Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Adventure down South

I wouldn’t be giving my South American adventure justice if I only write about two hours of my trip (the race).  I was a bit nervous about traveling to Lima alone especially with the language barrier. A good friend of mine who lived in Lima last year helped me find a cheap hostel to stay in which was next to the host hotel.  I highly recommend the Dragonfly hostel to anyone who is planning on going to Miraflores. It was so much better than I had imagined. The best part was the delicious pan con fresa marmalade (homemade rolls from the bakery with strawberry preserves) in the kitchen waiting on us every morning. I recruited Joe Maloy, Chris Lutz, and Harry Wiltshire to stay in the hostel as well. We made a great group and it was quite entertaining listening to Chris pretend to know fluent Spanish, Harry’s British vocabulary and Jersey Joe. There was this awesome café/bakery underneath the hostel and we ate pretty much every meal there. So many tortas….I think Chris and Harry ate at least 3 desserts a day!

The fabulous four with our waiter at dinner

I was there for a few days before the race so I had to get some training in. Luckily, the guys got there earlier in the week so they had already found a pool to swim in at a private health club a few blocks away. I got to get in a swim with a Pervian club team. It was interesting swimming with a group who does not understand anything you say. The running was beautiful. We stayed right next to the beach and there was a running path along a cliff that overlooked the sea. Cycling was pretty nonexistent which I would regret later in the race. 

The running view

The pool we swam in

The race was about 45 minutes away by bus from where I stayed.  I was very thankful that the race director organized a bus to take the athletes and bikes to the race site. The weather was pretty strange…it was not really hot but it was. That makes no sense at all but needless to say I got a wicked sunburn L The swim was wetsuit legal and the water was quite freezing. The swim was a beach start, but the beach was made out of large stones. I was kind of nervous that I would slip on a rock at the start but when the gun went off I just forgot about it. Swimming with the boys gave me a little boost of confidence so I decided to go out hard on the swim and see what happened.  I ended up swimming alone the whole time leading and it was SO COOL! It was really hard to site because the sun was in my eyes but I made it through and was first out of the water. I have been struggling with swimming in races so it is very rewarding to see hard work pay off.  The bike course was 8 laps with 10 speed bumps (or sleeping policemen I was informed) per lap. I rode the first lap by myself not really knowing what I should do. There was a huge group and I knew I would probably get caught so I decided to just ride and not kill myself because I knew I could probably outrun the field.  On lap 3 my seat fell down and made it really hard/uncomfortable/painful to ride. Note to self #1 -always make sure the seat and handlebars are screwed in tight enough. The ride was not very challenging but it really took a toll on my quads because of my awkward bike positioning. I told myself this would not ruin my race so I just kept going. The run was pretty technical. There were some round abouts, sharp turns, slippery pavement, children and their toys, pets, and steps! It made things interesting to say the least. I went hard out of T2 and I got a minute lead and decided to just chill out for the last lap. 

My bike seat position--yowzers

Start of run

Four goals were met at this race: won the swim, got to grab the tape, sprayed champagne, and got a cardboard check! Note to self #2- champagne smells REALLY bad and I thank Joe and the boy from the Netherlands for the way my bag currently smells.

I love racing abroad. At the end of the day a race is just a race. The important thing is the people you meet and the memories you create. This trip to Lima was one I will never forget and I am so happy I got to spend time with other great athletes from across the world. Thanks for making my experience a great one :) Next time I hope I know a bit more Spanish!

Now I am on my way back to South Bend to get recovered and start training for my next race. I am retiring Miss Green Machine and starting a new relationship with Snook the Look. I am SUPER excited to get on my new Look 596 and go fasst! I am also excited to see Nicole and Kaleb dominate this weekend in Miami!

No comments:

Post a Comment