After being sidelined for 13 months by a foot fracture, Rachel McBride is back racing with dreams of toeing the line at the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championships.
My 4th place finish at Ironman 70.3 Victoria this weekend was a significant milestone for the past 13 months of my triathlon career. The past year has been a roller coaster of dealing with foot fractures; of gearing up for one race after another, including the Ironman 70.3 World Championships last year, and having to pull out last minute. After my most recent diagnosis in January I headed off for a solo 2-month adventure of both mental and physical healing and training in New Zealand. I came back in April to my incredible “Team Rachel” of coaches and health care providers and started to painstakingly rebuild my bike and run, taking it literally one day at a time.
I knew racing Victoria would be a bit of a risk and experiment in a lot of ways.
A risk in that up until a couple weeks ago I was still walk-running up to 30 minutes straight of running.
A risk in that my longest run up until Sunday was only half the time and distance I would be racing.
An experiment because since December I had been designing my own training program along with intensive strength coaching from Joe McCullum and valuable input from my partner Shane. So in a lot of ways I felt pretty self-built.
In fact, I was feeling confident in my strength and fitness. Along with 2-3 months of strength work and solid training on the bike, I had done a good amount of what I call “run alternative” training. Water running, elliptical workouts and my favorite: power hiking, where I had spent up to 2.5 hours on the trails crushing steep 30-40min climbs at threshold.
However the allure of such a local professional race was too much to pass up. Along with a large number of familiar faces who would be racing and on the sidelines, my close family would also be scattered along the course. I knew the roads of the bike course well, having ridden them on my regular visits to Victoria. The soft trail was also a perfect set-up for my risky half marathon run and the cool Pacific Northwest temps were my perfect race conditions. It was an incredible feeling to cross the finish line strong and healthy. The chase for 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championship qualification is on!
Use my code MCBRIDE0616 for a discount on your purchase - good today ONLY!
Thanks for reading - Rachel