2014 marks my fourth year of racing triathlon. In 2011, I completed the Olympic Distance at Wildflower and then Vineman 70.3, followed by three 70.3 races the next year and then finally onto IM CDA last year. The steps were calculated and I am glad to have taken my time building strength and endurance. I don’t have a serious background in much of anything, so each experience has taught me more about pushing through barriers.
Up until this past weekend I have not had the confidence to actually race my bike. Don’t get me wrong, I have ridden my bike in a race setting many times. But I typically hold back, pushing less than my coach has tried to tell me I can, in fear of not being able to run. I have held strongly to a seed of doubt about my riding abilities, and chalked up my weak bike legs to a lack of strength. Explaining away my timidity with excuses of being a smaller athlete and not having any power. This is something I have been working on in the time since Cabo. Slowly but surely embracing the hard trainer intervals and the long ride targeted work.
In Sunday’s Olympic distance race, I came out of the water two minutes behind super swimmer Celeste Morton. Mark was there and as he told me the deficit I faced he said, “there’s no one close behind you, if you want to win this you have to go out and take it.” His words stuck with me and I finally went out and raced my f*@#$ing bike. I was relieved, and not surprised, to know that coach had been right all along. I still ran a decent 10 KM off the bike, letting myself cruise in the last mile when I realized I was not going to be caught.
It may have taken some time, quite a bit of time, but I feel like the pieces are finally coming together. The shadow of IM Los Cabos has faded and it is time to see where this new confidence can take me.