I'm here in Vegas for the second time ever, to race the 70.3 World Championships for a second time. When I raced last year, I made it here by getting a rolldown slot at 70.3 Galway in 2011. I figured it would be the only shot I'd ever have to race a World Championship race and I just wanted to take in the experience and I didn't feel like I belonged. The Whole Foods next to the Expo is probably the epicenter of ultimate fitness in the Western Hemisphere right now (as well as the Spandex Capital of the world) due to all the ridiculously fit triathletes who are frequenting it.
But I'm taking a different mindset this year. Unfortunately in the weeks leading up to the race I wasn't as focused as I should've been, due to work and being busy outside of training. The race kind of snuck up on me, suddenly I was packing and getting on a plane and I still hadn't sent Jen my race plan. But once I got here, I was excited. I know that pro triathletes are regular, hardworking people too, but it's still pretty cool to run into the likes of Leanda Cave at the pool and such. I got in on Thursday afternoon, leaving me with plenty of time to go to the expo, go to the grocery store, and check in at the hotel. I'm staying at the same place I stayed in last year, and it's comforting to be familiar with the area and already know where everything is.
So about the mindset - I'm excited to race. A bit nervous, but I'm also excited to see how I handle the heat and if the strategies I plan to follow will be effective (strategies being: drink lots of water, pee on the bike, not overeat, and don't cook myself on the bike). IMLP was a big boost in my confidence when it comes to handling myself during a race and sticking to a strategy. I'm hoping to replicate the success here in Vegas, but likely on a more conservative level due to the heat. A number of my friends and Ignite Endurance teammates are going to race tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone on the race course - especially that brutal run course when seeing a friendly face will likely be the exact pick-me-up that I need. I also feel more like I belong this year. I got a spot at Poconos last year by coming in 2nd in my AG (completely unexpected) and I think that was a confidence-booster as well. I'm not expecting to place super well in my AG - these are the fastest girls in the world - so there is no pressure except to race for myself and so as well as I can in the conditions we are given. It's rather freeing.
My race number is also 1299 and add a dollar sign and decimal point in there and I sound like a sale at Target. Easy number to remember. Cheers to having a stronger race than last year, that's my big goal!