For me, 2018 has been a year of perseverance. This past year I spent 11 months dedicated to training for a spot on Team USA for the World Championship for Olympic distance. The goal was ambitious and my training schedule was very demanding but I like having an aspirational target to keep me motivated! Unfortunately even the best laid plans don’t go as one hopes; though I made it to the USA Nationals for Olympic distance, I did not get a spot at Worlds. I was disappointed, of course, and replayed the race over and over again in my head, considering how to improve. With some encouragement (and a push) from Phil, I decided that my last option this year for a spot on Team USA was to compete in the Miami Man Long Distance National Competition. Phil and I made the plans and decided to hit the road (bad idea!) for the longggggg 18 hour trip!
Once in Miami, Phil, Michael and I had the opportunity to check out the course and even see some of my old friends from Nicaragua! I felt positive going into the competition – the conditions looked good and the course was pretty flat. On the day of the competition it rained about an hour before the start time and I didn’t have time to cover my socks and shoes. Ugh!! The swim was in an artificial lagoon with clear and clean water – a nice start to the day. I was the second out of the water for my group but I tried to pace myself on the way to T1 to ‘rest’ a little before I got on the bike. The weather was perfect – after the rain it was cloudy and cool – ideal for the 90km bike ride. But, as luck would have it, two miles before arriving at T2 the sun came out very strong. It felt like I was in a desert but with lots of humidity! By the time I got to T2 I had forgotten about my wet socks and shoes – a very unfortunate thing to have to be surprised with when starting on the run. I know that the run is my weakest of the three sports, so I couldn’t waste any time worrying about wet feet. The heat and humidity were horrible and the 21km race was mixed with grass, gravel and everything in between which made it a bit complicated. I pushed on though and managed to finish the competition achieving 3rd place in my age group (35-39), with a time of 4:54.
This time got me a spot at the Long Distance World Competition in Pontevedra, Spain on May 4th. Hopefully 2019 will be a year of accomplishment!