Let me start by saying this was an absolutely awesome course! I like it so much better then Clearwater. Just driving the course the day before I knew this had the elements I thrive in: hilly, windy, & "hot"! I was excited for race day and was so ready to go on Saturday I wished it was a day sooner! Sunday came bright and early. This race has two transitions so it threw in some logistical difficulty, but we got it figured out pretty well. I got to transition and wasn't my normal self. By normal I mean that I usually don't get flustered, but I dropped my electrical tape in the dark and couldn't find it, and almost walked off without putting my bike shoes on my bike! What was I doing? Well, in my defense there were 2 or 3 camera crews next to me. No, not taking pictures of me as one would think :) But taking pictures of the bike, or rather the person racked next to me, the awesome Julie Dibens. I was trying to duck out of the video crew's shot half my time setting up. Ha!
We hopped in the water about 10 minutes before go time. I had a nice little warm-up, got in position, and before I knew it the cannon was firing. We took off and I never conceded in the swim like I have in the past. I swam hard and then once it strung out a little bit hopped in behind a few feet, one being the eventual World Champ. I had a great, smooth transition (despite my rough time setting it up) and got out on the course. Right away I knew my legs were ready to bike. I caught up with several girls, and then it became a bit of cat and mouse the whole ride, but also with a male pro?? I tried to keep my distance off the back or get to the front, but never me in the middle because I knew this guy was going to cause a penalty, and sure enough he did. Luckily it wasn't me but not so fortuate for my competitor Melanie McQuaid who hardly needs to draft. She was blitzing through our ride.
Off on the run it took about a mile for my legs to come around. Then I felt strong and ready to pick off some girls ahead of me. My legs were moving, I felt great and I was within 90 seconds of 4 girls ahead while sitting in 8th. Perfect. Around mile 6 I head a rumbling in my stomach. Hmmm, this is not so good. In all of my years of running and triathlon this has never happen. I wouldn't call it a blow-up but more a blow-out if you catch my drift. Luckily there were port-a-johns on site. After a few of these I had nothing. It took all my energy just to move my legs. I've never wanted to stop so badly in my life. But on the other hand, I knew I'd never forgive myself for stopping (although that probably would have been the smart thing to do!)
After letting the dust settle and taking out the emotion, I'm obviously disappointed with my result. I made a few mistakes. While they were simple mistakes, they caused major problems in the end. The important thing is to fix these mistakes, and not spend another minute beating myself over this race. The 10th anniversary of 9/11 is a good reminder that Jessica Meyers having a bad last 7 miles of a 70.3 is hardly a tragedy. Also, I was able to look up and see that my good friend Jessica Jacobs was about to win Ironman Wisconsin. She has had a tough year and it brought tears to my eyes. That is resiliance right there. And then Amanda and Michael Lovato won their first 70.3 together! How cool is that? Finally, I was proud of Heather Jackson for running into the top 5. What a cool chick. I love seeing nice, friendly people do so well. Way to get after it!
I wanted to thank everyone that contributed to my race for Team Red White and Blue! Much much appreciated! And also to my wonderful sponsors, Rev 3, Trakkers, Kestrel, Recovery Pump, First Endurance, TYR, Avia, Louis Garneu, 918 XC. Also to Superleggera for getting my fit just right! Lastly to my awesome parents for coming to support me. You guys are the best pit crew (sorry you always pick the not so great ones!) Until next time!