Monday, June 29, 2015


A few weeks back, I mentioned that I'll be taking some time off (after Nationals).

Time off is really important. People who train constantly are doing themselves a huge disservice by not having downtime.

When I said that, I knew that I wanted to change things up. I wanted to do things differently in the future, but I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do.

Since then, I've been thinking about it. A lot.

Liz and I talked several weeks ago. She and I were on the same wave length about a lot of it....which is so amazing that she knows me so well.

Some how, she seems to know what I want to do without me saying anything. She could have easily made her own recommendations, that would have been WAY off target for me. But she didn't. I can't figure out how she does that.

I'm getting off track a bit. What I mean to say is: I have some pretty big, exciting things planned.'d never expect from me.

This is my 10th year of doing triathlons. I think it's time for me to take the next step.

There are things that I want to do that I've had to set aside while I work on getting to and having a great race at Nationals.

I still plan on swimming, cycling & running. I love all three. I love doing swim races. I love being on my bike, and I love running road races.

I'm not leaving the competitive arena. I will be swimming, biking & running. Maybe in a little different format than you're used to me doing. In fact, I'm registered for RNR AZ half marathon in Jan. I'll do swim meets and time trials.....and a few surprises.

I'm not quitting.

I'm going to wander for a bit.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Race Report: How bad do you want it?

I know. I was all hush hush about my plan, but hey I warned you.

I really wished that I could write something funny and witty because the race was really great.....but

Instead, you'll get the condensed version.

The Swim

Slow start. We could not see the buoys. I don't mean, "Hey, is that the buoy out there?" We couldn't see them on shore and being in the water was worse. There was no other pointers that we could use to see the last buoy.

The swim start was frantic. Aren't they all? The first thing I thought to myself was, "It would really be beneficial for people to practice running starts into the water. AND, if you are in the back, and you pass the very front swimmers, you're probably going out too fast."

After the crowd cleared, I found that I was neck in neck with another woman. It took me awhile to realize that she was using me as her guide. And funny enough, I was using her. Either way, neither of us could see. I had no idea where I was going. I couldn't see the swimmers ahead of me. I could barely make out kayakers.

I finally stopped and looked up at a kayaker. He said need to veer left. I yelled out Thanks. (You can see this on my map). I actually think I did MUCH better than I thought.  I thought I was zigzagging all over the place. I don't know why there is the weird pointy thing on the map. I'm pretty sure I swam pretty straight, but that could also be where I was avoiding the newbie sprinters.

When we reached the turn point, I felt good. I was ready to start getting faster. I looked ahead and didn't see anyone else with my swim cap, except the woman next to me.

As we made the turn, we had a short gap, then we ran into the slowest of the sprinters. Backstrokers, breaststrokers, etc. I got stuck right in the middle of a group (because I thought I could dart through the middle and stay my course), instead I got Malachi crunched.

I saw the woman, now ahead of me.

I wasn't really focused on trying to beat her or anything like that. I liked having her nearby and wanted to stay with her.

I found out later that I couldn't see any other swimmers ahead of us because we were 1 and 2 out of the water.

I felt really good about my swim.

After thinking about it, though, I think I have to resigned myself to the possibility of no longer having swim PRs. It's not for a lack of effort. It's for the simple fact that I'm always in the last wave now. That means swimming through less experienced and slower swimmers.

If I can stay in the top 3 in AG, I'm pretty happy with that....whatever the end time ends up being.  I know I can swim that course in 1:20-1:23, but it's just too hard swimming through ALL the previous waves.

When I got out of the water, I felt like I gave the effort I needed. I feel really good about that.

End result: 1:33 pace

The Bike

My goal was to build the first 5 miles. I did that pretty well.

The website gave THREE different distances for this race. This is now the 3rd races that listed 3 different bike distances. HOW HARD CAN IT BE to get the correct distance? It's not a HUGE deal, but listing 24-27miles can affect fueling.  Here's the elevation profile.

