Sunday, July 27, 2008

Another boring training week

Another boring week in the log. The Dane is still gone and I feel somewhat empty without him. So there you have it, wearing my heart on my sleeve in public. Not normalcy for me.
I have been pondering my race future for '09, early, I know. I'm really excited to go to Kona this year but not at the top of my confidence for some reason. Wondering if I even want to do an IM next year. I think the race in RI really put some reality into me. I got beat fair and square by some really quality world class AG women but am still beside myself a bit. I work my ass off day in and day out training and also work a pretty stressful job (physician) and wonder what more can I do. I try not to use work as an excuse but I've never been 41 years old before either and I can see that I can DO the workouts, I just don't RECOVER from them as well. I guess it doesn't help that I've had rheumatoid arthritis for over ten years and take medications for that but I don't ever like to use that as fuel for any excuses, as anyone who really knows me understands. I've been told that I'm too hard on myself and I don't disagree. I just want to be able to compete with the cream of the crop and hold my head high. I will do just that in 11 weeks and give my all regardless of finish times, splits, scrutiny and all the other stressors that come along with competing on the largest stage on earth for triathlon. I gain a lot of my personal confidence from my partner in life, the Dane. When he's not here, I begin to show cracks in my armor, as it were. The phone calls several times a day are not enough to keep me.... well........ me. Yes, I have a tear on my cheek typing this. We all have our weaknesses.
I have another weakness, my bike. I did another bike test today and didn't gain as much improvement that maybe I expected. Granted, I haven't been doing any strong bike work since before taper for IM RI 70.3 but I felt I should have been progressing (from the training leading up to RI). Such is life and the bike is the bane of my existence as usual. I used the think that about the swim! I have made the swim my strength now, who'd of thought! There is hope in my heart and 10 weeks and 6 days in my schedule to improve - which is what I try to do every day. Be strong...
kia kaha

Monday, July 21, 2008

Alive in quad soreness hell

A week ago I did a half ironman. My quads are still rocked. It's crazy and I don't like being old and recovering sooooooooo slowly. I did a run yesterday and damn near had to walk home because my quads started screaming after a bit. Anyway, they'll recover eventually, I hope.
Did the last Clearwater Beach Ocean mile swim on Sat. It was fun. Seemed to be fewer people because I didn't get clobbered on the way to the first turn buoy. It was nice to get my heart beating again after doing almost nothing all last week (except a couple masters swims). I swam a little faster than the previous race but really had to work hard. It was fun. And, I won my age group! First win for this swim! Yippeeeeeeee!
Boring, lonely weekend really with the Dane away.
Kia Kaha

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

IM Rhode Island 70.3

view from our hotel window

the race crew

view of beautiful RI coast

post race fun

Ok, finally a gory race report. I am kind of over this race, not physically, but emotionally. I was really quite upset about not obtaining a Clearwater slot but such is life and I need to be faster. Period. I don't know quite how to accomplish that with all I have going on in my day to day but I'll continue to push on and compete with what I have.
The race was well put on but a logistical pain in the ass. The swim start was roughly 30-40 miles from the finish and Providence proper. The drive over was made more fun with my weekend race mates and genuinely fast folks! I loved being able to share my many fears and anxieties with Laura and Linda and they really helped me out. Thanks gals! Anyhow, the race spanned essentially the entire state of RI! Swim was in Narragansett in southern RI and the finish under the Capitol stairs in Providence. I had some issues with packing/unpacking my bike and had to visit the expo instead of getting a pre-ride in on Saturday which I didn't like but had to live with. Registration was very smooth and well run (on Friday). We decided to spend Friday afternoon driving the bike course. We got lost numerous times so never really saw most of it but got the gist, its HILLY! The road surface left a lot to be desired as well, especially for a chickenshit rider like myself. We drove back out on Sat to rack the bikes, run the gears, etc. Back to "town" for dinner and an early night to bed. The alarm set for 3am so we can make the trek, yet again, out to the southern part of the state. Did a little 10 minute jog prior to pulling on the wetsuit then into the sea for a warm up. The wind started to really kick up during the night so the normally calm bit of water for the swim became quite choppy and wavy. Not a worry for me because I've been good about doing open water swims at least once per week. We had a great wave, women 40+ in the third wave. Guns off and away we go. I was sure to line up next to the scathing fast Lisbeth Kenyon - it was the last time I'd see her til the end! FWIW, she's my pick for Kona for our AG if all goes well. Anyway, I got a great start but missed the feet I wanted due to the waves separating everyone. Drank a bit of water on the journey out to the turn around buoy but once around that, felt quite. good. Counted strokes to keep focused and out of the water in 30:xx minutes, very good for me especially in rough water! Onto the bike and the very scenic course awaits. The first 20 miles or so ran along the coast and was beautiful. Apparently, I was doing too much sight seeing but I saw no other souls on the bike for many miles and sat up several times wondering if I was still on the course! I was and found the hills pretty soon which came with cross winds and gusts. That actually didn't bother me but I was really tense about the descents and poor road surface in many areas. I didn't really push it at any time during this ride and it showed. Anyhow, along the bumpy, crappy, fried chicken smelling area back to Providence, L & L came bombing past me and I was pretty dejected. Not for nothing though, they are exceptional cyclists. I got into T2 feeling like I could have done the loop again (not the feeling you want in a HIM). Scooted out of there onto the unknown run loop - out and back twice. I had been warned by none other than Lisbeth herself, thanks, about the wall of a hill on the first mile - almost couldn't believe it when I saw it. Way worse than Palani hill in Kona and longer. Frankly, there was no flat area on this whole loop which I actually prefer. I felt light and strong and ran quite steady the entire time. I had more trouble running down the steep hill than up it! I have the painful quads to prove it! Anyhow, I had a steady run and pushed hard and was honestly happy to finish under 5:10! Finished 4th in the AG and no Clearwater slot - have I rehashed that enough! The Dane had a hard day and finished a few minutes behind me. A household trophy for me but not what I wanted out of the day. I am extremely sore so I know I raced hard and should be happy about that. I think this will help me keep motivated for Kona - not that it's a problem. Gonna take a week or two to recover then start into IM training. I have thought about going to Cancun to try and get the elusive Clearwater slot but then I remind myself how much I don't even like the Clearwater course. Who knows, I'll figure it all out. I should not make any decisions now because the pain is still fresh. Congrats to Laura on her Clearwater slot! Brilliant! (you had to be there...). The Dane is off to Europe as I type and will have to pay his dues for being home for "so long". I'll be lonely but will survive. Enjoy the pics!
Kia Kaha

