Every athlete will describe each race as "an important race." Wether they are trying to beat a record, place in their age group, or just finish. Any goal an athlete has is important, it's what we train and live for. Well, this was a most important race for me. This was the first race my birth mom has ever attended and I was very excited to show her what I do. What I live and breath for.
I felt a bit nervous as I do at every race but I was so excited. This tri was the start of making up for everything she so selflessly missed out on. Every game I cheered at, every dance recital, field hockey game, or volleyball tournament that she would've given anything to attend and support me on but couldn't because of her sacrifice for me to have the best life possible.
(Erica and I made our first contact through the phone on July 23, 2010, when she found me through the help of LDS Social Services, and we actually met on Sept. 15, 2010. The Kokopelli Tri was only 3 days after meeting her in person for the first time.)
I was so excited to have her there, my heart was pounding so hard. I never dreamed of this day actually happening and here she was, my birth mom and her husband, at a race as my number 1 supporters. I was overwhelmed with a completely different type of excitement and nervousness as my emotions ran wild. As I ran to T1 from my swim tears welled up in my eyes as I saw her standing there ready with the camera and a huge smile on her face! I had a pretty smooth transition and was off on my bike! I was coming down the backside of "the hill" at 35mph when I started to lose control of my bike. My front wheel was wobbling uncontrollably, I started to slow down and noticed it was loose. I slowed down as fast and safe as I could stopping right before a cattle guard. I tightened my wheel, said a pray and kept going. I feel extremely confident that a fellow competitor had something to do with my tire. After my initial reaction of fear wore off, I was pissed! I rode so hard trying to make up some time and ensure that I beat her. Then, just about a mile out of transition my chain pooped off! Crap! I finally finished my ride and took off running. I passed plenty of athletes in my age group and was trying to figure out where I'd place and how far behind I was from where I wanted to be, about 5 mins. I felt good on my run despite the heat (90 degrees). My anger was gone as I decided I wouldn't let her have control of my emotions, instead I decided I would train and compete just to beat her at every other race we both attended. She is my new found motivation.
I was running to the finish line and ran with another girl for a couple hundred yards, we tried to mentally get to each other complaining about how hot it was and the need for a drink. Haha. She pulled away at the tail end beating me by 2 seconds. We gave each other a hug and told each other good job. I found Erica waiting for me with a huge hug! Despite all the obstacles, I raced really well. I am always proud of myself. I have good and bad days and no race is ever perfect. I still placed 10th overall and 1st in my age group.
I can't wait to beat #616 with a big smile on my face! Despite her recklessness and lack of care for others, I'm actually kind of flattered. She felt so threatened by me that she tried to sabotage my race. and still failed at that. What a freakin' loser!
As for Erica, that will forever be my most memorable and most important race and I am so glad I could share that with her and stand on that podium and make her proud and have that moment with her. She has said that she wants to train and do a tri with me and that one day just might be my most important race.