Finish. Always. – 9.19.15

itu

For those of you who know me well, you know that there times where in frustration, profanity comes out in spades. But even in that time, there are words that you’ll never hear me say. Simply because they’re not in my vocabulary. Another word, which you’ll never hear me say had a 3 letter acronym. If you change the F to a C, you’ll get DNC.

Yesterday, the PC Open race at the ITU Grand Finale bent me but couldn’t break me. Even with the challenges of the day, it was an incredible one.

The swim was the worst part of it. Even though we were inside of the break wall, the waves were still bad enough that I couldn’t get my head in and keep it there to do a normal freestyle stroke. And the tether broke shortly into the swim. Luke figured out a plan B to deal with that and kept pushing me along to finish even when I felt like there was nothing in the tank. I was really concerned that we were going to get pulled out of the water (which would have ended the race), but we finished and headed back to transition.

After transitionwe headed out on the bike for our ride. This particular course would have been impossible for me to do without a guide, as about 1/3 of it was on lower Wacker Drive in the dark. But with Luke as the pilot, it went well. The extra padding in the Dare2Tri suit helped from the last time I was on the race tandem.

We then came back to transition and out for the run. About 1/2 way through, my lower back started to tighten up and it got hard to run for any long length of time. But I kept pushing with Luke encouraging me on, and we finished (2:21 total), and I was so happy for the post-race massage. 🙂

Even though it was a struggle yesterday, many positives and many things to work on for the 2016 season.

1) Even with Lake Michigan utterly kicking my ass, the difference in the finish time at ITU and Naperville as about 1 minute. And that’s with an additional 350m in the water at ITU. I see that as a HUGE psitive.

2) There will be a lot of early mornings this fall and winter for swim training. And I need to find a way to make it down for Open water sessions in Lake Michigan next spring/summer.

3) The struggles of yesterday did nothing to discourage the long term goals. It only fueled me to push harder to reach them. To that point, Naperville (8/7/16) is already firmly on the schedule and about 15 other events (Tris and running races) are in pencil.

One final thing — THANK YOU to the ITU event staff and all of the fans that were out there yesterday. As usual, there was a tremendous amount of encouragement and support for us out on the cours and at the finish. And a special thanks to the kind woman from Canada who lent us her phone so we could coordinate the post-race meet-up.

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