April & May were extremely stressful for me and I just didn't have it in me to update this blog, but it is all behind me now. June & July were really busy, time flew by and suddenly it's nearing the end of August and I'm just 2.5 weeks away from Ironman #4!
April & May were really rough coming off of IM Cabo. The other 2 Ironmans I have done closed out my season so I took my sweet time to recover, had an entire winter pass by before my next race and I had a long layoff from any speed work, I slowly eased myself back into a training routine. Doing a spring IM and then attempting to get in shape for short course spring racing was a whole different ball game. I took 2 full weeks off to recover (the first 2 weeks of April) and when I began training again on April 14 I got tired very quickly. By the very end of May I started to feel better each week than the previous but it was a long road battling back. I took a lot of notes during this time to help the athletes I coach should they chose to do a spring IM and make the quick turnaround into early season short course racing. I made notes of what went well, things I did wrong, things I would never do again, how I felt each day/week/workout, and how to best execute this process again for myself and others, I learned a lot.
Each previous season I have spent all of April doing nothing but speed work, this year I spent all of April recovering and fighting fatigue. All other years I spend May racing duathlons fully prepared but this year I had two choices; don't race until mid to late June when I felt strong/fit again or show up at all my favorite early season races with adjusted expectations and use the races to try to race back in shape. I opted for option 2 but I felt like I was in my own world in each race fighting to find any speed at all.
My first race was supposed to be the Oakdale Duathlon but I was forced to DNF with a mechanical right away on the bike. I think it was for the best. My body & fitness level were both still feeling crummy and I had a bike that was way too big for me with shifting/components that I was not a fan of.
The next weekend I had the opportunity to travel with a fun group to the Long Course Duathlon National Championships in Cary, North Carolina. I was really fortunate to get a free plane ticket to Raleigh and didn't want to pass up this race. The course and venue were wonderful and the distance was a blast, I only wish it would have been later in the season and I could have been in shape. I did the very best I could and enjoyed the trip so much. I biked on a second but still way too big for me bike frame and felt so uncomfortable and my fitness just wasn't there yet running or biking. I would love to go back to this race in the future under better circumstances, I ended up 7th woman overall determined to get my butt in shape.
After my last 2 races being on 2 different bikes that were not a good fit I got a hold of the best bike shop in Minnesota (probably the entire country), Gear West and they got me the exact bike I wanted built up from the box to my perfect fit in just over 24 hours. I will never forget that! I appreciate Gear West 10 times more then I already did, which was quite a lot to begin with, it feels so good to be racing in black and red again as well.
I closed out May with the Apple Duathlon where I was 4th woman overall / 3rd amateur & opened June with a 2nd overall finish at Buffalo. I had my second fastest time at both races, 2012 was my PR for both but I am coming off a very different spring in 2014 then I was in 2012, I will take it. These were signs that things were stating to come around. The competition was stiff at Apple and I LOVE that! I have won that race twice in 1:38. I was 1:36 this year and placed 4th. I would much rather place 4th and be 2 mins faster! I love being pushed and I love that there is so much incredible local/regional talent this year! It felt so good to be on the right size bike again, I felt strong and happy riding for the first time since Cabo which was my last race on my old Felt B2 before I sold it.
I took the next few weeks in June off to focus on work and put some quality training in on my new bike. My company Fox Endurance was so fortunate to be a proud sponsor of the Lake Minnetonka Triathlon and host an open water swim seminar for their participants, we had a huge turnout for the evening and they had perfect weather on race day. There is a reason Lake Minnetonka Tri sells out quickly each year, everything about it is top notch and I was lucky to be involved.
On June 22, Minnesota hosted the Best Of The US National Championship in St. Paul and I was honored to represent MN. I finished as the 6th overall woman.
Awesome news for my current and future coached athletes, Elsmore Aquatics has partnered with Fox Endurance and all my coached athletes get a continuous discount both online and in their store. I am so grateful to Elsmore for their sponsorship of my business and for supporting my amazing athletes! Elsmore is one of the largest swim shops in the US and locally owned with 2 locations in MN.
I am an ambassador for Tri Bike Transport for the 2014 season, TBT has made my last two Ironmans a breeze by shipping my bike for me, it is so fantastic and easy! The bike ships fully put together and only your pedals come off. I have one discount code left to give away to someone to use Tri Bike Transport in 2014! If you are traveling to a race this season and want to make it as easy for yourself as possible check out TBT's schedule. I will give the code to the first person to email me @ email@example.com
I closed out June with a road trip to visit my sister and my nephew in St. Louis and I raced on the most challenging olympicish distance course I've ever done. The race was called the Fresh Idea's Quartermax Triathlon. Quartermax, as in a quarter of a full Iron distance. .6 mile swim, 28 mile bike, 6.55 mile run. The race venue was in a beautiful resort outside St. Louis on pristine Lake Aspen. It is a "no gas boat" lake which made the water so clear and clean but the water temp was announced at 84 degrees! I am not sure where they took that temp, it felt much warmer and I was roasting without a wetsuit. The bike course was a great route with a ton of climbing, I used my small ring over 10 times and was the only woman to avg over 20 MPH, I BARELY got over 20! On the race website they warned us about the run course elevation and told us to please train for hills. They weren't kidding! It was gorgeous packed gravel roads entirely inside the resort but so tough! I was spent when I finished and my goodness it was hot & humid 9 hours south! It was really neat to race in a another new state and face an entire field of women where I didn't know a single girl. One of my goals this year was to do some races I have never done before. So far I have done 5 new courses this season with #6 set for Sunday.
I spent 11 days in St. Louis including the 4th of July and my 31st birthday. I took a yoga class underneath the St. Louis arch, ate fabulous food, went to a Cardinals game, enjoyed a ton of family time, checked out Forest Park (a 1,371 acre park right in the city) and did a cycling time trial. It was a 6 mile out and back on one of the smoothest roads I've ever biked on, it was so much fun I raced it twice!
Hopefully I will have time during my taper to blog about July & Aug. Thanks for reading and I hope everyone is having a fabulous summer!