And yeah, that downhill? Top speed 42mph. Probably would have been faster if it weren't for some of the turns.

I loaded up planning for a ride of about 1:30.

I brought 48 oz of water and an additional 24 oz of inifinit. I used it all in my 1:18 that I was on the course.

All in all, I'm really happy with my ride. This is definitely a PR for me, averaging 20.1 mph on the bike.

I was 3rd on the bike.

The bike is quite perplexing to me. I keep my garmin on Lap NP.

NP (normalized power) is never even close to where I'm supposed to be. My understanding is that NP takes into account: climbs and coasting. It's a good measure of where I am for a segment.

My NP was 144....which is the middle of zone 2....and NOT oly pacing. My speed was 20.1 which was a PR Oly bike speed. That's cool, but still...

I'm either WAY underperforming (VERY likely) or I don't understand how to use power in a race.

The Run

Things got a little weird here. Although I didn't know it at the time. My problem with running a 10K off the bike is that I start off WAY to fast.

My plan was to start slow....I mean really out everyone around me. Don't be concerned with what anyone else is doing....and run my pace.

I decided to be THAT dork and wear my fuel belt. It ended up being the best decision I made all day.
After taking in as much fluid and calories on my bike, I *thought* I was in good shape for the run. I had my gel right at the start with one flask.

Because this is a physically and mentally tough course, I broke it down into 2-2-2. The course used to be 2 loops of the 5k course. So, I knew that passing the 5k mid point was going to be mentally hard on me. Instead of focusing on the 1.55 point, I stared straight ahead, and kept repeating 2-2-2. Two miles at a time, and it'll be over quickly.

I met the coolest guy running. We talked and talked and talked, and he asked if I'd mind if we ran together. I certainly didn't. I could use the diversion. Even though, there were long gaps of silence, it was nice to have company. By the second mile, he said couldn't keep up and needed to walk. He knew I was chasing a PR, and said "I'll see you at the finish".

Things are going along pretty well, but I noticed that I was starting to get thirsty by the 2nd mile. Granted it's hot, but I JUST had 10oz of water at the start. I mean, really thirsty.

In addition, to my 30oz that I was carrying, I was throwing down 4 cups of water at every aid station. This has never happened before. I couldn't get enough cold water.

YES. It's hot. Yes. The sun is beating down on us. YES. The route is hilly. Yes, it's a dirt road. THAT'S HOW TRIATHLON IS. But....this was different. I couldn't even look at the reservoir. Thinking about ice cold water was too much for me.

I did ALL my normal stuff. Triathlon is always is the summer. It's always hot. My water plan is pretty solid.

During the race, I wasn't too concerned. I decided that I was going to drink as much as possible at every damn aid station. I did. It wasn't until I finished when I realized that I was super dehydrated.

Although, I adjusted my run plan downward, I felt really good about the way it went. Sometimes, the wins are mental more than anything.

Normally, when I finish a race (especially an oly), I'm running to the porta potty.

Today, I asked the volunteers for extra water bottles. I drank them down faster than a college student doing a chaser. I didn't pee for a total of 4 hours. I've looked at it from every angle. I can only say that it was just one of those days.

I honestly couldn't carry anymore water.

It's ok though.

My plan was to intentionally run slow. I most certainly did that; except that I went even slower.

Why was my plan to intentionally run slow? It's complicated. My problem is my focus. When I race, I think about everything else except what I should be doing. I think about the other women. I think about getting passed or passing others. That causes me to lose focus and run off my plan. My thinking for this race was, "Today, you're going to have to be ok with getting passed."

The plan worked. This race wasn't about podiums, placings or pacings. It was about race strategy.

Again. I'm really happy with today overall.

Today with a longer race, I beat my time from my April A race. That's pretty darn good.

Friday, June 26, 2015

6 weeks

Yep. Sh*t just got real. I got an email from USA Triathlon.

