Monday, August 12, 2013

Age Group Nationals- Is it 2014 Yet?

I spent this past weekend in Wisconsin doing all things triathlon.  The weekend went a little like this: train, eat, shower, eat, sleep, volunteer, eat, spectate, eat, sleep, eat, spectate, train, eat.  You get the picture.  Thankfully Wisconsin is a spectacular place for training, racing, eating and just having fun!  ( I am a Wisconsin girl so no one paid me to say that :)

From the venue, to the weather, to the sleepy little city, Milwaukee was a great place for USAT Age Group Nationals.  We stayed downtown and were able to walk everywhere except for the aid station where we volunteered, which was a few miles out on the run/bike course (pictured above).  That was just a short ride away and we found free street parking no problem.  The weather on Saturday for the Olympic distance was crisp and clear, until the clouds rolled in for the later waves, which made it even better racing weather.

I spent the morning handing out Gatorade to athletes aged 15-89.  There is something so inspiring about seeing all these athletes out there racing knowing all of them do it as a hobby.  These are the best age groupers in the nation and many of them are wicked fast.  But they are fast athletes who also likely work full time, raise a family and have to fit their training around an already packed schedule.  They do it for personal fulfillment, not a paycheck.

Sunday morning we walked down to the expo and watched the sprint for a bit.  I felt nervous for these athletes as they hustled out of the water and onto the bike.  Watching these adrenaline filled participants try to clip into their bikes within feet of each other is a nerve inducing experience.  We saw more than one near collision.

I know for myself the sprint nationals will be one of my top goal races for 2014, and I will have some athletes competing that weekend as well.  These past few days were a great opportunity to check out the scene and give me the motivation I need to not only get through the last few weeks of IM training, but help me to focus on what will be a very different, and very exciting 2014.   I ran into many old friends at the race, and made some new ones.   Bike course Captain Ryan- are you reading this?!  It is truly amazing to be part of this multisport lifestyle.   And as on of my clients jokingly stated this weekend "I feel sorry for anyone who doesn't do triathlons."  Although an exaggeration, I know where she's coming from.  The physical and mental fulfillment I get from this sport truly makes me complete!

Thank you triathlon!
-Coach A

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