New York City Tri: another 4th!

It's not exactlty the result of dreams, but 4th at the New York City Triathlon is actually better than I expected out of myself.  Being so close to the podium (8 seconds in the end) was tough but the race and the day still remain one of the best of the year.  It's the day that so many New Yorkers participate, cheer, and just notice triathlon. It is like a party (one that starts at 5:50am and pours rain during) seeing so many friends and getting so much support and good vibes from fellow New Yorkers.  

I went into the race just reminding myself of that.  Have fun, enjoy every moment and push yourself as hard as you can go.  It had only been five weeks since my ironman and a busy five weeks.  All good things (filming a video for Mercedes-Benz, a hard bike race, a certain new piece of jewelry) but I hadn't quite given myself a chance to really put my feet up and relax.  Next time I will know to plan some time on the beach after an ironman!  I felt terrible in training for about 4 of those weeks.  I almost wanted to give up and quit when I got dropped up a climb I usually have to wait for minutes at the top of.  Swimming was even difficult because my quads would scream out in pain everytime I pushed off the wall.  I had to take a step back and respect what I had put my body through: an ironman and then a very difficult bike race.  I realized it was ok if I took a little break from the "epic" workouts.  Instead of a 5 hour ride, I did 3.  Instead of a transition run I walked around an art fair.   And, what do you know...three days before the NYC Tri I was on the bike trainer and my legs suddenly felt normal.  I went for a run and I could actually go at a fast pace.  It was such a relief!

Still, I knew I was taking a big risk coming into a race against some of the top girls in the sport somewhat underprepared physically.  Not ideal, but I have learned that it's nearly impossible to have perfect preparation.  I dove into the Hudson and did exactly what I planned on doing - made every stroke count and made the most out of every minute on the race course.  I was so focused I didn't even realize it was pouring rain on the bike until halfway through it!  My only lapse in focus was the few seconds I wasted trying to put shoes on after the swim.  I ulitmately gave up and ran barefoot to my bike but that little bit of time changed the dynamic of the race.  Instead of riding with the pack ahead I spent the whole time chasing.  I ended up having a great ride anyway and put myself in a good position for a podium but lost a battle on the 10k run with Jill Peterson.  She ended up 8 seconds ahead of me for 3rd.  Despite a 4th place, I can't really be too upset.  I didn't let any fears get in my way and I pushed myself well beyond what I thought I was capable of.  I feel like every race has a lesson and in this one it was: Never give up.  I did everything I could to get to that finish line as fast as possible and I'm pretty proud of that!  

When I was finished and cooling down I saw plenty of other people doing the same thing.  There were so many tough people out there, and for anyone reading this who raced, you should be proud of yourselves too!  

Thank you to everyone cheering me on out there and thank you to my sponsors.  My legs might have been tired but all of my equipment was PERFECT!  THANK YOU! 

Next up is the Hy-Vee Triathlon in Des Moines.  

-Laurel