I hope you had a nice 4th of July weekend. I just wanted to update you on my last string of 3 races in a row in June. it started with Escape from Alcatraz on the 14th… this was a race I had been focusing on and really looking forward to since it IS my favorite race and having won it in 2006 makes it extra special. I also love the fact that there are always a lot of friends and people I know racing… including my father-in-law, sister-in-law and aunt-in-law! Unfortunately Brian wasn’t there as he raced at Boise 70.3 the day prior (and finished a very respectable 6th!) It was a perfect San Francisco Day with clear skies and a light breeze, even the water was balmy at 59 degrees! I ended up having a great swim and was the lead woman exiting the water. I was able to keep my lead until about halfway through the bike. I felt okay riding, but was definitely conservative on the descents and probably lost a little time on those. I still came of the bike in second, third was close behind and passed me in transition. I kept her in sight for the first few miles but slowly lost contact. I was hoping to feel a bit better on the run, but I gave it everything I had on that day and finished in a satisfying 3rd place. I can’t complain about a podium finish! J
Just a week later I did another local race in San Jose, it was the return of the “Pro Challenge”. It’s a very unique and fun format that was last held here in 2002. I won that year and was really looking forward to doing it again! It starts with a 40K bike time trial (racers left 1:30 apart). Then we wait/rest until all the age-groupers finish (about 3-3.5 hours) and come back to do a 800swim/2.5mile run/800swim/2.5mile run continuously, starting in the order we finished the bike so that the first one across the line wins. I had a strong ride and ended up with about a 2 min lead starting the swim/run/swim/run. I was then able to build some more on that with a solid swim/run segment and came away with my first win of the season! I again had a lot of support at this race with many friends, family and athletes I coach there cheering me on. It also gave me some great confidence going into the Hy-Vee Elite Cup just 6 days later.
Hy-Vee was held in West Des Moines, IA. It’s the same race that served as our Olympic Trials last year where I qualified for the alternate spot, so I was really excited to go back! This was also my first world cup since this race last year. Of course it was very hot and humid in the low 90’s, windy, and it started at 12:30pm! I was stuffing my suit with ice, rubbing it on my neck and face, and also put a bunch in my swim cap right before the swim start, anything to try to keep my core body temp down as long as possible. The swim is always crazy at world cup races and unfortunately I wasn’t in the lead pack of about 8-10 exiting the water, but I found myself in the second pack about :30-:40 seconds down. I was hoping my group of about 8 (we dropped 3-4 women along the way) would work a little more to try to catch the lead group but that didn’t happen. There were about 4 of us doing most of the work and we stayed about the same distance back the whole time. I debating trying to break away but thought that probably wouldn’t be smart in the heat so I did what I could while still trying to conserve some for the run. I felt really strong on the run and the heat didn’t seem to bother me much. I just focused on staying steady and keeping my leg turnover high. I passed a few women and got out sprinted by another at the very end but still finished in 12th place and 2nd American. I was really happy with my performance! It was great seeing you there too.
It was especially rewarding because I knew this was going to be the last World Cup of my career. I have decided to focus solely on non-drafting Olympic distance and 70.3 races going forward. It was a tough decision to make since I’ve been on the US National team for 10 years and they have been a great support in my quest for the Olympics. Racing for the National Team has also allowed me to see so many amazing parts of the world, my favorites being New Zealand and Kitzbuhel, Austria. I will miss being a part of the team but I think my strength lies in non-drafting races and I need to make the most of this for the rest of my career.
I want to say a huge thank you again to you and ISM for your support and belief in me. Next up is Life Time Fitness Minneapolis this Saturday July 11th.
All the best,