If the two images below can characterize my past two race - the World Cup in New Plymouth, New Zealand and World Triathlon Series in Gold Coast, Australia - then I am reminded of two simple truths: daily intentional work can lead to big results, but if there is no struggle, there is no progress. Here is the race recap.
New Plymouth World Cup
While poor placement into second transition cost me a handful of seconds, I accelerated on the first of three laps to catch back up to the front group of runners. Just as we were about to hit the first turning point Katie Zaferes (USA) accidentally turned one cone too early and was forced to go back around. At this point I found myself leading the race. I felt smooth and ready to react to any acceleration. On the start of the final lap, squad mates Taylor Spivey & Summer Cook (USA) accelerated and I went with them. Then Katie - the ever strong fighter that she is - made a move up the final hill. I reacted, but detached a little on the descent as she poured on the speed for the last 400m. I was going as fast as my legs would turnover in that final stretch, but the speedy Joanna Brown (CAN) out sprinted me in the final meters to take silver by one second. My disappointment was captured in the photo below as I crossed the line. I really wanted the win. And the competitor in me was mad. With hindsight, I gave it everything I could and I am proud of myself for staying focused throughout the race and being bold enough to go for the win. Big respect goes out to the other tough ladies in this field and I will keep trying for the opportunity to hold that blue finish tape overhead.
WTS Gold Coast
The conditions in Gold Coast were much warmer, yet certainly windier. My approach was the same as before: stay focused discipline by discipline, moment by moment. The sprint distance course comprised of a choppy swim, a flat, moderately technical bike course, and a straight out and back run. While triathlon is considered a non-contact sport, greater density around the swim buoys led to a very “physical” swim. I came out of the water just over half a minute behind the leaders, unfortunately losing more time in transition because of errors like dropping my goggles. Once out on the bike, I knew I needed to go full gas to catch the group in front, especially with the headwind strongest on the back half of each lap. The chase packs were initially splintered into various small groups, but came together by the end of lap one.
Overall, I came back to Poway encouraged, yet hungry for more training and racing. There is still lots of work to do and the struggle will continue, but deliberately working through it can yield big results. Next up will be the World Cup in Chengdu, China on May 6 and 7th, followed by the olympic distance WTS in Yokohama on May 13.
A huge thank you goes out to my coach Paulo Sousa, my squad mates on The Triathlon Squad, my fiancé Johan, family, friends, and of course my sponsors Skechers, Zone 3, ADEPS, Polar and Agenda Sport.
As always, thanks for reading!