The top age-group triathletes from across the country will be descending on Milwaukee, Wisconsin in six weeks for the USA Triathlon Olympic-Distance and Sprint National Championships. Olympic-Distance triathletes have been racing for the past year for an opportunity to qualify for this race. Both Olympic-Distance and Sprint athletes will be racing for National Championship titles and awards, but they will also be racing for the opportunity to claim a spot on Team USA for the 2016 World Championships in Mexico.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Racing Plans

I love racing. I love racing often. Sometimes it can be frustrating when things don't go my last race where I didn't fuel up the days before the race and bonked my little butt off.

Since I do short course, I can race often and with little recovery afterward. Granted, the Olympic distance takes me a little longer to recover from; still not as long as the 70.3 does....which makes me feel like ass for over a week.

Speaking of racing often, I'm racing this weekend.

As always, Liz wanted my race plan. I wanted to do something different for this race based on much of what I've been talking about.

When I sent her my plan, her response was, "wow. this is a completely different approach for you. I like it."

We talked a bit more. She wanted to make sure that I was fully mentally prepared for what I wanted to do. I really appreciate that. This plan is going to challenge me in a new way, but it's a step that I have to take to make the next jump. It's going to require a lot of discipline and a lot...ummm....being honest with myself, for lack of a better way of saying it.

At the end of our conversation, we talked about adding a few more races prior to Nationals.

Her exact words were "Find a race where no one knows you, and you can be a complete idiot. I want you to do some crazy stuff at this race."

How more awesome can a Coach get?

I found a small race, within walking distance from my house, in a few weeks; about the same time as the Boulder Peak--all the top AG'ers will be at the Boulder Peak. The Peak is a huge, highly competitive race. Believe it or's a race that I really don't like. Been there. Done that. Not going back.

Meanwhile, I'll be doing the neighborhood race.

I'm not exactly sure what she wants me to do at that race, but I have an idea. One thing's for sure, it's going to be a lot of fun.

Until then, let's see how this new plan works out.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Free yourself

The pressure to be great has become all consuming for me. I put this pressure on myself. I must free myself from the pressure of being GREAT (ie making a certain amount of money, climbing the biggest mountains, being the fastest person in your age group, qualifying for a particular race). Somehow, I've gotten away from accepting my average regular self.

To accomplish the great things we can accomplish, we need to accept ourselves as we are. Where I am and where I want to be are two different places. Where I am right now is not a bad place. It's a good place.

Think about it. Have you ever put pressure on yourself to hit a certain pace? A certain time goal? I have. In my recent races, I want to believe I'm faster than I am. I set goals based on what I want to be. The pressure is subtle but deep. It constricts us. It restricts us from being great. I miss the goals because I have so much pressure to perform to those standards. If I just let myself be.....I could accomplish so much more.

When we accept who we are at any particular point in our life, that's when we are free.  The pressure of thinking about being great is gone.

This is where I am now; after months of struggling with it. I put too much pressure on myself to accomplish certain things.

Yesterday at the track, it hit me. I was the only one there. I was the only one who knew what I just did. I didn't go into the workout thinking "I have to hit these goals."  No one knew, and if they did.....they wouldn't even care.

Instead, I went into it, thinking, "I'm just going to run. I don't know what I can do. I'm going to do the workout. The times will be what they will be."

It's easy to fall into the trap.

Now, I'm going to climb out of it.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Born to Rise

Last week, I had a bad week.

It was so bad that I got an email from Liz asking me if I was ok.  We talked for a bit, and she said, "Take tomorrow off. Let's talk tomorrow afternoon."

It was a bad week. Why? I don't know. I mean, I can look back and see a few things that weren't quite right.

It was several days of missed intervals, missed paces. Everything just felt off.

I ain't gonna lie. It messes with my head. Having one bad day is one thing. Having a few days in a row....I started doubting myself. I was tired. I wasn't thinking clearly.

