Swagman Brand Ambassador Jen Annett found the strength to do 2 World championship races within 2 weeks, here is her story.
Ironman Chattanooga 70.3 World Championship: This race was an amazing experience, and I am glad I went, even though it wasn’t originally on the schedule this year. I only just found out at the beginning of July that I had qualified. This was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss, but realistically it was horrible timing with the way we had the season planned. Ironman Canada was my “A” race this year, and unfortunately, I wasn’t 100% fully recovered going into the ITU world Championships four weeks later. That race didn’t go as well as I wanted, and really set me back a little further than wanted. With Chattanooga just 2 weeks following, I knew I was walking on thin ice both physically and mentally. Reality is, my body wasn’t in the shape I wanted it to be going into this race. I KNOW I was capable of a much better performance, which for me is such a mental frustration. The field of girls that were on the start list was very intimidating to say the least. Races like this usually come down to seconds between placings and there is no room for error, and certainly not a tired body!
I loved the format they used this year, with all women racing Saturday and all Men on Sunday. It REALLY helped to highlight only the women for a day, and helped with drafting issues on the bike.
I woke up race day morning feeling sick. I had a dry throat and was super stuffed up. Not a surprise that I got sick after what I had put my body through over the last month……I just wished it would have waited and extra day to hit me… Either way, I was going to dive off that dock regardless of how I felt. I didn’t fly to the other side of the continent to watch this race. I loved the doc start compared to a beach start. This swim was challenging as much of it was upstream. I was super confident that I would have a good swim as I felt I had really nailed down my swimming in the last 2 months. My watch told me differently as I exited the water in 32-something. I made it through transition a little quicker than a couple other girls I came out with, so I made up a couple spots there…. But there were still a LOT of bikes gone from T1 already.
Onto the bike. This is a very challenging course with all of the hills occurring in the first half of the bike. I paced myself accordingly and slowly picked off women one by one. At one of the out and back sections, I could see that I was very close to at least 5 or 6 girls. Trying not to get too excited and make a stupid decision, I tried to make my way closer to them, which I did. By the time we got to the second half of the ride which was fairly flat, we were biking into a headwind. My legs just didn’t feel as good as I wanted them too, and I couldn’t hold the power that I wanted too. I finished the bike in a decent time, but 10 watts lower than where I wanted them. My bike split was very close to the top women (other than Daniella who was in a totally different zip code), so I was still happy with that.
This run course was HARD! While it was super hilly, it felt harder than it should have. This was probably a combination of the challenging bike and just tired legs in general. I was keeping up a pretty good pace, surprisingly, but the hills quickly demolished any spring I had left in my step. I didn’t get passed by anyone until part way through the second lap, so I put my head down, did the best I could, and ended up sprinting for the last 500m as I had no idea where I was placed at that point, but didn’t want to lose another spot.
21st is where I finished. I REALLY wanted to be top 10, even 15. It just wasn’t my day for that. I finished and I put everything I had into it. Yes, I was disappointed, but on the flip side, it was the success of the rest of my season that got me there in the first place. That, I am proud of. There will always be another chance?
Thank you to Jonny at JonnyOcoaching, and to all of my supporters and sponsors for helping get to that start line and be the best I can be: Skechers Performance Canada, F2C nutrition, Swagman Racks, EnergyLab Wheels, The Bike Barn, BlueSeventy, Nuvista Chiropractic and Wellness, Zizu Optics, and Podium Imports.