I woke up Saturday morning ready to make circus animal waffles. My phone buzzed. It was an email from the UCSB tri team announcing the swim portion of Kendra’s race would be canceled. The Triathlon would now become a duathlon. I originally signed up for just the 5k since I had learned how to swim the week before, and my current version of swimming was just frantically thrashing in the pool until I got tired. After reading the email, I briefly considered doing the duathlon since it would help our team’s conference ranking. I made the mistake of mentioning this to Jesse and he immediately suggested emailing the UCSB race director to see if they could switch my registration. I sent off a quick message and prayed to the Tri Gods that they wouldn’t be able to. As luck would have it, I received my duathlon registration confirmation before I even cracked the eggs for my waffles.
Sticking to my decision I packed copious amounts of snacks, the new helmet I’d yet to wear, and my t(rusty) bike. After Brody finished dismantling and making fun of my bike’s condition, we set off for Santa Barbara. I was graciously nominated by Syd to be DJ for the ride which was an
The next morning we woke up bright and early thanks to DST, quickly packed our things and headed to the UCSB campus. I picked up my race packet and racked up my bike in transition. The team began warming up when Gianna eloquently described this race as “a test we hadn’t studied for.” Before I knew it, I was at the start line. As we took off, I kept a solid pace for the first run. I came into transition with a small group and kept up with them on the bike for a whole 30 seconds. A very nice girl from USC slowed down long enough to shout, “You’re killin’ it girl!” before speeding right by. Halfway through my first lap, I realized I wasn’t mentally prepared for a 12 mile bike. The farthest I’d ridden before this was just to class and back home. Very quickly my race pace turned into a casual ride as I got distracted by the gorgeous view, sun on my face and perfect temperature in Santa Barbara. I had to keep reminding myself to pedal faster every time someone passed me. As you can tell, I’m a natural athlete. Victoria passed me towards the end of the first lap and her words of encouragement definitely helped me push to go harder. The second lap went by a lot faster, mostly because my butt was really starting to hurt and I was itching to be off the bike. I finished the second lap and half jogged, half wobbled into transition. The second run started off a little rough, but I had enough energy to get some spots back and pass people on the hills. The team’s cheers and the siren of the megaphone helped me and my noodle legs cross the finish line. The entire team did great overall: three of our male athletes finished in the top 20 with Brody taking 3rd place, and our women’s team had a stellar performance with 2 of our athletes making the top 10. Several other of our athletes including myself, Brenna, and Lucas also had great finishes especially since this was our first multisport race
The team grabbed some pizza and had a nice picnic on the beach. Although we all did great at the race, the real winners were Brody and Syd who became best friends with Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth at Goleta Pier. We finally started our trip home, snacking and singing the whole way back. Although my legs hated me for doing the race, I was glad I did it. I’m happy to be a part of this team that pushes me to do more than I think I’m capable of. Once I practice my swimming and build up my thunder thighs, I’ll definitely be back for more.