Many people have asked me why I am not racing at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships this weekend in Austria. My main goal going into 2015 was to win the HyVee triathlon. In 2013 I was 5th place in my first ever HyVee and last year I was 4th place. So naturally, I wanted to go for the big paycheck this year.
Unfortunately, around March, I found out almost all of the Olympic distance races were no longer happening for professionals and this included HyVee. I had to change my focus to 70.3/ half-distance racing and make a new schedule.
I started with a DNF at Monterrey 70.3 due to illness in March followed by an epic blow up to finish 4th at IRONMAN 70.3 New Orleans despite a huge lead off the bike. I made some adjustments in my nutrition and won IRONMAN 70.3 St Croix and the Challenge San Gil half. However, I still did not feel very strong throughout either race and I did not have confidence over the distance yet.
In early June, I raced Escape from Alcatraz and finished with a very strong run to give me a big confidence boost, only to follow up with a mediocre performance at NYC triathlon that made me question my training and recovery. By the time August 1st came, I honestly just did not have the confidence to travel to Europe for the World Championships and hope to have a good day. I really don’t believe in showing up to big races unless I am prepared to be on the podium so I made the difficult decision not to go.
I raced IRONMAN 70.3 Ecuador on Aug 9th and finally had the race I was looking for. I felt strong and in control over all three disciplines and finished with a very strong run compared to what I had been doing. This race gave me the confidence I needed to race the best in the world, but by this point my mind was exhausted and I needed to recover from recent travel and actually train. I am very motivated to see where I stand against the top 70.3 girls but Austria was not meant to be.
So what’s next? I was invited to the Beijing International Triathlon, which is an invitation-only race with 9 very strong girls. I will fly to Beijing on September 14th and race on the 20th. I then will race a 70.3 in October (Miami or Los Cabos) and I will finish the year with Challenge Bahrain on November 20th. I view Challenge Bahrain as my World Championships, as it usually draws an even more competitive field, and I will properly prepare for it. I am very hungry, healthy, and happy.