This past Sunday, I competed in my fourth Hy-Vee Triathlon. Although this was
my fourth time competing in Iowa, this was only the second time on this exact
race course. The race began back in 2007 in downtown Des MOines. The following
year it was moved to West Des Moines because of flooding and last year the course
was changed once again so that the swim, bike and run were all completed near Raccoon
River Park and made the race very spectator friendly. This course consisted of a two
lap swim, an eight lap bike and a four lap run.
Weather this year again proved to be a challenge. Des Monies was hit with heavy rain the days leading up to the race. As a result, the kids triathlon was cancelled and the Age Group race was cut back to a sprint distance to try and fit everybody in beforea dangerous thunderstorm rolled in. Fortunately, the weather held out for the elites;although the park was turned into a swamp!
I went into this race with a fourth place ranking as my season has been strong prior to the race. I started off the swim in decent position; although I was not able to get on the feet of Sara McLarty and Hailey Peirsol. Those women were battling out the swim for the $5000 swim
prime! I exited the water in third position, but leading the large pack of chase women. We were just under one minute down on the two American women. We had about a 300 meter run into
the transition area and once out on the bike really wanted to push the pace quick.
On the bike course, positioning was critical as the course was extremely narrow to accommodate a large pack of women. I tried to push the pace on the first lap and get our pack a little smaller;
however, with the flat roads attacks were unsuccessful. A group of athletes were working well to paceline at the front; however, our group had to be quite pedestrian through the transition
area since it was a very narrow technical section to be safe with our large pack. I again tried to attack towards the end of the ride to try and bridge up to Sara and Hailey; although I was
still unable to get away! Behind us, some of the key players; including Emma Snowsill and Barbara Riveros were only 30 seconds down at the end of the ride.
I really focused on being in the lead heading into transition every lap and at the last lap I was in great position and in the lead; however, once I took my shoes off few women passed me right before exiting the bike. Once I started the run, my legs did not have the normal "pick-up" that they have felt most races this year. I struggled to find my form the first mile and saw the women
in front of me getting farther and farther away. It was one of those days my legs felt FLAT...could not get my heart rate up and could not get those legs moving. I was frustrated with the result of finishing 16th overall, but I have to realize that not every race will be great. Sometimes you learn more from the performances where you fall very far from your goals.
I think the all the travel thus far this season is finally catching up to me. Now it is time to get back into some consistent training the remainder of the year and to gear up for the races towards the end of the season. Although I did not have the performance I was looking for, I truly enjoy the Hy-Vee experience. The staff, volunteers and citizens of Hy-Vee and West Des Moines go above and beyond making sure each athlete has a wonderful experience. I enjoyed the family time and the cheering from friends and family who made the trip. Nate's 30th birthday was the day before the race, so it was nice to spend his birthday with smiles, cake, and laughter with family!
Now I am back in St. Louis----I am quickly remembered by the familiar heat and humidity here at my hometown!~ Six races down and at least seven more to go....so just about half way through with 2010...time sure does fly by.