I wanted to give you all a quick update on my race in La Paz, Argentina.
Going into my first draft-legal triathlon, I anticipated that I wouldn't have to do too much work on the bike and therefore conserve my energy for a killer run. I was COMPLETELY wrong!
I came out of the water really far back and right from the start I began working my way up through the field. Blowing past stragglers and small chase packs, I found myself hooking up with the second chase pack and remaining there for the duration of the bike leg. In this pack of 12 or so riders, no one opted to share any of the work with me, except for a few Argentineans. I must have yelled "Vamos" 50 times over the course of the bike leg to try and get these guys to work a bit!
Coming into T2 I was in 26th and more than ready to start picking off my competitors on the run. One small problem - my legs were shot! For the first 2 laps of the 4 lap run course, my legs would not move! On a cardio basis, I was completely fine however physically, my legs were a wreck! I had never felt so unable to use my legs in my entire life. You may think I'm exaggerating but I would honestly say I haven't run that slowly in a competition since the 6th grade! At the same time, I’m a fighter so while my legs were completely dead, I made sure not one person passed me, and I was successful!
By the third lap I began to find my legs although it was still a struggle (and the 100 degree heat didn’t help). I wound up finishing 19th as the third American behind Chris Foster (2nd), Manny Huerta (4th), and just ahead of Nicholas Vandam (21st) and Richard Swor (22nd).
Apart from finishing my first ITU triathlon, the highlight of the competition was the thousands upon thousands of Argentineans that lined the streets chanting and cheering! Over the course of my run, despite hurting terribly, I must have high-fived 100 hands. To them, it didn’t matter whether you were 1st place or 40th place; they embraced you all the same. Frankly, they made my first ITU experience that much more enjoyable and I am forever grateful.
We are currently heading back to LA and in my eyes this trip was a complete success. Even though I was “lapped out” in the first race, I still feel I gained invaluable experience in ITU racing that will help me tremendously throughout my career. For the next two months I will be living underwater at the UCLA pools and prepping for my next competition in Mazatlan, Mexico on March 20th. Check back later for training updates and the like.
Thanks again for checking in!