Redman USA Triathlon LD Championship Race Report

Winning is a habit.  My habit starts yearly with training camps.  Join me and Coach Marilyn Chychota at one of two training camps in 2016.   More info here.

The three words I texted my Coach Marilyn Chychota post-race; Oops. I won.

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The plan for this race was simple, swim hard, bike harder and run steady off the bike. Two weeks later I would be racing Ironman Louisville.  My injured achilles had improved and the goal was to do no harm.

Why Redman?  I wanted to qualify for the long distance world championship in 2016.  My other reason? I wanted to support a race that was not owned by the Ironman World Triathlon Corporation. As one of their “most frequent flyers,” I think it is important to show that my money can go elsewhere.  They won’t notice my missing funds, but I will know that I chose to do the right thing.  Please take a moment to support #50womentokona by signing our petition here.

I am pleased to mention that Redman Triathlon is one of the best run races I have experienced. They are customer service oriented, put the athletes first and run a top notch race in a good venue. Kudos to their team!

I don’t usually swim in a wetsuit but Lake Hefner was 71 degrees with a high of 86 expected. After Coeur d’Alene’s 107 degree day this year, 86 felt almost chilly.

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Oklahoma is flat! Insert show tune here.

I  planned on working hard the whole swim. And I did. As I exited the swim I looked at Katie expecting a thumbs up. Instead she shouted, “you need to bike hard!” Translation?  What the hell took you so long?

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She Who Must Be Obeyed!

As usual, I got on the bike and felt like crap. Due to my Ironman Louisville block, I knew I would be carrying fatigue into the race.  Fortunately, I trust the training rather than how I feel when racing.

On the bike I pushed the whole way. The course is similar to Ironman Texas with rolling hills and some wind. I felt like I had to be very careful on the bike; dicey traffic, a few bad roads and some inexperienced police officers at intersections.  I focused on staying rubber side down for Louisville.

For some reason, during this race I had more trouble with the men racing than normal. Lots of guys did the double head tap. They look once at the person passing. It registers it might be a woman. They look twice to confirm. And then they break the rules. They fail to drop back and block your pass.  The worst part is that the woman is often penalized for failure to pass.  A frustrating reminder that we need to educate triathletes on the rules of passing! And refs need to stop penalizing women when the men are blocking.

I was pleasantly surprised by my bike time. Marilyn and I agreed that the run would be steady. And it was. My calf/achilles was a touch angry at the beginning of the run but soon sorted itself out. It felt great to race pain free.

All was good until the half way turnaround. KT was waiting for me. She looked at me and said you are in second. And first place is a minute ahead of you. She looked guilty telling me. And I felt guilty hearing it. I knew I had a chance to be a National Champion. So I made a deal with myself. I could raise the effort slightly but I would not “haul ass” from 10K to the finish.

I quickly caught the woman in first and I knew there was a couple of outstanding runners chasing me. As I approached the last mile and the chute, I checked behind me a few times to see if I was getting run down. Fortunately, all was clear through the end.

I enter every race with an intent to win.  Marilyn made it clear that I should win it on my swim and bike effort. Unfortunately, I had to win it on the run but I think it was worth it. I never imagined I could win a National Championship when I started this journey. Special thanks to Marilyn Chychota for continuing to make my dreams come true. Thanks to my fellow team members at Endurance Corner. You continue to push me to be better. And a special thanks to my athletes who inspire me with their work and support.

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With only two weeks to Louisville, my immediate focus is recovery. And forgetting the pain of racing. And remembering the joy of the off season!

Join me and Coach Marilyn Chychota at one of two training camps in 2016.   More info here

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