Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I was very excited about this race, due to the fact that we were going to be in beautiful wine country,it was going to be in cooler temps, and more so because my coach was going to be there to see me race for the first time. Even though i was excited it was super low key since I had very little time to really think about the race due to the fact that i was so busy working with Tri Team Transport and the 70 bikes we took up with us to Sonoma for our Texas, Arizona and Mexico athletes.
Steve and i roadtripped up there leaving the Sunday before the race picking up bikes along the way. We were fortunate enough to find a pool at every city we stopped aswell as a track for my normal tues track workout, and we found ourselves in Scottsdale, AZ wed morning where i was able to do my last big ride. The rest of the trip all i needed to do was step outside with my running shoes on and go. Don't you love running for that ease of preperation? I also made sure to use my Trigger point therapy kit every morning and evening at the hotel, aswell as use my Compex while sitting in the car for 8 hours a day. My legs felt significantly better when doing so. The hardest thing to do while on the road is to eat well. Sitting in the car.. well you just get bored after a while, and we all know food is a great distraction. I tried to stay as close to my normal at home diet as possible, starting the day with oatmeal, PButter and banana, Oatmega bar( which feels significantly better on the body than any other bar out there ) or a Athletes Honeymilk for my snacks, and salads , veggies and lean meat for my lunch and dinners. Again, being on point with my eating and training had me feeling fresh and ready to go once we got to Windsor.
Fri and Sat we were set up at the Expo handing out bikes and meeting all the athletes that had used us for bike transport. Again, not the ideal situation given the fact that i was racing Sunday. But for the most part i was able to stay off my feet, sit in the shade where i could and made sure to hydrate.
At 3pm on Sat,as we were closing the trailer ready to finally go back to our hotel , it still hadnt occurred to me that i had to do a half ironman in the morning and i really hadnt give the race any thought at all, a far cry from my usual visualization. Sat night was the usual dinner of sweet potato fries, chicken and rice with my coach and Steve out on the balcony of our cabin which was in the middle of the woods next to the Russian River ( Gorgeous ) and 8pm i was off to bed.
Well, no surprise here since i havent done a ton of swimming the last 2 mths due to being on the road, i was last out of the water, but had my best 1.2 mile swim of the season and came out in 32 min .I am sure my Xterra wetsuit had something to do with it. For those considering doing this race, do know that it is the most beautiful and calm swim you will ever do in a race. We swim in the Russian river which is a thin channel, where you can sight off the shores and really not have to look up too much. The channel is too small for any speedboats to speed on by and cause waves and make us lesser swimmers go backwards. Why do those speedboats have to come so close to us anyways ?
Again, a beautiful course. And i found myself look around to take it in quite a bit on the ride. Something that i am trying to be more conscious to do every race so that i do not get too swept up in the competition and just be appreciative that i am able to be out there doing what i love to do. Obviously, in turn, i end up competing and feeling way better when i do that, it almost revives and energizes me. I passed a few gals right off the bat, and it felt great to blow by them on the bike, since that doesnt happen to much when you are competing in the pro field where everyone is a stellar athlete in all 3 disciplines. So naturally when i blew by em, i thought i was in for a great bike day. Unfortunately about 40 miles in, i started to lose steam, and felt my power dwindle by the second. Again, and to be honest, being on the road, hadnt allowed for too many bike rides over the last month, and when i did bike i knew i hadnt pushed myself enough to make true gains and be able to sustain my max output for 56 miles.
A dropped chain while heading down a hill later ( i got to quit doing that ) and getting off my bike to unjam it, set me back a few minutes and had me rolling in at a 2:36 bike time, about 21.4 mph ave for the 56 miles. I got work to do, but excited about getting some good bike rides in with the Jack and Adams folks when i get home.
I was really excited to run . I had figured out my nutritrion issues and was excited to be coming off the bike cramp free. The key now was to pace correctly. I usually start out a little excited and too fast. I had my garmin on so i knew exactly what pace i was running and wanted to try and negative split the run. First 3 miles felt great and exactly the way i wanted to feel. I had Steve and my coach cheering from me on the sidelines saying how great i looked, and i really did feel light and fast on my feet. I was running 6:45's effortlessly knowing that i had more to give and could surely build on the speed that i was running. That is until a monster hill, followed by another hill and another hill.... and well , you get my drift. yup, i need to work on my hill running, because that definintely took a bit of the spring out of my step. About 6 miles in , instead of building the pace, the mentalitiy was hold on to the pace. My coach helped a ton in the fact that he was on his scooter and he would ride by , stop his scooter 100 yards up the road, cheer , then continue to do that a bunch more times. Everytime i wanted to give in to the pain that was setting in the legs he was there shouting "Fight for every step", " High Cadence !!!" and " You are having a great run !" Amazing how strong the mind is, and with these positive messages i was able to fight myself to the finishline in a 1:33 time. Just over 7min per mile. I am determined to break 1:30 this year,which is just under 7's per mile. I know i am quite capable right now to do that, but the trick is putting the swim, bike, nutrition and pacing together perfectly leading into the run.
Vineman was a great race for me because i finally and for the first time feel like i am starting to get the feel for racing the 70.3 distance from start to finish . I know that this is honestly how fast i am right now because i gave it my all yet paced and raced within my means. Its amazing how fun racing is when you do that. Now its time to get faster !! And i feel like i am in my next chapter of trying to do that. Stay tuned for Chapter 2 !
After a week of recovery, I was able to put in a heavy week of training this last week, And now i have a slight taper going into Boulder 70.3 next weekend, and i am super excited to race. Funny how quickly the body is recovering week after week. After i did my first 70.3 race, i would never have guessed that a year later my body would be ready and able to do another one a mere 3 weeks later. We'll put the recovery to the full test when i try a back to back wkend race in Oct. The season aint over yet !! Tons of racing still to come for 2011 !