The spring kickoff for Ironman racing in North America was last Saturday in sunny Oceanside, California. The field was stacked, particularly on the women’s side, so as returning 2012 champion I had a formidable challenge to repeat. 70.3 racing at early 2013 international events has been inspiring, with eye popping splits and real breakthrough performances. It appears the bar has been set much higher for this year, not just by the influx of ITU racers (although they are part of it) but also by massive improvements from the 70.3 specialists as well. The racing at Oceanside last week continued this trend with Heather Jackson taking the win ahead of Heather Wurtele and Lesley Paterson who just nipped Linsey Corbin for third. Great job ladies! I was 13th.
A very, very nervous Mel- not my usual composure before races
While my Oceanside result isn’t where I expected to find myself at the finish of the race, realistically it is a step forward and can be viewed in positive light given my challenging offseason. On Saturday, I endured a nightmare swim, put my head down on the bike and pulled myself back up briefly into single digit position with Vodickova and Joyce off the bike and then ran to 13th. Although I am not stoked about my race, it is the first in a long time that I have been steady start to finish without physical problems. Now I will pocket the fitness, get back to work and look forward to continued improvement at my next race.
The injury has forced me to reassess aspects of my biomechanics for Ironman racing. This process and my partnership with eSoles custom insoles has brought some amazing professionals in physical therapy and bike fitting to my team. I am stoked that I had a chance to visit Endurance Rehab and Cyclologic in Scottsdale as I feel both Wolfgang and Paraic have made a real differences in my recovery and my ability to ride a tt bike. After a complete revamp of my bike fit and bike cleats things are looking great with respect to training and completing recovery and my Oceanside finish demonstrates that I can start to build from here.
Being a returning winner for a title defense was exciting but also nerve wracking as I knew I wasn’t 100% flying. I couldn’t sleep for two nights before the race I was so nervous. The experience was a stepping stone that I had to put a foot on to find my way back to the pointy end of a race.
I really benefitted from prerace support and advice from Mark Andrews at Trek and prerace/onsite support from Heather Fuhr. She is our pro athlete babysitter and we are helpless without her, thank you Heather! I also love my friends from Maui and a big happy birthday shoutout to Aaron and a huge hug to my friend Jody, both of whom flew in to see the race. Mahalo you guys xx
My personal army starts with Trek, Bontrager, Shimano, Cycleops/Powertap, Rudy Project and Polar for supporting me with the fastest stuff. With objective data from Polar and Powertap I can track exactly where I am with power and heart rate data from racing and from training that will show my progression through the year which is going to be motivating to look at. I have Powerbar helping fine tune my nutrition to figure out how to fuel events this long. I have Champion System making gorgeous custom kits to keep me looking good and comfortable in aero position which is an amazing feat. I have eSoles/Endurance Rehab/Cyclologic taking a real interest in my recovery and sorting out the insoles, physio and bike fit needs that have become increasingly important as I do more Ironman events. I have Synergy Wellness Management in Victoria monitoring and treating my pesky right hip and providing the yoga sessions that have become essential in my training. Sci Con Bike travel bags keeps my bike safe, Pearl Izumi sorting out my footwear needs and Usana, Genunine Innovations and ESI grips round out the supporters that help keep me healthy and safe on the road. Thanks guys, I appreciate you guys so much.
See you in Vegas.
Pretty Maui gift from Jody 🙂