Circumstances aren't exactly ideal when your body decides to empty itself out for three days straight prior to racing. The season kicked off on about my 14th (or more) dose of Pepto which wasn't part of the original plan (shocking I know!) but thats how it was going to unfold. Temperatures were freezing, my tank was literally empty and we decided to give it a go. It was far from the best race I've had but the ultimate goal was to learn as much as I could leading up to and during my first pro race. End result, I learned a TON and the next chapter is offically underway.
Lesson 1 - I should probably travel in gloves and a mask. Ok, this might be overkill but you get the idea.
Lesson 2 - Pay very, very close to the course description during the pro meeting before the race. The beginning of the swim course was dangerous for the pro race and the Ironman officials worked with the group to improve the course and make it safer. It was a really, really smart call and a really interesting dynamic that I didn't know about behind the scenes. The course can be negotiated and actually changed to address safety concerns. Great lesson!
Lesson 3 - Know where you want to swim so you are biking where you want to be biking when you get out of the water, or you could be in for a lonely bike ride. This is a huge change from the age group race where you get used to starting in the back and just working your way up throughout the day. Another great piece of information!
Lesson 4 - There are tons of motorbikes up with the pro race. You have to get comfortable hearing them coming up on you, sometimes from both sides.
Lesson 5 - It's not ideal to start a race with no gas in the tank but you can still fight through the day. It might not be pretty, it might not be fast, but you learn a lot about yourself on that type of day.
Lesson 6 - If you can't keep anything in your system, Infinit actually stays in mine! My highest caloric intake in several days was without a doubt my custom mix on the bike and (grape) Tripwire on the run.
Lesson 7 - You have to have the perfect combination of pink and black! The Troublemaker is all dressed to race this season on a new set of Atom Composite wheels with hot pink decals!
At the end of the day I got to race in a beautiful location, catch up with old friends, meet new friends, and cross my first pro finish line. A huge thank you to Body by Juliet for keeping me in one piece, Infinit Nutrition for fueling the journey, blueseventy for keeping me warm, and Atom Composites for the training and racing carbon! Can't wait to race in the pink and black EpixGear kit in May!