Back again! And so soon… and on a different continent…
Likely the most flight miles I’ve ever logged (and hope to log) in between races, I traveled from New Zealand, to Boulder, and then onto Brasilia in the span of two weeks. That’s more sleeping on planes than even I prefer. BUT, it came with the opportunity to represent USA in the FISU games, which is not something that happens every day!
We had a group of 8 athletes from the USA make the trip down to Brazil, which was tremendous fun! I’d met nearly everyone previously, and the group gelled almost immediately. The race was not up to the usual organizational standards, but if anything it made all the athletes more relaxed (after we got used to it…). All the athletes in the race stayed at the same hotel, and ate most of our meals together, so it was really great bonding all around.
Swim, no worries there. Team strategy was to stay as a pack and dominate the swim, fell easily into the swimmer pace line. I was actually one of the weaker swimmers on the USA team, and it was great to have my teammates to count on.
T1 was smooth, and got shoes on easily- best transitions so far for both T1 & T2 actually- racing has definitely polished those up. Had a nice USA pack, but we fractioned off going up the hill, and tried to regroup after. Lead pack passed by, and couldn’t get on. A bit frustrated still by my lack of bike power, but some loss of high end could be attributed to the amount of travel & racing I’ve been doing.
Only shade on the run was under a small underpass, and the temps were climbing. Took water at every aid station (drained my two bottles of Skratch on the bike). Tried to set a good pace for the first two laps- there was a pretty high chance of blowing up. Moved up through my pack and held my position after that, strong last lap. Felt much better on the climbing portion of the run, I seem to have the odd distinction of being an uphill runner… must be Boulder! One of the girls had the course mapped at nearly 6.7mi on her garmin, temp likely well over 90F by the finish. Not really a PR day, but finished strong in 9th position.
Best of all- sealed in the team title for the USA Women! I was the 3rd American, and the last one of the scoring trio. The US women had a decisive victory both on points & combined time. Our teammate Kaitlin landed herself on the podium for the women (3rd), and on the men’s side Kevin (1st) & Chris (3rd) both got up there as well. We were all pretty excited to see this headline on the FISU newsletter on Monday morning…
Next up for me is a nice solid block of training! That was quite a lot of racing for me: 5 races, 4 countries, 3 continents… in 61 days. Phew. Whirlwind of fun & excitement, but it will be nice to be in North America for a while and work on that bike power! Big thank you to my sponsors Mum & Pop (who I never thank as often as I should), Skratch Labs (who’s expertise seriously helped me this race… like for real… I was one of the athletes not a complete wreck hydration-wise), TYR (I’m one comfy swimmer), PowerTap (Justin is ON IT, and the power data from my PowerTap system is critical to tracking my improvement), Giro (Happy noggin, happy feets), Oakley (Protecting my eyes from killer sunshine & road projectiles), & ISM (Best saddles ever!), as well as the Team USA support crew!