This race was not my best performance, and was extremely tough, due to a hilly course and miserable cramps throughout my entire legs. Calves, quads, hamstrings, all of it.
I got to the race site and felt very good, my warmup had gone perfectly and I was pumped and ready to go!
The first run went out faster than expected, with the course as hilly as it was and still being at a decent elevation of about 3750 ft. We went through mile 1 in about 5:10 and went through the first 10K in mid 35 minutes. I was in 4th place at this point.
The bike was a long 6 mile hill up, back down, back up the hill AGAIN and finishing back down it. I felt good, and was putting out some good watts, until my wheel/tire started rubbing against the frame and the brakes on the brake track. I decided it would be better to push through and this severely slowed my speed. Then my calves started to ball up and I had to stop pedaling every now and then to prevent them from completely locking up! I still had a decent bike split all considering.
The cramps were even worse on the final run, which was another loop of the hilly course and I was very proud of myself that I pushed through the cramps to finish on the podium in my age group, 3rd, and 13th overall. I will take this race as a learning lesson going forward in persevering and surviving tough physical conditions.