It's been a LONG time since I've posted an update. Summer always seems to be a particularly busy time for me with racing, but 2018 has been challenging in ways that I haven't been accustomed to. So here is a brief update on how the past few races and my life have gone:
Escape Series Philly
We luckily were able to swim this year in Philadelphia. I had a great battle with Sarah Haskins once again, but I got to the run and simply could not match Sarah's run speed. Our lesson learned was two fold: 1) next time we travel to the east coast from Boulder we'll go a day earlier. 2) I was still pretty fatigued as I had just started my taper for Roth. Nonetheless, Sarah was the stronger athlete on the day and I placed 2nd. I went straight to the airport to start my journey to Germany for Challenge Roth.
I met my sister-in-law, Claudia, in Toronto and we flew together to Munich. Claudia grew up in Germany and having someone who spoke the language was so helpful. We had a wonderful homestay and Roth lived up to all the hype of being one of the most beautiful and friendly places I've ever raced at. The first few days went really smoothly, I slept well and felt like I was recovering well from Philly. Then it suddenly started taking me hours to fall asleep. I woke up feeling more and more tired each day. I started winding down for bed very early in an attempt to try and fall asleep, but in the end I just layed there for 6-8 hours before falling asleep. The night before the race I didn't sleep a wink. I woke up and felt sick with worry, "How was I going to make it through an Iron distance race without having slept more than 6 hours in 3 days?". I tried to eat, and immediately threw up. I switched over to race nutrition and I was able to keep food down. Claudia was amazing, encouraging me and simply telling me it was going to be okay. I got to the start line is a pretty good headspace. I had an open heart and mind, ready for what ever was going to unfold.
I had a great swim, and was moving well on the bike until 75 miles on the bike when I started to get really tired. I was riding with Laura Siddall and Yvonne on a very rolling section of the course; I put my head down during an downhill into an uphill and didn't realize I had closed the gap on Laura in front of me and I got a drafting penalty. It was my first ever drafting penalty in my career, but I deserved it. I shouldn't have had my head down, and I should have been paying better attention. Despite the massive time penalty 5min stand down plus a 1k penalty lap run, I was still mentally okay, but my body wasn't. About 8k into the run an old injury pattern of mine reared it's ugly head and had me slowing quickly. I knew I was going to be in serious injury trouble if I pushed through the final 30k. So I walked off the course and a kind spectator asked if I was okay. Luckily Claudia's cell phone number on the back of my bib. She picked me up and we went back to our homestay. I felt horrible. Iron distance racing is not a solo venture. I felt like I had let myself down as well as the people that helped me get to the start line in Roth.
I went home to spend a few weeks with my family. It was really nice to have some quality time and I was able to see my Grandmother one more time. She passed away just a few days after I left after a long battle with Alzheimers.
I settled back into training with just a few weeks to go until Boulder 70.3. Training was going smoothly, but I was still processing my Grandmothers passing. To add insult to an already stressful year, we were robbed. I can't get into the details but we had a lot of personal things taken, and like any theft we felt completely violated. Jarrod had to leave to go run some clinics back in NJ and I prepared for Boulder. I did my best of focus for the race, but I felt like my brain had been through a blender. I had a great swim, exiting the water in second. Pushed the pace with Jeanie on the bike and then finished up the run in 5th place. Within hours of finishing the race I was notified that the place where we had our tiny house parked had suddenly fallen through and that within 24 hours I needed to have everything off the property. This was very shocking as we had planned to be there until mid October. I worked like a mad woman, and with the help of a lot friends, I got it done. Jarrod arrived back in Boulder and within a few days we were driving back to Clermont.
Photo Credit: Korupt Vision
So we've been back in Clermont, training our buns off. It's hot, but I've loved it. Training suddenly clicked. I'm nailing my sessions, feeling great and was so excited to finally race this past weekend in DC. The event being cancelled was incredibly disappointing. I just wanted to race, but now I must wait two more weeks for Beijing.
So as you can see as it been a crazy summer on top of an already crazy year, BUT, I had a very important realization yesterday evening: I've been feeling sorry for myself. There. I said it. I've felt tremendous grief and anger this year for life throwing so much at me at once. The worst part of everything that's happened is that it's out of my control. I can't change what's happening. So how do I change how I'm feeling?
I've been letting the uncontrollables in my life eat me up. The additional small stuff has put me over the edge and really taxed my coping skills. I cannot pretend that what's happened in personal life this year isn't happening or that it doesn't make me feel sad. I've often asked myself, "How can this all be happening at once?". I took on a victims mentality without even realizing it. And it's not that I haven't acknowledged it, I have, my parents are sick. But I didn't realize that the fog I had been stuck in was a lot my own doing. I'm not special or immune to shitty, unlucky things happening to me; I will not feel sorry for myself anymore. I'm 24 hours into this realization so I'll keep you all posted on how it goes. This new awareness has freed me up; I feel lighter and more capable of feeling joy.
My next event is the Beijing Triathlon next weekend. It's an absolutely stacked field with very talented women from both ITU and long course racing. The last time I was in China was to watch Jarrod race in the Olympics, so it'll be fun to go back 10 years later!
Thanks for reading:)