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From Texas to Wisconsin: First weekend in my new home

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The moment I have been looking forward to and dreading came all too quickly. This Texas girl is even more north than she has been the past two years. The reason I signed up for IM Wisconsin was specifically because I was moving to Madison, Wisconsin for PhD school. Moving has it’s challenges. I was exhausted, very sick, and home sick. 20 hour drive away from most of my loved ones kind of gets to you when you are all alone in a new city. The good thing is I am here for school and I can have fun doing triathlon here. 

With the race being a little over 3 weeks away, one of the last highest load weekends was my first weekend in Madison. What better way to distract myself from being homesick and get some quality training on the race course than by doing a half marathon.

The Madison Mini-Marathon

The Mini-Marathon didn’t have a huge expo but at the start line it had a massive amount of locals. It was so nice to feel like part of the community in just my first weekend.

Overall this race was pretty flat with some false hills and some short climbs through the neighborhoods. Running through downtown and parts of the university made me feel amazing to envision me running here again in a couple of weeks for my first Ironman. I could feel there was magic on these pavements.

I ran this half marathon as a training run for my Saturday workout, not concerned with a PR or speed just to enjoy the sights, get the miles in, and feel good. I felt so great. The highest temps on that day were in the 80’s and with a but of humidity but nothing compared to how it gets in Texas with 100% humidity and 114 degrees. 

I felt strong, happy, and had a sense of belonging here. I hope to do this half marathon each year I live here. Great crowd support, awesome medal, and beautiful view near the terrace.

Try Cambridge Tri

In the small town of Cambridge I participated the next morning at their local triathlon in Lake Ripley. Only about 24 minutes away from Madison it was an easy race to navigate to with plenty of parking, and a safe race course. This sprint tri had plenty of volunteers out on the lake, bike course, and run course. It was definitely a great race to do for new triathletes or well versed triathletes. You could go FAST on this course. The only thing was my body was not used to fast! My legs were a little sore, I was fatigued, and like a friend told me, my body hasn’t been training that kind of speed in a long time. I didn’t podium because of my slowness but also because the award AG were 20-29 yrs old. A little harder than I am used to. I got to meet some Madison students and triathletes as well as some younger than 20 yrs old triathletes doing this as their very 1st tri. I found happiness in calming them and supporting them in their first event. This sport shouldn’t be about winning but supporting each other to do it.

Following the race I still had training to complete. The trainer awaited me for 5 hours of riding. That weekend and that trainer ride was my last highest volume until race day. It all made for a memorable weekend in my new home city. One week down out of the 4 years I will live in Mad-Town. I hope it brings a lot of big smiles and accomplishments.

Ironman Wisconsin, I am ready for you. I know it.

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