Travel to WF this year was so much easier and stressless than ever before. Brendan Halpin, Adam Jensen, Matt Shryock and I all took a flight together to LA in order to rent a van and drive to the race venue. This was easier than the usual 24 hour drive to and from WF. We must be growing up. Team MT also took the easy way out on lodging this year and organized a sweet homestay in Jurassic Park. This takes a little bit of stress out of bringing all of your camping gear. Who knows though? I think camping makes you tough. I have had some of my best races after camping so I may have to revert...we'll see. Race day came fast.
crack of dawn: Loaded up our mini to get the race EARLY. I am converted to getting to races early. I like my own space to get ready, think, and double make sure I am RTR (ready to roll/race).
swim: (27:46) This is a decent time for me, however, I didn't feel like I had a great swim. I was in a great pack off the start that I once again, accidentally swam off of. I will be working on my straight swimming skills this year because it is killing me. After the first turn, I lost this group and towed another group for the outbound portion. I was dropped from my own group at the turn buoys (getting a little tired) so I swam by myself for a bit until halfway back when I rejoined my little group (maybe they got tired). We all got out together and busted buns to our bikes. My new Zoot Prophet came off like a dream...LOVE it!
bike: (2:52:45) Wowser! What a windy day on the bike in beautiful country. For anyone who knows me, or doesn't know me, you may know I do not like riding in wind. I would rather ride in snow, rain, mud, etc. I didn't have a choice on this day though so I did what I do in races and got in the best mental space I could, put a smile on my face (even if I didn't mean it sometimes), and did my best. Everyone is riding in the same conditions. It was tough and I did a lot of self talk. I was so focused on staying focused that the hills didn't even phase me. I loved the course and can't wait to compare future times to this one. I had a solid day but not a spectacular one. I was caught by a few girls in the last 5 miles that really helped push me into t2.
t2: (1:43) Pretty fast thanks to my Zoot Speeds!
run: (1:40:13) Solid. I didn't know what to expect on the run course. I guess I expected a few little dirt hills. I got what I expected and more! There were a few steep long hills. My motto for the run was to stay hydrated, take nutrition, and keep moving by keeping my cadence up. I was solo for much of the run. It was fun seeing some of the pro women towards the end at the only out and back. I could see there were a few not too far up the road but I was not able to close any gaps although I felt chipper even at the end. I was excited to get onto the road and the last stretch of the race. One, because it was the last stretch of the race and two, because I have raced the Olympic so many times that I was finally on familiar road. The last downhill, as anyone who has done this race knows, feels so good and so bad all at the same time.
final: (5:04:15) I really wanted to break 5 hours...boo hoo. Next year. I will be back to race this race again. I love racing on the same courses year after year to see improvement.
post race: Eat, sleep, and one of my favorite parts of the trip: cheering for the University of MT kiddos racing the Olympic! Team MT stayed on Sunday to cheer for the UMers like so many have done for me when I raced the Olympic. They did stellar and it was a ton of fun to see how much fun they were having racing. Sometimes I think maybe I could just cheer for races. Then again, no, I definitely LOVE racing.
Next up: Boise 70.3 on June 11.