Immediately following Muncie 70.3 I was lucky enough to meet up with our Super Physio and friend Ruth Chang in Denver. We made the long drive back to Boise in 12 1/2 hrs! (driving to Kalgoorlie does not seem so bad anymore!) I then had the next 4 days to recover and get the body moving again before our next road trip on Friday and driving to Lake Stevens. This time it was only just over 8 hours and with Guy in the car as well, you can only imagine what that trip was like!
We arrived late Friday night due to the lovely Seattle traffic and were all glad to get some much needed sleep after the long drive. Saturday morning Ruth was put in the hurt locker at I-Hop…a tradition for me of late….pancakes for breakfast the day before an Ironman or Half Ironman! Then it was time for registration, our traditional Pre-race, swim, bike, run and race briefing.
After race briefing and discussing the bike course with other athletes, I decided I would feel much better if we actually drove the entire course! Unfortunately it was one loop, hilly and technical so it took us a while but I am glad we did! Don’t get me wrong, I normally always know the course before a race, it is an athletes responsibility! But we were pretty short on time so didn’t think it would happen. This is one course you need to know!
Back to the hotel room, checking everything was ready for the race, dinner, packing up the car because we were not coming back to the hotel again, then finally to sleep. Surprisingly, I had a really good, deep sleep! This doesn’t normally happen the night before a race and I have stopped stressing about the fact I don’t sleep and just accepted it. But I woke up 5 mins before the 4am alarm ready to go!
Guy, Ruth and I piled into our rental and were on our way! For Ruth, it was her first race outside of flat Western Australia and we were so excited for her!
After being disappointed with my swim in Muncie my goal in Lake Stevens was to be more aggressive at the start and smarter strategically/tactically. I went for it and felt great in my BlueSeventy wetsuit! I couldn’t go with the front pack of 3, but I found myself leading the next group and before the 1/2 way point we had caught one of the lead 3 who had dropped off. The pace also dropped off heading back into T1 and in the end we were 2mins down out of the water. The good news I felt I could have gone faster and had the quickest transition heading out onto the bike in 3rd place.
Melanie went flying past early on and a lack of concentration and feeling a bit sluggish ruined any chance I may have had of going with her! The one loop means there is no way of telling what is going on behind you or in front of you…you just have to ride your own race. Which is how it is supposed to be! Jeanni and I had come out of the water together and both of us were putting the pressure on right from the start. We both had strengths and weaknesses on the course and were swapping turns depending on the terrain. It was good for both of us! In the last 6 mile we caught Tenille and the 3 of us came into transition together. Meredith and Melanie were dominating up front, the last podium spot was up for grabs and I expected it would be one of the three of us!
I flew out of transition first and then had a little chuckle to myself as I ran up the first climb…”now you just have to hold this for the next 13 miles!!”! Coming from Australia I am used to Kilometre Markers and a 21km Half Ironman run. I know it sounds crazy but for some reason 13 miles….sounds shorter! 13 aid stations….6.5 miles is half way. Less numbers!! What ever works right!! I was feeling myself getting a bit hungry coming off the bike and realised the hard bike course had resulted in more calories burned and so I had a GU gel immediately at the first aid station. It wasn’t until mile 5 I was able to get a look at what was going on behind me and I had opened up a couple of minutes on Jeanni and Tenille was a few minutes behind her. “Okay Kate, 7 miles to go!! Uphill, downhill, uphill,downhill! ” I was able to stay strong and hold onto 3rd place and surprisingly run only 2 seconds slower than I had the weekend before! Consistency!! Off course I would have liked to run quicker but I don’t think that was going to happen with a back to back weekend! Next time! 🙂
Guy had a great race with limited training, including a PB on the run and GK Endurance athlete “Super Ruth!” Surprised herself with how strong she was all day!! It is so exciting as a coach to see an athlete who works so hard rewarded with great performances and improvements!
Once again Thanks to my incredible sponsors for making this all possible CEEPO, Rolf Prima Wheels, and Challenge Tyres! SRAM, Quarq, Profile Design, ISM and Tri Town Boise completed the speed machine! BlueSeventy, Novatron, Ryders Eveywear, GU, %110 Play Harder, Super Ruth Chang (I have been spoilt over the last few weeks!), Computrainer, Rock Tape and Swish Design.
After a short stay in Seattle with Mike and fun times catching up with the crew at BlueSeventy I am now in Eugene for the popular Rolf Prima Tri at the Grove tomorrow morning! It is then time for the last long road trip for a while, back to Boise for my final build into Ironman Louisville!!