I opened up my season at one of my favorite races on the circuit, San Juan 70.3.
I love a lot about this race: it’s tropical & I tend to perform better in the heat, an honest course with a windy bike and hilly run, the people of Puerto Rico are all so friendly & welcoming and turn into passionate fans on race day! Not to mention that the race organizers do their best to take care of much of the professional field, so it’s a treat to be based right at the race start/finish in such great accommodations.
I did a fair amount of riding in Puerto Rico the 2 days before the race - the scenery when you get out of downtown San Juan amazes me - little surf shacks, endless miles of beach, iguanas sprinting across the road, coconut & fresh juice stands. It seemed the further I cycled away from San Juan, the better roads got. The truth is, I like exploring new places on my bike! Chris and I took a few adventure runs into Old Town San Juan to explore in the Saucony sneaks, which was also a treat.
First race of the year seems to bring more butterflies than normal: Have I trained enough? Maybe I trained too much? Do I remember how to transition? Will I be able to have another gear for the swim start? Do I remember how to hurt? Where’s my race belt?
Race morning came along, I got in a good swim warm-up and was ready to roll. I was fairly pleased with my swim performance. The greedy Linsey always wants to be a bit faster, but I will take only a few minutes off the main pack. There’s room to improve still!
I got to my bike and fumbled through transition as best as I could. Leaving transition I picked my bike up so not to roll it over a big bump. When my bike touched the pavement again my chain seemed to have dropped all the way to inside the chain guard. Fiddle sticks!!!! I stopped and tried to un-lodge it as best as I could, but the sucker was jammed. After a good few minutes (although it seemed like 20, I think it was closer to 5+), covered in chain grease and blood from my chain ring, I was back on the road. Within a mile I flew over another bump and my nutrition flew off my bike. Fiddle sticks!!!! Onward I went thinking “You love to problem-solve Linsey, here is your chance!” Then I couldn’t shift. Fiddle sticks!!!! What can you do but motor on and deal with the cards you are dealt? I actually started to make up some ground when I hit another bump and my chain dropped again and it was dejavu of earlier in the ride. Fiddle sticks!!!! Another 5+ minutes of un-lodging it and I was back in the game for the last 20 miles.
By the time I got to T2 I was well out of contention for any battle I had anticipated putting up. My favorite mind-set when a race isn’t playing out how I want is “Let’s log some miles and get fitness in the bank for the next one!” So I put my best foot forward and had a nice 13.1 run. I did my best to encourage my competitors and all the great age-groupers on the course. I thanked the police men and volunteers and enjoyed the atmosphere of the event - often things we don’t get to do or appreciate when deep “in the well” giving it our all.
I would have loved to have had a better performance, but that’s racing for ya’. The truth is, fiddle sticks happen to us every day. I have found how big of a deal you make your fiddle sticks determines how big a fiddle stick it really is. Embrace the good and don’t put it on a pedestal. Accept the bad and don’t get too down in the dumps.
Here’s a nice little race day video @corbinbrands put together. Enjoy!
We are back in Tucson now and I pulled up nicely from the race - so it’s back to work! My next event is Oceanside 70.3 in a quick 10 days.
Thanks for your continued support -