January 27, 2009
More Photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/triusa/Pucon703Race?feat=directlink
Alright a brief race summary for the real reason I was in Chile! First of all thanks to Pedro, the town of Pucon, my fellow competitiors, and all of the hard-working and super spirited volunteers and fans. You all made the race fun and memorable!
The race started at 9:00am at Lake Villarica. The pros had a 1min headstart before the age-groupers started. Since we were starting with the guys, which I am not quite used to yet, I wanted to have a fast start. Well, I tried to go fast but it seemed like everyone else was going faster. I got beat up a little bit and just stayed calm and focused. After about 200 meters I got into a good rhythm and tried to start swimming people down (it seemed like there were tons of people in front of me!) As we rounded the first bouy, I really started to feel good and made my move. Coming in after lap 1, there were four men up ahead, and then me. On the 100 mtr run on the beach, ouch, one guy passed me. As I dove in for lap 2, I was determined to stay with him. We worked together for a little bit and then I took over and lead the rest of the way. I was the 1st woman out of the water by quite a bit and the 5th person overall! A very quick transition and it was time to get comfy and go hard on my bike.
The bike was 2 out-and-back loops that were deceivingly tough. The wind gradually built and coming back on lap two was like riding into a wall! I tried to stay steady and hit my nutrition. I had no idea where the next girls were, because by the time I reached the first turn around, the age-groupers were mixed in. At the start of the 2nd lap, my legs were feeling quite fatigued and I just couldn’t seem to push a big gear. That is when I realized I was ‘out of shape’ and that racing 2 weeks in a row in January with my level of fitness was not the smartest thing! Oh well, what could I do? I was in the middle of a race! So I decided to bring the effort down a notch and stay steady and make sure my legs could handle the run. Heather and Lindsey caught me about 35 miles into the bike. I tried to go with them, but felt like the effort was just a bit too much. So I backed off stuck with my plan of racing smart for where I was fitness-wise. I came into transition in 3rd place. I wanted to hold this and hopefully make a move on the girls up ahead.
The run was 3 laps, 3 very challenging laps. By far the hardest run my little legs have ever scene in a race! Each lap is 7K long with 5K of rolling hills through the Peninsula and a 2K flat section through town. Those hills were tough! Up, up, up and down, down, down. I was so grateful for all the cheering volunteers and spectators!!! Again on the run, I wanted to stay smart and make it to the finish line in good condition. I saw Heather and Lindsey duking it out and they were gaining on me a little each lap. I had a solid lead on the girls behind, so ended up going into a bit of a cruise mode. Don’t get me wrong, I was hurting going up those hills! But just not totally killing myself. So, I stayed in 3rd place the entire run and was happy to make the podium for the 2nd week in a row!