9th Pro WomanBack in Bama Baby!!! I'm not sure I could have topped my day here from last year by taking the overall amateur title, but it felt good to be back on a familiar course and remembering all the good times from the previous year. After the extreme heat from 2008, we were so fortunate to have temps in the 70s with a touch of rain near the end :)
Swim - The pros were given a 30 second head start because we were not allowed to wear wetsuits and the age groupers were. I immediately got into the group with the lead women and felt very comfortable right away. About 400m in I took about 20 or so strokes without sighting because I felt like I was right in the draft but when I looked up, I had veered straight left. DANG! I tried as hard as I could to catch back up, but no luck. I swam the rest of the first and second laps solo. I came out 4th woman by less than a minute, but definitely worked harder than I should have and could have been right up there had I just looked up...next time!
Bike - Oh the bike! I love the bike part of the race and I love this course. I know the terrain wasn't my forte with lots of tight turns, roots, and power bursting sections, but it's still fun. I was actually kicking butt for the first 12 minutes or so until my hips completely locked up, AGAIN. My saddle didn't slip so it wasn't because of that, but whatever it was, I lost all power and ended up spinining the entire rest of the course. Was it because my saddle was set too far back after the debacle last week? Is it because I don't do enough short and hard intervals? Is it the transition from swimming to biking? Neal and I are investigating the problem and will soon have it all figured out. So needless to say, I got my booty handed to me on the bike. However, I did ride 'Blood Rock' like a champ :)
Run - The course here is very interesting. The first 2 miles or so are the same as the bike course and super fun. Once you pop out of that section, you hit a fire road for 30 seconds then jump right back into the woods where you go straight up and straight down until the finish. I'm really not kidding when I say straight up and down either. I didn't have too much pain in the knee during the first section so I just cruised, however, once I hit the technical hills, there was a lot of power hiking and hesitation while trotting down. Steep terrain is not my knee's friend right now. Like last year, I totally used a few trees to pull myself up and not fall on my butt coming down. My time was still slower than the other girls and my run fitness is non-existent, but it's not far off.
THE RACE - I'm happy and pleased nothing disastrous went down. My transitions were way faster than last race and I feel like my knee is getting better every week. I still have lots of training to get in and lots more racing to do before I'll be in top form, but it's getting there and I'm excited to test it out at each of my upcoming races.