Wow! What a day!! Perfect races are very rare so you have to cherish them when they come along and that is exactly what today was. I loved every single second of it, pushed harder than ever, and got some amazing results. I have never been so proud of myself.

3:12:00. A 24 minute PR from my Philly race. THAT. IS. HUGE. And I placed 4th in my age group!!! I can’t believe I was so close to the podium 🙂

The day started bright and early when I bounded out of bed at 4am feeling great and ready to race! I was so excited to wear my new PTC kit and it was so great having so many Pittsburgh Triathlon Club members racing and spectating…the support was absolutely incredible and I really don’t think I went more than 5 minutes between hearing cheers!

I was calm all morning, just really excited, but then the nerves hit when they called us over for the National Anthem and to walk over to the start. I was really scared. But that’s a good thing!

The swim started great, I was much calmer than last time and didn’t panick at all. No backstroking this race! I even found some feet to draft off of for a little. I felt strong and good in the water the entire time, the only problem was the course was not well explained or well marked at all! I had no idea where the heck I was going on swam way off course quite a few times. I know that my time could have been a whole lot faster.

I got out of the water all smiles 🙂 There was a long, evil run up a hill to transition which sucked. But look! There are boys in front of me—I caught some of the wave before me!!!!

Swim= 34:10 (including long, evil run up to transition)

T1 = 1:37. Holy cow that was fast!! The best part of my race too…86th out of 306! I was flying!

The bike was 2 loops out and back up the HOV lane. It kind of sucked. It was all uphill the first 6 miles, down 6, and repeat. The road was in bad conditions with lots of rocks, glass, and cracks and lots of people were getting flats and losing bottles.

Bike = 1:30:06. Ave HR 160, Max HR 184, Ave cadence 84. Boom! Nailed the plan!

T2 = 1:40 I need to get lace locks! Also I got really disoriented and couldn’t remember where my bike went! Oh, but look Kim—I’m running with my bike the right way like a pro!

Oh, the run…I was most nervous about this. My runs have pretty much sucked recently due to the awful heat and humidity we’ve been having and I did not have high hopes. I started out slow, trying to get my heart rate down. Then my calves were SO TIGHT and hurt so bad. I stopped to walk early on and some guy came up and said “nope, come on, run with me for a little” and I whined “my calves are about to explode!” and he said “I know. Keep going though, it will get better, I promise” so I kept going and it did! After that my legs really loosened up and I felt HR was in the right range and I felt strong. I didn’t walk anymore except for the aid stations! I was also seeing some numbers under 10 which is huge for me! I had a water and gaterade at every station and poured a water over my head—it was getting hot!

Then I saw the finish line!!

Look at that midfoot striking 🙂 Yeah, I am a mess! It looks like I got in a fight with my bike chain!

I DID IT! And I seriously had so much fun! I was smiling the entire time!

Run = 1:04:10 Ave HR: 164 Max HR 180. Again, perfectly executed! What I think is the most amazing is that this was pretty much what I was running my open 10ks at last year! I can’t believe the progress I’ve made.

Getting my medal!

And a massage 🙂 Greg from Lone Serenity did a great job working my painful calves. In black and white? I guess my dad was being artsy.

One of the best parts of the day was seeing Coach Kim after the race and telling her how it went! I would never have been able to accomplish what I did today without her. Thanks for being such a wonderful coach, a huge inspiration, and a great friend over these past few months! I can’t wait to see what else we can accomplish!

And of course, a big thank you to my parents for coming out and supporting me! I love you so much and really appreciate all you do for my crazy hobby!

And that’s that! This is a day I will remember forever. Thanks for everyone who made it so special!