I am obviously VERY behind in writing my race reports so this is going to be a quick summary of my last 3 races. I know most of the reason why I have procrastinated in writing these race reports has been because of the overall lack of enthusiasm with my racing this season. Despite the fact that 99.9% of what has happened has been out my control and what I am considering very, very bad luck, it is still very frustrating. Add on top of that some great training performances and feelings of great fitness and you get one VERY frustrated athlete. So, after a disappointing first few races, I did quite a bit of re-evaluating and shuffling around the rest of my race schedule, and I had my mind set up to make the most out of the rest of my season.
So, it began. Last minute arrangements were made and off to Calgary I went for what I hoped was going to be a little post-Rhode Island 70.3 redemption. I actually don't know why I didn't consider doing Calgary 70.3 to begin with. I love Canada (it is my home land after all!), my favorite training partner who I train with in Australia every year lives in Calgary (and ended being home and racing too!), and the race venue is absolutely gorgeous. My biggest concern was about this race was the anticipated cold. The water temperatures is notoriously cold and race morning can be hit or miss. Luckily, race morning wasn't too bad and thanks to my super warm Zoot wetsuit and the suggestion to wear 2 swim caps it only took me a few minutes to warm up after I dove into the freezing lake. Those first few minutes were brutal and was I really struggling to catch my breath!!! Overall though I was happy with my swim. I was able to get on some pretty fast feet and came out of the water in a pretty good position. The bike went by so fast and my legs felt good. I posted a new bike PR (the bike course was 4km long so the times don't show it). This was a nice change to how I felt at Rhode Island and it was just little boost I needed. Unfortunately, the “feeling good” did not last the whole day and the wheels came off just a bit on the run. Despite losing a few places on the run and only finishing 10th (the women's pro field was stacked!!!), I was encouraged with this performance.
I flew home and jumped into a local sprint triathlon we have every year in Philadelphia, SheRox. I had only 2 goals for this race: go as hard as I could and have fun. The pro field at SheRox is small so we started with the elite amateurs. The swim was so short it was over before I knew it and for the first time ever I came out of the water in first place. It was probably the first time I ever came out of the swim smiling! I hopped on my bike and gunned it. The first loop was nice because I had the road to myself. The second loop was a little dicey since I got mixed in with the later waves but it was probably a good thing because some of my adrenaline was starting to wear off and I was starting to get a little concerned about being able to run! Luckily the run was short! I managed to hold my lead the whole race. A win, another bike PR and the lead from start to finish. A pretty good day.
After a few positive experiences in the bank and some great training sessions that managed to surprise even myself, I was set and ready for a great day at Timberman. Unfortunately, my bike had other things in mind. When I woke up 2 nights before the race to weird sounds and blinking lights coming from my bike my heart sank. At least I still had the whole day to get it fixed so I tried to stay calm but it wasn't a good omen. After a visit to 2 different bike stores and a few pleading emails for a loaner bike I was forced to give up the fight Saturday evening. No one could tell me what was wrong with my bike but it would not shift at all. The disappointment was terrible, especially because I thought my streak of bad luck had ended. Apparently it hadn't and I'm just now accepting the fact that it's "just going to be one of those seasons". There is nothing I can do but move on. As I've said before, there is no way I'm giving up. But from this point forward, all of my fingers and all of toes will be crossed for what is left of this season!