Personally this was a bucket list item. If you don’t know about the M22 Challenge, its an event that has grown to 900 athletes. The event is so unique because of its setting, it takes place along Michigan’s most beautiful scenery. The 2.5 mile run includes climing the Sleeping Bear Sand Dune, reach the top after a hard run and the view is amazing. The bike portion of the race is 17 miles along M22 around Big and Little Glen Lake. Another beautiful setting of the race, riding among all the tall trees and quaint cottages. The ride was going great and I was determined to make it up the monster climb at Inspiration Point. Approaching the climb a rider had a speaker playing the Rocky theme song – Eye of a tiger. Appropriate for the situation, this climb was definitely setting a challenge for my first time riding.
The paddle was the most fun to me, the water was amazing. The dunes are just to west of the lake, such an awesome view! My board and paddle felt great, glided through the water passing racers. My setup was a Pursuit board and paddle from a Michigan based board company. This part of the race is 2.5 miles out on Glen lake, which I managed to finish in 30mins.
My biggest goal was to have fun. I wanted to finish and do well but I also didnt want to lose focus on keeping it fun. For a first time race I felt well accomplished, not only for finishing but for but also for ending on a good note. Entering the race I knew I wanted to keep it fun but I also had goals. I gave it my all and fell a little short placing on the podium for women’s SUP division.
What could be done different? More training! At least now I know more about triathlons and what it takes to be competitive. The experience I gained gave me a huge appreciation for taking care of my self and applying it to toward my health. I learned so much in a short time about nutrition and how to strength my legs for running. All the squats, lunges, plus the training in the water that I did when I hurt my knee. I took my training to the water after when my knee started hurting from the running part of my training. My focus was strength training while I gave time for my knee to heal. Last thing I need was a hurt knee on race day.
I also learned about fueling your self during training and race day. Hammer Nutrition has a ton of info for athletes and how to use their products. www.hammernutrition.com
If I could refer a reliable board shop in the area, I would like to name Great Lakes Surf shop in St. Clair Shores. Very honest and knowledgeable board shop. I bought my second board from them this season and got it in enough time to use for the race.
Check out their site: