This past Sunday, I competed in the inaugural Herbalife24 Los Angeles Triathlon.  This event, formally known as the LA Triathlon, last took place back in 2013.  I competed in the LA Triathlon in 2009 and back in 2005, which happened to be my first professional win.  Fourteen years later, I was happy to have a repeat win, although this time I raced with drastically different equipment. The LA Tri back in 2005 was my first non drafting professional race and I remember racing it on a road bike and the race director didn’t allow wetsuits (although the race was in September, so the water was around 70 degrees and would have been without wetsuits anyway due to the temperature).

Arriving into LA, I was surprised not to see the sun…at all.  I remembered racing back in LA in June many years ago and everyone was talking about, “June gloom”.  June gloom definitely made it’s appearance; however, it set up to be perfect racing weather; 60 degrees and overcast.  I think the “gloom” has something to do with the difference in air and sea temperature this time of year and the city is blanketed in a thick marine layer fog and clouds for most of the day.

Race morning began very early, but at least I was attempting to stay on central standard time so the 3:00AM alarm on Sunday morning would not be as brutal.  Race started at 6:03AM, but we had to load our bikes on the buses at 3:30AM from downtown LA and then take a shuttle down to the race start which took place at Venice Beach.  It was just over a 30 minute drive to race start (probably the only time in LA there wasn’t much traffic!).  

The water was 62 degrees and the air temp was just below 60.  I chose to wear my Blueseventy Reaction Thermal wetsuit to stay extra warm in the water. For goggles on the day I used the BlueSeventy Elements in Blue Tint .  The water didn’t feel cold at all in my thermal and I also didn’t get hot at all, I was just at the right temperature.  The swim was a long loop with a beach run-in start.  We probably had to run and dolphin dive for several minutes before we got past the surf and could begin swimming.   Once you were past the surf, the water was calm, but I had a really difficult time sighting.  There were only two buoys spread throughout the 800 meters out to the pier turnaround, and I had to stop several times and tread water to make sure I was going in the correct direction.  Upon exiting the water, I tried to catch a wave coming in and I failed miserably.  I ended up getting tossed around in somersaults with water salt water going up my nose and my back slamming into the sand.  Fortunately, I did not lose my goggles and I was able to remain calm.  Starting and ending with surf makes the swimming element so much tougher and exhausting.  I exited the water very tried, but I was ready to get on my bike and head towards downtown LA.  I ended up exiting the water in first, just ten seconds up on Alicia.

Once I got on my bike, I started off the first ten miles feeling pretty good, but then fatigue hit and I was starting to feel the burn on my cycling legs.  I missed several key bike sessions at the end of last week due to a cold virus that hit me last weekend.  I wasn’t really able to train for several days leading into this race and I think I was feeling it on the bike.  I managed to complete some key run seasons before the illness took over, but I happened to miss several key bike sessions due to storms and illness.  Most of the bike was flat, but the end of the bike had some hills and quite a few bumps on the road.  I had to get out of aero position quite a few times and was wanting to stay safe, most importantly.  Alicia was right behind me the whole ride and we exited the bike together. For the race gear I used  Fuji Norcom Straight 1.1 out fitted with SRAM AXS 1x12spd e-Tap wireless shifting, SRAM AXS Aero Power Meter 48t Powermeter, ISM PN 3.0 saddle, Zipp Vuka Aero bars, Zipp 858 NSW Carbon Clincher, 30th Anniversary Super-9 Carbon Clincher Disc, both with Tangent Speed R25 Tires’ , Sampson Stratics Carbon Ti Pedals, Rudy Project Wing57 with clear visor in my favorite color. Here is my Quarq power-file presented by Training Peaks

This transition was like an Ironman transition in that someone took you bike and handed you a T2 bag with all your running gear.  When I dumped out my bag, my bike helmet flew across the table to the other end of the changing tent.  I lost about ten seconds in transition having to run back to pick up my helmet.  I focused on not getting frustrated about losing that time and headed out on the run about 10 seconds behind Alicia.  By 800 meters or so, I closed the gap on Alicia and knew that I had to keep running strong because Heather Jackson was not far behind.  The run course had four hills over the two lap course and  just a couple of miles of flat running.  I enjoyed the hills because they really seem to break up the distance of the 10k and make the run mentally go by so much faster.  After the first loop, Heather had gained 10 seconds on me, but I knew I had to keep pressing as I figured she would continue to get stronger throughout the run since she is known for her endurance.  My run gear for the day  Mission HydroActice Multi-Cool,  Rudy Project Tralyx Slim in my Favorite color,  Triflare Custom Russian Doll Sarah Haskins line, T1 Pro Race belt, with Altra Escalante Racer’s on my feet. 

