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Miami 70.3: The Crescendo race.


     
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The main reason I love racing is for the intensity of the emotion it can generate. Crossing the line in Miami was another magical moment.

I will admit that on race morning, I didn’t feel so motivated and I was feeling the weight of a long season with a lot of learning experiences. The season was supposed to end in Vegas and I had been stretching it out for a while! On race morning in Miami, I was finding it very hard to put any kind of pressure on myself so, I decided to race with having FUN as the main focus. I needed some balance and needed that fun on the last race of 2011. You have to love what you do and I learned that the hard way in my music career. I think I will always include -candy- races in my year. They work for me. So, I decided to race to finish and have fun going hard. I didn’t worry about anything else.

On race morning, it was dark and poring rain! We jumped into the salt water from a high dock, to start the day.The water was perfect, I love racing in Florida. From the water, the first thing I noticed when I looked back at the dock was a huge sign for the boats that said: DANGER, MANATEE AREA. That cracked me up. I felt I had no fear of doing a swim  surrounded with weird creatures anymore ( this year there had been: the SEA LIONS at Oceanside, the strange fish  there was sometimes in the rivers we race in and the pack of 40 sharks that apparently swam by a few days before one of our ocean swims in Santa Monica). + I heard MANATEES were super nice creatures so….I lined up pointing out the sign to Leanda. We laughed.

The gun went off! I was excited and felt like I was sprinting HARD but strangely, where the initial sprint is usually my strength, I had no speed and missed the front few girls. Surprisingly though, I felt fine and kept on pushing hard to stay as close as I could and my cruising speed for the rest of the swim was quite good! I had FUN in the swim and challenged myself to stay on task and push non stop. That went okay, it wasn’t my best swim of the year but it was my best effort on the day and it felt better. I eased into the first part of the bike ride, I felt quite uncomfortable at first and just tried to get into the rhythm and focus on staying positive and having fun doing my best, then, around mile 10…I got passed and that pulled out another side of me. From there, I slowly got reeled into going to war. I had a mission and that was, again, not to let the person in front of me disappear into the distance. During the whole rest of the bike ride, I fought HARD not to let the two girls that had passed me disappear. I made a promise to myself not to get frustrated anymore when I don’t have my legs on the bike or disappoint myself with speed or ranking in any length of the race and just bring myself back to being in -the moment- every time because as long as I am providing my best effort every second, I’m in the game. so I just turned off the brain and stayed on task. I hit the red zone a few times on the bike and just went for it. I realize now that I hit the red zone more then I had before on the bike because my approach to the race was more relaxed. I think this is a good point to remember when I race in the future. Learn to push my luck more and not be LIMITED by wanting just a good result. Anyways, I finished the bike in 6th place even though I put out a great effort so I know I didn’t have great bike legs on the day.

I started to run in 6th and for once, it didn’t make me feel angry at myself or scared in any way, It didn’t affect my CONFIDENCE. Looking back, that is a big step forward. All I could think of was to CATCH the next person ahead. Jessica Meyers started the run just ahead of me and when I caught up with her, we had a good stretch running side by side in the rain. It was nice and tough but it was also a good moment. I was just searching for the next person to catch, unfortunately, I could see no one ahead for quite a while. Jessica and I exchanged some good motivation as we did the first climb over the bridge. As usual, when climbing I remembered the words of my friend Linsey Corbin: -Up and Over!!!- (from when we trained together in Maui a few years back) and also always remember Siri’s technical cues that I just repeat to myself over and over. Back down we went, and I quickly noticed Leanda was already coming back up the other side of the bridge.(WOW!!! She was way ahead). I kept on running, and running….still no turnaround. I finally saw 3 more girls running back from the turnaround. HOW far until the turnaround??? And…there it was!!! Wow…I would have to run FAST to make the podium. But a voice inside me was saying I would get them, I just KNEW I could make the podium, at LEAST. At that point it was safe to let the idea of the result pull me closer and closer to the front of the race. The only one that really felt VERY hard to get was Leanda but I wasn’t excluding any possibility. I started having a lot of faith and getting excited. A few seconds after the turnaround, I could no longer feel Jessica’s footsteps at my side but I didn’t want to turn around and check. So I focused on the spot in the distance ahead of me, it became bigger and bigger and turned into a racer. I passed, then to the next one and when  I passed transition to complete the first loop, I heard my friend the announcer say: -Magali may run her way into third if she runs fast- I remember thinking: Are you kidding!?? I am running at least into second!!. Thoughts like that fueled me and I ran FASTER AND HARDER. I had really started hurting when I moved into second and it just felt like I had crampy muscles, it didn’t feel so safe to push hard but I needed to test that for the future. SO I WENT harder anyways, mostly using CADENCE to push up the pace. Hurting fueled me, I was fighting again, I had not planned to GO THERE today but I was hurting BY CHOICE and that was fine. Because I was loving the race and WANTED TO HURT AND GO HARD. Cadence worked perfect for third climb over the bridge and at this point I was in second but still running scared. Nothing is secured until I have crossed the finish. Again, I notice now, I was definitely in fighting mode. I thought I could have a cramp until the final 100m stretch where I understood I would be second. I came back to myself in the last stretch and celebrated the last few meters of the 2011 season. I looked up at the finish and felt so emotional. I have been fighting hard since Vegas and have had to imagine different ways to get back on top of the podium. It was a second today on a -not so good- body day. I had started the race wanting to finish and have fun but the passion of racing took over and grew throughout the race and I ended up pulling out a good race considering the way I was feeling. My best effort on the day. The fun thing about it is that I didn’t have to pressure myself in any way before the gun went off. There is such a thing as trying too hard and wanting something too much. I think i always got worried if somedays, I didn’t feel super -BUILT UP and ULTRACOMPETITIVE before a race. I realize now that when it is not as easy to be in that state of mind, I can just focus on the reasons I love to race and TRUST that I am a competitor. The race will bring out the warrior no matter what. I had to just also TRUST   life and trust the future, trust the training and trust the heart and JUST GO. It felt awesome.

Congrats to my teammate Leanda Cave who won by a solid gap on Sunday. The day didn’t finish at the line, I celebrated the end of the 2011 season that night with the girls, we went for good food and some dancing and finished it off with the: -How fast can you run in  high heels on a flooded Miami street  in the middle of the night- relay. GOOD TIMES!

     
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Pic: Leanda and I on the DANCE FLOOR!

     
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Pic: Great company for the night!

     
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Pic: The earli-er morning rainy RELAY.

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