Yesterday marked my return to racing after almost two years off. As I've been in Phoenix for the last three months transitioning from rehab to training, it made sense for me to pick the Leadman 125 in Tempe as my first race back - 2.5km swim, 109.5km bike, 13km run. Perfect distance and perfect location. I have to admit, I had some doubts about whether I was ready to race again and whether or not I had done enough preparation. That would be the perfectionist in me waiting until everything feels perfect, and until I had a million miles of training under my belt! But in reality, my build up over the last few months had gone smoothly, and although not yet at 100% race shape, more than anything, I really really wanted to get back on the start line.
I came out of the 2.5km swim in third place in 38min, biked 3:13 for the 109km bike, and finished the hard and hilly 13km run in 1 hour, to place third in 4:54 behind Hillary Biscay in second and Christine Jackson in first. I had predicted my finish time to be about 15 minutes slower, so I was ecstatic to not only finish third but to go under 5 hours.
There were times during the race as my legs started to fatigue when I wondered if I had enough fitness to get to the finish line. But the great thing about getting over an injury or undergoing surgery is the appreciation of being back on the race course. You wouldn't - or at least I wouldn't - trade it for anything. I was racing with a smile on my face because I wouldn't have wished to be anywhere else.
The biggest of THANK YOU's to my sponsors for their support, to my Physical Therapist Nate Koch at Endurance Rehab in Scottsdale, Paraic McGlynn at Cyclologic for my awesome bike fit, Mark Ryan my rehab therapist in Vail, Uta Pippig my amazing run coach, and to my friends and family for their never ending support. THANK YOU!