The last few weeks have been intense. To make a very long story short; I’ve got a lot of heavy family stuff going on right now. I spent the majority of April up in Canada with my family. One phone call changed my training plans and within a couple hours I was packed and on a plane to Toronto. A massive thank you to my husband, who is also my coach, for being so adaptive and supportive both personally and professionally through this challenging time. He has been very creative with my sessions, and there has been no shortage of hard work, just some shuffling and priority shifting.
Even though I had only missed one year of St. Anthony’s it felt like ages since I had been back. The conditions were perfect; the most calm conditions and moderate temperatures we’ve seen in a very long time. I had absolutely no idea what to expect; Olympic distance racing feels a little foreign to me now and it’s only my second race of the year. In a way, I feel like I’m still shaking the cob webs off!
Sarah and I started near each other, and I think it was Jen Spieldenner who got out fast and we were on her feet, but then the pace settled. For a few hundred meters we were all really evenly matched and no one particular swimmer was moving ahead. We are all experienced enough to know that this isn’t a fast way to swim, so by the first turn buoy we were in a line. Sarah Haskins was leading the way, followed by Goss, Spieldenner, myself and Sara McLarty. The water was so calm; we exited in a line and ran into T1.
I got onto my bike in 3rd place and wanted to get through the cobble section as quickly as possible. I got my feet into my shoes and made the move to pass Sarah for the lead but she passed me right back when I tightened up my shoe. There is an out and back section downtown where Sarah and I were able to drop the rest of the field and create a gap. I wasn’t feel great on the bike that day, and wasn’t able to re- pass Sarah until the final few miles as we approached the downtown area again.
I entered T2 with Sarah hot on my heals. We took off out of T2 together and exchanged words of encouragement as the foot race was about to begin! We were separated by just seconds until about the 1 mike mark when I started to feel dizzy and nauseous, my vision was spotty I struggled to judge the distance between my feet and the ground. Then at the half way mark I could see the gap wasn’t that big, maybe 20-25 seconds. A part of me wondered if she wasn’t feeling great either. I finally started to feel better after 4 miles and the gap was just starting to get smaller. Then we crossed the bridge and with one mile to go I started to push hard. Someone yelled “10 seconds!! She’s right there!”. I dug deep and once I was in the finish chute I let myself accept my placing, and give some high fives to my friends that came to watch. Within a few seconds I learned that Sarah had had the identical symptoms on the run. It took about 30min for spots in my vision to subside. Jarrod hypothesized it was due to the very salty water? We aren’t 100% but I’m still so happy with the result considering the last few weeks.
I am currently on my way to Utah for 70.3 St. George. I’m tired and the idea of racing again feels pretty overwhelming. But I’ve got a few more days, I love this race and I have a wonderful home stay that I am so excited to see again.
Once this weekend is done I will head back to Boulder for the summer. Then just a few weeks until Alcatraz- a race I haven’t done in over 10 years! Thanks for reading!
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