Paula and Jessi at the finish of the Carlsbad Triathlon - not the highlight of the year for either of us!
Catching up with Jessi Stensland!July 1—San Diego International Triathlon, San Diego, CA (3rd place)
So nice to roll out of my own bed the morning of a race. Certainly have never appreciated it as much as I do now! I was really looking forward to racing after a couple of rest weeks and in front of the hometown crowd (as much of a crowd as there is for a triathlon anyway!)—As always, that made it special. There were a couple of those darn Ironman distance pros to contend with as they try to get in a quick speed workout—Heather Fuhr was no match with that run of hers, but I finished strong in 3rd just behind, beating my previous best on the course by 3 minutes. Michellie Jones took the win.
July 7—ITU World Cup, Toronto, CANADA
Lesson learned: It’s better to stay upright on your bike . . . It’s more fun that way! I was really excited for this race. It was to be the biggest and deepest field yet for a World Cup, and just 2 weeks before World Championships, everyone was on their game. It started out in colder water than I’ve EVER swam in (or, at least I thought, ever WOULD swim in). Full wetsuit and all, I still found myself doing face exercises on the second half of the swim to make sure it was still there, and I thought, maybe it would burn a couple calories, to warm me up the slightest bit—-It didn’t. The bike course was on the Molsen Indy Race track—lots of turns . . . I was feeling good, being
aggressive. But on the 2nd lap of 9 I took a spill. Nothing major (I’ll spare you the details—most of you know what it entails) except it did give me my first DNF (yuck!). Coincidentally, it did rain during the race that day, making the bike course very slippery and dangerous (there were at least 2 other crashes), but it was still dry when I went down--I’ll be honest.
July 22—Rock ‘n’ Roll Triathlon, Cleveland, OH
I’d never been to Cleveland. I was pleasantly surprised. Somewhat
uneventful race, but there was an amazing local ice cream shop—I forget the name of the place, but they were looking to expand (I hope to San Diego). Thanks to Kevin Kelley, my awesome homestay, for twisting my arm to get me to indulge the night before the race. Unfortunately the ice cream didn’t cool me off quite enough for the race the next day—It was HOT. I finished 5th. The race was won by Karen Smyers--the first of her 3 race (and counting) winning streak.
July 29—Carlsbad Triathlon, Carlsbad, CA
The classiest sprint distance triathlon in the world (seriously), and right in my backyard! Between the organization by the City of Carlsbad and the pro field it drew, it’s up there with the best around. It was the 20th anniversary this year—and to think that I’m just proud that it was my 3rd consecutive! It was a blast as always. Had a great race, except for a little mechanical problem with a wheel on the bike—another lesson learned: Set up your bike for the race and ride it that way, BEFORE you rack it! Finished 7th after a somewhat redeeming run. Can’t wait for next year!
August 12—USA Pro National Championship, NYC Triathlon, NY, NY
A triathlon in downtown NYC—you can’t beat that! Especially since I’m an Eastcoaster, with all most of my family still in central NJ. They were out in force (thanks guys)! Survived a swim in the Hudson River—though maybe only because we got to swim WITH the currents and so the 1 mile swim only took 12 minutes versus 20. They closed the Henry Hudson Pkwy for us to ride on. Though I have to say that the coolest part, besides seeing 10 of my biggest fans cheering me on all morning? Due to a speedy transition, I was leading the race as we headed from the river, straight up 72nd St. for about a mile toward Central Park. Exhilarating is the word i'd choose to describe it. OK, people on the streets were looking at us kinda funny, and others it didn’t faze in the least. But we did get a couple of cheers . . . because really, anything goes in the Big Apple, right?
I will be wrapping up the season shortly—-really, I will! Just decided to take a quick little trip to Korea this weekend for an ITU Points race, then finish up with the LA Triathlon. Catch up with you then . . . be good!