Yesterday was my first race of the 2013 season and I am very happy to report I placed 5th at the Columbia Triathlon. Yes, fifth place would usually leave me very unsatisfied, especially at a race where I have been 3rd-1st-3rd-3rd, but this time it was a big win! Not only did I have my best swim and ride at Columbia in 6 tries racing there, but I also did my first 10k of the year. Normally at this point in the season I would have done some running races, and at least 3 other triathlons. However, in February I injured my hip during a workout and for two months every step of running either hurt or was very slow. It started feeling better just a few weeks ago and in the week leading up to the race I was able to run do a hard transition run (Saturday), a hard and hilly long run (Sunday), a hard treadmill workout (Wednesday) and two easy runs (Tuesday and Thursday). Suddenly I felt like I could run again and instead of leaving a podium outift out of my suitcase, I threw it in at the last minute.
When I got to Maryland I was still feeling some doubts until Bec said to me "If I were you, I'd stop worrying about things and start thinking about not letting anyone beat you on your home turf." That's exactly what I tried to do, and it worked.
I had a good swim, and swam in the lead pack up until the end when some of the people in the group (both Meredith and Nicky went the right way) didn't go around the final bouy. I wasn't sure if we were supposed to or not and almost went with them, but then had thoughts of Philadelphia last year and swam around it. I lost about 10 seconds or so, but I made it up in transition and was the first to get on my bike next to Nicky Samuels. She took off and I never saw her again. I rode in 2nd until Meredith Kessler blew by me on one of the first steep hills. She was out of the saddle and motoring up the hill. I was really impressed by her climbing! I tried to stay with her but she kept getting smaller and smaller in the distance. I rode by myself for the rest of the way until Angela Naeth passed me towards then end of the ride. I came into transition a few seconds behind her and we started the run about 10 seconds apart. My legs actually felt really good and after I got 2 miles in I had no doubts that I would finish. I fought hard to move into third but actually ended up getting passed in the last mile by Czech Olympian Radka and ended up 7 seconds behind her for 5th place.
Nothing hurt, my mom was at her place by the dam cheering for me, I got to high five my dad in the finish chute, and my whole contingent of superfans were waiting for me at the finish so it was a really good day!!
Thank you for all the cheers out there and congratulations to Nicky, Meredith (very fast in her first Olympic distance race) and Angela for great races. On the men's side Cameron Dye crushed for a three-peat. The announcer didn't mention it at the awards, but there were Olympic medalists, world champions and many time Columbia Tri champions in the race on both the men's and women's side. It was pretty cool to have so many accomplished athletes come to Columbia.
Thank you also to my sponsors who make racing possible: Nike, Cervelo, New York Athletic Club, Zico, First Endurance, Rudy Project, and ISM saddles . I'm going to go ahead and include my mom, dad and sisters here. They provided me with an excellent weekend of fun, food, rides and entertainment. And last but not least, many thanks and congrats to the members of Team Fight who are working hard to help young adults with cancer.
Equipment: Cervelo P3, custom Lightweight Meilenstein wheels, Rudy Project Winspan helmet, Nike FlyKnit Trainers, Nike lightweight running socks, Nike running visor, Rudy Project Ability sunglasses were left in transition area because of the rain and fog.
Nutrition: pre-race - cinammon raisin bagel with Nuttzo peanut butter and honey, full bottle of EFS drink
during race - First Endurance liquid shot and bottle of EFS drink (both of which I FORGOT TO EAT AND DRINK! OOPS - don't do that!)
post-race - chocolate ZICO and a foot long Subway veggie sub!