2014 was a year of growth, change, and new experiences. I am very happy with the year overall, and these are my top 5 race moments.
5. Ironman 70.3 NOLA
Just about everything wet wrong nutritionally in NOLA, but somehow I still snagged a spot to Worlds. I went into the race prepared to have a great race. I felt fresh and peppy. A great swim (for me) set me up to have a great day. Unfortunately I dropped my fluids early in the bike, and I was never able to recover from it. I ended up walking and sitting down quite a bit on the run, but I fought through it. Keeping a positive attitude can go a long way in endurance sports - a great lesson to learn.
4. 50k debut
I took a road trip out to California with a new German friend and raced the Malibu Canyon 50k. 6300ft of elevation gain. Set the 25k course record during the 50k. Finished 3rd OA. All of tha was exciting, but so was the actually road trip. He is in the states traveling for a few months and wanted to go from Denver to LA. We left Denver in a snow storm and made it to Vegas that night. It was great to see his reaction as we were driving through to CO mountains, UT canyons, and all of the lights of Vegas. It definitely made time fly by.
3. Marathon Debut - 2:37
Road trip back to IL.
Seeing family and friends.
Elite Athlete meeting with some studs.
I mean what more could I ask for?
2. 70.3 Worlds - 4:28
I had made my retirement from triathlon public the week before. I honestly believe that was the best thing I could have done. There was not any pressure on me to perform and I felt like I could just go and soak in the experience. During the swim something inside me said, "no,you're here to compete - get it done." I ended up with a PR swim and bike, along with a 10 minute overall PR. I couldn't have had a better ending. I still get people that tell me, "you're wasting your talent by not racing tri" or, "it's a shame you quit so young." I may come back to it someday, but I don't have plans to at the moment. New adventures await.
1. Clermont AG Sprint Tri
Giving Jack a high five at the finish of the Clermont AG Sprint Tri is hands down my favorite moment. I could have picked a race win or course record as my favorite moment, but this trumps them all. It was one of those days where things just kind of clicked and then I got to give a buddy a high five. People were like "you just made his day," but really, he made mine. Those are the moments I love about racing.
Thanks for reading. What was your favorite race moment of 2014?