I kept thinking, "Maybe I've bitten off more than I can chew. Maybe I need to re-assess (ie----completely change----) my goals."

For all the negativity that I felt, I kept going. I took my day off. I started really paying attention to how much I was eating. I made sure to get to bed earlier or sleep in....or both. I skipped an open water swim in Boulder (with friends) in order to get more sleep.

I did my workouts. I wasn't feeling great for a few days. I would stare down workouts, procrastinating about starting because I was afraid of another failure.

But, I did the workouts.

I came face to face with the hardest two days of my week. The Wed/Thurs combo. Back to back hard effort days.

After a week of struggling, the clouds cleared and magic happened. I hit every interval and went harder than I thought I could. 

When my legs were shaking or felt like jelly, I held on harder than I ever have. When I ran my intervals off the bike, I pushed beyond every discomfort, every muscle ache.

For a year now, Liz has been in my head with her "Eat Pain and go back for more."

I was more of a "Eat Pain and puke it back up" type of athlete.

Until what felt like something broke overnight.....something in me gave. I got up today, tired and mildly sore and knowing that I had a hard track workout followed by another bike today. My legs were screaming before the end of the first interval.

I didn't care. I kept pushing. It hurt. Each interval had to get faster. I didn't stop to think about not being able to do it. I JUST DID IT. I didn't think at all. I didn't wish the workout was over.

I just ran.

I went home. No one will ever know what I did. I was at the track, by myself. No one knows that I just ran some of my fastest paces in that zone, paces that kept getting faster.

I uploaded my workouts. And Liz responded was as though she was waiting for me....

It is no wonder you are so successful, Tea. We all have bad weeks. It's part of being an athlete. Keep on moving in the direction of your goals!  It doesn't change your path. THIS was a homerun.

She's right. We're going to have bad weeks; weeks that just beat us up and make us question everything about ourselves and our goals.

But that's when we're being tested. Stay focused. We were born to rise.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Strength & Power

I've mentioned before that Coach Liz is a big proponent of strength training. She's a functional strength specialist and will create programs for each of her athletes depending on our goals.

I do a lot of power work, like plyometrics.

I thought it would be a good idea to post some of the workouts that she has me do that are readily available on YOUTUBE.

These workouts are great for runners and triathletes. The best part is that they can be done at home and only take 10 - 15 minutes a few times a week.

Keep in mind, you might have to modify the exercises. That's ok. We all do. Be creative in how you modify.

In other words, don't just give up. If you can't do a push up, just hold yourself up in the position. Do your best. The next time, you'll be able to do more.

This one is one of my favorite core workouts.

Coach Jay Johnson has an entire 8 week program of progression.

This is the link to his progression workouts.

Here is the first in the progresssion.
There are 5 parts to his progression, click on the link above and you can see the entire 8 weeks of exercises.

He also has a lunge matrix which should be done as a warm up for your run.

If you really want some fun, do these after your run to build power.

Keep in mind, that your goal should be entire body strength. If you aren't doing anything, these are a great way to get started. If you currently are strength training, these would be a good set of exercises to mix in to keep things interesting.

Have fun!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

It's not all roses and oreos

The video?

It's how I felt about Coach this morning.

I should start with this. Coach Liz is amazing.

Right now, she has me doing workouts like I've never done before. I've never even done them with her before. We've been together now 18 months.

The hardest part about what I'm doing now is that not every workout is going to feel like a success. Not every workout is even going to look like a success.

Missing intervals, feeling really shaky, like I can't even stand on my own power, having to walk for part of my run recoveries, sometimes it can take a toll on my confidence.

I think, "How am I going to do this? How can this all come together on race day, when I can't even make the interval?"

I know it's particularly hard because we are hitting the bike harder than we ever have in the past. She also has me strength training several days a week. Running and swimming are pretty Liz's definition of normal.

My days are filled with multiple runs and bikes, only to turn around and do another set the next day.

