Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Tizzy Experience

It is currently 2am and what better way to deal with jetlag than writing a blog? This past weekend I came home from Europe with two new additions to my suitcase. Besides all the German and Hungarian chocolate I hoarded I also had two World Cup medals to bring home which both happen to be gold. I still am not able to articulate just how that makes me feel, and I am not sure whether to blame lack of brain function on travel or if I will really ever be able to describe how awesome of a feeling it is.

In Tiszaujvaros (the town I have to keep copying and pasting because I spell it wrong every time) triathlon is so big that winning this race was definitely the best way I can think of to end my trip in Europe. It is the World Cup race that everyone talks about being not only a great race, but also a great experience in general. Upon arriving to Tizzy four days early preparations and celebrations had already began. Each night there was a concert in the town center, the bleachers were all set up and as it got closer to race day the excitement just continued to climax.

See told you they like triathlon!

The Tizzy World Cup is different from any race I have done in the past because it is a prelim final race. On Saturday you do a sprint distance race to qualify for the finals on Sunday which is also a sprint race. What made it even more fun for me was that besides swimming in the same little pond the bike and run courses for each of the races were quite different. In prelims we did a bike course that was two laps and finals was an eight lap course; each lap only taking about three minutes!

Going into Saturday I stayed focused on the prelims without putting much thought into finals, I figured there was no reason to think about it until I made it. Prelims went smoothly and I was able to finish second in my heat and run very relaxed to get my spot for finals. In finals, I don’t really know if anyone ever expects to win, but I did have a lot of trust in my training. Leading up to my race we had had plenty of mock races with the Landa World Cup (an open water swim session with the Aussies and the Canadians), the Vitoria USAT Running Championships (a 1500 meter time trial where I ran my best time ever!) and another Vitoria World Cup (a race simulation brick workout)-each of these sessions further increasing my confidence that I was ready for Tizzy.

The race started with an alright swim, I got gobbled up a bit and beat by the masses coming out further behind from the leaders than I would have liked. What I did have going for me was super sweet new TYR goggles where everything was crystal clear! Coming out of the water I had to book it to and out of transition. One of the bonuses to the course was that there was a 180 about half way around the course that I knew the pack would slow on. Theme song out of transition “Work hard, [brake] hard” and success I caught them by going hard into the turn while they were slowing! The rest of the eight laps was an attempt of trying to catch Hall and Milne from Great Britain, who are strong swimmers and cyclists, about 35 seconds ahead of us hammering as well as staying away from the 20 person chase pack behind us. My pack of about eight was able to make time on the second group and maintain the distance behind the two from Great Britain.

Coming into T2 and going off on the run I didn’t have much going on in my head. I felt good and knew I wanted to be at the front of the group I came off with. Once I achieved that I just looked ahead to Milne, then to Hall who was ahead of her. It was pretty surreal to me as I moved into first and was increasing the gap between second each lap. I just kept thinking, “don’t screw this up, keep pressing” and I tried to catch the bike who was leading me. As I came down the final stretch I was given an American flag to finish with. I executed the banner lift -which I was tisked for not holding up after Palamos by my teammates. Unfortunately they did not tell me what to do when a flag comes into play as well…

Oh learning experiences…

The rest of the evening was filled with fun festivities! At awards the top 20 were recognized on stage. Each person coming across with a little dance and then getting high fived or kissed by all the other competitors (never have I ever received so many kisses)! It was a great day and a great night and I can’t wait to go back to Tizzy to experience the atmosphere again!

Photo credit: Tommy Zaferes
For now I am back in the states for awhile, concentrating on Maine Rev3 with Team Psycho and Off the Front Multisport next weekend and doing some exciting super sprints!