I felt the best running of the three disciplines and focused on pushing the hills and trying to keep my turnover going on the downhills.  I was so happy to come away with the win, especially with being sick earlier in the week!  Heather finished around 20 seconds back and Alicia was another 20 or so back, so it was a fun race to be racing head to head with the ladies over the Olympic Distance.

We spent Sunday night in Los Angeles and headed back to Missouri on Monday.  We will be home until Friday and then will depart for my race in San Fransisco for the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon next Sunday.  Caroline has a swim meet, dance camp and softball games this week and I know we will enjoy some pool time as I recover and regroup for my race next weekend.

A huge thank you to my Mom and Dad for watching our kids for us while we were away last weekend in Los Angeles and again this upcoming weekend in San Fransisco.  It’s hard to leave the kids, but I know they are having so much fun at home with Grandma and Grandpa!


St. Anthony’s Triathlon-April, 28th 2019


This past weekend was my 11th time racing in St. Pete at the 36th annual St. Anthony’s Triathlon.  The day before the race, I was asked what an 8th win at St. Anthony’s would mean to me?  When I reflect back to each win, I think about how different each win was and how each was special in it’s own way.  This time around, prior to the race I was thinking that an 8th win would embody dedication, mental toughness and experience.

This year heading to St. Anthony’s, I was grateful to be on the starting line.  Five weeks ago, I had a fall on the bike that resulted in two weeks off from running.  I was able to run on the grass pain free three weeks prior to St. Anthony’s and figured if I was smart about mileage and my build up, I may just be able to race.  I wanted to make sure the calf was 100 percent before racing, so eight days prior to the race, I tested out the leg with 10x 800s on the track at 10K race effort.  The leg felt good and I was confident that I could race without an injury on race day.  A couple weeks off running is not too hard on the fitness; however, the timing was not the best for this particular race.  My plan was to swim and bike hard, and just do what I could on the run course.

Race morning was fairly calm compared to earlier in the weekend.  There was a bit of chop during the swim portion.  I ended up swimming in third position behind Jen Spieldenner and Lindsey Jerdonek.  I didn’t feel great in the swim, but tried to keep a solid position.  My swim gear for the day I had on my. I had my Blue Seventy PZ4TX to make me sleek in the water. For goggles on the day I used the BlueSeventy Elements in Orange Tint .

The bike course at St. A’s starts on the cobblestones, so I feel it’s a challenging race to get the cycling shoes on while riding on the cobbles.  A part of my right cycling shoe was jammed down and after several attempts, I just couldn’t get my strap unstuck.  I decided to just ride with the shoe a little lose and tried to catch up to Lindsey who was up the rode.  Lindsey had a great ride and pushed me the entire bike.  We went back and forth with the lead and she ended up exiting the bike just before me.  Like the swim, I didn’t feel great but just focused on constant pushing on the pedals and staying strong on the technical sections of the course. For the race gear I used  Fuji Norcom Straight 1.1 out fitted with SRAM e-Tap wireless shifting, SRAM Red Dzero Quarq Powermeter, ISM PN 3.0 saddle, Zipp Vuka Aero bars, Zipp 858 NSW Carbon Clincher, 30th Anniversary Super-9 Carbon Clincher Disc, both with Tangent Speed R25 Tires’ , Sampson Stratics Carbon Ti Pedals, Rudy Project Wing57 in my favorite color, Rudy Project Tralyx Slim in my Favorite color! . Here is my Quarq power-file presented by Training Peaks