You know you're going hard, when masters swimming is the easiest day of the week. 

She has me train "blind" with no heart rate monitor. She has me run without knowing my paces. 

How hard can you push when you don't know how hard you're pushing? 

A few years back, I don't know, it was before working with Liz. I remember saying that I'm absolutely maxed out with 12 hours of training. Now, my Oly training volume matches what I did for my 70.3 last year. Somehow, she makes training volume feel like less. I think it's because when she puts a 2 hour workout on my plan, like today, it's a 25 minute run, 1 hour bike, 20 minute run. Within that, there are numerous intervals. I can only focus on one tiny interval at a time. Before you know it, two hours is done. 

Some days, it's really hard. There are days where I need to wait until later in the day to put my notes in my log. Simply because I don't want to spout off on something that is purely emotional from being tired or slightly disappointed. 

I don't know how this will all turn out, but I keep pushing through. She says jump. I say, "how high?"

I do it because I trust her. I trust her system. 

I'll just have to get over the hump of doubt as I keep doing workouts that feel like I'm running into a freight train.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

What do you want most?

My training volume is going up. and up. and up.

There are so many times that I want to write, but when I have the time to write, I'm too tired to do it.

On Saturday, I had a long run. It was hot, humid and the sun was beating down on me. My legs were hurting. Then, out of nowhere....which is normal for CO....a complete downpour. In less than a minute, my running shoes were filled with water.

The only thought that popped into my head was, "I love this stuff."

I loved the feeling of doing a long run, building intensity throughout on a hilly course. I loved being hot....then soaking wet. I loved the feeling of being able to run even though my legs were really uncomfortable.

When you get to that point, training is easy. Not all days are easy to get going. I know. I have those days too. But MOST of the time, I don't have to convince myself to train. No matter how I feel, I look forward to whatever Coach throws at me.

I've been thinking a lot about the evolution of my goals lately. I think it has a lot to do with this.

Even when you have goals, it's hard to have discipline if they aren't your goals. I was recently talking to a woman who is training for IM Boulder. Yet, she doesn't want to do the race. She isn't experiencing the normal fatigue from training. She doesn't want to do the race. 

I asked her why she signed up to begin with, and she said, "Well, my friends were doing it....."

As an outsider looking in, it's very easy to tell when people are 100% committed to their goals, whether it is doing their first race, doing a new distance or working for some type of qualification. How do you know? The people who are 100% committed do not quit. They do not miss workouts. They have a discipline that overrides short term wants for long term matter WHAT life throws at them, they get it done at all costs.

Everyone else....they skip workouts.....they cut workouts short.....regardless of their situations. They blame work, kids, illness, etc. 

I think, and of course, I could be wrong, I think this issue comes from a lack of direction and not because these athletes are weak.

It's damn hard to be committed to something if your heart isn't in the goal to begin with.

If you set goals to gain respect from others or to feel like you belong to a certain group, you won't be successful in reaching your goals, not to the best of your ability anyway. "completion goals" are obviously easier to accomplish than say wanting to qualify for something. Does that make sense? If you want to complete an Ironman as long as you put in the training barring some issue, you'll finish.  Qualifying for something is very different.

If you are chasing the dreams of others, you'll never fully be committed to those goals. When you're not committed, it's easy to skip or cut workouts short. There are unlimited excuses out there, and excuses are easy to justify to yourself if you don't embrace and OWN the goal.

I was recently talking to one of my favorite athletes and one that I respect as much as I respect Coach Liz. Amanda is the 70.3 World Champion 2014 and the OA Amateur winner at IMAZ 2014. (She's also one of Liz's athletes).

The reason I respect her so much is because she is a regular person. She didn't start triathlon as a champion. She started as a regular ole triathlete who had goals and was completely committed to them.

I feel very fortunate that my Coach recently became the North American Champion at IMTX. I'm fortunate that I have access to the 70.3 World Champion-Amanda.

