So ready for off season…massive amounts of swimming and hot yoga have been sounding so good basically since the BIG DAY. Yet, there was one more race…Augusta 70.3…
I was feeling better than my normal overtrained self at this time of year…thanks to Coach M. We have really been keeping a better log on how many hours I am training and backed off a lot from previous years and focused on quality not quantity. My only worry going into the race was the run. I had not run 13 miles for maybe 3 years…the endurance is there but my body just does not want to do the mielage…my hips are still not 100%.
Matias and I signed up for Augusta 70.3 in July…I was on feeling on fire and itching to do a half…wanted to wait until after the wedding but not push the season into October…and wanted something driveable…Augusta…hmmm.
We headed out on 95S at 3pm on Friday in the rain…you can imagine what fun this was. We made it to Richmond by 730pm…stopped for some eats and back on the rode. Around 10pm we decided we had enough and stopped in Wilson, NC to sleep. Up at 5am the next morning and back on the road. About 9am we made a much needed stop in Columbia, SC for a quick dip at a Wellness Center. I was feeling much better after all that sitting in the car. Next stop Augusta! Made it to town about 1230pm just in time to stand in a looooong line for check-in. Apparently Augusta is the largets 70.3, with about 3000 racers…eeeyikes. Remind me why I sign up for these sorts of events. Oh what I would have given to be back in Loooray! After check-in we hit up the expo, and headed over to bike drop-off. Well after about 3 hours of Matias trying to get our tires to hold air (darn race wheels) and my rearranging my stuff at least 20 times (yes, OCD) we were on our way to our hotel in Aiken, SC (sometimes it is nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the race hotel!). I was wiped and the race had not even begun. We found some good wine and eats at Outback, finished off a box of Skinny Cow Pops and were in bed at a decent hour.
1.2 Mile Swim
56 Mile Bike
13.1 Mile Run
Up at 430am…cooking potatoes and breaking microwaves….yep, that is what I do best. On the road to Augusta at 5am…found parking and headed to take the shuttle to transition…what a ZOO transition was. We checked our tires…thanks goodness they had heald air or I would have quit right then and there. Set up my stuff, waited in the enormous line for the portas, found Matias, and we walked the 1 mile to the swim start. More waiting as I did not go off until almost 9am. Matias went at 8am so I just stewed for about an hour and found friends. Waves began to line up…I was wave 22 white caps (female 30-34 A-S)…
SWIM – Swim was a point to point downstream the Savannah River…I was really looking forward to killing this. Yesterday, the water had looked really inviting. Today was we walked down onto the dock I noticed all the trash floating on the other side…eeeeeeeeguhhh. Everyone jumped in and treaded. BRRRRRRRRRRR it was chilly! I positioned front and towards the left (middle of the river). Looked at my watch to see what the appx go time would be…NOOOOOOOOO…my watch was blanking out…apparently it liked cold less than I! Hopefully after the swim it would come back on…hopefully…I did not race with anything but this watch…I just race off time. And the horn…we were off…I pulled ahead with a few others. I felt strained but mediocre. I stayed ahead with one girl right in front of me. I drafted her for a bit and then pulled to her side after losing pateince. We swam together for most fo the way and then she started to drift out and I kept on going. I saw her a bit behind me to the left and lost site of her for awhile. Swimming did not feel effortless as it should with the current…but I kept on busting. Finally could see the end bouys…also caught site of the other white cap. We were battling for the lead. Coming up the ramp into T1 was a MESS of people. The girl plowed through and all I could do was keep my head down and follow her lead…and we were into T1…
T1 – wetsuit strippers…I passed this time…as I had a long way to run to my bike I could have my suit practically off by then. Yep, watch was DONE done done. GREAT. this would be interesting. With as far from the bike out entrance I was I had decided to leave the shoes on the bike. I had a smooth Bananas mount and was off.
BIKE – hmm ok I was hoping to hold 5miles/15minute pace…now I would just ride and gauge off others…ehh and my nutrition. Matias and I had wrote a solid plan for this were I was eating about 75-100 calories within every 30 minutes. I would have to modify this and go by miles and not time. One of the good things about starting at the back is you can pass a lot on the bike! About Mile 10 I finally settled into a group that I could keep pace with. I found a few women that I tried to keep within site. I would pass them on the hills and they would catch me on the downhills. I had seen maybe 1 30-34 woman go by….I must be keeping a good pace. The roads were not super…a lot of bumpiness, rumble strips in some spots. I kept to my nutrition plan and felt probably the best I have on a hard bike effort like that. I felt I had done solid work and even forgot about the dreaded run…
T2 – Into T2. As I got off my bike I felt decent running in. This could be a go.
RUN – Off and running onto the streets of Augusta. Something STUNK…like someone was cooking up some stale beef stew. yucky. Mile 1 came pretty quickly..but I was not feeling too strong. I started realizing that it may not be the amount of running but the amount of activity that just drains my hips of strength. Maybe I could shake it off…but it was a pretty deep hurt :/ I pushed through Mile 2 and Mile 3…the pain demons were there. This could damage me. I was not having fun at all and I wanted to stop. At Mile 4 I asked a policeman if I could stop and go back to the finish. He called my number in as DNF and I walked slowly back to the finish…fortunately it was a lot of out and back and it was not too far…
Honestly I was not too disappointed…it had been an amazing season, including the happiest day of my life…I don’t have anything more to ask for…