almost to the point of unbearable. 
            It was tough getting in all of my workouts during the two weeks of sickness before I left home, but I did get in some big key ones that helped to give me confidence.  Being here makes me nervous.  I’m tempted to disconnect from all computer and watches for the race, so I don’t get too wrapped up on time or pace, but just race by effort and to find enjoyment and satisfaction in it instead of getting frustrated or wanting to give up.  It’s also neat being surrounded by so many other triathletes as they prepare for their big day as well.  Normally, I rarely see any cyclists out on the road, or even runners out in our neighborhood, so being surrounded by so many others in training has also provided additional motivation and excitement.
            For now, it’s about finishing up my final days of training in preparation for the big day, and enjoying our time down here (and skyping the volleyball games I'm missing out on coaching!).  For me, Cozumel is more than just another race, or even my first international race, or “race-cation.”    Instead, World’s this year is the culmination of the past 6 years of work that have brought me here.  It represents all the sweat and tears of the journey to this Grand Final World Championship, a combination of triumph and all the frustrations.  I also anticipate that this may be one of the most emotional of my races.  So let’s hope this infection clears up soon and I’m ready to go at 100%!