I wanted to know what she went through to prepare last year for Kona & IMAZ. What is required to be a TOP Age Grouper? What is required to be the BEST?

In listening to her, I realized that at this point in my life, I don't have the drive to do what is required to be a top age grouper at the IM distance. 

It was a great conversation for me because I tend to go all in on goals. I realized that if I decide to do an Ironman, I will be doing it for completion only. I just don't have the desire to do the required training to be OUTSTANDING.

For this year, I have the National Championship in August. I don't have anything planned after August because my goals are in flux after that. I have several big goals in mind. Equally important goals.

I decided to wait to see how I feel after the Championship. I plan to take a few weeks off from training and assess my goals to figure out which one I want to work on first.

I guess I've reached the point I wanted to make. Some times our goals change. It doesn't mean we're weak. It simply means we've changed our minds. As long as we change our goals based on things that are truly important to us and not what our friends are doing or what the coolest new trend's ok that we change our goals or go in a different direction.

You just have to figure out what you want most.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Love notes

On Thanksgiving 2014, I found out I qualified for the National Championship. Even though it was Thanksgiving, I sent Liz an email and said, "I want to compete at both the Olympic and the Sprint. What do you think?"

Not even 10 seconds later, she responded, "I LOVE that idea. Let's DO IT!"

Fast forward to this morning.

I woke up to a love note from Coach Liz.

"This workout is going to be VERY tough, especially after yesterday. Dig Deep."

In order to train for back to back demanding races, I knew the training was going to be brutal. I didn't exactly know what to expect, but sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Yesterday was a Force workout....which basically means.....let's shred your legs. Sound good?

Today, my workout was a run-bike-run. HIGH intensity, all out efforts for two hours....because if you commit to racing hard two days in a row, the only way to get strong enough to handle that stress is to go harder than race day.

The first run was an easy run. Of course, immediately upon taking my first steps, I could feel my legs. They didn't have their normal bounce. The run wasn't particularly hard. It's that I felt more like I was trudging along. Focus on your form. That's it. This will be over before you know it.

And the smart ass in me responded with, "oh yeah. it'll be over in TWO hours. NO. problem."

When I got to the turn around, I was starting to warm up.  I got home and was feeling pretty decent. I had my bike and fuel set up and ready to go.

The warm up was a long one. 35 minutes of building and then a few warm up intervals at 95% FTP.

But I was distracted. I have some family things going on. My mind was racing. Thinking about everything. I decided to get off the bike for a minute. I went upstairs, took a breath and said, "Get your head right, Tea. You need to be here. In this exact moment if you want to get through this."

I went back downstairs and did something crazy. I set 2 outrageous goals.

You are going to hold +500 watts for two of the intervals. I've never held +500 watts for more than a few seconds.....for ONE interval.

I had 10 intervals. My goal was to increase power every 3 intervals. These intervals were done at ALL OUT Effort.

And they hurt really bad. After the first few, my legs were screaming at me to stop.

But I answered back, "You are ONLY cheating yourself if you quit!"

I held the aero bars as hard as I could. My hands were sweating. At one point I pulled myself up and out of my seat to drive as much power as I could.

I just hit 4 intervals at +490, but I was tired. I had 3 more intervals. I was getting tired. After each interval, my legs were shaking. I was going so hard, I felt physically sick. I would rest my head on the aero bars, and I could barely peddle during recovery.

THREE more intervals.

I didn't think about it. I didn't think about how tired I was. I was focused. I was driven. Dammit. I was going to get my 500 watt intervals.

Garmin beep, and I pushed. Now, I'm almost screaming in pain. I'm grunting verging on crying. All I can think is PUSH PUSH PUSH. I look at my garmin 499....500....505....503......10 seconds left. HOLD IT< TEA! HOLD IT.

With :03 left, My power dropped to 499. I just missed +500 watts for the :03.

DO IT AGAIN.  The battle between my head and legs went on. My head is screaming DO IT AGAIN. My legs are shaking. HOW.

