More New Zealand racing for me! I spent the two weeks between the New Plymouth & Auckland races training in beautiful Taranaki. There were quite a few of us ITU athletes hanging around, and it was pretty cool to have some new scenery to train in. New Plymouth was a wonderful host to us!
On Thursday after my swim, I drove from New Plymouth up to Auckland (takes longer than you think!). It wasn’t that long ago that I was in Auckland for Age Group Worlds, and it had the wonderful feeling of coming home after a long trip. I stayed with some friends that we had met last time I was there, so even more injection of the familiar. All too familiar though, was the bike course- it is fierce! It’s pretty nerve racking to step up to the WTS level but everyone is in the same boat. It’s a tremendous honor just to be on the start line with these girls, but the hour comes when you’ve got to race them 🙂
Swim started well, position at start wasn’t too bad, and stayed out of trouble on the turns. Water was rougher on the far end of the course, but was well within the group so it didn’t displace us too much. Got tussled a bit, but I read that as a good thing because it meant that I was in the mix. Happy to be in the pack for the swim, but didn’t want to drill it too much because I knew the bike was coming.
T1 could have been smoother- I still want to reach for my bike rather than putting my helmet on first. Still working on staying focused within myself for transition, but I knew it would be a critical time to get on the bike group. Was out and had shoes on within reach of the main pack, but was dropped on the first hill coming out. Second group came and went on that lap as well. Legs just felt numb and had nothing in them. I had hope that they would start to feel better (or at least be able to get some power out of them) as the race went on- but no going on that one. I was called off by the sweep bike with less than 2 laps to go.
DNF sucks. I know I’ve asked a lot of my body to get up and ready for this race- my spring racing & travel schedule has been pretty demanding. I wish I had the power in my legs to stay with the group, but bottom line is that I didn’t. We wanted an early season check, and at least it took the best in the world on one of the hardest courses in order to lap me out… Quite glad to have a chance to redeem myself in a couple of weeks at FISU. Racing in ITU is as much about enduring a grueling schedule as it is about ridiculously fast racing.
Back in Boulder now for a bit more training and rest. It’s been nice to be home, but some cold weather has hit this weekend. My time in the southern hemisphere has made me a bit soft, and I’ll be layering up extra well. Off to Brazil on Wednesday to represent the USA in the FISU World Uni Games – Let the spring travel continue…
Big thanks again to my sponsors: Mum & Pop, Pam (my adoptive Aussie Mum), Shelley & John (my homestay in Auckland), Skratch Labs, TYR, PowerTap, Giro, Oakley, & ISM, as well as the Team USA support crew!