I love summer and never want it to end. We are sitting here at the beginning of August, and despite blazing hot temperatures outside, I’m already starting to feel like summer is over. But HOLD ON – summer isn’t over yet, and there is still some good racing to be done this season! (see my schedule here) In the meantime, here is a little mid-season update!
I’ve had a couple races this summer I am proud of (see my thoughts here and here), and I’ve had races that I just took as good races and even better learning experiences. I most recently raced Vineman 70.3 on July 10. The race was good and I learned a lot, as usual. I finished 12th female pro – nothing too impressive – but I gave what I had that day against a very talented field. Once I got back to Utah, some people asked me how I felt about the race, probably wondering if I was disappointed considering how much better my last couple of races seemed to go in terms of placement. I just said it was good and there were a lot of tough ladies!
The reality of racing in the pro field, I’m finding, is that there are PLENTY of fast women to come and race on any given day, and you never know who is going to show up or who will have the race of their life. Point is – placement isn’t always an indication of how well you raced for yourself on that day, especially when you aren’t the athlete who is breaking the finish line tape on a regular basis (the ladies winning these races are quite consistent no matter the course or conditions). The level I’m performing at right now is the level a lot of female pros seem to be performing at (give or take a few minutes), so I go to every race fully expecting to fight completely for whatever place I get, and some days I’m stronger at that fight than others. Don’t get me wrong – I go to every race hoping to place well and to have my best race, but I know I’m up against extremely fast ladies, and that’s part of what motivates me to keep working hard day in and day out. Vineman 70.3 happened to be a very popular race that had a lot of women who were very fast. Either way, the venue was beautiful, I enjoyed the event, and I left looking forward to my next chance to race!
So what’s next? I’ve been asked that question a lot, and some people are surprised to hear that I will have had six weeks between Vineman and my next race – Ironman 70.3 Timberman in New Hampshire on August 21. Considering my last two 70.3 races were two weeks apart, and I sprinkled in local Sprints and Olympics through May and June, a six week period between races probably does seem like a long time. To me, six weeks means plenty of time to get in some serious, high-quality training, which should translate into stronger racing to finish off the year.
Which brings me to my next point – the training this summer has definitely been solid! I am grateful to have been able to stay home and get in quality training. The elevation and heat in Utah makes for a great place to train in the summer, and I’m lucky to have my coach Wes and a whole team of strong athletes here to train with. I’m also extremely grateful to have stayed injury free and have generally felt great in training, even with the number of hours and miles logged each week.
I’ve had some particularly long, intense weeks the last couple of weeks. “Long” weeks will be relative to each athlete since it depends on what they can handle with other life responsibilities, how many hours they have been training in the past, etc, but for me, long weeks are about 27-30 hours of training right now. The past few weeks I have also been lucky enough to do some training with Sarah Crowley – an Australian pro who is training hard under TriSutto coach Cameron Watt. They came out here for some hot elevation training in Park City and Salt Lake City. She’s got 70.3 Worlds and Kona coming up, so she has been great to train and talk pro triathlon life with. I’ve loved every minute of having another focused, hard-working female pro to train with, and as an added plus, I’d like to think I’ve really expanded my Australian vocabulary since spending some time around Sarah and Cam :). My fingers are already crossed they come back next summer!
I’ve been holding up physically and mentally, so it’s been fun to train so much and it feels oh so satisfying to get it all done. With that said, I am constantly figuring out how to best manage each day to make sure I get the most out of training while still maintaining my marriage and household :). With the amount I am training right now, I admit that I do the bare minimum outside of training and recovering. I say “bare minimum” not because I’m lazy or don’t have the desire to do more, but because it’s physically not possible for me to do all the “extras” right now (and yeah, even watching a movie on Friday night is an “extra”). So what do I do? I make dinner and prepare all my meals on a daily basis, go grocery shopping, work a little, spend time at home with my husband and dog, sleep as much as possible or whenever needed, make sure I’m ready with all my gear in good shape for all my training sessions, and anything else on top of that is just a bonus (like hair and makeup done with “real” clothes on, or even just sweeping the kitchen floor, is a HUGE bonus). The athletes who are most successful in this sport are the ones who have their full focus on training and recovery. I’m learning how to focus in as much as I can, and I’m grateful for a husband who supports me in doing so.
I am looking forward to the rest of summer and certainly the upcoming races on my schedule! Thank you to all the people who support me in this crazy dream!
P.S. I get a lot of questions about what a typical day is like for me, so I’ll share what some typical days have been like lately :). Watch for a few posts with plenty of pictures to come in the next week!