Escape Des Moines Triathlon


This past Labor Day weekend was my first competition since July of 2016.  Leading into the race, I had no idea how my body was going to feel once the gun went off since this was my first race back since my four month old was born.  My race plan was to enjoy the art of racing, dust off the cobwebs and get in a great workout.  I feel that racing is a perfect test to see where exactly my fitness is at and what I need to work on going forward in my training and racing.

Leading up to this race, I knew my swim and bike would be decently competitive; but my run was nowhere close to race fitness.   I have had a solid 10-12 consistent weeks of swimming and cycling, but only five weeks of running.  Knowing where my fitness stood, I did not put too much pressure on myself and my wanted to enjoy the process of racing.  A little less than two weeks prior to the race, my daughter got sick for a few days and then I got sick for a few days after that so I did not train much that week.  Since I did not get much training in that week, I decided to train a little harder Monday-Wednesday of race week and then back off a few days leading into the the race.  Normally I would be a bit stressed if this was my preparation leading into a race.  However, my approach has been to take everything one day at a time since Connor has been born and this has been great for me to keep my nerves down and not to feel overwhelmed with any process at hand.


I have raced in Des Moines eight times over the last ten years, so it is a city with many racing memories.  Des Moines is only a five and half hour drive from home and I wanted to take the entire family.  We made the drive in eight hours (with a baby, we had to stop frequently), but we stopped at some parks along the way.  Once we were in Des Moines, we enjoyed swimming at the hotel pool, taking walks and hanging out with my mother and father in-law who also made the trip down from Minnesota.


Race morning I woke up around 4:45AM and was so glad that Connor woke up on his own at 5:20AM so that I could nurse him before I headed down to race start.  Caroline took pumped bottles very well, but Connor seems to prefer his mom (if I pump a bottle, he doesn’t always take it).  I felt great race morning. I fell asleep early reading a book to my daughter and only was woken a few times throughout the night.  It was surprisingly cool on race morning (in the low 60s and very humid).  The water was still very warm at 79 degrees, so no wetsuits on race morning.  The wind was also extremely calm, not a ripple in the water. I used my Blueseventy PZ4TX swim skin with the Blueseventy Element Goggels. IMG_6583


I opted for one bottle of GLUKOS Energy Powder mix on the bike with the cooler temps and had two GLUKOS gels prior to race start.  I find that I get a bit more hungry with nursing and racing, so I try to up the calories with an extra gel prior to race start.  The women started two minutes after the men and I found the start to be very chill.  Four women stayed together the entire swim and I exited in third position.  I felt pretty good on the swim, just not used to sighting so frequently since it had been awhile since I had swam in open water.


IMG_0460The run out of the bike felt hard.  It has been awhile since I have transitioned and that swim to run transition always spikes the heart rate.  Once I got on the bike, I felt surprisingly better than expected.  I led out of transition and then Lauren passed me a couple of miles into the bike.  After the first turn around mile 5, I passed Lauren and maintained the lead position the remainder of the bike.  The bike was two loops, flat and fast.  We had other cyclists with us throughout the second loop, but the roads were pretty wide, so we had plenty of room to pass the age group athletes.  My legs felt good while riding, but my abs were sore!  I don’t think I was used to using my diaphragm so much (and breathing so hard). My gear for the cycling portion was:  Fuji Norcom Straight 1.1 out fitted with SRAM e-Tap wireless shifting, Quarq Powermeter, ISM PN 3.0 saddle, Zipp Vuka Aero bars, Zipp Firecrest Tubular 808 with Tangent SL Speed Tire, Zipp Super 9 Tubular Disc with Tangent SL Speed Tire, Sampson Stratics Carbon Ti PedalsSpeedfil A2 hydration system, Rudy Project Wing57 in my favorite color! Here is my Quarq powerfile is presented by Training Peaks.


When I exited the bike, I knew it would feel awkard.  I have done very little bricks as of yet and I felt very tight.  I also knew that I had to start off the run chill.  I had to turn off my racing brain and not go hard that first mile.  I wanted to make sure to get to the finish line and not start off too hard and put myself in danger of not finishing, cramping or injuring myslef.  Lauren Goss pulled away from me very quickly and I found myself in second place and focused on good form and staying steady.  I had a double side stitch that subsided after a couple of miles, but felt better as clicked off the miles. My running gear used was: Skechers GoMeb Razor, Mission HydroActice Multi-Cool,  Rudy Project Tralyx SX, GLUKOS Energy Gel, Triflare Blue Poppy custom Sarah Haskins line, Glukos Visor, T1 Pro Race belt, and I was able to race in my Groove Life ring all day and not have to worry about my diamond wedding band.


Overall I loved the course and it was a lot of fun to be back racing.  One of my favorite parts of the race was giving my daughter a high five during the run portion of the race!  Pushing the body hard in a race just come naturally and in training it’s not as much fun!  After the race, we made the trip back home to enjoy Labor Day and celebrate my Mom’s 60th birthday.

Now I am focusing on recovering while also getting in some workouts and gearing up for another race again next weekend.  I am thinking of my motto of taking it all a day at a time and exited to get to toe the start line again in just four days.

Thanks to all my sponsors, family and friends for the support.

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