The Bassman Half Ironman and the Mother’s Day Duathlon.  For different reasons, I had some reluctance about doing these two events, but with a little and much needed kick in the butt from my coach (thanks Greg!), I found myself racing both just one week apart.  And I’m glad I did, because I had two strong prep days and good race experience for my first Ironman in Austria on June 29, and getting across that finish line is what it’s all about for me this year in my triathlon life.

Last year’s Bassman was a bad day for me.  So I had some apprehension about doing it again, and when I first got in that very cold water, my fears got the best of me.  Not atypical of me, I started with a panic attack, but I’m very pleased that I got it together enough to settle down and have a good swim for the second loop, even leaving a couple of people behind and catching up to a few more by the time I got out of the water – so maybe I am a little delusional, but I just know that my swim breakthrough (which for me means not last) is right around the corner.  With a strong ride and run, and even with a 6 min T1 to dry off and bundle up for the bike (there’s a pattern here as you’ll see below), I finished with a PR by over 10 minutes and a top finish, and I could not have been happier.  It was fun to hang out with Corey and Anna (both of whom crushed it) the night before and after the race, and so nice to be able to support and encourage each other on the course.  Often during a race or a workout, I think about what I am going to eat when I am finished as a way to help me get through it, and this time did not disappoint, since I stopped on the way home to eat a cheeseburger, fries, coke, three Reeces and one Snickers – yum!

The Mother’s Day du was a very fun day with two important lessons learned – don’t forget where you rack your bike and make sure you can get your helmet on!  You would think that after having done a number of these, I could at least manage that (and I am not always so inept), but when I entered T1, I mistakenly went to the wrong bike and put on the wrong helmet before realizing they weren’t mine!  But at least I could get that helmet on, since when I got to my own, I stood there for what seemed like forever trying to clip it on before I finally succeeded. A little ditzy and a lot klutzy – that kind of sums me up.  Aside from that almost comical T1, I was able to put together 2 strong runs and a decent bike for a good race, especially after a solid 88 mile Harriman ride the day before (my longest ever),  giving me confidence in my where my fitness is right now (thanks Greg, Erik and Laura!).  It was wonderful to race with so many teammates, with podiums (including a sweep for the women with Miriam and Laura!) and fast finishes all around, and plenty of good cheer and high spirits to make this an extra special mother’s day for me.  My sons came through with beautiful flowers for their mom and I was treated to a nice dinner out.  Really, what more could a girl ask for?

There are many days when I am tired, sore,  grumpy, and more than a little overwhelmed, but  not a day goes by that I’m also not amazed by and grateful for what we get to do as athletes.   Austria is just 6 weeks away.  I cannot wait.