I’m totally stoked to report that I had a solid race today! Augusta 70.3 was not originally on my race radar, however, after a very disappointing DNF last weekend in Branson, MO due to a double flat, I made the final decision (after a bit of gentle nudging by ML) to race.
A lot was happening all at once this week and it was fairly hard to leave home, especially after only being there for a few days. Luckily for me I have amazing friends who are more than willing to help me out in a time of need! Thank you Glenn, Kerrie, and Courtenay!
Last week while watching ML race, I became friendly with a fellow competitor, Jessica Meyers. We were both sidelined by mechanical problems in Branson. As we chatted, I mentioned this race to her and asked her if she was interested…she wasn’t so sure…I was on the fence too. A few days later, she e-mailed me…she was in! She wanted to know if I was “in” too. I wasn’t so sure…
By Thursday, life started to settle a bit, and I was feeling restless from the two weeks of indoor training (due to my sensitivity to the fire chemicals and smoke that we have in Boulder right now). ML really encouraged me to do this race. He explained that it would be an incredible way to get a nice boost in my fitness after tapering for Branson. I thought that it would be nice to get off of the trainer/treadmill! On Friday, I was on my way to Augusta, GA!
I arrived at my hotel late Friday night, bike and luggage in tow…thankfully!
One of the many funny highlights of the weekend was that I thought I was staying at the host hotel. Michael was sure that he had booked me a room there. In fact, I did not rent a car because I did not think that I would need one. Saturday morning I told Jess to meet me at my room at the “host hotel” so that we could do our pre race warm up together. Jess went to the host hotel, asked for me, and the reply was that they had never heard of me and that I was definitley NOT staying there. Jess called me, told me what was up…needless to say, I was SHOCKED! Actually I think I argued with her, insisting that I was staying at the “host hotel”…lol! Apparently there are two Marriott’s in Augusta. ML booked my room at the Marriott 8 miles away for the race site…eegads! Thankfully Jess was kind enough to pick me up and tote me around Augusta for the weekend. Thank you Jess!
Saturday was normal pre race stuff. Jess and I went to a cool Greek/Italian restaurant for dinner. Sunday started off like any other race. I had breakfast 3 hours before race time (4:30am). Because my GI had been doing so well and because I had felt “bonky” in a few of my past few races, I decided to eat almost double of what I usually eat for breakfast: 1 cup of Oatmeal, 1 Bagel, & a Justin’s Nut butter packet. Jess and I arrived at transition 90′ before race time, but it almost didn’t seem like it was enough time. I didn’t have time for my routine run warm-up. Instead we were rushing to catch the bus to get to the swim start. One of the things that I love about Jessica is that she is a lot like me. Some of those “likenesses” are that we like being on time, we like being organized, and we like having our stuff sorted. We got along perfectly!
Pre race start: 1 banana and EFS.
The start gun went off: I had a great swim start. I was on Jess’s feet for about 100 meters…:)
As soon as I got dropped, I saw Desi swimming next to me. I jumped on her feet and enjoyed the ride in to transition 1. I have to say, I really enjoyed the very fast swim current! I entered t-1, but I struggled a bit with getting my wetsuit off. I’m not sure why, but I just couldn’t get it off of my right ankle. I was foiled by a very slow transition. I started the bike feeling pretty good. I rode alone the entire ride. A tandem bike and a couple of very fast age group men went flying by me, but other than that, I was incredibly lonely trying to keep myself motivated. Nutrition on the bike: 32 oz of EFS (200 calories) 20 oz of EFS (95 calories) EFS liquid shot (400 calories), half of an energy bar (150 calories). I was pretty stoked as this was probably the most amount of food that I have ever eaten on the bike. As I came into transition, I was a bit disappointed to find out that I was almost 5 minutes down from the top 3 girls. Last year, I was riding well…really well. In fact, girls were not putting that much time on me on the bike. But this year, my riding has slipped a bit. I know what I need to do in the next few weeks to get that form back and I plan on doing it. In the meantime, I had to let that disappointment go. I focused on running well. I put my head down and went to work. I ran comfortable and within myself. Frankly, it was the best that I have run since racing Pucon. I was pretty happy about that! Nutrition on run: two hits of gel
Final thoughts: Augusta 70.3 was a pleasant surprise. It’s a really cool city with an incredible venue. I was excited to see that Augusta has a “FRESH MARKET” grocery store…added bonus! If you are a poor or moderate swimmer, this is the race for you! It is a wetsuit legal race with a STRONG current. The bike is flat to rolling and fair. I didn’t see much drafting. The run is fairly flat.
Augusta is was a new race for me. It was a great challenge and I am really happy that I was able to pull my life outside triathlon together the week before and I was very happy to have a solid performance! I would also like to add that I am especially pleased for my for my friend, Jessica Meyers who won her first (of many) 70.3 events today. She is a cool chick with a big triathlon future!
Thank you to my sponsors: First Endurance, Saucony, TRAKKERS, Boulder Running Company, Kestrel, ISM saddles, Justin’s Nut Butter, Splish Louis Garneu, Blue Seventy, Zipp Wheels! I simply have the BEST sponsors! Thank you!