Photo Credit @minimalmultisport @greg_kopecky

Getting off the bike, my legs felt a bit heavy (which is normal off a tough bike).  On the run, I had no idea how my body and legs were going to hold up.  I had a cramp under my ribs at the start of the run, which I have noticed I have been getting in the early season races in years past, most likely due to the first really hard effort of the year.  Racing puts your body into another level that I feel you can only simulate during a race.  Lindsey ran just behind me until mile 2 and then I slowly put time in her each mile.  My plan going into the race was to try to avoid having the race come down to the run, but you just never know how a race will play out and you have to play your cards as they come.  I wasn’t sure if my legs would fall off or if I would fall off pace, but I just continued to push steadily until the end.  Fortunately, the legs felt pretty good in the run, but my body was really fatigued while running.  The last few miles, I thought about my kids who were at home and I wanted to do my very best for them, to show them to always do your very best.  I also think about all the sacrifices my family has made for my career; including my parents who were home helping to care for them.  All the hard, mentally tough, indoor training sessions this past winter and balancing everything suddenly becomes clear in that last mile.  I am running for them right now.  It’s their win just as much as it is mine.  My run gear for the day  Mission HydroActice Multi-Cool,  Rudy Project Tralyx Slim in my Favorite color,  Triflare Custom Lace Sarah Haskins line, T1 Pro Race belt, with Altra Escalante Racer’s on my feet. 

What does the 8th win mean now that I have achieved that goal?

I appreciate each win more than the last.  Each year I feel that I build upon life and racing experience that I carry on with me year after year.  Thank you to all my family, friends and sponsors who support me in this passion/job/career.

Thank you to all the staff and crew at St. Anthony’s who have made this race successful.  This is an iconic race with so much history and embodies what triathlon is all about.  First timers or 36th timers, athletes were there to accomplish goals, have fun and become part of the St. Anthony Triathlon community.  


Photo Credit: Kortuem Inc.

Earlier this season I would have never dreamed I would be extending my race season into December.  Usually, I end my season mid fall, but December was first for me.  How I ended up racing this far into the year was a matter of chance, some bad luck and weather issues earlier in the fall.  My last race I completed before Sunday was Steelhead 70.3, at the beginning of August.  After that race I had planned to compete in the Escape Series DC (but that race was cancelled due to weather).  My race in October ended in a crash (explained in a previous post) so after that I figured I had to race since I had completed all this training without finishing a race.  I decided to race IM Cozumel, but then I got sick race week and we listened to that gut feeling not to go.  A few days after I made the decision not to travel to Cozumel, I thought my season was over.  However, I saw something about Challenge Daytona and thought to myself that this would be an awesome race to do.  A couple days later I registered, booked travel and switched gears to more short course/speed training.  I have spent the majority of the last couple of months doing longer high end aerobic training and I really enjoyed switching gears in training leading up to this race.  Although it’s never my wish to crash in a race, but looking back, if all of those unforeseen factors wouldn’t have happened in my races last fall, I would have never gotten to experience this awesome race in Daytona.  I also thought my daughter’s show choir performance was the weekend of the 15th (the same as the year before), but a few days after I booked travel I realized it was the same weekend as the race.  If I would have known her performance was the same weekend, I don’t think I would have considered going, but since I already had everything booked, I wasn’t going to back out.  The stars were just aligned that I would be at Daytona and I would get to complete an eighth race before the 2018 season ended.

Challenge Daytona was great about providing the athletes everything they needed for travel (pick up from the airport to hotel/shuttle to race site, etc.)  These little things really make a huge difference in taking out some of the stressors that come along with travel.  Once we arrived on Friday, we headed to the race course for a swim, attended a press conference, pre race meeting, and followed up with a lovely dinner with some of the Daytona Speedway executives.


Upon arriving at Daytona, it was incredible just looking at the track and stadium.  I have never seen such an enormous stadium in my life (it holds 250,00 people!).  The swim was going to take place inside the stadium. There was a large lake in the middle of the race track that was created so that the excess dirt would be used to bank the track.  The bike was scheduled to take place mostly on the A1A along the Atlantic Ocean and the half marathon run was going to be run inside the stadium.

Race morning, I woke up at 4AM, catching at 4:40 shuttle to race site.  A storm was predicted to roll in mid-morning, so everyone was on their toes with what was going to happen.  When I arrived at race site, I learned that an announcement was going to be made about the race.  I had a feeling something was going to be changed, I just didn’t know what.  I suspected the race would be changed to an Olympic distance race or shortened in some way to finish before the storm.  As a surprise to all the athletes, the age group athletes were to begin at 7AM on a shortened course and the pros were to begin sometime between 11am-1pm on an altered course (not really shortened with the exception of the swim by 300 meters).  Shortly after the announcement was made, several of the pros convened and made a proposal to keep the entire race inside the stadium.  This way we wouldn’t have to make many, many turns on the wet roads (making the race safer and roads would not have to be shut down at all, plus the fans could watch the entire event).

