Sunday, October 31, 2010

"Fall" paddle festival

My turn!

Big start of costume relay

My team!

"Fall" in quotes because we've had near-record heat here in the Tampa Bay area....and I love it! The paddle festival was in the calendar for me as my second attempt at an SUP race. That is, until we got up and did a bike ride earlier in the morning on Saturday. Woke up to 10-20mph winds which made riding a chore and I promptly pulled the pin on the "fun" race for the weekend. Mostly because I can't afford to miss a week of swimming for a "fun" race. We went to cheer on friends who were doing their first SUP race. Ended up, they modified the course and didn't go off-shore but, it was fun to spectate. I still remember how sore I was after the last (only) SUP race and felt I couldn't afford a week out of the pool! After all, we have one more triathlon left this season, Key West Tri in December. I did, however, get "recruited" to do the costume relay with guys I've never met. This, my friends, was FUN! Imagine......10 or so teams of SUP riders going 100meters out and back. Teams were 3-4 people (ours was 3). One comes in, runs around a flag on the beach, hands off the paddle to the next paddler and off they go (assuming the other teammate turned the board around in time). Total mayhem but maximum fun! I'll let the photos tell the story. FUN.
We have trail half marathon next weekend, part of the Xterra trail series. Should be fun, I luv running trails!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Suncoast Sprint Tri 2010

I will preface this by noting that this is, for stupid reasons, my first sprint tri in over 2 years! Yeah, I have bashed myself enough about why I haven't done a sprint in so long, so hold your opinions.
Onward. So, Augusta 70.3 took me at least 10 days to recover from.....formerly, unheard of! Either my age or my lack of fitness. Probably both. Wow. But, I'm a triathlete again and that is the best thing. We signed up for Suncoast prior to Augusta because it's local and I've never actually done this race. Duh. (usually doing some Ironman somewhere). These races are so fun because, first of all, we have the best, truly, race director locally and you can always count on a high quality product. It didn't go unnoticed that there are two other races going on in the state this weekend but Suncoast got the biggest field. Most competitive too, if you ask me. But, I digress. So, no specific workouts for this, just keep running, swimming and some cycling. I had no goals for this race. A sprint for me is just a good, quality workout and whatever the results show in the end is pretty much where you are at the time. I have been swimming but not nearly where I was prior to breaking the ribs. I have been running but just trying to get some weekly mileage in, nothing fast for sure. I have been riding but only with more motivation since getting spanked at Augusta on the bike. The beauty of a sprint tri is, if you go ALL OUT, you can get a good fitness boost. That's MY goal.
To the race. We had a beautiful day to race. Windy but warm, heck, it's always windy at the Fort! Swim (600M) was wetsuit legal, thank God! My Orca wettie is the bomb and I was happy to wear it again! Didn't have a great start but with the sand bar half way to the first bouy, didn't want to gas myself in running over that and be done. Once around the turn buoy, got into rhythm and tried to hammer best I could. Got around Jen H, who had an awesome start, and tried to just go all out. Got a bit tired towards the end but tried to keep the arm turnover going and out of the water I ran like Hell! I love that I can actually run like Hell again! After a year off, it means the world to me. On the bike (10 miles), the wind killed me and my power was weak but I tried as hard as I could. Jen passed me half way through but I tried to stay focused not to let her get too far away. She is a very strong rider and I had to try and keep her in sight at least. Into T2, the Dane (who started in the wave behind me) is yelling at me to keep going. Nice motivation for me! I didn't have the best transitions, never do, but tried to get out ahead of the Dane! I did and off I went like I stole something! The first half of the 5K run is in the sand which is not fun on the legs! Had a lot of traffic to run through on the beach trails but felt like I was flying! I was not in any shape to run the pace I was going but that's what a sprint is all about. Go all out! My legs were total spaghetti once I hit the pavement but I wasn't going to slow down unless I collapsed! I still had the Dane behind me too but I was so deep into the pain cave, I forgot about him! I finished without anyone passing my on the run and no niggles or pains. To me, right now, this is huge. I've been injured for so long I almost expect something to hurt at the end of the day but I didn't have that. Happy! More happiness is winning Masters and, I think, 4th or 5th overall. I'm not great at grazing race results, so, if I'm wrong, feel free to correct me!
We had a great post-race with friends at the annual Stone Crab fest and that was super fun.
I'm proud of the Dane who "redeemed" himself from a cramping bad day at Augusta with winning the AG and was second Masters (at 50....hellooo). And the crazy thing is, we both pretty much won it in the swim. Hmmmmm. Guess I won't take a swim break this winter! Bring on Key West Tri in 6 weeks!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

IM Kona weekend, always an inspiration!

Kona has come and gone, never without inspiration. I am inspired about my friend Lisbeth Kenyon who not only ruled the 45-49 AG (aged up, thank God), but did it in record time! She is truly a great athlete and nice gal! Good on ya!!
With Chrissie Wellington out of the race, Mirinda C. won in style with a great run - inspiration for all us "runner" triathletes! Most inspired by her swim though, gotta say. Guess I'll be swimming all winter!
We have finally recovered from Augusta 70.3 (don't think it's ever taken me so long)! So, back to running, biking, swimming and some SUP with the great weather. The plan from here is as follows (but can be changed at a moments notice):
10/23: suncoast tri
10/30: fall festival SUP race
11/7: wildhorse trail run 1/2 marathon (Xterra run series qualifier)
11/25: turkey trot (prob 10K)
11/27: autumnfest 5K
12/5: best of all.....Key West Triathlon
Key West is a new race and, since I've never been there, seemed like the right thing to do since my "season" is just beginning! The Xterra race is the first in a series of three races to qualify for nationals in Bend, OR then Worlds in Maui (you know I love me some Maui). This is not in ink, just in pencil provided the body holds up.