This time last year, I was probably sat here trying to figure out something positive that I could write after really struggling to even finish my first time racing in Quassy. The course is brutal! and thanks to the huge prize purse that Rev3 put up ($150,000) the field is always stacked. Add into this my little rivalry with Rinny and u have a recipe for lots of Dibens motivation. I was anxious to go back and show the race course who was boss! I was determined at least to get around that run course without pulling out the “walking card”….and if I could beat a few more people along the way, even better.
One of the biggest things I think I learnt from last year is that I have to race my race, and not worry about the freight train, Rinsta, that is going to be chasing me down later on in the race. Last year I got too caught up in this, and was not overly confident in my run, and so was keen to get as much time as possible on her and the other competitors by the end of the bike. As we all know, a triathlon is all about putting your best three disciplines together, and last year while I had a great swim bike, I suffered way too much on the run. This year, my plan was to just go out there and race my race. I didn’t even really listen or look for splits and just focused on me racing at my pace. With so many great girls coming thru at the 70.3/half ironman distance as well, I knew that if I wanted to finish on the podium I would have to race smart, and this meant no meltdowns allowed. While a lot of the pre race talk was about the constant banter between Rinny and I, we both knew the race with me and her, was just a race within the race. The other girls like Angela Naeth, Jacko, MB, and MagalI are all hugely talented athletes that are getting faster and faster each time they race.
Whether you like the “Rinsta” battles we have, I love it. It’s fun, we get to goof around, talk crap, and talk it up. It’s ok that most of the time I am the only one with funny remarks though ;)….as typically she is the one kicking my butt. In all seriousness, I think it really helps bring the best out in us. I think it helps me stay motivated on the hard days, as I know if I can beat her, I get bragging rights for a few days at least. On a performance level, it think we are actually starting to push each other to new levels.. This doesn’t mean that we go out and beast ourselves in training trying to get faster stronger fitter, but that we are both training and racing smarter trying to save our best for the very best.
I don’t think our paths will cross on the racing front until possibly Boulder 5150, if not then…maybe Vegas 70.3 WC…and then the big dance in Kona. Much fun to be had!!….I hope.
A quick report on the race, I am obviously super happy to have won (both the race…and the race within the race!). Everything really went to plan. I didn’t panic, and focused on just being patient and racing at my own pace. As soon as I hit the run, I knew that I felt a lot better than the year before, so over the first 2-3 miles I was hopeful that the walking boots would stay packed away. I controlled the pace on the big climb at mile 3-4, and then just tried to get into a groove. Sure I knew that Rinny would be chasing hard, and closing me down, but for some reason I didn’t panic. I just focused on running strong. It was only in the last 2 miles that I started to think about the win.
Next up for me is Ironman Ceour D’Alene in just under 3 weeks. It’s a little daunting to think that I have to run 26.2miles again….but it is something that has to be done if I want to qualify for Kona…so I must suck it up and get through it.
Thanks for all the support from my sponsors Trek, Kswiss, TYR, Powerbar, Oakley, CycleOps Power, EFX, Lazer, Flatlines, Nuun, Feltbelt, ISM saddles, and Bontrager. I couldn’t do it without you.
For more information about Julie, check out her website at www.juliedibens.com
Follow her on twitter: @juliedibens