This past weekend found me in Burlington, Vermont, for USAT Age Group Olympic Distance National Championships. It was like deja vu as my coach and I loaded up her car and headed to LAX for our cross-country flight, just like we had done a year prior. We had even booked the same hotel. One wonderful difference between this year and last, however, was all the teammates I would be meeting there. For the first time, several other members of my local training team had qualified to compete; having them across the hall made for a very festive atmosphere. I was also extremely fortunate to secure a sponsorship from Endurance Films this year, and Nationals marked the first time I got to meet the owners and my new teammates in person. It was incredibly motivating (and, yes, a little intimidating) to be amongst this group of talented athletes. We all met up in the expo the day before the race to socialize and receive some fabulous gear from our sponsors Champion Systems and Aquasphere.
I got a great night's sleep Friday night and woke up about an hour ahead of schedule on race morning. (Now that I've started doing all this fitness, people frequently mistake me for a morning person.) This allowed me to do my pre-race prep relatively stress-free. The only hiccup of the morning was the flat tire that greeted me as I was setting up my transition area. After my last triathlon, though, I'd gladly change a tire before every race if it meant I never got a flat during the actual competition. The race went smoothly, my bike shifted like butter thanks to Zane from Kane Bicycles, and I even PR'ed on the run. Here are the actual numbers:
Swim 22:39.2 (1:23/100 m pace)
Bike 1:12:59 (20.4 mph average)
Run 44:00.6 (7:05 pace, PR by 1:26)
Total time 2:22:47 -- 13th out of 95 in age group, 106 out of 851 women, 633 out of 1989 total finishers
As any triathlete will tell you, anything can happen during a race. Luckily for me, this was one of those days when everything worked exactly the way it was supposed to. I've come out of this race confident, motivated, and with big goals in mind for World Championships in October and for next season. I'm looking forward to joining many of my EFRT teammates in London next year!