This has been a busy year with races and travel starting with the 1st place division win at the March Madness Half Marathon followed by a memorable Oceanside 70.3 Ironman event in April (Read the Oceanside Race Report). That was a tough race beginning with a difficult choppy ocean swim leading to salt-water consumption that affected my race causing GI issues during the ride and ultimately lead to a slow run with more bathroom breaks than I care to admit. Needless to say it was a huge disappointment as I had trained hard for this event and was prepared to have a strong performance. It is hard to start out the triathlon season with a bad race but I was determined to prove to myself how strong my running was so in May I took on the Ogden Half Marathon completing it in a time of 1:34 taking the 1st Overall Masters spot in a major downpour and chilly conditions. While that eased the blow of the Oceanside bomb it was still a difficult race to “get over.” I resolved to learn from it and tackle my swim aversion, cycling fears and cope better with past injury; unexpectedly winning a trip to Hawaii to train with Dave Scott and compete in the Honu 70.3 Ironman event really helped. It made me face an open water salty ocean swim head-on again. I ended up having a strong swim in Hawaii (the clear warm ocean water was awesome!) and subsequently I placed 9th in my division with a strong bike and run. I was pleased with the performance and will always cherish the memories I made there with Dave Scott and the BioAstin community. What an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience! I moved forward with my plans on doing the Boulder 70.3 Ironman the following weekend since I had already signed-up. I knew it was going to be tough with extra travel and jetlag. My body would be tired from racing a 70.3 only 7 days before. The back-to-back 70.3 was tougher than I expected leading to severe leg and feet cramping starting on the ride and worsening on the run so it was a victory just to finish. I was still glad I did it and have a lot more sympathy for those that deal with cramping regularly. That has never happened to me before. After this event I started building my miles for the Vineman Ironman in July. This was my main focus for the year. As always Ironman training is time consuming and you put a lot into one race so it was upsetting to be struck by another cyclist during a training century ride just three-weeks before the event in a freak accident. Up to that point my injured knee was able to handle 18 miles without much pain which was great progress. Last year while training for the Maryland Ironman I was experiencing pain at mile 11, so I was running stronger this year. I was also riding and swimming strong in training so the hit to the knee left me not knowing how my knee would hold up in the race. Unfortunately the hilly cycling course proved too much for my knee and my ride and run was severely compromised foiling my attempts of qualifying for Kona but I didn’t let that bring me down. It was on my 44th birthday and I was please to finish my 2nd Ironman despite a slow performance. After some time off I was determined to get my knee stronger to tolerate more miles so I built my volume slowly and finished out the season with a 2nd place division win at the Soldier Marathon in November in Georgia to honor my Samantha and other loved ones (RaceForGrief.com). I am happy to report my knee held up really well and only started to bother me at mile 22, so that was more progress! I was also pleased to be able to mark-off three states towards my 50-states goal this year: Alabama, Georgia & Hawaii. Learn more: A Journey To Race in All 50-states
I am pleased to report that I will be recognized as an Ironman All-World Silver athlete (top 5% in my division in the world) during the 2016 season.
Over all it was a busy season with lots of training, travel and learning opportunities, in total I completed; two 100-mile century rides, two ½ marathons, three 70.3 Half Ironman events, one Ironman & one marathon this year. It was a full race schedule! As always I appreciate the opportunity to compete and do what I love. Thank you to my family, friends and sponsor support. I couldn’t do it without you! I am looking forward to a successful 2017 season.
Coach Lora Erickson
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