I’ve been thinking about, preparing for, and dreaming of this race for over a year, and now, poof, it’s over. I took home a bronze medal in my age group, the most competitive of them I might add. While everything– and there are a whole lot of things in triathlon– didn’t go exactly according to plan, I’m proud of the result. The SWIM: The Caribbean ocean is a crystal clear blue off the coast of Cozumel– you can see rainbow-colored fish, coral reefs, and even your competitors little toes! This body of water also had quite the current on race morning. The race director even decided to shorten the course slightly for safety reasons because it was so powerful. I was unaccustomed to these rough ocean conditions and this did not play to my advantage. While I felt like I was swimming strong (I’ve made a lot of progress on my swim in recent months), I was evidently moving nowhere against that current, as I emerged from the water in 26th place and with a 7+minute deficit. As Erik shouted me these stats from the sideline, I grimaced (pictured above) but tried to keep positive thoughts that this was not too great a deficit to over come. Zoom, zoom. Thanks Mavic wheels. The BIKE: Now it was time to motor and take some names. I quickly got over my disappointing swim and went to work. I love to ride my bike and the Cozumel coast is a flat, fast, even shaded course with beautiful views of the Caribbean ocean and coast. Not that there was much time for site-seeing as I was cruising at 26mph, for the fastest women’s bike split of the day– 40k in 57m40s. This was faster than I thought I could go. If you keep an open mind, you can surprise yourself! Thank goodness the NYC summer prepared me for this baking hot, run course. The RUN: Another update from my right hand man on the sidelines (whom we can thank for these great photos!) as I entered T2: I was in 3rd place, about 3min back… Better news this time, but that is still quite a gap to bridge if there were hopes of a win. Not to mention before the first kilometer was run, I was baking in the hot sun reflected off the tarmac. It was boiling. ~95F and 100% humidity, under that strong equatorial sun. There were aid stations every kilometer, and boy was that barely enough. At each, I took a little water balloon that I burst over my head, a cup of ice to pour down my back and a cup of water to pour over my face/into my mouth. Others were faring worse than I, however, as I witnessed the winner of my race crouched on the side of the road in heat exhaustion. I mustered all the mental toughness I could, head down and checked off the kilometers one by one. It was impossible to tell my position, but regardless I left it all out there, and that turned out to be good enough for third. Erik at our post race canopy bed hang out POST-RACE: After a quick stop at the massage table, our destination was beach/ pool hang out for the afternoon, followed by some of the best mexican food (tacos al pastor and gaucamole) we’ve ever had. Then we headed to the awards ceremony in the town square for some traditional mexican entertainment and podium time. My fellow team USA member, Todd Buckingham, shared my podium spot in the men’s race Apparently it’s a tradition to trade country team gear with other nations, so I scored a bright green mexican polo shirt and a team GB warm up jacket (pictured below). Nice British lady who offered a trade with me
15 NYC Athletes and Routes to Follow Check out the full article to learn more about New York City’s interesting and inspiring athletes– where and when they train. Sign up for an account if you don’t already have one at www.strava.com! Many thanks to Strava for being an awesome sponsor to my running club, Central Park Track Club, as well as my cycling team, VeloClassic/ Stan’s No Tubes.
The beautiful rolling hills of Maryland hosted the 2mile run- 26mile bike- 4mile run event today at Western Regional Park, Maryland. I covered the course in 1:52:12. Thanks to Rip It Events for an extremely well run race! Full results found here.
