I had a rough first week of racing in Florida at the beginning of March. And it took a while to shake off the slump and get out of the hole I dug for myself. After a month of work with Melissa Mantak, then new National Development Coach, we dialed in training and I got myself back to normal both physically and mentally. And so, I declared that the age group race at the WTS San Diego triathlon would be the grand reopening to my 2013 season.
Travel to San Diego was quick and stress free and staying at the host hotel made life super simple. The pro races, amateur race, and expo were all adjacent to the Bahia Resort Hotel and the airport was an easy 15 minutes away. Plus I stayed with my coach Trista Francis along with a group of her iTz Multisport athletes for the race weekend. All of my pre race preparation went smooth as well. I felt strong and confident in my swim, bike, and run. I was especially excited for the bike portion, since this was to be my first race on my new Trek Speed Concept 7.5. I had never been on a bike so fast. I am so grateful that Bruce Kelley at Pedal Power in Eagle Vail, Colorado helped me acquire the rocket. I went to sleep the night before confidant that I would finish in the top three.
I could not have asked for a more stress free race morning. I setup my equipment in transition at 6:00 and then started warming up around 6:15 for my 7:15 wave start. I lined up in my age group next to my good friend Randy Arriola (www.randyarriola.com) who races for Black Dog Triathlon (the same club I raced for last year). We both were hungry to earn our professional license in this race. Once the gun went off I sprinted down the beach and dolphin dived away from the wave. The fastest swimmers came from behind, and I did my best to latch on to feet and keep track of the racers around me. I knew at the end of the day that this swim was not my strongest, but I was thrilled I could respond and maintain a hard effort. This was not the case in my first two races… I counted myself as the 5th or 6th person in my wave out of the water. I booked it through transition, and mounted my bike into a fast middle leg. I whizzed past people like crazy for the whole 40k. I had no idea at that time, but I clocked the fastest bike split by about a minute with a 58:54. I clocked another fast transition into the quickest run of the day. I was hoping to run sub 32:00, but I was happy with my 32:36 since I weaved through people the entire way. I ended up winning the whole race by almost four minutes, which also means I left California as a professional triathlete.
Aside from the excitement of my race, there were two other USAT Collegiate Recruits that raced in San Diego. Chelsea Burns (chelseaburnstri.wordpress.com) won the amateur women’s race and secured her elite card as well. And Katie Hursey (www.katiehursey.blogspot.com) raced her third pro race at the World Triathlon Series (WTS) level. It was so thrilling to see someone I train alongside every day compete at the top level. The pro races overall were inspiring to watch. Alistair Brownlee and Gwen Jorgenson dominated the races. I hope to perhaps race the WTS San Diego race next year. I’ll let you know when you can book your ticket.
My apologies on the delay with this race report, but I couldn’t quite sit down long enough to gather my thoughts the past 10 days. I am thrilled to move up the ranks in this sport. Earning the elite card on April 20th was a little surreal, even though I have been training at the level of pro since last fall. I am off to one more amateur EDR in Richmond, Virginia this weekend to soak up all the draft legal experience I can before jumping into my first professional race at the Dallas Pan Am cup on June 2nd. Here is to a stellar month of training as summer emerges in Colorado Springs.