The mid west of America is basically comprised of corn fields, soya bean plantations, wind mills, and some very friendly people. In July, there are also a couple of races that, thanks to the great families I met in 2011, are very easy & accessible for me to bounce from one to another.
Starting in Bloomington, Illanois, the Saturday following Decatur Triathlon it was up a distance with the Evergreen Olympic Distance Triathlon. The swim this time wasn’t so smooth losing my goggles at the first turning buoy, and with navigation not being my strongest skill at the best of times I somehow managed to find my way around the course and into T1 in 3rd position. The bike is a rolling course through corn fields and wind mills, with lots of turns so it’s difficult to see your competition up ahead. Into T2 in 2nd, about 10 seconds down, I moved quickly out onto the run course (minus goggles this time!) and decided to throw down an early challenge, taking the lead and finding my run legs quite quickly. Taking the win is always exciting, but I was equally excited to enjoy the entire run, and feel the most fluid and efficient I have running for a very long time. Fingers were crossed I’d have these legs tomorrow in Racine! A big thank you to Dennis for allowing us to stay in the lake house yet again, and sorry we couldn’t stay to share a glass or two or vino after the race, no rest for the wicked!!
Returning to Ironman 70.3 Racine to defend my 2011 title I was feeling in much better shape than last year after the previous week of racing. Surely this was a good sign!? Although as the wise ol’doc says “it doesn’t mean sh#^ how you feel”, and today it didn’t: I’m stoked to have posted a full minute PR in the swim, something I’ve been working hard on so it’s good to see this is paying off. My bike felt strong, despite this I lost a further 2 minutes to the lead putting me 4.5 minutes back entering T2. Someone wasn’t real happy with this news. Running out with Jessica Jacobs I decided to take the first lap out solid but conservative, and hit the final lap hard. In hindsight this may not have been the best plan, with Jessica running away from me and taking the win, and myself running out of road to run down Dede for 2nd place, falling a minute short. The run was hot and humid, and whilst the men’s field was falling apart and resembling the scene of a war zone, the women’s race was turning into a real battle for 3rd through 6th position. I fought harder for 3rd place this year than I did for the win in 2011, so despite my run being slower than I had planned and hoped for, I was happy to have stayed strong and battled on for a podium finish.
So 3 races in 8 days, two victories and a 3rd place finish, a pretty successful trip and some great company, it’s now back to Flagstaff for a 3 week block leading into Ironman New York. Thank you to everyone for the kind words of support over the past week, my Team TBB sponsors, Cytomax and Muscle Milk, I couldn’t continue this journey without you all. Enough of this hot, humid heat and back up to 7,000 feet, I’ll make sure to pack an oxygen tank