Ed. Note—Last Thursday we checked in with Josh Amberger about his prep for the ITU Long Distance World Championships, held this week in Penticton, B.C., Canada. Today we get an updated from Rachel McBride, who has stormed back to form this summer after some injury this winter. Thus far she's recorded a win at the Great White North Triathlon, and then a podium finish at Ironman Whistler. This year she aims to improve upon her bronze medal finish at this event in 2016 (held in Oklahoma City), this time racing on home turf.
Recovery after Ironman Canada has just gone smashingly. Ten days out I was feeling pretty spry again and slowly got back into full training. I had intended to defend my title at the Red Bull 400 race the weekend after IMC, but unfortunately it was canceled at the last minute due to smoke from the British Columbia forest fires. Instead I spent another great weekend up in Whistler, including a pretty rad hike/run atop Whistler Mountain. Since then I’ve put in about 10 days of solid training leading into ITU Long Distance World Championships this Sunday.
There is really nothing like hitting the podium at an ITU World Champs event. My first in 2013 in Belfort, France was totally unexpected. Last year in Oklahoma City I had a ridiculous swim in some of the roughest water I’ve ever experienced, coming out of the water over 15min back. My saddle slipped and nose-dived, so I spent much of my mediocre ride just trying to hold myself in place. When I started out on the run my left calf felt barely functional. Thankfully I was able to just run it out and was surprised to pace myself into the medals while many other athletes suffered in the heat.
My race in Whistler really gave me confidence in my current fitness, especially my swim/bike. I’m really looking forward to building from this experience and going into this distance firing on all cylinders. My run is where I’m still a bit hobbled as I spent February-May with a mysterious foot injury. My medical team ruled out anything bone-related and MRI showed nothing, so we surmised it was likely nerve-related.
Even though I was still in significant pain I was advised to just keep doing my walk-run plan. We discovered though that my run gait was becoming affected compensating for the pain. One day my miracle-worker massage therapist just seriously went to town on my foot. The next day I was running pain-free and have been ever since! I spend quite a lot of time now every day rolling my feet and likely will for the rest of my running life.
It is pretty special to have ITU Worlds as a “local” race for us here in BC. I’ve never experienced a Multisport Festival so I’m excited to cheer at some of the other events before my race. I love racing on Team Canada and am stoked on the Canadian Elite team line-up. I think the international women’s field will be a great mix of athletes and likely a pretty dynamic race. Make sure y’all follow along!