Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cozumel Race Report - Part 4 - THE "KA-BOOOM" RUN

THE RUN : 3:41:06 (7th fastest amateur run)
I stormed into T2, and it was EMPTY! Similar to T1, I had about 10 people just staring at me . Due to my lack of Spanish I figured it was just faster to take care of myself. I dumped the content of my bag on the ground, helmet off/visor on, socks/shoes on, gels in hand, race belt on, and cooling towel/ around the neck. 1 minute and 29 seconds later, I was out! 

I have been feeling very strong running for a few months, and my last 70.3 race performance had left me wanting more! (I have been eyeing that sub 1:30 in a 70.3 for a while now, but it all finally came together back in October - huge confidence booster for Cozumel!) My long training runs have been suggesting I could run anywhere around 3:20 give or take few minutes in either direction.  The difference this year vs. the past – I really believed I could. I didn’t question, I just knew I had it in me. Unfortunately, as my final time suggests – I blew it!

As great as I paced the bike, the exact opposite happened on the run.  I was so excited to run, that I couldn’t slow down! I was running through town looking down at my watch and seeing sub 7 min paces! I knew that wasn’t good, and my exact thoughts went something like this:

“Jorge is going to kill me. Slow down! Slow down! Slow down now! Jorge will not be happy, you are NOT supposed to run any faster than 7:55s, slow the beep down!

Yet I kept looking at my watch, and even though I consciously tried slowing down I swear, I just couldn’t. I clocked my first mile at just over 7 min mile pace and that’s only because I kept seeing 6:30, 6:45 pace on my watch over and over again, until I finally slowed down to a shuffle in the last quarter mile of that first mile. After that I was able to settle into more of a sustainable pace for the next 8 miles (7:40s)! Still a touch too fast but I was feeling like a million bucks. However it wasn’t too long before the wheels started to fall off! 

Lap 1 - Still interested in my surroundings and saying Hi to Bri

I kept going through my usual routine and grabbing whatever ice I could find at each aid station. It was ice down the bra, ice down the shorts, water, pepsi and a gel every 30 min or so. Some aid stations also had these awesome bags of ice!  I could care less I was carrying a 10lbs bag of ice. I held on to it until it melted away each time!

 Note a huge ice bag in my left hand

 You get a better look here! It was so cold my hands were literally frozen! 

It was definitely hot and the sun was beating down like it hasn’t shined in over a week – oh wait, it didn’t! Unfortunately or fortunately I cannot blame my crappy run performance on the heat. I was doing a great job of staying relatively cool but my legs were not cooperating. With each mile, my legs were getting louder and louder telling my brain to just take a little break.  

Happy camper no more! This is the leave me alone look or just no look at all. 

That rockstar feeling was long gone! :(  So what does one do with two VERY angry legs and 13 miles to go? Shuffle – yup yup yup – I was doing the marathon shuffle! It was all about moving forward instead of backwards. My right quad felt like it was going to cramp up with every step, but I had to keep on moving. My pace kept dropping – the WRONG direction, but I was just glad I was moving! 

Ice is now gone, and I am literally just trying to put one foot in front of the other. Probably no need to hold on to that empty plastic bag! 

Then it happened!

Explosion of epic proportions!

Miles 18 through 23 were NOT pretty!  If you asked me to run 9+ min miles in training, I can't slow down enough, yet in that moment that was almost too fast! It really was NOT pretty! Then the sky literally opened up, and within minutes streets were flooded with ankle deep water.

I guess the sky isn't blue anymore! 
You can see the rain! 

I was happy about the sun being gone, but I wasn't thrilled with actually having to pick my feet up!
 I think I am just trying to distract myself from the pain 

The water didn’t allow for much of a shuffle. I tried to pick up the pace AND my feet as much as my body would allow, which still meant a high 8 min pace for the last 3 miles, but it was about a 30+ second drop in pace – this time in the right direction so I suppose that is what my “all out” pace was at end of this race.
Oh right quad, please do not cramp up, oh and thank you blister on the bottom of my left foot for popping with only few miles left

It was no Alii’ Drive, but coming down the finish line was absolutely amazing! It was different from my first IM finish, but it was just as special. I think the pictures tell the story the best!
 Me and my right quad ARE going to make it! ;) 
 Try wiping that happiness of my face
 Just try ;) 
 Yup, I totally clapped for myself 
Probably the first time I felt good running since mile 10! Amazing how running through the finish line makes you forget the pain! (only till you stop though ;) ) 
Final Time: 9:35:01 ... 1st Overall Amateur Female, 11th Overall including Pro's. Now where is the chair? 

I crossed the finish line absolutely spent! I had no idea what my overall time was, I had no idea what place I finished at, but I knew I left it all out there. I found a chair, and sat there ... sat there for a LONG LONG time!  (Definitely probably close to 2 hours). Getting up off that chair just wasn't an option - and I was afraid - literally afraid to get up. I attempted a few times, but my quads weren't having any of it so I sat there longer. I got to chat with fellow czech pro triathletes who found me (since I wasn't moving), and couple of very nice volunteers fed me bananas - I think I ate at least three before I mustered up the energy to actually stand up, and smile for the camera again! 

Happy Czech :) 

It was only a few days later until everything really sunk in. I was pretty open about what I wanted to do in Cozumel. I came here to win. I came here to win my age group, and I also wanted to win the overall amateur title. I don't know why, but I just knew I could. I had this special feeling. Someone had asked me couple of days before the race how I will do, and I didn't even think about it, and said: "I am going to win" ... it just came out like that. I knew that if I can put together all the pieces of puzzles, and do what I have done in training, I would have a chance ... and then it happened!
This was awesome! I could get used to this ;)
 I told you it would be hard to get that smile off my face :)

I did it! I left it all out there, I had a near perfect race that although I am extremely excited about, left me wanting more! Left me wanting more because I know there is more where that came from. That overall time could have easily read 9:15 just based on my race day fitness, but not to worry - I have learned my lesson and I will be back in 2014 stronger and faster. Aloha baby! ;) 

Some post race drinks were in order! Thanks Tyler and Brett for the help although I really didn't need it ;)

 And with that my 2013 season also known as the "Dream season" (the title of my next post) comes to an end! 


  1. Gratulujem!!!!
    Paci sa, ze si pred pretekmi nepochybovala, ze mozes vyhrat a ze ides vyhrat!


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