2012 racing season has begun! I raced the San Juan 70.3 over the weekend and came 2nd.
Wow! What a fun race! I opted to race San Juan 70.3 as my season opener for a few reasons. I had never been to the Caribbean before and heard amazing things. I thought it would be great to do a “destination” event for my first race of the year with the goal of show up and race but first & foremost have a great time.
San Juan did not disappoint in the “great time” department. We flew in on Thursday night and the BN Sports Crew put us up at the Caribe Hilton. Fresh off a 9 hour travel day, one of my favorite things to do is go for an easy jog and get a lay of the land. Unfortunately, this meant running in the dark. Chris and I managed a nice jog (in the dark) and didn’t get to take in many of the sights. We settled in for a 9pm dinner (late for me!) of some local Latin-Caribbean fare. It was tasty!!
Friday morning we woke up and the Caribbean was a sight to be seen! Big, beautiful, bold colors everywhere! The water was crystal clear, there was a warm breeze, and I was in high spirits for the race already. My shake-out run was much more enjoyable during the daylight when I could check out all the sights. I brought my camera along like a silly tourist and ran 5 minutes, snapped pics for 30 seconds and started running again. Next, I made the silly attempt to ride out of downtown San Juan during rush hour traffic. Uh-oh. Not a good idea. I had been warned but thought that perhaps I was exception to the rule. I was not. I made it about 2 miles in 15 minutes and decided to call it quits and head back to the hotel. The highlight of Friday was heading into Old San Juan with Chris to check it out. Old San Juan can be characterized by tons of historic monuments, narrow cobblestone roads, bright colored architecture, amazing eateries, lots of energy and a nice sea-breeze. We could have easily spent hours wandering around. A nice dinner (Latin fare again!), a glass of red and I was ready to be rolled into bed.
Saturday was the usual pre-race day. I got up early and decided to ride before cars hit the road and I am glad I did! I rode in the opposite direction of the race course and got to see parts of Puerto Rico I wouldn’t have otherwise. I rode for nearly 2 hours past some amazing beaches and into the rural parts of Puerto Rico. I was loving the area and the scenery! I was also loving my Trek Speed Concept!!
Now - onto the race!
Highlight #1 was the swim. I got in a good warm up and said my usual pre-race prayer: please let my great swim show up today! I have worked really hard on my swim for a well over a year now. Some days it shows up and others it doesn’t. Well, hallelujah! I had a great swim exciting the water 2 minutes off the lead and with a PR. I think we can thank my new swim sponsor TYR for this - along with lots of hours of swim training under my winter belt. For all you non-fish out there: all I can say is patience and persistence. Patience and persistence.
Highlight #2 was the bike. I really love my Trek Speed Concept. This bike is just silly it rides so fast. I had to tell myself to chill out several times in the race because that thing just wanted to go fast! I was loving the bike. My legs felt pretty good considering the travel and training I have been logging. I knew I had some strong runners in pursuit and my goal was to build my effort throughout the race and ride the last 20 miles at a strong effort. I took the lead at the half way point and just went for it as we headed back to town.
A side note it that I have never led a race off the bike - my style has always been to run my way through this field. This was fun!!!!
Highlight #3 had to be the run - not my performance (as I got run down) but the run course itself. It was just beautiful running past the historic Fort San Felipe del Morro and Fort San Cristóbal. You got to run up (and down) a few steep cobblestone roads and the fans were yelling at me to “Vaminos”! Little did they know I was going as fast as my little legs would let me. Down under the tunnel and you run along the historic Old San Juan wall which was built in the 1600’s. Its a 2 story giant brick wall on one side, and beautiful ocean on the other. Kelly Williamson proved along this wall that you don’t mess with Texas as she stormed passed me and I dropped to 2nd place. Insert sad face here. No time for pity parties though as plenty of ladies were charging behind me. Please note the words up and down in this paragraph. This is not a flat run - but I really enjoyed the challenge!
Highlight #4 of the race was the post-race fun! Right across the finish and into a giant ice bath. Ahhhh! Then a personal stretcher. Ahhhhhhh! And then to the pool-side bar. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! My new favorite post-race treat has to be a burger and fries - can someone please tell me how I was a vegetarian for so long??!! We spent a few hours at the swim-up bar checking out really bad tan lines, toasting to a cold one, and swapping post-race war tales. It was fun catching up with friends that we hadn’t seen all winter (Mags!!!) and meeting some new ones. Once again, someone roll me into bed by 9pm.
All in all - thank you San Juan! Thank you Chris! Thank you to all my great sponsors. Thank you Arturo & BN Sports. I am still smiling about our trip! What a beautiful place. I am happy with my race and its a great start for my season. The good news is: I get to do it all over again in less than two weeks at Oceanside. No more getting run down though! Linsey Corbin doesn’t get run down.
Thanks for reading. Until next time…