A stellar swim and a superb post-race pretzel were just two of the highlights from Linsey Corbin’s second-place finish at the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Traverse City, Michigan, on Sunday.

Ironman star Linsey Corbin exited the water only a minute behind the front swim pack, thereby setting herself up well to unleash her typically strong bike-run combo. Perfect race conditions and an energetic crowd—as well as some mouth-watering post-race refueling options—made the weekend a stand-out success for Corbin, as she prepares for Ironman Wisconsin in two weeks before hitting the Big Island in October. An all American podium saw Jackie Hering take the win in 4:15.06, Corbin second in 4:20.55, and Alissa Doehla third in 4:23.44. Triathlete.com caught up with Corbin as she waited for her flight home from Michigan.

Triathlete.com: How were you feeling going into this race? What were your goals/aspirations?
Linsey Corbin: I felt good; I had just done a seven-week block of consistent and solid training (that’s a lot of uninterrupted training for me). My biggest question leading into the race was if I would be fatigued or not? I normally race frequently all summer, so this was a different lead-in for me. My goals were to have fun, focus on myself, and get one last hard/big effort in before Ironman Wisconsin in two weeks.

T: Best part of the race for you?
LC: The swim! That is the closest I have ever come out of the water to the leaders—I was *only* 1:05 down. Honestly? This race was so much fun and I loved all of it, so I could also say the best part was the whole package deal. It was a fun weekend and a great event.

T: Worst part?
LC: Most races I am riding from behind and on my own, where you are essentially riding your own race and you don’t have to respond to race dynamics. I caught the lead pack on the bike at mile 15. Riding in the group is just a learning experience. I tried to break away a few times but a few of the other women were strong and they came with me. You end up playing this game of: “Do I sit in and ‘save’ it for the run or do I use my strengths and bike super hard and try and get away?” It’s tricky.

T: How were the conditions, anything you struggled with?
LC: We had perfect race-conditions: crystal clear lake water that was nice and calm. Perfect temperatures for the bike and run. The bike course is rolling and had near-perfect pavement and very few turns. The run was shaded and packed with spectators. You couldn’t have asked for a better day. It was a really well-run event.

T: At what point did you realize you were going to podium?
LC: The last out-and-back of the run course was about 1.5 miles from the finish. I saw my lead to Alissa (3rd place) was up to a few minutes and I felt pretty solid and like I wasn’t going to have a melt-down, so I tried to relax a bit and enjoy the last few minutes.

T: Which part of the race did you execute best?
LC: The swim!

T: Anything you wish you’d done better?
LC: I would have loved to have biked a wee bit stronger and been able to gap the group on the bike. I don’t know how much faster I could have gone on the run. Jackie (the winner) ran a 1:16, which is incredible. I couldn’t have matched that.

T: Post-race food? Any beer/cookies/favorite foods?! Tell us all your secrets!
LC: Oh boy! Traverse City has so much great food and drink! I was really impressed. I started with a Petoskey Pretzel (recommended by a local). Chris (my husband) and I checked out Rare Bird Brew Pub and then we moved onto an incredible dinner with friends at Alliance. We also checked out: Little Feet (foods carts + bar / local beers), The Filling Station (pre-race pizza), Oryana (local food co-op) and Blk Mrkt (coffee). I definitely believe that if you work hard, you should play hard, so I don’t feel bad about treating myself in the 24 hours after a big day at the office.

Photo: @corbinbrands

T: First words your coach said to you?
LC: My coach Jesse Kropelnicki and I had a FaceTime call at the hotel and I was so hyped up on caffeine I don’t even remember what he said. Haha. I am sure it was “good job.” He was pretty happy as we had a tough few months with my training and racing this spring.

T: How sore are you post-race, on a scale of 1-10?
LC: Not too bad. But I don’t want to jinx myself. The travel home always makes it a bit tough spending time on the plane. I’ll go for an easy spin today and hopefully be back to it mid-week.

T: Any blisters, any chafing?
LC: Nope!

T: First thoughts when you hit the finish chute?
LC: Yes! That was fun! Job well done.

T: Mantra or words that got you through the race?
LC: Process vs outcome. Gratitude. Determined. Go for it! Hard work pays off.

T: Pre-race brekkie?
LC: Always the same: apple sauce, whey protein shake, bottle of CLIF Sports drink & Picky Bars oatmeal.

T: What (and when) will your first workout be post-race?
LC: I will go for an easy spin this afternoon when I get home (Monday).

T: What does your training look like this week?
LC: I’ll do a little of all three tomorrow (Tuesday). Test the waters and see how recovery is going on Wednesday/Thursday. I will put in one more weekend of quality work this weekend and then it’s race week again.

T: What’s next on your racing calendar?
LC: Ironman Wisconsin.

T:What does the rest of your racing schedule look like this year?
LC: Ironman Wisconsin, Ironman Hawaii, fall plans are TBD.

T: Tell us who all of your sponsors are…
LC: Saucony, Trek Bicycle, CLIF Bar, Roka, Garneau and a slew of support from Big Sky Brewing, NormaTec, Speedplay, SRAM, Wahoo Fitness, and Zealios among many others.

T: Best post-race recovery tip for age groupers?
LC: Protein before bed (on race-day or a big training day), sleep, massage, keep moving (easy training to keep the blood bringing nutrients to the muscles), treat yourself to a good meal, write down three things that worked well and three things you can improve upon for next time.