Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

Hey y’all!  We’ve been down in Texas for 2.5 weeks racing Ironman 70.3 in Galveston and putting the finishing touches on our training for Ironman Texas, which is only a few days away!  Although I haven’t purchased any cowboy boots yet, I’ve driven a huge pickup truck, seen many snakes, eaten crawfish, and experienced some drowning-in-my-own-sweat humidity.  I also haven’t seen Tim Riggins yet, but I’m holding out hope… 🙂

riggins

Anyways!  Here’s a little run-down of what’s been going on since we got here!

Galveston

We left Boston bright and early the Friday before Texas 70.3 (and it was SNOWING in Boston the day we left. not cool!).  We spent most of Friday traveling and dealing with all the logistics of building up bikes (which was easy-peasy with our QR PRsixes!) and getting to the race site to check in.  We got out for an easy bike & run, and I got my first taste of some serious Galveston cross-winds that threatened to topple me and my bike!

The day before the race we got to experience more exciting Galveston weather, with a nasty downpour / thunderstorm while we were at our QT2 pancake breakfast.  Very glad we weren’t out racing in that weather! yikes.  The rest of the day was spent feet up, napping, and of course catching up on the latest episodes of Grey’s Anatomy (McDreamy…nooooo).  Pro meeting was largely uneventful, except for the new addition of GPS race tracking for all the Pros.  From what I hear, the tracking information is very cool and provides a new level of insight into the race that we didn’t have before – athletes can opt in to show their power & HR numbers, plus there is live tracking of where each athlete is in the race.  Anything to make the race more engaging to those trying to follow online is a win in my book!  (This functionality will be available for Ironman Texas as well).

Heading out for a ride, in Coeur Sports style. (photo cred: Beth Shutt)

Heading out for a ride, in Coeur Sports style. (photo cred: Beth Shutt)

Ironman 70.3 Texas

I wasn’t going to race this one this year, but when we decided to come down south early to get ready for Ironman Texas and Matt added this one to his schedule, I thought, why not?  I like this race.  I raced in 2013 as an amateur and in 2014 in my first Pro race, and was successful at both attempts.  It’s flat and can be fast – I knew my many long and hard trainer rides this winter would pay off on the pancake flat bike course.  This race would fall just a week after finishing up some big weeks of training (our QT2 Systems “overload”), so I knew there was a good chance I wouldn’t be totally sharp for this race, but I figured it was a good way to get in some racing and a little boost of fitness before the Ironman.

Looking at the results, they don’t appear to be anything special.  I swam and biked well, and ran steady, but not to my potential.  I finished 12th (again), which put me smack dab in the middle of the pro field.  But, the goal was to bike hard and stay in the race, even if that came at the expense of my run (and, this time, it sure did!).    I was able to stay much closer than in the past to girls I consider some of the stronger cyclists in the sport right now.  I’m very much still considered a work-in-progress, but this was a big leap for me in terms of confidence and ability on the bike.

If nothing else, this race left me HUNGRY.  Hungry for more, for better.  It got me fired up for the final few weeks of training leading up to Ironman Texas, and for racing the rest of this season.

The Woodlands

After racing and having a fun night out at The Spot in Galveston on Sunday, we left coast and headed up to The Woodlands – which is where Ironman Texas takes place.  This is where we would settle in for the rest of our trip, and get in some final workouts on the course.  We’re getting acclimated to the heat & especially the humidity that will likely happen on race day – there have been days that I went out running, but you might have thought I went swimming! #sosweaty

We’ve been so lucky to have great places to stay here, thanks to the hospitality of many awesome Texans, especially Michelle LeBlanc from Outrival Racing!  There are so many nice people down here that really want to help promote and support the sport, which is refreshing to see.

First crawfish experience!  When in Texas...

First crawfish experience! When in Texas…

Ironman Texas

And so, on Saturday, I’ll be racing in my second Ironman.  I still feel like a newbie at this distance, and the conditions here will be very different from what we had in Chattanooga last year.  Whenever I get anxious or nervous or doubting, I just remember how AWESOME my first Ironman experience was last year.  I’ve put in the hard training & preparation, so I am excited to take another crack at this distance.

You better believe I’ll be toeing the line at Ironman Texas ALL IN, ready to race and put myself out there.  The field will be stacked, the weather will be hot, and there will be lots of limits tested and courage needed.  Let’s do this!

Follow along on Saturday - #55!

Follow along on Saturday – #55!

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2 Comments on “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

  1. Georgie and I just said a quick prayer (It is Texas after all) for your continued success and health. We are going to follow you on-line. Go Kaitlin!!!!

  2. Just wanted to let you know that dad and I will be following you tomorrow (yes all day
    tomorrow). We can only hope to see the same smiling face tomorrow as we saw when
    you finished your first iron man in Chattanooga.. Race strong and be safe!
    We love you…..mom & dad.

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