23 In race report/ triathlon

race report // liberty 70.3 – 2016

I ignored the number one piece of racing advice – never use anything new on race day – during my 2016 season opener. And, while I was never planning on “racing” Saturday’s Liberty 70.3 thanks to feeling off (hello, period headache), a brand spankin’ new tri bike and just coming off five weeks of no running, I’d be lying if I said I was pleased with my performance. When you have high expectations of yourself no matter what, it stings a little when you’re not where you want to be.

But, head down, do the work and onward! There are two more 70.3s on this summer’s schedule, and you can bet the results will be better :) 


Inaugural outdoor ride on the new Argon.


Pre-race with Coeur Sports teammates, Michaela and Kendra.


Walking down the steps to Lake Rebecca.


Go, Team Coeur!

Swim // 35:27, 1:41/100 yd

So, this was my first open water swim since IRONMAN Wisconsin last year, and it shows. I’ve been working my ass off at masters since November, so I expected my swim time to be faster than it was at this race last year. Maybe the course was long? Maybe I didn’t swim as hard as I could have? It sure felt like I swam faster, especially considering I drafted the entire back stretch on the speedy feet of eventual race winner Diane Hankee – and, even more so that during runout up the giant hill from the beach I had to stop momentarily to almost puke. 


Ready to swim in my new ROKA, which I proceeded to tear in three places. Boo.





Trying not to puke.

Gear: ROKA Sports maverick pro wetsuit + R1 goggles in light vermillion tint, Coeur Sports team shorts + speed top, lululemon all-sport bra

Nutrition: chocolate coconut Gu about 20 minutes before go.

T1 // 1:26

Nothing exciting here… got my bearings and it was go on the bike. 



Bike // 2:37:02, 21.4mph 

When coach gives me target watts, I hit them, always – except for today. Three minutes into the bike I knew those watts wouldn’t happen for two reasons: 1) my legs didn’t feel all there; and, 2) the new Quarq with a shorter crank needs some time to break in. Talk about humbling to feel like you’re pushing 200 watts to only have it register 160! So I settled in and told myself to do my best and keep pedaling.

The majority of the ride was uneventful with minimal wind, fun rollers, some fresh pea gravel and crazy heat + humidity (91F!). When I put my head down, I could feel it radiate up off the pavement, reminiscent of last year’s IRONMAN CdA 106F inferno. Around mile 30, oof… I was already counting down the miles until I could get off the saddle – something that rarely happens. Going from riding a road saddle for 2.5 months to riding aero on a tri saddle probably wasn’t the smartest decision. Nonetheless, the new Argon is fast and so much fun to ride (Di2 for the win!), and I know once it’s dialed in and I’m comfortable in aero again, watch out ;)


This is how I felt for much of the ride. Ouchie.


But, smiling always, even when it hurts.


Gear: Argon 18 119 TRI+ bike, Quarq Elsa RS, Coeur Sports tri shorts + speed top, Sidi T3 shoes, Garmin 520, Garneau Vorttice aero helmet, Smith PivLock Arena sunnies. 

Nutrition: 44 ounces PhD Nutrition raspberry battery +/-, 16 ounces water, two packs Skratch raspberry energy chews, two Core 4 Nutrition Charge! tablets


For the second year, I purposely DNF’d this race – last year because of CdA and this year because I just started running again after a stress reaction. And, though it was weird to just stop and walk out of T2 – because ego! – it was a smidge easier thanks to the heat + humidity and my pounding headache. 

High-fives to my rad team, Coeur Sports and supporting partners ROKA Sports, Smith Optics and Argon 18 – I couldn’t race without you!; to pure clean powder for keeping my NO levels in tip-top shape; and to Sound Probiotics for keeping me healthy. You all rule. 

Onward to Toughman 70.3 on July 24!


Walking out of T2, covering up the tears of frustration and pain (I had to lift my right leg up to take my shoe off).


Race rehashing with friends + teammates before a stretch from Orthology.


My number one. Couldn’t race without him ♥ (he gets all the photo cred, too!)


Recovery of champions: Mexi Coke + potato chips.

