Thursday, May 5, 2011

April Update

Amazing how time flies, but amazing to look back on the month on all that has happened.....

1. Galveston 70.3, the first big race of the season.
2. A week of recovery and relaxation with Steve in South Padre.
3. Came back to another tri exactly one week after Galveston - The Rookie Tri.
4. That same evening my quarter brother and two of his friends from South Africa arrived for a week visit of fun activities.
5. Which subsequently got me under the weather for 10 days.
6. Taking me into another fun wkend training camp with friends, mostly the crew from Shama cycles, getting ready for Ironman Texas in Houston.

Which brings me to the first week of May, this week - and i have another short fun race this Sunday, Skeese Greets Womens Tri, and i am just over one week away from doing my next 70.3 in Florida.

So unfortunately blog Monday got put on the hiatus for the month ( my apologies to my friend Arnie especially ;) ) , but i will fervently try and bring it back now that i have settled back into some routine. And so that Arnie doesnt have to call me out on not writing again :), job well done Arnie !!!

Since so much has happened since my races i cant really give a detailed description of how they all went down but i will try give the brief overview and share any lessons i learnt, or tidbits you may be interested in. i will start with my nutrition plan since that is always a high talking point for triathletes.

Evening before - Sweet potatoes, rice and chicken with 1 bottle of pedialyte ( for extra electrolytes )

Bfast -Strong coffee, Oatmeal, i stir in some peanut butter and syrup ( try it , its delicious ) and a banana and a bottle of HAMMER HEED and water.

Pre Race - 1 hammer gel, and 2 Salt tabs

Ride - carbo pro and HAMMER HEED, Gel every 30 min , and 3-4 salt tablets per hour.
Due to sweat test results i need 50 oz of water per hour, which is pretty excessive since most drink 25-30oz per hour. For some reason i didnt realize since i have such a large water intake i would need to up my salt intake too( thank you Trent Stephens for pointing the obvious out ) so the above nutrition numbers will be adjusted for the next race and hopefully i wont end up cramping like i did in this race.

Run - 3-4 salt per hour and 1 gu every 30 min . I am running with a Nathan hydration belt from now so that i can take water, gu and salt whenever i need it and not have to wait until a water stop. hopefully this will prove more helpful the next race since i dont think i executed that plan very well this time around.

Highlights of race :
Pre swim , Angela Naeth and i got a good luck hug from C Different athlete, Brandon Adame and his Team mate/Guide Nigel Willerton.
I decided to go with the strategy to start the swim on the far right to have clear water to swim in to. Usually i may seek out a more strategical position and put myself next to some gals that i can draft off of. Well, lesson learnt. I will be going back to that strategy for the next race. I was not only dropped immediately, but because i started on the right edge of the pack, i got pushed even further right during the first sprint, and when i looked up after the first few strokes the whole pack was a good 15- 20 meters to the left of me. instead of swimming fowards , i found myself continuing to try and just swim back on course and in line with the buoys. Well, with the waves and current, it was a 1.2 mile fight of trying to just get close to the bouy line. This is the first race i actually had kayakers come up to me, not once, but 3 times !! yeah, that bad..

Swim = FAIL. 33 min time. Unless you are my positive coach who said "Great swim and time since you almost swam to CUBA"


So the unfortunate thing about coming out of the water last amongst the pro women is that i see, ride, and pace off no one, and basically feel like i am out there by myself. At least for the first 30 min or so anyway. i finally caught up to and passed about 3-4 girls about 30 min and then an hour in, but that was it. I could see no one else ahead, so just put my head down and got into a comfortable groove. I focused on nailing nutrition and taking in enough salt ( which wasnt enough, now i know ) and tried to manage my effort and keep my heart rate under 170, which is something i have to learn to do , since the word "PACE" is really not in my vocabulary. All in all , i felt great on the bike, i feel i probably held back a little too much going out into the wind ( i was trying to conserve and build the pace - again - a new thing )but i always heard that you should feel like you could go a bit faster. while i agree that this is a good game plan for most athletes trying to better their times and race smart. i am really not trying to race smart , i am here to see what i am made of against the worlds best. whats the point of racing if you arent going to put it all on the line and really see what you are made of. so new strategy for the next race = go hard, and if i blow up, well... we will re evaluate why, when and what to do next time. fun stuff.

