The Double (Taylor’s Thoughts)

 

Well it was my final weekend racing in Minnesota for the season and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end.

There are two traditions we keep every triathlon season whether it’s intentional or not.

1.       We add another race to the schedule last minute (That’s how I found myself waking up at 3:45 a.m. to go race Buzz Ryan)

2.       We race 2x in the same weekend (which just so happened to be my final weekend of racing)

The weekend started with a 5:30 wakeup call (which seems like sleeping in at this point). The weather at Big Lake definitely wasn’t ideal but hey that’s what makes it an adventure. Thankfully I wasn’t alone in this adventure, as I ran into lots of family and friends also ready to race in the rain.

The swim at Big Lake was great with a lovely tailwind pushing us to the finish.

That tailwind for the swim… wasn’t so nice on the bike. We went out with a tailwind then turned directly into the wind. Let me just say that was quite the adventure.

My grandparents (also known as superfans) came to watch Big Lake and at T2 I saw grandpa standing right outside of transition and that was all the motivation I needed to turn things around on the run. I took off running and never looked back. The weather (with the exception of the humidity) was perfect for running. I have to say, I love running beside the bike course because then I could cheer on the other racers finishing the bike. Coming into the finish, I heard mom, dad, and grandma (especially grandma) yelling for me to finish it (Grandma is a world-renowned cheerer and it is said she can be heard from a mile away) so I gave it all I had and called it a day.

A huge shoutout to Emily Gage who first of all is a super awesome person and second of all, and more importantly, because she pulled off her first overall win at Big Lake and kicked butt!!!

Then came Sunday morning, which was actually closer to Saturday night due to yet again a 3:45 wakeup call. We drove up to Duluth in impenetrable fog. However, upon arriving at the Brewhouse Triathlon the sun decided to peak out of the clouds and the fog disappeared.

I rate my favorite races according to their food selection afterwards, and the overall atmosphere.

Brewhouse takes the cake. I love Brewhouse and I was so excited that I could finish there! (For all wondering Brewhouse is the best due to its beautiful selection of food including fresh brewed root beet, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, watermelon, bananas, mini doughnuts, etc. also that is by far the funnest race atmosphere in the entire season.)

Even though that’s my favorite race, the lake and I don’t get along very well. Why? I have no idea so long story short the swim wasn’t so hot. But coming out of the swim and hopping on my bike I had the wrong mental mindset. I was so concerned about where I was positioned that I started slowing down. Finally just after the turnaround I remembered why I love to race and that this was my last chance so I wanted to enjoy every minute of it. With this calming thought, I settled into a rhythm on the bike and jammed out to a song stuck on repeat in my head. I managed to somehow stumble off of my bike with dead tired quads and topple into the run. How? I have no idea. The run was so much fun though and there was even sunshine!! I relaxed into a pace and took off. Coming into the finish was a great feeling knowing I myself throughout the entire weekend.

I wanna just take a moment to thank Minnesota’s tri community! I love how friendly everyone is. It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie or a pro, everyone is all suffering and celebrating together. Plus, it is amazing to me how I get to race with the people I look up to. I get to talk to my role models not just read about them and that’s pretty fantastic.

All in all, it was a great season in Minnesota and I am so excited to continue on to Nationals this weekend and then Black Hills State University’s Triathlon Team!!

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