June 26th, 2016–My home town turf proved to be a lucky advantage today at the TriRock Philadelphia Triathlon, where I took first place by a margin of 5 minutes over the next female competitor, finishing in a time of 2:12:21. My long hours of pool work this winter finally translated into a strong open water swim in the Schukyll River. The technical bike course with punchy climbs played to my advantage and I was in the lead by the second loop of the bike segment. I came into the run with a healthy margin, so I just needed to hold my position over the 10kilometer run portion. Perhaps my most proud accomplishment of the day was not the win, but the fact that my combined time for Transitions 1+2 was the fastest of any competitor, male of female. I was lucky enough to have my best friend from high school cheering and giving me updates about my position, as well as many other friendly and familiar faces out there that come with home court advantage. Full results found here. I unintentionally made a style statement after my race uniform split in the crotch, so I just raced in my bathing suit! I figured this is practically what Gwen Jorgensen wears, and she is my role model. This actually worked remarkably well (no chafing!) and was a simple solution. There was a great post-race buffet, so naturally I took full advantage, sporting my Central Park Track Club-New Balance T-shirt, which happens to be my absolute favorite color. Next up, Maryland Duathlon on July 17th, followed by New York City Triathlon on July 24th.
I traveled to North Carolina last weekend to compete in my first duathlon national championship, and came home with a victory. The event consisted of a 5 mile run, 33 mile bike, and another 5 mile run. Racers were treated with ideal sunny and dry conditions outside of Chapel Hill, covering smooth roads for quick bike splits. The race panned out like this: I kept the front girls in site on the run, but saved a bit of gas in the tank for the long bike, where I was able to pass all my female competitors and gain a lead into the final run. I finally got all of the kinks worked out with my new Focus TT bike and Mavic Cosmic wheels, and was able to clock an average bike speed of 24mph. This was a big relief after the break rubbing problem I’d been having at collegiate nationals, and it boosted my confidence to have my machine running so smooth! Now it’s time to focus on my swimming for the upcoming Philadelphia and New York City Triathlons in June/July. Press release and full results found here:
Cecilia tested out her brand new Focus Izalco Chrono Max time trial machine this weekend at the 7mile Sandy Hook Time Trial in New Jersey. She clocked a speedy time of 16:27, averaging 25.6mph to take the win by 45 seconds over the next female competitor. She felt very comfortable and aerodynamic in her new position after a recent bike fit from Endurance Werx. Her new gear also performed very well– namely her Cobb “fifty-five” saddle, made especially for women, and her new super-aero Poc Cerebel helmet. She’s finally got a fast, new aero set up, so she’s now ready to hit race season full throttle!
It is my pleasure to announce that I have a new sponsor joining my generous team of supporters! Kakookies is a small, Minnesota-based company devoted to making delicious and nutritious cookies.
Well the 2016 racing season has officially begun, on the right foot, I might add. I took first place at the Century Road Club Association (CRCA) Central Park bike race on Saturday March 5th. Dedicated cyclists from throughout the 5 boroughs of New York City roused themselves to race around their favorite park at the crack of dawn in below freezing temperatures to kick off the season. The women’s Cat 1/2/3 race took the racers around the 6.2 mile park drives six times. Here’s how the race played out. The first lapwas fairly tame with the teams with multiple riders taking turns on the front. I take pull to stay warm. On the second lap up Harlem Hill, a rider from team Rockstar hits it in her big ring, and I follow suit. Over the top of the hill someone yells, “we have a break.” I commit and take a long, hard, pull into the slight down hill. I flicked and elbow and move to the rear of the pace line. I look back and we are away. 5 of us.
Being immobilized with five pelvic fractures leaves you with little to do but think. After 24 hours in my hospital bed at St. Luke’s Roosevelt in July 2014, I had convinced myself that I had a plan: I would stop bike racing, I would just be a normal medical student, become a great doctor, run the occasional 5k, and maybe a weekend bike ride. However these plans were short lived, especially after a visit from my dearest cycling friends; I knew I wasn’t capable of giving up competitive athletics. There had to be some sort of compromise. By the time I rolled out of St. Luke’s, in my wheelchair, I had a new plan: I would be a triathlete. I would still get to ride my bike, but the racing would be much safer, as it is individual rather than pack riding. Triathlon would also allow me to take up running again, a sport that had previously rejected me, but now my body now seemed ready to tackle it– I jumped in a half marathon the prior winter and won it, after running only 2 days per week. Learning to swim would be the only real hurdle…