Monday, July 14, 2008

IM Rhode Island 70.3

Just wanted to do a quick update as we are leaving the hotel in a few minutes. Will write about all the gory details later. The race was very well run, highly recommend this event. That said, it was the hardest half ironman I have ever done. Riding in the hills once per week in Florida did not prepare me for this race. However, I swam well and ran pretty well considering the nagging hammy. I ended up 4th in the AG, a full 10 minutes out of 3rd so even if I didn't have such a pedestrian ride, I wouldn't have cracked the top 3. Only two Clearwater 70.3 slots in my AG and it rolled down to third. Third place girl won the AG at Florida 70.3 in May but I guess she didn't take her slot there. I was pretty upset about that yesterday (and still am), but there's nothing I can do about it right now except focus on Kona in 12+ weeks. I'm in good shape now and need to try and get over this injury as much as possible to make a good run for Kona.
More gory details to come...........

Monday, July 07, 2008

Manatee sighting....

Power sign (as the Dane says) or prediction of my upcoming swim? I'm betting on the former, trying to remain positive and confident for Rhode Island 70.3 on Sunday. Had a pretty lazy holiday weekend, not much training due to taper. Really enjoyed watching Oly trials, swimming and track, Tour and Wimbledon. Of course, we spent plenty of time on the beach as well. So yesterday, we were sitting on the beach and noticed a crowd gathering. Couldn't have been a shark or there would be more running and screaming. Walked to the shoreline and there were two huge manatee checking us all out. It was pretty cool, they just swam up and down the beach for an hour. Neat to be able to see an endangered animal in its natural habitat. I had a really good swim this morning though. Never really felt out of breath or tired - I love those days (I wish they would happen in RACES). Hope this week goes fast....
kia kaha

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Taper time

Yippee!! I actually don't love taper that much because I love training but it's nice to have a little break now and then. We rode in the hills last Sat, did a "race rehearsal" type deal - 50 mile ride (pretty slow though) then 6 mile brick at "race pace". Notice my use of quotes. The race rehearsal is supposed to be done with race clothing/foods/drinks/yada yada. Yeah, like I'm gonna ride in hillbilly heaven in my swimsuit! Not. I did manage to get my aerobottle thingy strapped to my aerobars and used it as I would in a race. Had to move the SRM mount and it's not happy where it is so I'll need to rig something up. Anywho, the Dane, Linda M and I had a nice ride through the green pasture-lined roads. It wasn't too hot when we hit the parking lot to transition to the run.......until later! Wore the fuel belt to simulate G-rade at aid stations - hate wearing that thing. Set out at....ooops.....6:57 isn't goal race pace (dream on). Slowed it down and managed to get in a little over 6 miles @7:24 pace - more reasonable. Found the Dane and LM under the pavillion hiding from the sun when I rolled back into the parking lot. We exchanged war stories then went on our way back home. Hit the beach to unhook. Good day. Sunday was supposed to be a no workout day but I don't do that very well. We took out the road bikes and tooled around Clearwater Beach then did an open water swim later. Got sunburned but felt happy except for my nagging hammy - just won't get better. I'll worry about it more after Rhode Island. I'm gonna get back to the ART guy after the race so I can train for Kona. Can't wait for 3 day weekend! Cheers to the taper....
kia kaha