Garmin beeped. I took off. I pushed. Now, I'm at my lid. I have nothing left to give, but dammit I want that 500!  I can't get there. I can't get above 494.

I have a very short, VERY short cooldown, and it's time to run.

Run intervals at a faster than 7:40 pace.

My legs are shaking. They feel heavier than they have EVER felt, but I ran hard anyway.

I felt like I couldn't get my legs to turnover fast enough.

I was tired. I started to think, "Maybe I didn't fuel enough".

No. She warned me. This is going to be tough. VERY tough.

I had :30 between intervals. :30 seconds is just enough time to catch your breath, but not enough time to really recover.

But the thought never occurred to me to quit. Sure, I could have taken it easy. I could easily write in my log, "I gave what I could." Coach wouldn't know the difference.

But I would.

I kept running. I didn't care about how oddly uncomfortable I must have looked running down the street. I didn't care about the grunting noises I was making.

I just ran as hard as I could.

I didn't make all the intervals. I made most of them, but I gave everything I could.

I wrote in my log afterwards. I honestly didn't know if I was happy with my effort or if I was just happy to be done with the workout.

You know what stayed with me about that workout? That I missed a few intervals. That instead of running a 7:40, I ran a 7:50. THAT's what I thought about.

Am I faster than I used to be? Damn right I am.

But, I'm not as good as I could be.

I will guarantee that the next time I have that bike workout, I WILL hit +500 watts for 2 intervals. I WILL run all intervals at faster than a 7:40 pace.

That's how I'm wired. I'm in a relentless pursuit of excellence.

Monday, June 1, 2015

CO Sprint Race Report: What happened?

I needed 24 hours to figure out what happened because when I got home I was in really bad shape.

Sometimes you can't always figure out what went wrong....sometimes you just KNOW something is wrong and no matter what you can't fix it on race day.

That's what happened to me.

Ultimately what happened was that I didn't eat enough on Saturday. I think most of you know that we are going through a pretty big remodeling at our house. Mr. Tea and I spent the day out and about picking out fixtures, furniture, etc.

Granted I ate, enough for a regular person, but this gal....I have an appetite.


This swim was *ok*, but not up to my normal sprint swim.  I might have been starting to feel some of my issues here, without realizing it.

After my OWS race last week, where I held a 1:22 pace for the last 12 minutes of a 1.2 mile swim, I was fairly confident that I could hold a 1:15 pace today.  I ended up with a 1:33 pace.

I believe I was 3rd on the swim but don't quote me on that. I only glanced at the full results for a few minutes.

On Sunday, I didn't have it. I didn't have that second gear to turn on. I couldn't do my normal sprint finish.


I started the bike pretty well, or at least I *felt* pretty good. It's a 5 mile hill, and my power was increasing throughout. And, it was HARD work. My goal for the race was to hold 95-100% of threshold. My threshold is 205. The numbers were increasing 160, 170, 175, 180.

Then BAM, I felt like I ran into a brick wall. All of a sudden, my power is dropping.

As early as about 3 miles, I realized that I was losing focus and starting to feel tired. My mind kept telling me to push, but I just couldn't. Again, I couldn't get to that next gear.

After 5 miles, my power was dropping. The only reason I was able to keep up my speed is because the course is very fast, rolling hills.

The bike and swim are my strengths. When it comes to those two event, I am always confident that I will be either 1st or 2nd on the swim and 1st on the bike.

I got passed twice by women in my AG on the bike. If I didn't know I had a problem before then, I sure did figure it out when I got passed.

Normally, on the bike, I start picking off people. I look ahead and say, "I'm going to catch that person." I didn't have that motivation at all today. A guy passed me at one point, I was determined to stay with him. I did. Toward the end, I ended up passing him. Still, my power was low.

Last year, my average speed was 22mph.

This year, it was 20.7, and my NP was zone 2....not high zone 2.....for a SPRINT. That's way off.

