It was exciting for me to race in a brand new location. I was very fortunate to have Jarrod with me; he had raced here two years ago so he was able to give me all the inside scoop. The weather leading into race day was looking ominous. The mornings had been very foggy and I was honestly expecting our swim to be cancelled; amazingly we got our race in before an absolutely massive storm hit about an hour after I crossed the line. This storm ultimately resulted in the event being suspended.
I had a fine swim getting on the feet of Meredith Kessler. There were two swimmers ahead of us. At points we nearly closed the gap but they were swimming all over the place and it made it difficult to chose whether to follow their line or swim the straight line. We exited the water about 30 seconds down on Rachel and Jeanie. I had a good T1 and worked hard to catch the girls up the road.
I first went by Rachel and then a few minutes later caught Jeanie. I went to the front and after a few minutes looked back and Meredith was with us. I was stoked; we had a strong group of women and I knew we would work well together. When we arrived at the turn around I saw that we had Dede with us as well, but immediately after the turn Dede turned on the jets. She completely splintered our group. It was insane to witness this kind of power- she completely rode away from us eventually putting 3:30 on us! I think it’s also important to mention that Dede is 48 years old- what she did was so impressive. So after Dede delivered her ass wooping, and our group was now scattered across the highway, I hit a mental lull. My fit were hurting and bleeding through my cycling shoes because I stupidly didn’t test them out without socks; rookie move. Then an athlete came by me riding well at about mile 35-40 and I suddenly felt great. It was just the kick in the butt I needed to get moving again. I could see that we were catching back up to Meredith and Jeanie, but a few more athletes were now with us. I think we were a pack of 7 or 8 by the time we got to T2.
PHOTO PROPERTY OF TALBOT COX
I had a fine T2 and got dropped immediately by the group. Everyone went out so hard. I looked down at my watch and saw that I running 6 min/ mile pace. My big goal for this year is to run faster off the bike in a half. I thought to myself: if I run 6min pace for the rest of the race this will be a huge PR so I’m happy to let these girls go. Slowly but surely I reeled them in. Leslie and Jackie came by me as we were completing lap 1 and I wasn’t going much slower than them so I decided to pick it up just a little. Jackie and I moved passed 3 girls and we were in 3rd and 4th. Around the 7 mile mark I made I move to go into 3rd. I got a good gap but as I closed lap 2 I could feel that my blood sugar was getting very low. I did my best to get calories in but I had to slow my pace. With two miles to go Jackie started to put time back into me. I gave it everything I had but I got caught with about 800m to go. I tried to go with her, but I just couldn’t.
PHOTO PROPERTY OF TALBOX COX
I was disappointed to slip into 4th and get knocked off the podium but I was thrilled to run a 2min half marathon PR. That was the most fun I’ve ever had racing the run of a half Ironman. The run course was 3 laps and zigged and zagged on itself. I was able to see Jarrod 8 times per lap! I was constantly getting feedback on where I was in relation to my competitors because I could see them; it was awesome. As soon as I finished drug testing I ran to gather my bike and transition gear because a huge storm was coming. Luckily I was back in the hotel room by the time it hit but it was absolutely nuts; it was a proper hurricane. We found out that a tornado touched down close to Hobby airport!
I’m now on my way up to Canada to spend a few weeks with my family. Next up is St. Anthony’s! Until then, thanks for reading.