I was going to stick around until 10:30 until the next announcement was made and I watched the age group athletes for a bit and realized I still had over two hours until the announcement.  I decided to go back to the hotel for a few hours just to give my mind a mental break and give my body a little rest and recharge.  I had a breakfast sandwich around 9:00AM as I figured I would need to eat something substantial before the race.  At 10:30 it was announced we would race the proposed distance and race as the course as suggested by the pros:  1 mile swim (2x 800meter laps), 37.5 mile bike (included 15 laps around the track) and 8.2 mile run.  We were told to rack our bikes at 11:45 and the race would begin at 12:00pm.  I completed a 10 min run warm-up on the treadmills in the Green Room (a room they had for us to eat, warm-up and rest…already set up without knowing about the delay).  At 11:40AM, if was announced that the race would be postponed until 12:45PM and we would rack our bikes at 12:30PM.  This was due to the rain and wind pounding the ground outside still at noon.  At 12:15PM, the weather still looked horrible and it was intimidating.  Most all of the other pro women were worried about cycling on the track and talked about switching to a swim/run or just a run.  However, it was decided that we should keep a triathlon.  Looking at the torrential ran pouring the ground 30 min prior to our scheduled start, the worry about the slick track, and the stress of the morning, I had about a 2 min little cry.  My husband reminded me that track would be just fine.  I quickly regrouped, got my mind and body in check and I was excited to race.  I knew that once I got my body moving I would feel so much better.  One of the reasons I love swim warmups is that it helps calm my body and mind before race start.  Once I got in the water for a five minute swim warm-up I felt so much better and ready to go.  I think the hardest part of the morning was getting the adrenaline rushes up multiple times that morning without a start.  I was so happy to finally get going!

Photo Credit: José Luis Hourcade


The swim course was a 2x 800 meter loop with a little run out.  This swim brought me back to my ITU days.  I always remember running out of the water to be so hard.  Running out of the water spikes your heart rate and then when you go back in for your second lap, it takes some time to recover and get back into a groove (maybe 50-100meters or so).  The swim was no joke. The water was choppy, but not completely throwing you out of your rhythm.  After 150 meters or so I was in the lead of the swim and lead the remainder of the way.  Lauren Goss exited right behind me and Alicia Kaye and Meredith Kessler were about 90 seconds back from us. My swim gear for the day I had on my. I had my Blue Seventy Helix to keep me warm. For goggles on the day I used the BlueSeventy Elements in Orange Tint .

I felt pretty strong running into T2, but definitely feeling a heart rate spike I have not felt for a long time.  I have been training this fall for IM and recently switched to 1/2 IM training, but have not been doing much OLY distance training (which is the intensity I went for in this race on the swim and the bike).  I got a little stuck getting out of my wetsuit and ended up getting on the bike just behind Lauren.

Photo Credit Kortuem Inc

Once onto the track, I was a little unsure if I was supposed to be on the bank or on the flatter part (the apron).  After half a lap, I realized I needed to move down.  Racing on the track was awesome. It was not slippery at all (although it was very windy).  We had a strong tailwind one direction and a massive headwind on the other side.  15 laps was just about the perfect distance for the track .  I started out with 40k effort and managed to hold close to that for 1:05-1:10 on the bike.  The last 20 min, I noticed my power dropped and I was not able to push as hard as I could the first hour (Not really a surprise!).  The last 20 min, I just tried to hold onto somewhat near half ironman wattage.  At least this is what it felt like, but looking at my power wattage I held on fairly consistently throughout the race.  With passing athletes and athletes passing me, it kept me on my toes.  Keeping legal draft was not difficult at all as we were worried about prior to the start.  We had plenty of room to ride I felt throughout the race and I loved just being able to put my head down so to speak and ride hard!   The only confusion I had was that we were told in the race meeting there would be a counter for the top male and top female rider.  About 1/3 through the race, I saw a lap counter and was curious if it was for me or Andrew Starkowitz.  Every time I went by from lap 9 on I looked at the counter and gave a thumbs up, meaning (this is me, correct?).  I was a little concerned it may be for Andrew and suddenly when the count went from 3 to1 I knew that it was for Andrew.  Previously in the ride, I was timing a lap, so I knew the ride would take roughly around 1:25-1:27, but couldn’t be sure.  I asked Nate with a couple to go where I was at just to be sure, so he was trying to figure it out when it was down the wire!  When I exited the track, I scrolled through my Power Meter and it read 37.1, so I knew I had completed the 15.  I suppose I was confused because I was told I was going to have a lap counter and then didn’t.   I think if I was told I would not of had a counter from the start, I would have known for sure it was Andrew’s count and would have focused more on my math.  In the end, it all worked out and it was awesome to race on the track! For the race gear I used  Fuji Norcom Straight 1.1 out fitted with SRAM e-Tap wireless shifting, SRAM Red Dzero Quarq Powermeter, ISM PN 3.0 saddle, Zipp Vuka Aero bars, Zipp 454 NSW Carbon Clincher, 30th Anniversary Super-9 Carbon Clincher Disc, both with Tangent Speed Tires’ , Sampson Stratics Carbon Ti Pedals, Rudy Project Wing57 in my favorite color, Rudy Project Tralyx Slim in my Favorite color!  Also a huge shout-out to Performance Bike Shops for getting my rig ready to race!! Here is my Quarq power-file presented by Training Peaks

