Augusta 70.3 is in the books, and it was a hot, tough day – tougher than any 70.3 than I done in the past – of course, this was only my 5th one and from one I was a DQ! My goals were: 1) Not screw up on the run course as last year, I made a wrong turn and ruined my whole day; 2) Enjoy the swim which weirdly my worst event, 3) Be smart on the bike as I knew I had made a lot of strides there, 4) Finish under 6 hrs (if possible given the predicted warm conditions); 5) have fun!
I knew I had put in the training, but the last week was filled with a lot of anxiety over the race. More than I experience normally and certainly more than I’ve experienced for a 70.3 in the past. I guess just feeling like I had something to “prove” at Augusta was tough. I felt ready though as I had mostly good workouts along the way.
Swim: The swim was not wetsuit legal, not did I expect it to be. I did wear my Swim skin which was the first time I got to use it. Who knows if it helped or not with “speed” but it sure keeps my tri top from rolling up. I swam 32 min in 2017, so I seeded myself there for the rolling start. Like the rolling start but didn’t like the fact that it appeared as if so many people ”lied” about their times. I pretty much passed everyone in my “heat” and had to breaststroke to get around a lot of athletes who were having a tough time in the water or simply were mis-seeded. The swim current never seems like what they say it should be in Augusta, in fact, it felt like not much at all. Swim time: 32:10 – exactly what I thought I’d swim!
T1 is long in Augusta with a run around the whole fence and then into the bikes. T1: 5:25 which was for me – excellent.
Bike: Off on the bike course. I expected to have a better ride than last year, but this was a new course. I didn’t hat it, but it was certainly not any faster than the old one especially with all the railroad track crossings at beginning and end. There were also three very long hills, an annoying distance grab by the airport with a tough turnaround, and then I felt like there was a good headwind in the last 12-15 miles. I felt good but also felt like I was beginning to cramp a bit and was not happy with that feeling. I was drinking my Infinit every 20 min and taking a gel every 5 miles, but still seemed to be thirsty. Bike felt good overall though until hitting that wind in the last few miles, but all in all, I was very pleased with my time: 3:02:46
T2 was tough. I felt a bit of cramping coming on but sort of ignored it. Mad sure to get in two salt tablets, stretched my quads a bit and then started off on the run. I felt hydrated enough as I had to pee as well, which I did losing some time. T2: 4:01
Run: I always look forward to the run as it is what I can do the best. I felt off and attributed to the heat and just started to go. Don’t know if I was worried about making the same mistake and wrong turn as last year, but I couldn’t really relax and I was just trying to get comfortable. My quads were also very tight and I was trying to run through it an settle in. I saw Shannon and John at mile 3 and then again right after mile 5 when I told them that I was hurting. The first 5 miles were hard and I felt like I was going to cramp any minute and right around the 10K mark. I had just taken some Gatorade at the aid station and put some ice in my hat, but I just could fend off the cramping quads anymore and had to walk some. After that, I just kept on running as far as I could and then walking 100 steps. It worked pretty well, but I was a bit devastated as running is my thing! Weirdly, everyone around me seemed to be having issues in the run as well and even walking, I was passing athletes out there. I never saw or passed anyone in my AG as I feel they had already passed me on the bike – so I was happy with that. The cheerleaders at the ATC corner were awesome and told me to try to get in more salt and water, but I guess it was already too late. The run was hot, hot, hot as the temps were in the 90s, but as I said to one of the ATC guys, I’m going to finish and I went the right way. Run: 2:14:54.
Total time: 5:59:13! Under 6 and I didn’t get lost! 14th in my AG which was great – I had hoped to make the top 10 – but I really wasn’t anywhere near their times. Hats off to the fast women in the 55-59 AG. I was actually 13th out of the water, 17th after the bike, and I battled back to 14th overall.
Thanks so much to my coach, Lesley Smith, from AJBaucco Racing. I think we work well together and I hope that we can continue on this path. I love the way she has helped me mesh my running schedule in the winter/spring for Boston with biking and swimming. Thanks so much to Shannon and John for their support and for being there on Sunday, thanks to my cycling and running buddies both in CHQ (Chris, Kent, Brian, Bill, MP, Claire and Carol) and here in Atlanta (Cycle Alpharetta, the Goat Riders and of course, all the Riverside runners!). And Thanks to the ATC for being on the hot corner as I looked forward to you on every loop.
I really like the 70.3 distance and I’m still holding out as to whether or not I should attempt a full Ironman. I’m already committed to Boston for 2019 and IM70.3 Traverse City. And maybe, maybe a full – just got to see that final ATC 2019 target race list again.