After 7 weeks off of racing, I was feeling excited, a little nervous with a big dash of confidence. My body was responding better and better the weeks leading up and I had been making some changes to my nutrition that were making a big impact on how I was recovering and feeling every day.
It was nice to be able to drive only a couple hours and my favorite travel companion, my MOM was able to make the trip with me. We always have a ton of fun together!
Friday was relatively uneventful, though we did find an AMAZING sushi place, one of the best things about heading to the city - FOOD! Saturday was spent making a few last minute preparations, including a quick swim in the lake, thanks to Rick who let me swim from his private dock! Before we left the lake for some rest we stopped for lunch at a place we found the day prior. I know this is a race report, but I HAVE to tell you about this little treasure. The Ringing Cedar Tea Tavern. The food was absolutely delicious and packed full of nutrients! Believe it or not, there were only 3 menu items, all vegan and gluten free and OUT OF THIS WORLD! Obviously they had amazing teas, but also smoothies made with coconut meat and all sorts of tasty and healthful ingredients. Our whole day was filled with unexpected treats.
Wouldn't you know it, race morning came much faster than I always feel it should. Due to the early race start, we were up and eating by 4am, on the road shortly after. Set up was pretty uneventful and in the blink of an eye we were off and swimming. It's true what everyone says about Lake Stevens being a great swim, no disappointment here, I LOVED IT! Truly, I love any time I get to swim in my Wattie Ink BlueSeventy Helix, it's badass!
Though I didn't feel like my swim was blazing fast, I didn't notice very many ladies in front of me, weird. Oh well, tried not to overthink it.As I headed out of transition, I saw a big smiling face looking at me - holy cow - my BF surprised me, driving over from Wenatchee that morning to be there, what a great surprise!
This was the first race with my new additional bottle cage and bottle, it made my life so much easier!! The addition was a little last minute, so while I waited on my Speefil, my BF fabricated a custom bottle cage for me, he rocks!
Not only did I not have to stop at any aid stations, but my new fueling strategy increased both my energy. BETTER! Usually there are quite a few women in my AG that I pass on the bike, but I didn't see very many before I saw the first pro female, so I figured I had a decent position coming off the bike. was blown away at how quickly the bike passed, but as usual, I was ready to get off my bike and start running.
Just like the bike, I had a new nutrition strategy on the run. This time, instead of fussing with gels, I used 2 gel flasks, where I had 1 1/2 Powerbar gels each, topped off with water. No gel packets to open (YAY), I was able to fuel more consistently, and the addition of a little water, even though it was minimal, kept me hydrated enough to not have to stop at any of the aid stations. Usually, the run is the first opportunity to realize where exactly you are in the race, I was leading my AG and had worked my way past 5 of the 8 pro women on the bike, YAY! This was truly the first run in a 1/2 iron distance that I didn't walk 1 step, allowing me to hold my own, only dropping one position on the run. That's a pretty big win!
Lake Stevens was a 70.3 best time for me, as well as a PR in the 1/2 marathon in a triathlon. I could not be more thrilled with how everything went down!
Of course, I would not have been able to make it to the start without an army of support! Big thanks to my coach Cliff English for helping me grow as an athlete and keeping me not only strong, but healthy! TriMarni for helping me dial in my nutrition. My family and friends have seen me through a lot of ups and downs this year, thank you so much for continuing to believe in me! My sponsors allow me to pursue my dreams and provide me with the best products on the planet! Thank you beyond words: Wattie Ink, CMI Growers, Adventure Wenatchee, D'Olivo, Power Bar, Herbalife 24, 101 Pipe and Casing, Arlberg Sports, Speedfil, SpiderTech Tape, ISM Saddles, Blueseventy, Reynolds and Ovenell Chiropractic.