Well, here I go again talking about how I really should’ve written this a lot sooner than I did. Somehow I’m back in Arizona with my first week of junior year under my belt (WOWZAA).
Here’s what has gone down since last time:
I could probably say this was one of the greatest days…I pinky promise I really did have SO much fun out on this course. Mentally, going into this race I think I was expecting it to be a lot harder than it actually was. From the second the gun went off to start the race to the last 100m of the run that was uphill, I was having a blast. I think part of it for me was that especially when I’m home in Chicago, a lot of my training is done by myself instead of in groups, so when I was out on the course with 1500 athletes everything and everyone was so full of energy. My thoughts for the day went something like this: SWIM– The para’s went off in the first wave, with the men age group 50-55. So all 4’9 of me was attempting to swim around these bigger ( & MUCH TALLER MEN). I definitely made a newbie mistake and thought I should start at the front of the wave, so you could imagine the first 200m or so I was just being swum over. After that I got into my rhythm and had a smooth swim. I tried my hardest to play tough and keep in my own little space during the swim. BIKE: I think three words could sum up the bike IT WAS FAST. Yes, flat and fast it was and when I looked down one point at my Garmin, I could not believe the splits that I was reading and how good I was feeling at this point. I don’t think I stopped smiling the whole bike. RUN: I think I was coming off a huge adrenaline rush from the bike I had that I don’t even remember the first 4 miles of the run. By the time I reached mile 6, I did think to myself “this is definitely a little hiller than I was picturing.” I think that thought quickly was pushed to the back burner when I had to try my best to navigate through the crowded run course. The last 200m was probably the hardest part of the entire run course, it was on a pretty decent climb and I just couldn’t find an extra gear in my arms. Before I could even start to comprehend the climb, it was over and I was heading down the finish shoot as one very happy girl…with a finishing time of 6:03 & feeling great!
It was a huge confidence booster coming off Muncie 70.3 feeling so good about the entire race as I headed into the next few months before Ironman Louisville. It was also really nice knowing my training, nutrition, and hydration plans worked to a “T” for this race. I think the biggest thing I wheeled away from this race was that when you trust your training, your body, and your coach – it will be a great day!! GO COACH MARK GO!
July was filled with a lot of fun miles but also with just a lot of fun. I was able to explore a little more of Wisconsin via bike and take advantage of the hills Wisconsin has to offer (sorry IL).
The Callahan Clan headed back to country thunder which is always a blast, especially because GAM GAM CAL joined her grandchildren on the last night to hang out with Luke Bryan. I also was able to take a little 5 day hiatus to Cayman Islands for a mentor training trip with Stay Focused. I think when I was in Cayman it was the first time in a long time I didn’t take any bikes or racing chairs to the airport and I was just able to have a fun trip! I truly believe it fell at a perfect time because when I landed back in the states, I was even more excited about what was in store for the next few months.
So here I am back in Arizona. My Dad came out with me to help me get settled. Being 7 weeks out from Ironman Louisville, its going to be a busy couple of weeks but I’ve never been more excited. Even though it’s HOT, I don’t think there is anything better than where I train in Arizona. Last Saturday (while my dad was moving me in- you rock Dad) – I had my first ride back in Arizona on my bike. A 6hr ride was in the books and while I was riding I forgot how nice it is to see SO many other riders out there too. As I ended the ride with a smile on my face (and a pretty trendy sunglass tan line on my face) I realized how perfect it is going to be to be capping off my Ironman training in Arizona!
I will however be making a stop in Chicago in mid September. Why? BECAUSE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE COMING TO CHICAGO! Yep, 9/18 @ 7:00am, the top paratriathletes from around the world will be racing through the streets of Chicago at World Championships! I’m so lucky to be wearing the stars & stripes in my hometown and have the chance to race with some speedy athletes.
So for the next few weeks, here’s too the many many miles and many hours of homework that will be in my future.
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”
Until next time,