Going into Austin I was pretty nervous. After an awesome result in Vegas I had high hopes for this race. The start list was a much deeper field than I expected for a lower point/$ race but I guess there are a lot of ladies that want a head start on next year. Typically you can count on a few people not showing up race day but only a couple key players dropped out so I knew I’d have to have a stellar day to have a chance at another podium.
Race morning was chilly, about 45 degrees with a strong wind off the lake. I had five layers on and was still a bit cold. Transition was a mud pit. Austin had major flooding the two weeks prior and it rained the day before so there wasn’t much grass left. I walked through transition trying to pick out the path from the lake that would have the smallest probability of me doing some mud slip and slide in T1. I finished my gear prep and per usual Lendway style I headed down to the lake about 15 minutes before race start to pull my wetsuit on. Since the sun was just rising I decided to break out a new pair of reflective Blueseventy Nero Race goggles – they were perfectly clear.
- Water temp was about 69 which was perfect wet suit weather. I warmed up quickly and knew right away I’d feel warm enough heading out on the bike.
- The ladies took off two minutes after the men. I went out a bit harder than usual to make sure I’d be in the lead or on the feet of the leader.
- A girl was swimming directly next to me to the first turn buoy at 800m but I was able to get space at the turn to pull in front of her.
- I tried to keep a decent consistent pace using the men in front of me as motivation.
- The water was really choppy but nothing like the waves in Lake Mead.
- I exited the water in first with the next girl just a few steps back. Happy to to be first female out of the water.
- Since there were two transitions we had to pack all our gear into a bag, I made the last minute call to leave my gloves since the swim had warmed me up well.
- Out onto the bike I immediately passed the woman that followed me out of the lake.
- I was nervous for the ride because many of the roads had actually washed out due to the flooding (you actually saw pieces of the road in the ditch) and this course is already a notoriously rough ride. Driving the course the day before it was hard to even find a good section of road to ride on. I settled in for a long heads up ride, definitely not a lot of room to take your eyes off the road!
- I changed my nutrition plan slightly to use less caffeine than previously so hopefully I wouldn’t have stomach issues on the run this time. (It appears to have worked fine.)
- The roads were definitely the most challenging thing about the bike, a few rollers and one significant climb weaving through the countryside.
- I rode alone the whole bike, occasionally I’d have a male fly by so I’d have someone to chase for a bit but after the first ten miles or so I didn’t even see a motorcycle.
- I rode into T2 in the lead but Lauren Barnett and Jeannie Seymour were right behind me.
- I had the fifth fastest bike split on the day so I’m happy with that!
- Lauren and Jeannie passed me running out of T2 as I had fumbled a bit dumping my gear out of my bag.
- I kept an eye on Lauren as long as I could but she vanished after a couple miles.
- The first couple miles I was really worried because my legs felt worse than ever, I thought oh great I finally overdid the bike. Luckily my legs stretched out a few miles in and I settled into my pace.
- The run was 3 loops, which I LOVE! I love heading back to transition having blocks of people there to cheer you on.
- There were a few steep short climbs each loop and about a mile or so through the park which was grass, gravel and what used to be a running trail but it looked like an earth quake had torn it apart.
- I almost rolled my ankle three times the first loop due to the uneven ground in the park and just getting the run feeling back into my legs.
- The last loop I was still in third but Corrine Abraham was storming behind me less than a minute back. I tried to fight that last loop to hold her off but she had too much in the tank.
- Corrinne passed me around mile 11.5. I knew I had a good gap to fifth but I gave my best effort to the finish line.
- I had a serious run PR but later realized the course was a bit short. Overall I had the 7th fastest run of 18 girls that finished so I’m ecstatic to have my run time in the top half of the field.
- I finished 4th with 6:30 back to the next girl so a solid finish.
I really wanted to finish on the podium but it wasn’t in the cards this day. I’m thrilled to have finished only a few minutes back from Lauren Barnett who was 9th at 70.3 worlds this year. I’m a little sad the season is over because I’m far from burnt out this year but it’s finally time for some rest (probably my biggest challenge for the year). I am beyond happy with my first pro year. I’ll write a summary on the year soon.
Huge thanks to all the people that help make this possible, Gear West Bikes & Tri, Blueseventy, Lazer, Zipp, family and friends, you’re the best!!