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  • Reply
    06/14/2016 at 9:57 am

    Oh Erin–what a terrible day-I’m so sorry! It just sounds wrong right from the get-go, but good on you for carrying on to T2. One positive thing is that the season can only go up from here :)

    • Reply
      06/22/2016 at 9:49 am

      Thanks so much, Amy! Onward to the next one :)

  • Reply
    06/14/2016 at 10:12 am

    So sorry this wasn’t your best race ever but the next two are now bound to be good! Are the World Championships your A race this year? Or is it going to be Arizona?
    I hope you are starting to feel better, pain free and ready to conquer training for the next one!

    • Reply
      06/22/2016 at 9:50 am

      Thank you, Anna! Yes, Kona’s my A race, though I definitely want to do well at IMAZ, too :) What’s on your calendar?!

  • Reply
    06/14/2016 at 12:44 pm

    You have a heart of a champion. Love your attitude!!!

    • Reply
      06/22/2016 at 10:02 am

      You are the sweetest, Hanna! Congrats on your fantastic race! You crushed it. Looking forward to some SBR soon! xo.

  • Reply
    06/14/2016 at 1:19 pm

    I feel that it’s so cliche to talk about how the difficult races make us appreciate the good races, build character and ‘grit’, but I also do think that there is truth in that. And, as tough as it was, love that you smiled throughout the race. Way to go!

    • Reply
      06/22/2016 at 10:03 am

      Total truth in that. And, always smiling – no point in racing if you can’t have fun, even on the crappy days :) Thank you, Kristina!

  • Reply
    06/14/2016 at 2:17 pm

    It is amazing that you could keep smiling through such a tough day. Sorry this wasn’t the race you were hoping for. Love that kit…the pink was cute last year, but I love the red!

    • Reply
      06/22/2016 at 10:04 am

      Thank you, Laura! Onward to (and so excited for!) the next. Yes, the team kits are SHARP this year!

  • Reply
    06/14/2016 at 4:49 pm

    Patience is everything. It’s always darkest before the dawn. These races and set backs are simply setting you up for a fantastic Kona adventure!! :)

    • Reply
      06/22/2016 at 10:05 am

      You’re exactly right :) thanks so much, dear!

  • Reply
    06/15/2016 at 7:02 am

    LIberty was definitely not the perfect day in any shape or form! That said, though, I admire how positive you are through it all. And it was so much fun to race together!

    • Reply
      06/22/2016 at 10:07 am

      So fun to race together, Michaela! Looking forward to more, too. Congrats on your race, too!

  • Reply
    Leslie @ TriathleteTreats
    06/16/2016 at 9:54 pm

    Awesome job. Even if its not what you thought it would be!!! You are such a trooper. Keep your head up its only going to get better from here!!! :)

    • Reply
      06/22/2016 at 10:08 am

      Onward to the next race! Thank you, Leslie!

  • Reply
    06/24/2016 at 12:57 pm

    Amazing action shots, you have quite the photographer in your life! Go easy on yourself, you have a long time until October for Kona (so jealous of that trip too!)

    Good luck on July 24th :)

    • Reply
      07/05/2016 at 7:32 am

      Pretty lucky to have a personal photographer ;) He takes great pics!

      Counting down the days until Kona… under 100 now! Thanks, Jessie!

  • Reply
    Danielle @ Eat Primal, Run Hard
    07/06/2016 at 2:31 am

    Tough race Erin! Lots of contributing factors, that you’ve learned from no doubt. Onwards and upwards! Good luck in your next race my friend :)

    • Reply
      Danielle @ Eat Primal, Run Hard
      07/06/2016 at 2:38 am

      And btw I love the Old Dutch potato chips shot :D

      • Reply
        07/13/2016 at 12:09 pm

        A post-race must-have (along with Mexi Coke)! :)

    • Reply
      07/13/2016 at 12:07 pm

      Thanks so much, friend! Yes, I learned a lot to apply to my race next weekend :) Hope your training is going well!

  • Reply
    my top 16 of 2016. - sweet sweat life
    01/01/2017 at 11:40 am

    […] summer was punctuated by three local 70.3s – Liberty, Toughman and Superior Man – and a shiny new PR (4:51!). Each race had its own quirks, from using […]

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