With the HUGE gains I've made on the bike since working with Liz, this really frustrated me. I had the fitness for a 44 minute 17 mile ride. But, I couldn't even get close.

The Run

I get to the run. I grabbed two cups of water. They have nuun on the course, but I don't tolerate this point, I'm thinking that I might need calories, and nuun doesn't have any.

Call me brilliant, but this was the first time I considered that I might have a fueling problem (from the day before). My racing fueling was normal, but I certainly didn't feel normal.

I started out really well, but I was tired. So tired. At .60 miles, I looked at my garmin and thought, "Half a mile? That's all I've done?"

That's not a good sign. The first mile, I averaged a 9:34 pace.

The second mile has couple of steep but very short hills. The hills almost did me in today. Normally, they're tough (dirt road & out in the sun with no cover)....but they aren't ridiculous. Today, they felt ridiculous.

I kept focusing on form. I was thinking that this run is hard, but it will be harder if my form falls apart. My pace was dropping. The hill was one reason, but more importantly, I had a hard time maintaining a threshold heart rate.

The weather was beautiful. It wasn't hot. We finally had a break from the storms. The day was set up to be a PR day for me.

The end result is that I was 3 minutes slower than last year and didn't hit any of my goals. (The bike was 2 minutes slower. T1 was slower by 1 minute, but I'm ok with that). I should have planned better. The parking lot was wrecked and running was killing my feet. I was hopping from towel to towel (don't tell anyone). At the start, I had considered bringing my flip flops down to the water and decided against it. I should have brought them.

Things happen in a race. I blew a tire in Feb at the Desert Sprint and ended up in 8th. Sh*t happens.

But when some thing happens that I had full control over, that's a tough pill to take.

This wasn't an A race, and things like this are going to happen.

Anyway, I came in 7th out of 30:
3rd on the swim
5th on the bike
12th on the run

You can see in my placings how my energy decreased throughout the race. Running is my weakness, but I don't usually drop that much.

After finishing, I had to wait to get into transition. I was out of it. I found a grassy spot. Dropped down only to smell something. I sat down in a nice big pile of dog poop.

That's the ultimate analogy for triathlon. Be confident but keep your ego in check. No matter who you are or how fast you'll always end up in some shit.

I would be thrilled with 7th place if I had given everything I could. It's incredibly frustrating knowing that my time from last year, would have put me on the podium again.

I got home and was exhausted, like I just wanted to sleep. Instead, I started eating and eating and eating. A couple of hours later, I started feeling better about life.





It doesn't mean I'm giving up triathlon. It doesn't mean I hate racing. It just means I had a bad day. Hell, you don't give up on a relationship because of a bad day, right? Well, I've had a triathlon relationship for 10 years. 

I've podiumed 2 out of 4 times so far this year and had fantastic PRs. 

Sunday was completely on me. Those are the hardest ones to accept.

All things considered, coming in 7th after a bad day.....well, that's not really a bad day, right?

With all due respect, that's bullshit. That would have been true for me a few years ago, but I don't feel that way any more.

The bar has been raised. What I used to do isn't good enough any more.

This is what triathlon is about. If it were easy, everyone would do it. It doesn't matter if you're a sprinter, like me, or long course beast. What I love the most is that improvements are not linear. We can go for weeks or months without seeing improvements, then BAM BIG improvements. We're going to make mistakes.

We keep working because we know we can be better and stronger, but in order to get there we have to take some risks. When you take risks, there always the chance of not hitting our goals. We shake ourselves off and pick up where we left off.

Now, I'm on a rest and recovery day. Then, it's time to get ready for my next race in 4 weeks; because I have big goals to hit.

After that, I have a month off from racing to get ready for the BIG SHOW where I'll do competing at both the Olympic (on Saturday) and the Sprint (on Sunday).

Now, it's back to the GRIND....because these woman are fast, and I have work to do.