Today, for the first time in my career, I stood on the podium. The best part about it was that I was on the top of the podium! Being new to it all, I did botch the champagne shaking... I dropped my bottle and it went all over the ground instead of everyone else... so I guess I'll have to work on that!
After a rough week coming home from Australia, fighting off illness and dealing with some niggling parts of my body, I wasn't sure how the race day would pan out. I had a few race plans in mind and just set out to have the best day that I could.
My swim was pretty good, not great, but I came out of the water in 2nd, about 10 seconds behind one of the other Americans. I had a great run to transition, a super speedy transition and ended up on my bike and away first. I rode hard immediately to see if anyone else would come with me, but found myself alone. I put my head down and tried to get into a rhythm. I didn't have any help on the course, so I had to use buildings and landmarks to gauge whether the other women were gaining on me or not. My lead continued to grow over the next few laps, so I made the decision to gut it out and solo through to the run. I was in and out of the second transition with a solid lead over the rest of the women and knew that I had to run smart. The sun had come out and the weather was warming up quickly! I found my footing, although my legs didn't really feel all that wonderful, and made the decision to try to build through the run. By the third lap it was really hot out on the course and the suffering started. But, the women chasing me had not made up any time, so I focused on keeping my form together and holding my pace the best I could.
The run down the finish shoot was amazing. It was a great feeling to finally win and to win in Mazatlan where I had such a poor race last year. It seems that the hard work is starting to pay off. Maybe there really is something in the water in Australia?!
A giant thank you to all of my sponsors, family and friends for all of your support! With this win, I will move up to 5th in the USA and into the top 50 in the world!!
Next up will be the Pan American Championships in Oklahoma on May 16th.