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The beauty of the west.

I am not sure where to start on this one! I was excited to have a 70.3 within driving distance that I could race at. A long 9-hour drive to Vegas, but it beat flying with my bike and the costs/hassles of that. I wasn’t sure how my body was going to respond at this race since I felt I lost a bit of endurance fitness with focusing on Olympic distance racing in August/September. But, I chalked this race up to another good learning experience and vowed that I would just make the most of it.

The drive was beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed the time in the car. I took my time getting there, stopping every couple of hours to get out and stretch. I drove all day Thursday and got to meet up with my awesome homestay. Brian flew in Friday night. I knew I needed to race at Silverman or I would lose my husband to the city’s finest — he had a 1-way ticket to Vegas! … Thankfully he helped me drive home 🙂

 

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The swim start. Lake Mead has been one of my favorite places to swim. Photo by Brian Pomeroy

As much as I was excited for the race, I was also a bit of a wreck leading up to Silverman. I was putting so much pressure on myself to perform well – much more than I realized. I felt I needed to do well at this race. I should be better at this distance now (3rd time at it) and it was a climate I was used to training in. The pro field was deep and I wanted to compete with these ladies!

Swim was very wavy and not easy by any means. But I LOVED it! I didn’t feel like I was overly exerting myself at all during the swim, but I did swallow more water than usual because of the waves. I was with 2 others and just enjoyed the beautiful Lake Mead. I came out of the water in 4th, happy to have a good swim.

 

 

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Riding in the beautiful desert. Photo by Brian Pomeroy

Onto the bike, I was focused and ready. The first 10 miles, I felt smooth and the pace felt easy. Then we turned right to head further into the park for 15 miles. I still felt very much in control of my pace. A group of women passed me and I tried to match their pace, but dropped back enough to keep well clear of my 12-meter draft zone to the rider in front. I wanted to keep them in sight, but they were moving quicker than I wanted to this early in the race. I kept to my targeted wattage, and tried to stay focused. At the turn-around at mile 25, I was ready to start moving faster and start catching the girls who passed me. I had higher hopes than reality though. I wasn’t turning over the pedals as hard and I wasn’t as aero as I could have been, especially while fighting the cross-winds. Coming out of the park at mile 40, we still had a ways to go and I tried to maintain my focus, knowing my bike was not going as well as I hoped. I finished the bike and was curious what I had left for the run.

 

The run was deceivingly hard. It consisted of ~1 mile downhill, ~2 miles uphill, then ~1mile downhill each loop. I felt pretty decent starting out, running the downhill! 🙂 But I struggled from there. Mentally, I was in a rough place, I was having gut issues from too much sugary stuff on the bike, and the sole of my right foot was burning from my need-to-be-replaced shoes. 1st lap was OK, 2nd lap was the worst, but for some reason, I actually had more energy left for the last lap! I finished, feeling displeased with my lackluster performance, knowing I physically could have performed better there today.

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Running hard. Photo by Brian Pomeroy

 

Silverman was a great learning experience and I plan to take that new information with me going forward. This race tested me in a new way. I am happy to have another half iron distance under my belt and am looking forward to my final race of the season: Challenge Ixtapa!

 

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Some other pictures. We enjoyed visiting Hoover Dam and of course my husband gave me the GPS coordinates to the famous Rocket Site area that tested the first stage engines that took the US to the moon. And last, a goofy road name 🙂