Sunday, May 18, 2014

Race week

This coming Saturday, I have my first tri of the season. Getting to this point has been filled with emotional highs and lows & total craziness.   

The past 5 months have been probably some of the weirdest months I've had since I started triathlon. I don't think I've had so many weeks of ups & downs, physically & emotionally.

  • I've been working with a new Coach. At first, it was so hard. I had to figure out what this new relationship was going to be. I admit that I had some serious trust issues when I started. I was afraid of saying or doing anything. I had to learn what her expectations of me were going to be. I've had to learn so much. It's been non-stop work on my fueling and figuring out what I need to get me through races and training. Besides the fueling, I have been (and will continue to be) challenged by different types of workouts, different types of training. It's a completely new methodology. Quite honestly, this is the kind of coach I need, and this is what I got. 
  • Work had it's own challenges. For awhile, we thought we were moving. Then there was getting through an insane Easter and hiring and the list goes on.
  • I've also been dealing with getting Jman graduated and off to college. There are few things as hard as keeping a senior in high school focused for those last few weeks. We made it. He graduates this week.
  • Of course, there was the bike accident that left me unable to breathe, move, bend over, cough, sneeze....or move in general....and getting out of bed felt like a searing hot rod was being stabbed into my chest. A left leg that was bruised and cut up from top to bottom....and I never even realized that I had a swollen knee for several days. I've had to replace mostly inexpensive things on the bike and fix one component. Overall, it wasn't really all that bad. 
But, you keep going; sometimes having to miss a workout or go easy or bonk because you don't eat enough or bonk because you're dehydrated.....or really don't want to do that freaking ride in the wind because you're so sick and tired of the wind. Then, the last snow storm comes in. Finally, spring and warm weather comes in.  Then, REALLY this time, the last snow storm comes in. 

Day after day, month after month, training goes on. Between being tired and recovering, there's no clue as to how everything is going to fit together.

Before you know it....race season is here. 

I'm staring down at my first race of the season, wondering how all this is going to fit together next Saturday. The only way to get through the first race is to do your training & follow the plan.

My Coach asked me for my race plan.

Race plan? Seriously? My first race, and I hadn't even thought of my race plan. At this point, I was thinking, "Well, I guess I'll swim then bike then run."

I gave it some thought. Honestly, I have no idea how the swim is going to go. Since the crash, I hadn't been able to swim without significant pain until last Friday. 

Prior to that, I'd been having my fastest swim times ever.

My cycling and running has been stronger than it ever has been with my running off the bike being some of my best times. 

Still, it's the first race of the year, more of a prep race for my A race in June. We're not even tapering for it. 

But, what the hell? Why not just go for it and see what happens?

I've never really gone hard in a sprint, and she knows that. She's had me doing these really hard effort intervals to teach me how to handle the pain that high intensity races bring. It's been as much mental training as it has been physical training.

Still, I don't know what to expect. I sent my plan. She responded as I expected her to respond without bullshit.

The swim: Hard charge through the swim.  Turn your arms over fast and if it feels comfortable at any point, you are NOT going hard enough!

My Goal time: 11:30 for 800m

The bike: If you want to go above 105% FTP, do so in the last 5 miles!

My goal time: 27-28 min for 10 miles, there are some course issues such as sharp turns and congestion. 

The run: Remember that the run on the sprint should NOT feel good, fluid or comfortable for any minute.  Don't wait for your legs to come around or expect it.  Expect screaming pain, go with it and run as hard as you can through it!

My goal time: Match the bike time.

So, I'm done looking back. I've put everything that I can into my training.

The race will be what I make it.