Photo Credit: Kortuem Inc.

Once I got on the run, I realized how fatigued my shoulder were.  I think this was partly due to gripping my aerobars so tight into the wind on the track.  After a mile or so my shoulders relaxed a bit, but for the next mile or so I had a horrible side stitch.  It had been awhile since I had been outside riding, so may have been tough on the stomach muscles going from that position to running.  I knew I had to just stick out the pain for a short while and then it would ease up.  By mile two I felt much better and glad my legs felt great.  After pushing hard on the bike, the bike muscles enjoyed the break on the run.  The 8.2 miles went by pretty fast.  One of my favorite parts about the run was hearing the audio around the entire run course.  I could hear how the men’s race was unfolding and how the women were doing behind me. My run gear for the day  Mission HydroActice Multi-Cool,  Rudy Project Tralyx Slim in my Favorite color,  Triflare Custom Lace Sarah Haskins line, T1 Pro Race belt, with Altra Escalante’s on my feet, and I was able to race in my Groove Life ring

Photo Credit: Kortuem Inc.

I was thrilled to break the tape and honored to be part of such an iconic event.  I hope to be back again!  It was such an amazing feeling to put together a solid performance after some unforeseen circumstances not only just prior to the race, but also in the months leading up to this race.  The NASCAR helmet that was signed by all the winners of the 2018 Monster Cup was icing on the cake.  I would have never dreamed of such a cool award.

Photo Credit: Kortuem Inc.

Thank to everyone for all the support this 2018 season.  This was my first full season back to racing after my son’s birth and I couldn’t be more thrilled with my six wins this season.  Happy Holiday to all and I wish everyone the very best for 2019 and beyond.


Ironman Louisville and Future Season Plans

My race at Ironman Louisville did not go exactly as planned.  I chose this race as it was just over a four hour drive from home and the whole family would be able to attend.  A few days leading into the race, it still felt like summer with temperatures in the low 90s, but that was all about to change with fall crashing upon us a couple of days before the race.  

My main goal race morning was to keep my core temperature up as much as possible.  I biked down to the race in light rain and 45 degree temps.  I had my winter coat on, so I was able to stay warm.  I set up transition and made the mile walk down to swim start. I normally run about 1.5 miles before racing an Olympic distance race, but I wanted to be cautious not to expend too much energy.  The race was scheduled to start at 7:25 AM, but it was announced moments before the scheduled start that the race would be delayed until 8:00AM due to the lack of light.  Shortly after, it was announced that most of the swim would be cut and we were going to swim downstream 1500meters to transition.  The organizers felt that the current was too strong to swim upstream and it would be too challenging to get around the buoys.  

I was slightly disappointed that the swim would be cut short as I feel the swim portion is a strength of mine compared to other competitors, but I quickly refocused and studied the new swim course.  The water was 68 degrees, so it felt amazingly warm (compared to the air temperature).  We were to swim with all the buoys on our left.  After passing the first buoy, I realized that I had to swim horizontal to get around the next buoy.  Upon trying to round the buoy, I was slammed into it due to the fast current.  I then realized why the organizers changed the swim!  I exited the swim in front and it felt pretty short (it ended up being only 12 minutes, so it was quite a strong current).

