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Thanks so much, AJ and Elizabeth! It was a great race! I did the race plan before I went and it was really helpful to keep those pre-determined goals in mind as I progressed through each stage on Sunday. I have been dealing with some hip/quad issues lately that have made running problematic, but I hadn’t had a lot of pain over the past month, so I was going in with lower expectations for myself on the running side … but I ended up with my fastest 5K and 10K ever, and beat my previous Olympic time by about three minutes.
The swim was fast, partly due to the great workouts we’ve had and also because it was a downstream swim. I definitely have more work to do on the bike; I’m still very cautious with my shoes and with downhills, and I could have posted a stronger race time if those factors were less of a concern for me. Nevertheless, it’s a great course, Philly is a beautiful town, and there were spectators and fans all over the place. I knew the route would be crowded because both the bike and the run courses were two loops, and the sprint race started an hour after the Olympic race, but it was less of a problem than I expected. Most importantly, I didn’t have any pain on the run!
An unexpected challenge for this race was nutrition/hydration. I used roughly the same nutrition plan that I’ve used for previous Olympic races/training, but this time my family was with me, so my dinner the night before was heavier than usual. I also had to adjust my breakfast plan, and I don’t think I was working off of the right formula for me. I felt very hungry for most of the bike, even though I was taking in the same amount of calories I have in previous races and in training. This improved with the run, but then I crashed again after I finished the race. Eventually I figured out that it was mostly dehydration, so I need to work on that balance for future races. I had a hard time finding time on the bike to drink water since I was constantly going up and down hills and I haven’t practiced holding a water bottle on hills, just flats. Once I had some water, I felt a lot better!
Overall, this was a great race! I’m really glad I did ODP to prepare for it and I’m looking forward to doing Nation’s this fall, since it is run by the same company.