Thursday, October 31, 2013

Austin 70.3 Race Report

Austin 70.3 was my final race of the season and as every athlete typically feels - I wanted to end on a good note. After changing my summer schedule, racing three IMs, probably doing a bit too much, taking a mid-season break in an attempt to recover, and trying to ramp up again, I thought I had enough base/training/fitness to carry me through one final hard race. I might have been wrong. Sometimes the truth is hard to face, but honestly, I think I need to hit "reset" on this season, take a proper break and start fresh with 2014 triathlon racing.

After waking up to thunderstorms and pouring rain, I racked the RS in a muddy transition, warmed up a bit and got ready to throw down one final hard race.

Photo: Mario Cantu
After a 15 minute delay the pro women were off. I found some feet, they slowed down, I went around them and then spent the rest of the swim chasing one girl ahead of me. I felt fairly strong and finally caught her ten feet before we exited the water. Swim = 29:13.

Transition was a muddy mess.

Onto the bike and I wanted a repeat of Superfrog where my effort felt really hard, but sustainable. About ten miles into the bike I felt that pushing hard was taking much more out of me than it should be, but it's a race and there's no point slowing down, so I pushed on. It was time to throw down and I had nothing to throw. Bike = 2:29.

I came off the bike in 11th with a lot of ground to make up. Running is my strength and I typically run my way up through the field, so I set off on a mission. I moved up to 8th, could see the distance between the other girls and knew moving up much more wouldn't happen unless someone blew up. Somewhere mid-2nd loop I hit a rough patch and multiple girls ran past me. Deflating and I was now in 11th, but I knew it really didn't matter. The money at this race went 5 deep, so other than pride and personal satisfaction, nothing changed.

 I considered my options. 
  1. I could kill myself to chase girls back down and move back up into the top 10. 
  2. I could yog my final lap and just enjoy racing for what it is, high-fiving kids and enjoying the funny costumes spectators were wearing. 
I yogged. I slowed down, I smiled, I gave high-fives to all the kids. I took some candy that a spectator was offering. It wasn't my day for a fast race, but it was still a nice day for a run. Run = 1:29.

Final Time = 4:31, 11th.

2013 was probably one of the toughest mental seasons I have endured. I raced more stacked fields all season than I ever have. I had some rough races with a few good ones thrown in. I chased Kona points and came one slot shy of missing the cut. In some ways I felt like the season beat me down and I just couldn't get a break, but at the same time I learned what it takes to race at the top and I got excited when I saw glimpses of what I am capable of. I also saw the world! I met amazing people. I laughed a lot. I fell in love. I experienced events and life that I know were a once in a lifetime adventure. I would not trade my season for anything.

I am fired up for 2014. I always think the longer, harder and steeper the road to the top, the more rewarding it is. My season was definitely long, hard and steep this year, so I look forward to reaching the top next season and enjoying the hard effort it took to reach that point all the more.

A huge Thank YOU to:
Zoot - Aweosme company, amazing shoes, wetsuits, tri kit, etc.
SKLZ - Perfect recovery products and an all-around solid company.
Microscope World - A job I love.
Cannondale - My RS is my dream bike.
Profile Design - Fast wheels, aero bars and hydration.
Extreme Endurance - Immune Boost and Xendurance are the best products out there.
Powerbar - You make fueling before, during and after a race easy.
Rudy Project - Glasses and helmets that work well and look great.
Bont - Stiff shoes that I love.
Winsole - Awesome custom inserts for my bike shoes and great fit to go along with it.
Sable Water Optics - Happy to see so well when I swim!