My grave mistake during this race was made during the first transition.  My mentality in racing is to keep moving forward as quickly as possible and that was not the best mentality to have in this race (and not in Ironman racing).  I was struggling to get on some of my warm weather clothes, which I fully intended to put on prior to the race.  My race mind was saying, “Oh, don’t worry about it.  You are wasting time and you will be fine.”  So I raced out of transition not prepared for the elements.  I got on the bike and my legs felt great (muscles were probably numb!).  I knew about mile 10 that I should have put on my warm jacket.  I was getting cold.  It was raining pretty steadily and my arms and hands were beat red.   Around mile 20 I was wondering what this loud noise was and then I realized that it was my teeth chattering so loudly as I had never experienced that before.  My hands were beginning to turn white and I was trying to sprint up the hills, just to warm up my body.  I was very, very cold and I knew that I was in trouble.  I stopped at an aid station at mile 24 and asked for a coat.  A very kind mad gave me his jacket (it was a man’s XL, but I didn’t even care that it was a sail on me while cycling).   The jacket helped a little, but I was still unable to use my hands.  I could not work my electronic shifting and during one of the steep pitches on a hill, I was riding at 30 rpms, stuck in my biggest gear and almost falling over.  I ended up dismounting my bike and running up the hill.  Right before this moment is when I lost my lead and knew that this day was going to be about fighting to finish.  Right at the halfway mark, I hit the hills again and I was desperately trying to shift my bike.  Before I knew it, my hands slid right off my bike and I went down hard on my hip.  Some kind racers helped me up and volunteers told me medical was straight ahead.  At this point, I knew it would not be safe for me to continue.  I did not want to crash again and I didn’t think I would be able to run a marathon on a sore hip.  I was devastated that this was happening and frustrated in my own mistakes of not taking my time in transition.  

Congrats to all the athletes out there who raced and especially to the women’s winner, Jennifer Speildener who raced her first Ironman and punched her ticket to Kona.   It was awesome to see such amazing support from all the race volunteers and race supporters cheering on the athletes.  

After the race, I knew I did not want to end the season on this note. I learned greatly from this race that it’s important not to get caught up in the moment, stick to your race plan and change my transition mentality during Ironman racing.  All my career I have raced short course, where every second counts.  In long course racing, every second counts as well, but there are times that you need to slow down in order to have a successful race later.  Lessons learned!

The past couple of weeks I have been figuring out what I want to do next.  I wanted to give my hip several days to recover before trying any training.  Last week, I wanted to test out some longer training sessions and see how my hip held up during the training and recovery.  My hip is feeling much better now, so I feel that I am able to make a final decision.  I have decided to end the season with Ironman Cozumel on November 18th and will be ready to tackle another race.  

Thank you to everyone for the continued support.  I had a great weekend with the kids at Halloween parties, Six Flags, soccer games and playing at parks.  Now I am ready to tackle another training week and prepare my mind and body.  

Happy Halloween!


As I type this blog now, I am headed to DC to race my fourth Escape Series race for the year (including Escape from Alcatraz).  Hard to believe that it’s already September and my 2018 season is winding down.  Sitting down and having time to reflect and write a blog these days is a rare opportunity.  I am sure those of you with a toddler on the go can relate!   Thinking back to last April when I began my race season, in some ways it seems like ages ago because of how much the kids have changed since then.  Connor has grown up so much since last spring; he’s learned to walk (although now can run!) and learning so many new words every day.  And he is usually sleeping though the night now!  My sweet baby has turned into such a busy, sweet and fun loving toddler.  Caroline has grown up so much as well as she is now a Kindergartner and getting busy with her own activities like soccer, swimming and show choir.

It’s an unknown how the remainder of my season will play out, but I am proud of my racing results thus far.  I have raced in six races this year (second at the first race and won the last five).  Last winter, there were many days I thought should the towel and retire as it was just a hard adjustment training on little sleep and training in cold, wintry days.  Back then I told myself to simply focus on the goals and the tasks for that day and not think too far in the future.  I would simply just focus on how I felt that day, or that workout and adjust as needed.  This year, I have only focused on one race at a time.  My mantra this year has been to try and do as little “work” (training) as possible in order to maximize my fitness for race day.  I try to get in my key workouts each week, but I also try to avoid going to the deep well in training.  I figure that I can save some of the extra reserves for race day.  Cutting back on some training volume has given me more energy for my kids and also overall happier.  After giving birth to Caroline, I felt that I had something to prove, that I had to show that I could return to racing after a baby and still be the same athlete I was before.   This left me with the notion that I had to train harder and train even more intensely.  Although I probably had the best training of my career in the couple of years after she was born, I also had some of my worst injuries.  I had some great races, but had to miss out on some key races and training due to illness and injury.  Looking back, I feel that I was pushing to envelope too hard and too often.

