Sunday, August 22, 2010

Valdosta Winnersville Olympic Triathlon

Getting ready for Kona has kept me busy most weekends. I hadn't done a triathlon since May. Wow, that is unusual for me during tri season. I will normally cram as many races as possible in the short season. With a couple setbacks, because of my silly mountain bike accidents, and the long ironman training weekends, I had to put my beloved short course tris on hold. Well, until this past weekend. :-)
Valdosta Triathlon has always been a fun, laid back, country triathlon. About 200 competitors, there's no pressure and it's all about getting a great workout and enjoying the day. This year, Valdosta Triathlon decided to not only have the sprint triathlon that they've had for the last 3 years, but added an olympic distance. Since this weekend was my "easy" training weekend, I decided to see if my body remembered how to race. Valdosta Triathlon is definitely a good runner's race, with their extra long run distance in their sprint and also this year's olympic distance. If you think you are going to do a 3.1 mile run, think again! It's more like a 4 mile run. And if you are planning on a 10k run, too bad for you! It was more like 6.7 miles.
The swim is in a really pretty lake, although is was more like a hot tub, with a temp in the 90's. Honestly, it didn't bother me, since my swim pace is not fast enough to build a sweat. :-) The positive thing about the swim is that I'm getting darn good at sighting this year. I was the girl that would be zig zaging all over the swim course. Now, I see the buyou and swim straight for it. Why prolong my worst event?!? As predicted, I came out of the water 3rd female and 15th overall. Oh well.
Zipped through transition. Got on my girlie Planet X bike and Hawk Racing wheels, which I adore. It was hammer time! Nice somewhat flat bike course (in the country.) Ended up passing both leading girls before getting on the run. Brook Pace, one of my good training buddies, was one of the super fast swimmer girls and great cyclist I had to work to catch. I ended up with the fastest bike times for the gals and the 3rd fastest bike time overall. Glad to know all my ironman training on the bike is paying off.
Now for the run. My favorite and one of my strengths. I took off on the run, felt great, on track for a fabulous run time. Got to the last two miles of the run and my Achilles seized up. Where in the world did this come from?!? No warning and my awesome Spira running flats had never given me any issues before. I stopped and stretched as much as I could. I knew Brook was probably not too far behind me. I started running again. Pain still there and making its way up my calf. Stopped and stretched again. All I could do at this point was limp the last two miles. I prayed that my fast running earlier gave me enough of a lead to keep my placing. Sure enough I did it. That was the longest 2 miles, especially on that run course, and took the win. I was 1st Woman Overall and 3rd Overall. I surely hope I made Team Snapple proud an I do hope my Achilles heals fast, because my Kona Ironman is 1.5 months away and I have several big training weekends ahead.
Thank you, Valdosta Tri, for the great race and beautiful watch I won. Look forward to next year.