by Liz Baugher - Yesterday I raced in the Rose City Sprint triathlon, which is the south midwest regional sprint championship! It was a great race on beautiful lake Tyler, temperature was perfect, water was great, bike was HARD, and run was flat! The race was a 650m swim, 14.1m bike, and 3 mile run. I knew some of the top girls racing so I tried not to let this discourage me from my overall focus. I wanted to see how my training was going, and see if all the stuff I practiced worked out. The result? It did. I have been focusing on hard bricks off the bike, speedier running, faster swim turnover, and a little less on the bike. I got exactlly what I practiced. A great fast run, an awesome swim, and a bike that was beyond challenging. The swim: Basically I felt great. I wish I could have done a full olympic swim, and I only hope that I feel like this in my next coming races. I got to start with the elite wave today so that took away from some of the chaos of swim starts. I was approximately 6th out of the water, just a few seconds behind the male leader, and 2nd female out. Great start. Transition was a long run, But I kind of enjoyed it because it helped me catch my breath before getting on the bike. I swam a 9:08 which is 1:16 yard pace. My fastest split to date. The bike: was a 14.1 mile "rolling hills" course, and this was exactly that. I actually think this was one of the most challenging courses I have done yet. I got out into my grove and tried not to push too hard too fast. I kept the first place girl in site and just gradually worked on her. I passed her about 2 miles in, and then the hills began. By the time you got to the bottom, you were going up again. It was intense. My legs were weak, weaker than usual. I had to stand on almost every hill just to power up them. I tried to just keep pushing and holding my pace, knowing that the other girls were creeping back up on me. I got passed at the half way point by Ashley Johnson, who is a great powerhouse. I wanted to stay within seeing distance of her, but that only happened for a few minutes and she was gone! I tried not to let it get to me and just keep going. I couldnt wait to get back to transition. I dismounted beautifully and off to the run I went. The run: was super flat and super fast. It consisted of 3 u-turns so that you had 3 chances to see how much ground you were making on your competitors. I was actually only about 50 seconds behind the number 1 girl, and was making distance between the other girls. I didnt worry about position and focused on my run. I kept repeating "I will not cramp" (something of major problem the last couple races). I ran through mile 1 at 5:55 and asked myself "Can I keep this for an entire 10k?" (because olympic races are my focus)  Yes I can. I got this. I let up the pace a little, but finished the run in 18:17, a 6:05 pace. Great, this is what I needed both physically and mentally. Hopefully I can repeat this in an olympic race. I finished the race 2nd place female over some really great female triathletes. Not a failure at all. I am proud to see my results and that the work I have been doing is paying off. Not to mention 300$$ bucks later is a nice prize purse =) I ended the day with some Aggie football. My first A&M Football game! I decided since I am graduating this year, I had to go to a game, and it was fun. Who doesnt love tailgating, friends, and football? We lucked out with the weather too. Usually at a Texas game, it can be super duper hot! Today the sun tucked away and there was a nice breeze. I forgot what it was like to stand in a student section and to actually stand the whole time chanting your teams cheers. I couldnt get into it too much though because 1) PSU will always be my alma mater! and 2) we were beating the crap out of Idaho. We won the gme 37-7. WhooP!

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