I made the decision to travel from Las Vegas to Tempe during a conversation with Coach Paulo during the women’s final of the Las Vegas Super Sprint. While Gwen Jorgensen ran away with the race, I turned and told Paulo, “I think I should just go back to San Diego and train this weekend. I can’t race again on Sunday. It’s going to be my third race in seven days.”
Paulo thought for a moment, looked me in the eyes and said, “No, I don’t think thats a good idea. Your fitness is still there, and you have a good opportunity to race Sunday in Tempe.” Okay, you caught me. Maybe I didn’t make the decision… 🙂
|Shortly after the swim start (I’m in second, directly under the orange buoy)|
Instead of putting my attention on the challenges ahead of me, I continued to stress about my bike shipment. No matter how hard I tried to remember I had no control of the situation, I could not stop myself from thinking about it. That bike bag contained all the things I need to make a living, and all of a sudden it was gone. My life would have been so much easier if only I had trusted my instincts. I knew it was a bad idea to trust the driver. I knew he didn’t know what he was doing. I could have taken a train or taxi. None of these problems would have existed if only I had tusted myself instead of Nirvana Travel Company.
Like the Vegas race, that time was gone. I made a decision and I had to live with that. A few more talks with Paulo and a six-hour drive with Eric from Las Vegas to Tempe were exactly what I needed to calm these unprodutive thoughts. Slowly, I started to feel like myself again. Eric had me laughing with comments like, “Dude, look at all these Joshua Trees. They look like alien plants–like a tree and a cactus that had absolutely no business getting together got bored and were like, ‘Eh, why not?'” Naturally, this spurred an intelligent conversation about the duck-billed platypus being “The Joshua Tree” of the animal kingdom. I was starting to “chill.”
|A Joshua Tree–pretty weird looking, right?|
|The Duck-Billed Platypus|
While I was laughing and occasionally paying attention to the road, Paulo was working behind-the-scenes. My bike wheels were in my bike bag (which was who-knows-where), and I needed something to roll on for Sunday morning’s race. I called every bike shop in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area on Friday morning, but they either wouldn’t rent wheels or were all sold out for the weekend. Enter the generosity of Bryan Dunn.
|Bryan (far-left) finished 2nd in the Sprint Distance race in Tempe|
Remember how I told you Paulo was working behind the scenes? Well, he worked his magic and introduced me to Bryan Dunn–a Phoenix-based friend who was willing to help me out with race wheels. I spoke with Bryan on the phone Friday afternoon, and 18 hours later he was lending me $2,000 worth of bike equipment (These aren’t your average bicycle wheels and Bryan Dunn isn’t your average guy).
After all this coordination, getting to the race was actually a huge relief. For the first time since I left London, I relaxed and just let me be me. I gave the day everything I had, and in this case it was good for second place overall.
|Men’s and Women’s Podium|
A great deal of the credit for this result needs to go to all the people who helped make it happen. Paulo kept me focused on the task at hand. My training/travel partners Eric Lagerstorm and Jason Pedersen (Jason rode in a separate car from Vegas to Tempe and was not privy to our intellectual Joshua Tree conversation) motivated me with their focus and kept me relaxed. Bryan Dunn lent me his wheels, and Heather and Trevor Wurtele donated my shoes. Even fellow competitor Jarrod Shoemaker chipped-in and lent me an extra race belt. Who ever said triathlon wasn’t a team sport?
|Fortunate to have this guy on Team Maloy|