I’m a little bummed that wasn’t able to write my race report yesterday as the race already feels like it was three days ago instead of yesterday. I really enjoy writing my race report as soon as possible as I like to be “in the moment” and I like for my emotions (most of the time) to show through my report.

I had mixed feeling about racing this weekend. I arrived in Baltimore Friday night anxious to see my friends, tired from the culmination of training and getting back to the real world in Boulder, and I thought I may have been getting sick…again. Oh no…not again!

Sometimes it’s hard coming back home as I want to catch up with all of my home girls and go party. But I had to be strong and think about resting!

I decided to forgo the Preakness Party that Chuck and Mary Kay were having Friday night. Instead, I just decided to hang low on Theresa’s couch. That was a great decision as I felt better than ever on Saturday morning.

BBF, Richie Cunningham is staying across the street from me at my home girl, Sara’s house. Richie is so awesome. We have had lots of homestays together, including spending a few weeks at Casa Fred. Richie and I are great pals and he is great for me to hang with because he is so MELLOW!

On Saturday, Richie and I rode the bike course and checked out all of the blind descents and corners. I have ridden the roads thousands of times, however, it has been 7 years, since last racing here and I wanted to make sure that I would never have to tap the brakes. While riding the course, I notice that I was having problems going from the big chain ring to the small chain ring. That meant one thing to me….I wouldn’t be able to ride in my small chain ring during the race. I couldn’t take the chance of having to get off of my bike during the bike to fix it. I was ok with that decision…but I decided to not tell Michael about it. I knew that he would try to convince me to take it to the bike shop or get Richie to look at it. I didn’t really want to bother with it….

Race morning came early. 6:45 was our start time. The weather was pretty good, however, the water was frigid! I decided to not focus on the cold water. Instead, I found BFF, Fiona. Fiona and I usually swim together and I knew I would be in a good spot if I stuck wither her. I didn’t want to take the chance of having another crap swim!

The gun went off and arms were flailing. Siri’s words of encouragement flooded my head during the swim. All of her tips of how to attack the open water stuck with me and I realized that I was in a great spot when I knew I was on Jessi Stenslands feet! I was stoked and I was not going to lose those feet! During the swim, I was right next to someone else. I was comfortable and the effort felt really easy. I knew that I just stayed patient and stayed there, I would be golden. I didn’t need to try to challenge Jessi. She is a much more experienced swimmer than I am and I was happy to have her lead us out. During the 1500 meters, while swimming next to another woman, I was getting a good punch from her every now and them. I thought to myself: well, that is what open water swimming is all about. I’m sure she doesn’t mean to punch me in the head, eye, face. However, the third time, she hit me, I was furious! She hit me so hard in the eye, that I became undone! I started swimming sideways to warn her to stop hitting me! It was almost a blessing that I was so angry. The adrenaline was blazing through my veins and I zoomed through transition. I briefly thought about doing a flying leap onto my bike, however, the memory of my transition at St. Croix is still haunting me with my scars that are left over.

On my bike, I felt fast and confident. These are the roads that I first learned how to ride my bike. These are the roads where my girlfriends and I would ride every weekend. This was MY bike course! I attacked every hill in my big chain ring and I rode as hard as I possibly could! I past two women and I tried to stay motivated to continue to ride hard and fast. My feet were freezing from the cold swim and I would try to wiggle my toes every now and then to warm them and make sure that they were still moving! I tried to never point my toes as my calves were slightly cramp from the cold. I knew that once I got onto the run, my core body temperature would rise and I would be ok.

As I entered transition, I saw Angela and Theresa. Their excitement was contagious! Theresa yelled you are 3 minutes back! well, 3 minutes is a long time for a 10k! But I was going to work hard and run hard. I rolled along the first mile and saw Des’s dad, Mr Ficker, AKA: MR Fuzzy DUDS. He cheered loud and was so supportive! All of the cheers continued to make me go hard! I saw my BFF Theresa back in the neighborhoods. She said that Rebbecca was still 3-3.5 minutes ahead. Oh dear god…I was going as hard as I could and not making up any time. She then said I was three minutes ahead of third. I was in no-mans land! I much prefer to be head to head…but I had to do what I could. At times I could feel myself get lazy and unmotivated. However, every time that I saw one of my friends out there or heard “go Amanda”, I pushed myself harder. I finished 2nd in a time of 2hrs 9 minutes…about 5 minutes behind Wassner who achieved the course record by 4 minutes!

Even though I was second, I feel as though I won. I feel like this race was a victory for me on so many different levels. I’m totally stoked and looking forward to building my fitness even more and hopefully getting back to what I really love: IRONMAN.

Thanks for reading. And a big thank you to all of my homegirls and friends who mean the world to me: Theresa, Sara, Angela, Fiona, Desiree, Richie, the Ficker family, my sister Diana, Dad, Hollie, Scott, Mike Feyko, Wayne, Susan , Elizabeth, Reza, Murray, Kelly, Kelly Kelly, J-Mar, and (race director) VIGO.

Last but not least, thanks to my wonderful sponsors, coach (Dan, from Lifesport), and husband extraordinaire, who make my dreams of racing a reality: SPLISH, TRAKKERS, First Endurance, Justin’s Nut Butter, Oakley, Blue Seventy Wetsuits, ZINKA, Race Day Wheels, BRC, Inside Out Sports, SCOTT, VISION, Brand Betty, and Beaker Concepts.