Pro Debut: The Before
So, if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll know that I was really happy with how my first race as a pro went yesterday. The short – I grabbed 5th (a podium spot) and a 7 minute 70.3 distance PR (15 min better than this race last year). There were certainly some ups and downs in the race, and I’ll give all the details in a race report coming very soon… But, lots has happened over the past few months to get me to where I am now, so I thought I’d give you the run-down of what’s been going on!
January was cray-cray. I started a new job and had two big overload weeks of training. Luckily, I no longer have grad school in the mix, which allowed me to not go completely out of my mind. I knew January training would be important to launching me into FL camp in February, and race season starting in April. So, head down, got the work done. I also raced in my first indoor track meet (I never got to do it in high school or college – indoor track season was always the same as swim season!). I toed the line with some speedsters in the 3000m, and managed to grab 4th place with a 10:21. That one hurt! Matt captured some video from the beginning of the race (I’m the 5th girl in the blue tank)…
I kicked off February with a race-filled weekend – an indoor bike TT on Saturday, followed by a 5 mile road race on Sunday. The bike TT was ok – I did a little better than last year, but I’m still figuring out how to race the Computrainer TTs. I have no doubt there will be more for me to practice on in the future… The next day, I took to the streets of Cambridge and got a 5 mile PR and 2nd place female, while helping to raise money to kick cancer’s ass. The rest of February was spent down in Clermont, FL with the QT2 PROs – 17 days of intense training. It was a welcome escape from the cold and snow up North, the lonely trainer rides in the basement, and the additional daily work/life stress. My teammates continue to impress me every day with their professionalism, hard working and positive attitudes, and talent. And we had 4 amazing coaches there (Jesse, Tim, John, and Tara), that gave up time away from their families and training, and worked long days to support us! It was a really tough, but awesome 3 weeks in FL.
Check out Pedro’s video for a little glimpse into some of our training sessions:
Back in the cold, snowy, icy reality of Boston in March. Winter in New England this year was nothing short of brutal. I haven’t been able to get outside on my bike since Florida, and had to deal with some freezing cold runs and frozen hair after swimming. I also returned from camp with a nice head and chest cold, which slowed me down a bit but I was able to continue training without much trouble. I recovered from camp, and began to get really ready to race. I’ve been experimenting with a more aero and powerful bike positioning, trying to nail all the workouts and especially the recovery & nutrition between sessions, and working in more body work (massages, rolling, trigger point). Yup, it’s not just about the swimming, biking, and running workouts – it’s the details that are going to make the difference!
April kicks off race season! I felt great in my recovery week headed into IM 70.3 Texas. I was, of course, nervous about racing in the pro field, but I felt like I was in really good shape for early in the season and confident that I could race at that level. It was time to put myself out there and race with the best. I got to see my teammates have awesome races in Australia, Cabo, and Oceanside, which provided tons of inspiration.
I was so happy that Matt surprised me on the way to the airport that he would be joining me in Texas! Having him with me for support made it so much better. Friday we flew to Texas, got settled into our house with a bunch of other QT2ers, registered and got a little bike & run in. Saturday was our QT2 pancake breakfast, lots of resting & eating. It was also the pro meeting, which started to make things feel a little more real. But, I was feeling rested, fit, and ready to race. The weather forecast got us all wondering/worrying what race day would bring (called for rain & thunderstorms all day), but I’m learning to accept that some things are just out of my control. At camp, we got lots of practice with dealing with the unknown (we never knew what workouts were planned for the day), so I was ready to roll with whatever happened out there.
To be continued…