It’s time for a LC update!
July has been a good month so far - we have had the opportunity to spend a fair amount of time at home in Montana this summer, and it’s been a real treat. Normally I am bouncing from race to race, so I feel like I don’t get to enjoy some of the best time of year in Montana. I have been enjoying visiting some of my favorite cafes, coffee stops & enjoying other Missoula libations. I also was able to find a nice rhythm to training - swimming with MAC as been great, even if I am the oldest (and sometimes slowest) person in the pool by 10 years! I have hit up some of my Missoula staple bike rides and that’s been fun as well to repeat sessions and see improvements. I even had a bear encounter while out trail running the week before Vineman. Yikes!
Last weekend we ventured to California for the Vineman 70.3 triathlon. You can catch a recap of the weekend in the video above. I haven’t raced Vineman for a few years now, and the experience this year was my favorite so far.
On Friday, I gave a talk with Jordan Rapp & super-host Dave to kick off the weekend for everyone racing. Both Jordan and I were asked to recount our prior Vineman experiences. In 2007 I raced and it was my 2nd ever pro race. The gun went, arms went flailing in the swim and 5 strokes later I was S-O-L-O. I was in no-mans land for the rest of the day. Several times I wasn’t even sure if I was on the right course. It was a lonely 70.3 miles. It was also a good wake-up call that racing with the big girls was going to require me to step up my game big time! The next time I raced Vineman was in 2009. Again, the gun went off, I got dropped by my triathlon idols. I rode sub-par and clipped off a decent run.
2013 proved to be a bit more promising. We had the pleasure of staying at Thomas George Estates winery thanks to fellow purplepatch-er and all-around great guy, Dave. Thanks, Porkchop! (yes, that is his nickname) Race morning came smoothly. The gun went off, and rather than panic (a-la 2006/2009) I had a smoother assualt on my swim start. I stayed with the main pack (fist pump!), did some interesting dolphin dives at the turn and made my way out of the water right where I wanted to be. Thanks TYR!
I fumbled a bit through transition doing my hair & make-up (I kid) and missed out on riding with a few of the girls that would have made great company. Effort wise I felt like I was really pushing my limits - but looking at times now, I did not do my trusty Trek Speed Concept justice. Thanks Trek, next time we ride fast!!! I was far off the mark of where I needed to be coming into T2 - but as they say, you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.
My run was alright - I came off the bike on 5th and ultimately ended the day 5th. Not my best, not my worst. Thanks Saucony! It was great to see Meredith take the win in a massive comeback! Such an inspirational athlete for so many of us. Heather Jackson was hot on her heels and the men had some great racing as well.
We had a quick turnaround as we had a 6pm flight out of SF - so it felt like the REAL race took place as soon as I crossed the line. Mark from Trek was a true legend piling my sweaty, stinky and sticky self & bike into a car and box. A quick trip to In n Out burger and it was time to catch some serious zzzzz’s on the flight.
That brings me to now…. I am back home for a bit and have decided to listen to my body - rather than my head for the first time since March. I have been operating at about 70% going into my last few events and my lower left leg hasn’t responded as I’d hoped. It’s time for a break and to take care of myself and get me firing on all cylinders so I can prepare in the best way possible for my next events.
Frustrating? Extremely! Motivation? Of course. The good news is I have seen myself overcome similar adversity and this just puts fire in the belly.
Right now, I’m taking it one day at time and focusing on recovering to 100% (vs 70%). I made a good trip to see Dr. Ball in Phoenix after Vineman and we now have a good path to full recovery. We fully expect to be guns-a-blazin’ on the Big Island.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for some August adventures. It looks like I will be logging some good pool time and riding adventures. I also have a new ride on the way, and two trips planned to my great sponsors: Trek in Waterloo, WI & Saucony in Boston, MA.
As always - a huge dose of gratitude for all of the great support on & off the course. I couldn’t do this without my team of sponsors, friends, family, training partners, Madison & Chris.
Until next time -