Monday, November 15, 2010


The days leading up to Nationals were nerve racking; so many expectations. After having mechanical problems last year, I was really ready to put it all out there. My pre-race training didn't go as well as I had hoped, my legs still felt slightly heavy. However, I was familiar with the course and had one more day to recover. I looked forward to racing at sea level against the top athletes in the country.

This was the first time I was actually concerned about the heat. Being that I've always trained in the heat and humidity, I never thought about it. But now, living in Boulder, the humidity has become a concern. No matter the temperature or any other external factor, I knew I had put in the work, so now it was time to give it my all. Race morning rolled around, I was ready!!! We all toed the line, anxiously awaited the sound of the fog horn...and we were off. The swim was warm, so no wetsuits. However, I did race in my TYR swimskin.

T1 went smoothly, off to the bike. Now this was where I really noticed the benefits of training in altitude. I felt as though I was flying. Sure wish I would have raced with my CycleOps powertap; it would have been nice to know what kind of power I was holding. Towards the end of the ride, another female and I battled back and forth. She was in my age group, so all the more reason to push the pace. We came into T2 simultaneously; the battle continued on the run.

Leaving T2 just in front of my competition, I was feeling good. The first 3 miles of the run I was on pace; still battling back and forth. With each hill, I was passed on the downhill. I tried to take advantage of the downhill and relax a bit. My competitor saw it as an opportunity to pick up the pace. I can distinctly remember hearing her footsteps and breathing as she made downhill running look so easy. To my advantage, I was familiar with the course. I knew where the last hill on the course was. As a result, I was able to picked up the pace in hopes that I was going to be able to put a gap between us and hold on. With the finish line in sight, I knew the end was near.

After crossing the finish line, I was still unsure where I was at in the field; that's one disadvantage of racing as an amateur. I really didn't find out the final results for a couple hours post race. Reason being is, I was pulled immediately after the race for drug testing. It took a full 2 hrs to get the testing completed. By the time I got back to the race sight, the final results were posted; I was nervous to check. I knew I had finished well, but didn't know the truth. What a feeling to run your finger down the results ,to find out you were the NATIONAL CHAMPION! What a rush!

Thanks to all those that support and sponsor me through this adventure.

Joanna Zeiger (coach)
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Smith Optics
First Endurance
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