Sunday, December 19, 2010

Last race for

Not really a race report, just an affirmation of my pleasure to be healed, healthy and racing! I missed some things more than others during my injury hiatus from August '09 thru September '10. One thing, biggest thing I missed is racing. I'm not one of those people that loves training and hates racing. I love racing, measuring myself against the other girls and, most of all, pushing myself to the limit. I love it. I also really missed the long runs. Not the 2.5 hour, ironman slow-mo runs, but the 10-13 mile runs where you can push the pace and still walk afterwards. I have crammed in as much racing as possible since late September (three triathlons, four road races) and I am happy to say, I've come out the other side in better shape, happier and healthy. Whew! The last race on Saturday was the Say No To Drugs 10K. No pressure, much harder course than the Turkey Trot 10K on Thanksgiving morning. I had a huge, for me, run mileage week after Key West Tri (44 run miles - normal Ironman run mileage for me) and had to take a couple days off as I just wasn't recovering well. One more 10K, just get through it. The course was quite difficult and I didn't have time goals, just wanted to be competitive. Turns out, I wasn't very competitive, the top 4 girls were way ahead of me so I had to race the guys around me. I ended up fifth overall, on the podium with really good pure runners, no shame. Ran nearly the exact same time as Turkey Trot on a harder course so I feel that the fitness is coming around. I need some general base mileage and will focus on that until the next planned race, St Pete Beach Classic 10K in mid January and Clearwater Halfathon (half marathon) one week later. We will get back into multisport training in January with guns blazing and full motivation. Make up year, lots of racing ahead. Merry Christmas to all and Happy 2011, looking forward!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Key West Tri report

Our little beachside home in KW

Masterminds figuring out the bikes!

Guess what place we ended up in the household standings?

Where better to have a triathlon in December? I cannot think of anywhere (outside of Hawaii, of course). I had never been to KW even though I've called Florida home for 13.5 years. Crazy, I know. This was my excuse to go. Why I needed a race, who knows, that's just me. I gathered a few close friends for the occasion and had them sign up and the road trip was getting planned. Training, however, was not. It's December after all! My tri bike was collecting dust and we were lucky to average 2-3 swims per week. It's running season in FL so, luckily, we were doing some running. I had done two 5K's and a 10K leading up to this. I did, however, forget how bloody hard an Olympic distance tri was, as I hadn't done one since St Anthony's in '09. Peg the meter to the red line and beyond and hold on! Yeah, in my head that's how to race it, in my heart and body on this occasion, no go! So, road trip mates changed in the days leading up to the race as L&L had to stay home which was a bummer but we joined Mary D and made the long drive to KW. Wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It's really a beautiful drive once you hit the Keys. The weather was perfect and we were eager for warm temps and good times. Got to KW around 4pm or so and settled in, cooked dinner and enjoyed our little home for the weekend. We came pretty prepared for the kitchen with the Dane as our chef. Saturday am got up early did a bike ride to Mallory Square and a run along the swim course (which, from the sea wall, didn't look nearly deep enough to swim in!). Got through registration and the expo, a little pool time then off to Duval Street to check out KW proper. Our condo/hotel was next to race site which was at the north end of KW. We spent a little time walking around then landed in a proper watering hole next to Sloppy Joes and enjoyed a few beers. Hit fish monger on the way home then great meal from chef Dane and hit bed kind of early. Up early on race morning to rack bikes and get situated. Nice morning with cool but not cold temps and some breeze, perfect. Took trolley the mile over to swim start which was easy as pie. The swim was a straight shot, point to point along the sea wall in a very narrow channel. If you got over too far left or right, you were fighting with sea grass and rocks. Didn't need bouys (though I would have liked a few), just follow the "deepest" water. Water was surprisingly cold, thank goodness for my rocking Orca wettie! I was in the first wave of females who went after the last wave of men and there weren't a lot of us. It was great, no beating, hitting, swallowing water! My kind of swim! I lacked a bit of fitness towards the end (which was all of 1.5K or MORE) but got out of the water first. Longish run around to T1 which was situated in parking garage of the host hotel, different but it worked. I was into T1 first but out in second (from a girl in the wave behind me, ouch). Onto the bike, I knew this was going to be ugly as we haven't done anything but tool around since Augusta 70.3. The wind was definitely picking up and I felt it. The bike was uneventful and I tried to keep pushing and knew this was going to kill my run! Got passed by another gal late on the ride and tried like Hell to hang on but she got a good gap on me going into T2. Out of T2 my legs were total spaghetti! Just tried to hold position and not have anyone else pass me! The run was an out and back on wide sidewalk along the Atlantic Ocean, beautiful. Breezy run but not too hot at all. Felt a little better at the turn around so tried to up the pace which I dearly paid for in the last mile! I did pretty much even split the run which was a little goal of mine. I was racing ghosts as the younger gals went off in a different wave. Was hoping for third overall but ended up fourth but won Masters so that was very gratifying. Had no expectations other than having fun and one more multisport race as I started the season so late. The great thing is, no injuries, no niggles, just a little soreness in my calves which is normal. Our group had a great day as the Dane won his AG and was third Masters (they haven't corrected the official results) and Mary D was third in her AG. We hung around afterwards, collected our hardware and had some well deserved beers. Unfortunately, we were so tired, we ended up hitting the sack before 8pm. Oh well, we're old after all! Long drive home and now planning 2011 with realistic expectations! I won't really hit the bike before Jan as I plan to hit it hard and want to work on my run for December. Will swim throughout as I cannot afford not to! We have a 10K 12/18 then no racing until Jan unless something pops up. Feel very motivated and happy to be healthy. We will be back to this race for sure! Well done and super fun and very low key, KW style! Cheers.