Bike Time - 2:31

Run - and where the fun begins
The big goal for this race was to try and pace my run properly so that i could negative split the Half. I came off the bike feeling fresh aerobically ( prob too fresh ) , but immediately felt tightness in my quads and so started to mildly worry that the tightness would turn into cramping. i started out conservatively at a 6:45 pace which was a little faster than the 7m/mile game plan but my heart rate was in the high 140's and breathing and effort was very controlled. Unfortunately too controlled i think. It didnt feel like i was racing which kind of killed my competitiveness of trying to run the person infront of me down, which happened to be Hillary Biscay. Instead of passing her, i just stayed right behind her for the first loop. After loop 1 i was supposed to drop the pace and build from there and that is unfortunately where the shut down started to happen. At about mile 4, the tightness in the quads turned to cramps.. you can imagine my frustration. i couldnt believe it was my 6th 70.3 and i still hadnt nailed this down. I got so frustrated that mentally i kind of checked out after that, either that or the dehydration set in which shut down the mind and body. i of course am going to be hard on myself and think that i could have pushed through and managed the shut down better, which i am determined to do next time if this unfortunately would happen again.
Long story short, i slowed way down the last 3 laps, walking through all the water spots and when needed to help ease cramps.
the one take away lesson i learnt is never STOP to try to stretch out cramps. i stopped to stretch quads at mile 8 or so and it was a BIG MISTAKE ! My whole body proceded to cramp up and it sidelined me for a few minutes while waiting for cramps to cease. I finally got going again, but i would have liked those 3 min back which further frustrated me, but i pushed through and finished with a smile on my face.
Highlights of the run and what got my smiling through this all, was seeing the group of 5 girls chanting "Yay God " everytime i ran by in my new Tri4Him team kit, and i had many people quoting encouraging bible versus when they ran by me, no joke. it definitely helped put the race in the right perspective, and i started enjoying just being out there and appreciating the atmosphere.

Run Time - 1:47 ( 8:10 pace )

Overall time 4:55

That next week Steve and I went to South Padre for 5 days to rest up and spend some Q time together before our lives get very busy with tri season, work and the fact that our place was about to be taken over by my brother and his friends.
The week was filled with fried seafood, a margarita or two, walks on the beach and lots and lots of PUZZLE BUILDING. yes, 3 1000 piece puzzles completed in 5 days. i am like a child with all that. I LOVE building puzzles and get totally excited, prob overly so, when Steve shows up with a Gift for me - another puzzle !! So now i think it will be apart of my recovery week and be a race reward from here on out. The better the race the bigger and better the Puzzle - cant wait :)

Rookie Tri -
Rookie Tri was that next Sunday . Yes, one week after Galveston 70.3 and after a week of zero activity and alot of unhealthy food. So yeah, i wasnt the most confident going in especially since i wanted to have a good race to make up for the disappointment in Galveston. So, for a short second i was on the fence to do this race cause i didnt want to show up and just feel horrible, the confidence didnt need that again. But the fact that Arnold Lachner, a 77 year old father to Arnie Lachner was going to be there doing his first triathlon ever after being inspired by his son, was enough to get me out there to enjoy the day and have fun with friends. which is exactly at the end of the day why we are all doing this sport right ! ITS FUN ! and the COMMUNITY IS AWESOME....

To sum up, Arnold finished his first triathlon and is getting ready for his next one as we speak, i enjoyed the race and stayed in the moment and ended up winning by a few minutes and my swim, bike and run pace on that course was significantly better compared to last year. Maybe puzzle building, no training and fried seafood should be the plan for all future taper weeks.

The last 3 wks have gone really well with training and even though i fell sick after the week long visit from my bro and his friends, i was able to remain consistent in showing up for workouts. i am definitely the fittest i have ever been right now across the board, and we think we figured out what went wront in nutrition last time and now i can truly put my gains in fitness to the race test. We will find out next weekend at the Florida 70.3 in Orlando.

Thanks to all my support. Tri4Him ( thank you for the group prayer pre race and all the support and prayers- i am so excited to be on the inaugural Elite Team ), Jack And adams ( best bike shop hands down , cant say enough about these guys ), Hammer Nutrition ( my stomach thanks you ) , Oatmega Bars ( easiest and most delicious way to get my daily dose of Omega 3's ), Rudy Project ( sweetest helmet and sunglasses ) , Blue Bikes (i am yet to ride you but cant wait ) , Champion system ( most comfortable and sweetest looking tri clothes ) , Xterra ( tried my Vector Pro sleeveless wetsuit for the first time - loved it ), Advanced Rehab ( couldnt be doing this without them keeping the injuries away ) , Clean bottles, Genuine innovations ( all the pro's used my pump for their tires pre race and all made comments about how good it was - no joke ) ,TriTats, and RLE events.

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