This sport can have its highs and lows as does any sport or dream you pursue. Sometimes it’s not easy, but it’s worth it!
Following Japan, I went to CA to race Santa Rosa 70.3 in July. It’s very hot training in FL during the summer and I planned to go to Boulder for a month after my race in CA, to train, just for a break from the heat and a great training location. My coach is also based in Boulder so I had some good training awaiting me.
Leading up to Santa Rosa I felt a little under the weather. Had a scratchy throat and didn’t feel well leading up to the race. I was hoping by race day I’d feel better but I still didn’t feel 100%. I didn’t have a great race, slower swim than normal, much slower bike and very average run. I finished 10th...disappointed.
From there I went to Boulder and needless to say I felt sick when I arrived. On top of racing, I traveled and then went to some altitude. The first few days I was tired, had a slight headache and felt crappy. Didn’t have much energy to train and since it was “recovery week” from Santa Rosa I laid low the first week. The second week the amount of training began to pile up. Was I feeling 100% back to normal? ... no, but I was here to train and I felt good enough to start training. I started to push myself through workouts, I knew the elevation makes you a little more tired to start with so I figured that was why I was more tired. I really enjoy training in CO, such a beautiful place I always look forward to getting out there and riding . Since I had the month off of work I trained more than usual and pushed myself as much as possible. I enjoyed the cooler weather and I love riding in the mountains. I did begin to feel stronger but I also felt like I needed some rest which was coming up! It was taper week for Traverse City 70.3 in MI.
During this time in CO I also changed my bike seat. The one I had on there was just not for me and I wanted to change it as soon as possible. Looking back, this was a poor decision on me and caused me some problems on the bike. Yes, I should have waited until the season was over. Honestly, I should have skipped racing in MI too, but I thought, I just spent the last few weeks training so hard I want to race now and see where I’m at. If I hadn’t been sick to start the trip I may have been alright to pull it off but for me, I think it was a little too much, given the circumstances. Once I got to MI my legs were feeling heavy and things were not feeling right, but sometimes taper week feels off anyway. Race morning I felt a little tired. I had a great swim and then it all went downhill from there... or should I say uphill, if we are talking about the bike course in Traverse City 😳. I felt terrible during this race and pushed myself to the finish line. I could tell my bike fit was not where it should be and my back was aching, I had some very heavy legs on the run or I should say “jog”. A few tears of disappointment and I went home frustrated. I tried to forget about this race but it stayed in my memory longer than it should. A recovery week and I still didn’t feel ready to train. I had a couple workouts not go so well following recovery week and I didn’t have all my energy back. Was it from being back in the heat? My bike fit not being dialed in? Was I still fatigued / sick from travel and racing?? I came home crying one afternoon and told my husband I didn’t think I could do Rio 70.3. I tried to rest and take it easy for a few days.
A week later I felt a little better and my training was starting to improve. Maybe I was getting readjusted to the heat/humidity and had some energy back. About 10 days before Rio I was starting to feel like it was going to be good.
A few days before leaving for Rio I was sneezing and had a runny nose, again! I started to take some extra vitamins and sleep as much as possible.
I was very excited to go to Brazil! I’ve wanted to visit there for a while and was very happy to be able to race there! It was a great location for a race. I woke up race morning excited yet nervous for this race since the conditions were going to be pretty bad. I just promised myself I must be cautious on the bike course with some steep decents on the first lap in the pouring rain! It rained all night before the race, the waves were big and they ended up moving the swim to the opposite side of the beach because of the choppy water. The currents and waves were still very strong. We were allowed to wear our wetsuits and race morning I was ready to do this!
I was 2nd out of the water with some girls right behind me. Out on the bike course I started to put out some power and realized my legs were not feeling well and my position on my bike just still didn’t feel right. My back began to hurt after the first lap and I was doing everything I could to stay in the game. I was 4th place for most of the ride and got off my bike in 4th. It was raining and we had a cross wind most of the ride. I was hoping I would feel much better once I was off the bike!
Onto the run I felt terrible. My back was still hurting, legs were heavy, energy was LOW. After one mile I had to stop and I realized my body was not on the same page as my mind. If I could just make it 12 more miles! I wanted so badly to get through this race with a decent run. I argued with myself for a couple miles but my body gave me no choice. I had no energy and I couldn’t keep going. I was done. I saw my husband while I was on the run course and stopped to tell him how I was feeling. I feel like I let myself and everyone down but I couldn’t continue. After this race I did get sick. I’ve been sick for 8 days. Now I’m on some anti-biotics so I’m sure I’ll be feeling great soon! I could have been getting sick on race day and this would explain my lack of energy. As disappointing as the end of this season was, I have learned a few things I will apply to next year. I did have a good start to the season. I’ve been swimming faster this year and also had a couple of my fastest bike splits, placed 5th in Peru and 4th in Japan. I don’t feel like my running has come along as much as it will, but after my injury it took a long time to get completely better. I will be working on my running in the off season and doing a little more strength & conditioning in the gym. I am focusing on getting healthy, getting my bike seat / fit back to where it should be and resting up a little. A few weeks off and I’ll start to build again for next year. I can honesty say, even though the last couple races didn’t go as planned I have enjoyed the journey, met some new people along the way and have some great memories! I actually enjoy swimming now and sometimes I can’t wait to get out on my bike for a long ride. Long runs are my favorite and I have been enjoying the process. I believe if you work hard, good things will happen but you have to be patient.. Thanks to my sponsors, Epixgear, First Endurance, Rudy Project, ROKA, my coach, Michael Lovato, and to everyone who follows my racing journey throughout the year! Big thanks to my husband for encouraging me and just being there for me. Better races are coming!!
As for Brazil, we had a great time, saw some beautiful places and everyone was really friendly! For more pictures from our travels check out my husbands website @ www.higgybabyphotography.com