The past ten days have been very busy…it seems like I have been away from home for much, much longer, but it was only July 21st that we left Colorado Springs headed for London! Since London, I have been in St. Louis and Jacksonville, Florida visiting family and friends and attending a wedding in Florida. The start of the trip went very smoothly and I loved the fact that I had a direct flight from Denver straight to London. London was a great city, with a vast amount of historical as well as modern landmarks.
The triathlon took place in Hyde Park, which was a huge park right in the middle of the city. The swim course was a two loop swim in a calm, weed-ridden pond (of course you don’t notice the weeds too much while racing). The bike was a fairly technical eight lap loop course around the park and the run was a flat three loop course. I went into the race expecting of only compete in 2/3’s of the event. Ten days prior to the race, I strained a tendon/muscle in my calf and I wanted to give my leg a chance to fully heal and not damage my leg any further so that the later part of my season would be compromised. Nate and I still felt traveling to London and competing on the swim and bike would be important since this is the site of the Olympic venue and experience on the course is important for future preparations.
The swim was fast, but I was able to get to the buoy just behind Emma Moffett and Laura Bennett. I exited the swim in second position, just behind Laura. Once on the bike course, the plan was to do as much work on the bike possible to keep any groups behind separated and to help out the Americans in my group by allowing them to do less work on the bike. At the start of the bike, I rode on top of my pedals through the first turn and up a gradual descent. When I was ready to put my feet into my shoes, I lost some valuable time struggling to strap my feet in; however, our group was motivated to get moving and several women in the pack were really working hard to stay away from the chase pack. Our lead extended from 50 seconds up to two minutes from the middle to the end of the ride.
Once out on the run course, I ended my race there. Unfortunately, I was not able to finish contributing to my overall score in the rankings; however, I felt the smart move is to heal now and have a more successful end of the year.
While in London, I was able to get excellent treatment Alex Keith the chiropractor and Robby Dolby, massage therapist, so I am happy to report that I have been back to running for the past several days now!
Watching the men’s race the following day was extremely exciting and great to see such a wonderful crowd supporting triathlon. This is great news for what kind of support triathlon is likely to have for the Olympics and beyond!
Since the race, I have been enjoying a visit to St. Louis and Jacksonville. In St. Louis, Nate and I went to Six Flags with my family….it has been years since I have been on roller coasters! We also helped my Dad get fitted on his bike with clip-less pedals. He was on a pair of my old Sampson pedals and really picked up the new shoes quickly! He rode 17 miles with me and was able to keep up with a smile on his face the entire way…minus one small set back---climbing the hill back up to my parents house he snapped the chain! Nate and I mentioned that he was producing so much power and his pedal stroke that he broke the chain. As a result, he went down on his elbow. Fortunately, he walked away without any injuries, but this was his first official, “crash”.
This past weekend, we had our last leg of the trip to Florida where we attended Andre Lapar and Kathy Hunken’s wedding. We had a blast at the wedding and got a chance to see friends, dance, and enjoy some wedding cake! It was extra special to see them exchange vows, since three years ago Nate and I introduced Kathy and Andre to each other at the St. Anthony’s Triathlon in St. Petersburg, Florida. I have to say that about the only activity we did not enjoy this past weekend, was going for a run at 12:30PM with a heat index of 110 degrees! All I have to say is that I do not recommend, however; sleeping in was worth the cost of having to run in the sauna. Today we went running along the beach shore, which was much, much more comfortable having the ocean breezes blowing on you for much of the run. Both runs were ended with an immediate jump into the pool and today; into the ocean. Nate caught a couple waves, losing his shorts in the process---but, fortunately, he found them before he had to scare anyone off the beach. The rest of the day will be spent heading back across the country and back to some quality training in preparation for the final part of the season that will quickly be approaching. I have Chicago next up on the agenda at the end of the month.
Hope everyone is enjoying summer and don’t forget to take a moment to relax before the remainder of the summer season flies by!