After having Connor, I didn’t feel like I needed to prove anything.  I was much more flexible with my training schedule and not sure how my training would translate in my racing results.  I let that pressure within myself let go a bit.  I still had that competitive fire to compete the very best on race day, but I also was wanting to have more balance in my training.  I didn’t need to compete X amount of hard bike/runs/and swims a week.  Maybe this week I will only hit one hard run and that’s ok.  I’m training hard, but saving energy to have that family balance and I am 100% ok with that.

This year, I have had some of my lowest weekly volumes in my swimming and running.  I may not have quite the top end speed of my ITU days, but most importantly, I am really listening to my body when I am feeling tired and when I feel a tweak coming on in my training that I need to adjust.  I joke that I don’t really need to do an easy third workout of the day since I spend all afternoon and evening chasing my little boy around and playing with my daughter, but it’s really true.  What I do now in-between workouts looks very different now than it did 15, 10 or 6 years ago.  These days though, what I do in between workouts may sometimes feel hard, but it’s so much more fun and very rewarding.

All year I have been thinking back and forth in my mind, “Should I try and Ironman?”  Most of my racing this year has been close to home for several reasons.  Traveling a far distance is tough on the body. I was never very good with jet lag in the past.  Also, I like racing close to home because I can be away for just a couple of days and then be back with the kids.  If a race is within driving distance, than the kids can come along with me!  Emotionally, I feel like I haven’t been able to handle being away from the kids longer than three or four days and a long travel trip would be require being away for at least a week.  With as many Olympic distance non drafting opportunities as there were four years ago, I naturally looked at longer distance racing as an option.  I am now at the later stages of my career and thinking about what do I want to accomplish as I finish out my career. This year there are new qualifying procedures for 70.3 and Ironman racing (winning an Ironman qualifies you for the World Championships).   I qualified for the 2019 70.3 World Championships last month by winning Ironman 70.3 Steelhead and looking at possibly trying to qualify for the Ironman World Champs next month in Louisville.  As I head into this race; I won’t be overcooked. I may lack some experience at this distance and stepping into some uncharted waters for myself.  There are many unknowns about this distance that can only be answered and achieved by toeing the line and stepping up to race.

With the seventh race of the year of my season being cancelled, I am headed to what is likely the final race of the year.  I have a month to go to include some solid training into my schedule before my final 2018 race.  September is one of my favorite times of the year to train.  Typically the humidity drops, but the days are still warm and the leaves haven’t fallen yet.  Best wishes to everyone with their end of season racing and training.  Don’t forget to enjoy the journey.

Blog take two!  Yesterday I wrote this blog headed to DC and now I am continuing with a race update headed home from DC the next day!  Unfortunately, due to weather, the Escape Nations Triathlon was cancelled.  There was some flooding on the course and with more rain to come in the morning, the organizers decided it would be in the best interest of the athletes to cancel the event as per safety concerns.  This morning the swim portion of the race was cancelled, followed by a full race cancellation this afternoon.

Looking at the extended forecast early in the week, Nate and I contemplated cancelling our flights and hotel reservation for fear of a race cancellation.  We have been in this business for quite some time and I just had a feeling in my gut it may be cancelled.  I was looking at the weather that was headed towards DC and I was certain it would be a duathlon, but thought there was a chance we may still race.  We figured that we would be more disappointed if we didn’t go and there was a race, so off we went.

Last night there was heavy rain and thunderstorms for several hours.  Light rain continued today and heavy rain was in the forecast for the morning.  This system is remnants of a tropical storms over the Gulf that affected much of the country.  Unfortunately, the prize money was not split amongst the professional athletes (which is what normally happens in most races when a race is cancelled to help cover the cost of travel).   Being a big city race, this was an expensive travel cost for my family which was a big reason why we were tempted to cancel the trip earlier in the week in case the race were to be cancelled.   Nate and I can joke in the future years how much fun we had on our one day, $2,500.00 date to DC!

Once I heard the race was cancelled, we headed back to the hotel, changed our flights and got on an evening flight back to St. Louis.  It will be nice to spend Sunday home with the family and then it will be back to hard training Monday.  I won’t need a few extra days recovery as I normally do, so back to training it will be.


Tri-K Coaching

Join me Presidents Weekend

Next Event

The official website of Sarah Haskins. © 2013 Sarah Haskins, All Rights Reserved. Site by C5