My second pro season was filled with some highs and plenty of lows, coming off a solid 2015 it was tough get my head around the lows. I had high expectations to carry my rising performance level through 2016.
I started the year off early racing in Panama at the end of January with possibly my best performance to date. I swam with the front pack and was able to make a break on the bike to come off the bike over a minute in front of the rest of the pro field. It was a blazing hot run but somehow I managed to hold on for third. I could see the fourth place girl not far behind me and I had to dig deep to hold on that last mile which felt endless. I crossed the line 7 seconds behind 2nd and 7 in front of fourth, it was the tightest race I’ve ever been in. To feel like I was actually racing at the end of a 70.3 was a new feeling for me and it was amazing. Unfortunately, that was the high of the year, but I did learn I can race on the run if I need to.
I had a great build through April and had the fastest swim at St. Anthony’s Olympic distance triathlon and came off the bike with the top two girls. My run just wasn’t there and I ended up finishing 7th. While it wasn’t the greatest finish it gave me hope, my swim and bike were where they needed to be and I just needed my run to come around. At this point made some tweaks to my run plan in hopes of making some more progress with my run. After a few sub-par races, Barcelona, Mont Tremblant and Racine where I DNF’d for the first time, I think it was obvious I had taken the run training a little too far. I tried to incorporate too many workouts and too much intensity in each workout, my “easy” days weren’t really that easy and I continued to wear my body out. After Racine I took three days completely off and tried to re-group in hopes I could pull something together for World’s in early September.
After cutting down on some intensity and stepping back a bit I was able to pull out a decent run at World’s. While it was about 5 minutes off where I would have liked to be I’m proud of finishing 20th at my first World’s racing one of the deepest fields they’ve seen. After World’s I was definitely tired, I planned on racing in China a while back so I tried to not over do the training and make the best of the experience. I ended up cramping in China similar to Mont Tremblant (horrible chest stitch). While disappointing to add another race to the list whose result I’m not proud of, when I crossed the finish line I was so relieved to be done and happy it was time for the off season.
After China I did three weeks of unstructured light training then I took two and a half weeks completely off, zero training. I haven’t had that much easy training and time off since I was a kid but after this year my body definitely needed it. It’s taking a lot longer to get back into shape after the time off but I know in the end it’s best. While my results don’t show the hard work I put in last season I know I put a lot of good work in in 2016 and that will be a great place to build on for next season. I’m looking forward to another long season in 2017 with a smarter approach to some of my training including the thought that sometimes less can be more.
With that, a quick thanks to the people that support me and allow me to do what I love. Blueseventy has provided me with the best gear and you can see it with how many times I’ve exited the water in first. Gear West Bike & Tri helps keep my bike in the best shape as I travel the world with it. Whenever I have an issue they’re able to talk me through what I need, I couldn’t ask for a more knowledgeable, supportive team, I can’t thank them enough for what they do. Zipp for making sure I’m riding the fastest wheels on my road and tri bikes. One very important person on my team, Michael Williams of Premier Sport & Spine who has helped me with more minor injuries than I can even remember. He’s found a way to get me back to training normally in as few as one treatment on many occasions. Lastly Patrick and my family for endless support when I need it in training and racing. I couldn’t do it without these people, a huge thank you to them.
Some random highlights from the year, a lot of food, thanks for reading!