Sunday, June 23, 2013

Race "assessment"

I sent an email to my Coach, and this is basically it. 
BTW--  Ball sucker refers to Horsetooth reservoir. After the race, Coach texted me, and my reply was, "Horsetooth sucks big fat balls".
I really loved this race. The organization was awesome. The course was beautiful....(although that's what got me in trouble twice on the bike).
It's one that I would like to do again. It might just go on my calendar next year....and maybe I'll ride the ball sucker once or twice before it. :) Hill repeats anyone?  

The reason I hadn't done it in the past is because it is about 1.5 hour drive. I ended up being in the 2nd wave (which was AWESOME). FOR ONCE! Thanks goodness the RD is an older woman. SHE UNDERSTANDS.  So yea. 2nd wave with the 45-49 Men.  That meant that I had to be on the road by 3:30am. 

I have absolutely NOTHING bad to say about this race. Parking was like my Aunt T.....ample. Post race food was fantastic. Unbelievable volunteers. Except for one woman driver, the town of Loveland seems to support and embrace the race. Throughout the course, people were sitting on the driveways cheering for us. One guy had a hose out offering to spray us down on the run. 

This race is a MUST-do.


Coach and I had a plan for the swim: Go out fast and gain position.

At the last minute, I decided against our "go out fast and get in front" plan. I had a really great warm up, and I didn't want to lost my form. I've been working really hard on that.

My ows swims had been "meh". Over the past 2 weeks, I've hit the open water a bunch of times to figure out what was happening. I realized that at around 900m, my form starts to fall apart because that's when I'm typically trying to swim my fastest. Instead, I've been telling myself "strength over speed".  It works. It reminds me to focus on my form, and good form = good swim.

My wave was women and men 45-49. I decided to sit at the edge, in the front, where I could do my own thing without getting run over. I've learned, these people go out like banshees then fall apart. Why get run over by these big guys?
My thought was get to the first buoy (~600m) and pick up the pace. At halfway to the first buoy, people started slowing down, and I found myself in quite a pack of people. I just stayed straight and kept passing them. I hit 600m in 10min. I felt fantastic.
Everyone was talking about the sun. I don't sight very often, so I didn't think it was a big deal. There was one point where I thought I was supposed to turn, but boat people started telling me to go straight. For not sighting very often, I did pretty well with staying on track.
By the time, I hit the 3rd buoy, I felt really good.
This was the first time that I successfully picked up speed without losing my form. I call this a win! My garmin time said 27:xx. That's almost a 5 min swim PR for just this season. Now that I'm getting the form piece, I can start adding speed. Coach and I both believe that my 1500m time should be about 22:00. 

The only catch to the swim is that there really is a .25 mile run to transition. Running is my weakness, so it kinda sorta sucks to be out of the water fast only to get passed on the run to T1.
My goal for each time out will be to push the pace more and hold on to my form.
Bike: 30 Miles

I think you need background info here. My last race was in May. Since that time, I really struggled to get my bike training in. I was doing the short rides, but I was skipping my long rides. 

There was a lot of Tea drama going on. I want to stress this: I am not special. I'm not different than anyone else. We all have stress in our lives. I wanted to stress this point because Bill's comment to me was basically "Sounds like life to me." I felt like I must have come across as a Drama Queen in my last post.  Triathlon is considerably harder than single sport training, from a scheduling perspective. 

I had been unsuccessful in figuring out what was going to work. My work-work was going through an extremely bad time.I couldn't figure out WHY I couldn't get my tri-training in. I MUST be a wuss. Everyone else can do it. 

Then Coach and I had a talk. and another talk. and another talk. Over the period of about a week, we figured out how I could get all my training in. 

Why am I telling you all of this? Because this all came down about 2 weeks ago. I've only been seriously doing bike training for 2 weeks. And I was heading into this:

Normally, ^^THIS^^ is not an issue. 1.) I'm good at climbing and 2.) Bike is my strength. 3.) The 2nd half is rollers. Those are what I do best.

Back to the race report:

Coach told me, "Take it easy on the first 15 miles. Go easier than you think you should".

The bike. I had no idea. I just followed the plan. I took it easy up to the top of the ball sucker (or the first half of the course). I think that's why I was able to hit the rollers pretty hard.

This bike course isn't bad at all. It's the stretch from about 14 to 16 that is tough, made even more difficult by my lack of training.

Horsetooth was tough, but honestly, I built it up to be horrible. I'd read so many people's blogs about how difficult it was. Yes. It is tough, but what goes up must go down. I just keep thinking about the prize on the other side. Not one woman passed me on the way up, so I figured I was doing about average. I'd be concerned if, all of a sudden, I was being passed like crazy. That didn't happen (except for the young guys catching me).

A couple of things I noticed, focus AGAIN. I starting zoning out once we hit the rollers. Then my friend Sydney rode past and yelled out my name. I snapped out of it, just in time, a woman in my ag passed me. I knew I still had plenty of gas in the tank. All I could think of was, "Not today! NOPE. Not on rollers, you're not going to pass me." I caught and passed her and didn't see her again. Two miles later, the same thing happened with another woman.
With the longer bikes, I need to pay attention to the task at hand, like I've been practicing during swimming.
I call this a win as well. I'm very happy with 1:35. I think this race sets me up to do really well at Silverthorne. I think it is going to be tough to PR at silverthorne, but I think I can do it. Silverthorne is the end of July.  800m swim/20mile bike/10k

Run: 10K
The run was weird. There were no mile markers for the first half, and I didn't know how far or fast I was going. I decided to pick up the pace every 20 minutes. I don't think that went very well. At one point, my garmin said I was running a 14 minute pace. That didn't make ANY sense. I was not running a 14:00 pace. (I had no information all day. At least, I had elapsed race time and HR. I used that info on the bike and on the run).
I kinda just ran. I thought I was going to make the 1:04:42, but I missed it by 1 minute (almost exactly). Could I have run :10 more per mile....yea....probably. And, not even close to my PR time. But what are you going to do? Given (again) lack of bike training and how hard I hit those rollers, I think that was a pretty good time. We all know that what you do on the bike affects your run.
I'm not disappointed in the run. I'm just neutral. 
One really GREAT thing happened! At the end of every race, someone beats me. She comes from behind and passes me, and I just give up. A woman passed me, and I could only think "Not today!" I wanted to not just catch her but pass her. I DID! It wasn't very far (maybe 50meters?) but I ran with everything I had left. I'm not kidding. That was kind of fun.
In the end,  passing some random woman at the end of a race, doesn't mean anything. It was nice to find strength in there somewhere to do that, when I'd never done it before. 
So, my new mantra is "NOT TODAY!".

Seems to work pretty well. :)

For the record, Lovelan L2L was a 3:41 PR on a bike course that was 30 miles instead of 24.8.

I'm thrilled!

This is where I am: I have a sprint in two weeks. I just signed up for it. I'm using it to gauge how much improvement I've had over the past year. It will be more like a training day.

My training has been spot on for the past 2 weeks, and it'll continue like that. I'm really happy that we got it all figured out. a rest day. Total rest. I'm not sure what Coach has planned for me, but I have a feeling the next few weeks are going to be insane.