Ugh. Do we even have to talk about this? Since pictures tell a better story than words...
|Click on the picture to make it bigger so you can read about my misery.|
As I mounted my bike I was convinced that my super awful swim had me so far back in the field that it was going to be a loooooong, lonely bike ride. But what I was quickly reminded of is that the swim at Eagleman is always slow (which I really don't understand because it seems like it should be fast...right?...right??). Thankfully, my swim really hadn't ruined my race as much as I thought. I immediately saw 3 girls right ahead of me and focused on catching them. Sarah P passed me soon after (and promptly rode away) and then it was lonely for a while. But THANKFULLY the next person to pass me was my friend Kristin, about 1 hour into the ride. This is always so good because (1) Kristin is super awesome and very encouraging and (2) she also happens to be a stellar and very steady rider. I was feeling very happy to have her in my sights because she gave me something to focus on. At New Orleans earlier this year this very same scenario played out but with about 10 miles to go on the bike Kristin had really gapped me. This time I was determined to keep her in sight and luckily I was able to do so while still keeping my watts and HR where they were supposed to be. We essentially rode into transition together which was fun because then we could enjoy the mud/mosh pit that was transition at the very same time!
|This photo doesn't even do it justice. Let's just say I had to hose my bike off after the race it was so caked with mud!|
Kristin also happens to be a super runner so I told myself to just "keep her in your sight" as we started the run together. Of course I've told myself this before and it hasn't worked out so well. But on Sunday I was doing a relatively good job of it. And despite being really unsure of how I was going to feel on this run (given my racing exploits the week before), I was actually feeling somewhat decent!
Of course at some point the run always gets really hard. But another reason why I like Eagleman is because there is awesome support at the race and MANY people from Pittsburgh do it! Every time my spirits started to sink, I got some encouragement which I was so thankful for. Oscar was there cheering me on (so, so awesome), my homestay family was manning an aid station and not only did they cheer for me super loud but they got the whole aid station to cheer! Beyond FUN!
Kristin and I started the run together in 10th and 11th place. At one point I moved up to 8th but was passed with about 1.5 miles to go, finishing 9th in the end. I ran 1:29 which is about 5 minutes faster than I've ever run at Eagleman. I'll definitely say the run was the highlight of my race. When it was all said and done I had about an 8-9 minute course PR and finished in 4:30.
What a fun weekend! I'd say I really liked doing the double and actually felt pretty good for the 2nd race! I didn't do anything super special in between the races to recover - just my usual ice bath, a massage, lots of sleep and some easy workouts. I'd definitely do it again if I get the chance. But not any time soon. :)
As per the usual I have SO many people to thank. A great group of sponsors that I'm so lucky and thankful to have. An awesome husband who truly helps me live my dream. Wonderful friends and family that support and encourage me no matter how many times I get lost in the race... (hehehehe). A beautiful homestay family in Dale, Mike and Glen - their generosity was amazing. I am one lucky gal!
And so now I rest. 5 x 70.3 races in a 10 week span takes a little recovery! :) I am super excited about what's to come though. And while I'm not entirely sure what the 2nd half of the season will hold, it will be very fun to find out! Stay tuned!
|Lunch out the day before the race with friend Ben and family.|
|Once again wishing I wasn't wearing a wetsuit but at the water did feel much cooler than at Raleigh!|