After the challenges in La Porte in May, I wanted a ‘do over’ in Texas in 2021. So I registered for Cypress and headed back into the land of humidity.
The day before the race, all of the Paras gathered (by chance) as Paul helped to make sure things were set for everyone. We also had a chance to get used to the tandem that Catapult had secured for us. Things went really well, and I was feeling great for the following day.
On race morning, the ‘Para Guide Sherpas’ showed up and helped to ensure that we had everything and that proper documentation (photos/videos) occurred. As the Para wave, we were in the water first. However, none of us heard the initial start (see Para Guide’s Instagram page for the video).
Even though there were some struggles on the swim, with my right arm hitting the tether, it seemed to go OK. What went even better was the bike — with us averaging 20.7 and spiking at 24 or 25. I saw just how solid a pilot Paul is when someone decided to try to pass us on the right going into a curve at 19-20 mph. He was able to properly and safely get us through it and then accelerate out of it as needed.
While the swim was OK and the bike was great, the run was not. At less than 1/4 mile in, I felt something go in my lower back. When it did, I started doing the normal things that I’ve done in the past (run/walk, stretching). However, before even 1/2 mile, it was so painful that all I could do was walk. And there were times when it even hurt to walk. Even still, I did find a way to run the last 1/10th of a mile into the chute.
It defintely wasn’t the Texas redo that I was looking for. However, I’m extremely grateful to Linda for all her help throughout the weekend and to Paul for flying in from Charlotte to guide for me.