Casey Bateman, Seth and Walt Rider and Wendy Endsley are happy triathletes after eating Breakfast at the Vanderbilt's Shelbourne Farms near Burlington before the National Tri Championships 2012 Last week I competed in the 2012 Tri Sprint Nationals with hope and trepidation. The hope found in good training, a healthy lifestyle, and good race prep, and trepidation that I had re-injured my Achilles tendon in an aquathlon 10 days earlier. I had taken all of the medical experts advice for the Achilles treatment, but I knew going into the Nationals that the Achilles may force me to walk the run, or worse. I had many recommendations of how to treat the Achilles tendon mild tear, but nothing seemed to work better than rest, and gentle slow deep heel drop squats and toe raises on stairs. I was unable to run at all the full 10 days before the Nationals. According to the physical therapist that had recommended the heel drop exercise, the lowering of the heel stresses and stretches the Achilles better than the toe raise, or any other exercise. From numerous attempts to treat the heel problem, I found this exercise and advice the very best. As to race results, it was in God's hands. Although I did lose the feet I had wanted to draft on in the swim, and the group I did swim with all cut the third buoy, and I lost 50yards going around it properly, I was satisfied with my 12+min swim for the 750m swim. It was rougher than normal with hands, feet, arms and legs thrashing about me in every direction, and someone pushed me under to swim over me. This nationals was far superior in talent, and athlete focus, than in any past race I had competed in. My transitions and bike went well, with a 33+ bike split for the 20k, and I came out of t2 in the top 5 for my age group. My run went well for the first few minutes, but as the first hill rose stretching the Achilles to its max, I felt it twinge and the pain began. I was only able to hobble for the next 3 miles and painstakingly glared at the endless stream of age group numbers on racers' calfs as they easily glided by my increasingly pained legs. 20 racers passed me in my age group in that long 3 miles, and so I may have only barely snuck in as an alternate for Team USA, and not in my goal of top 10. As we all know, some days are easier than others. I was very fortunate to not severely injure my Achilles. I hope to heal better before my next race at the World Tri Sprint Championships in NZ in Oct. I will update you all again then as to what continues to work best to heal an Achilles heel and insights as to pre-race prep.

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