Archive | August, 2011

Greenville Triathlon 2011

15 Aug

John, me, Steve, Jessica

I love racing locally–so many familiar faces and no real worries about  travel.What a great race. I learned so much this time around. The more I do this the less nervous/anxious I become and just let loose and have some fun.

I prepped all of my stuff the day before and walked around the house a million times thinking I forgot something. My alarm went off at 5:00 am and we got out of the house around 5:30. Why am I up this early? This repeats through my head several times. We arrived to the race site and we meet Steve and Jessica in the parking lot. Familar faces and I get a little less anxious.  John helps me pump up my tires in the parking lot.  We wander over to the transistion area shortly after which is pitch black. Last year they had huge lights up which was helpful. But luckly I learned my lesson from Tri Latta last year and brought a flash light! Crisis averted.

What follows is the standard race day pattern–I set up my transition spot pretty quickly, get marked with my number/age, get my timing chip and slap it on my ankle, go to the bathroom numerous times.

The swim order is usually determined by submitting a 100 yd time.  I was number 251 and technically this was when I would be starting. Oddly enough, folks starting doing whatever they wanted with the entry time. I thought this was odd and caused more stress. But I can’t complain because I got to start with my buddy Sommer who stuck back with me a bit. Add on top to this a different pool start than last year…and you get some stress. All participants had to dive or jump into the water. I knew this ahead of time and practiced my butt slide into the pool. I didn’t need to break my goggles (which I saw happened to many people) or inhale a bunch of water and freak out. My pool entry was a success.

I have finally learned that triathlon pool racing is more about dodging flaying swimmers than about speed. You can have the swim of your life and quickly come to pool congestion that stops you to a crawl.  Fortunately, I did alot of passing with ease. Regardless of who I passed it boosted my self confidence up quite a bit.  My two favorites where frog kicking guy and back stroke/floating woman.

The bike went fairly well. This course is rolling hills and while I have been biking a bit…not nearly enough to really push this course. So I went at it with a fairly moderate pace knowing I had to leave something for the run.  Unfortunately my nutrition was not working at this point. I was concious of drinking a ton which worked out. But I started getting hungry about 5 miles in..uh oh. I ate a decent breakfast but can never eat a ton because of nerves. Once I get on the bike I guess my belly gets hungry.  So I  just gelled about 3 times with no other good option. I know this was a risk because too much gel causes my belly to gas up.

Transition 2 is also slower for me because I have to put my socks on for the run (don’t like riding with socks..weird I know).  The run began and my legs were mush.  This was a quick reminder that this is not a just a 5k.  As predicted my gels weren’t working and I was burping the whole time. The run course was the same as last year, two loops. I broke it down mentally into these two loops. It went by pretty quick but I was shuffling not really running. My legs were not listening to my mind to pick it up.  I saw some friendly faces on the side lines cheering me on which was great. I had a little left in me for one last sprint to the end and I was toast. I just wanted fooooood!

I  had a great time this year. I learned to not take myself too seriously and not let training control my life. I like having a race as a fitness goal otherwise there isn’t a whole lot of motivation to stay or get into shape. I’m not sure what’s next. I’m looking forward to biking and running for fun during the fall. I would like to start getting stronger for the run. I felt good progress last year but just burned myself out.

P.S. I have to give my friend Jess some props for placing second in the Novice division–she kicked some serious bootie!

The race is coming..

6 Aug

So, um yeah..I just signed up the Greenville Sprint Triathlon..again. It is next Sunday the 14th. I cannot believe my last tri was 1 year ago…doesn’t feel that long ago. I guess it wasn’t my last race since that was in November of last year..so that makes it better?

I have a new goal for this race. Can I train and not be psycho obsessed with myself and my fitness? I have been semi-training for about 5 weeks or so. I think I have had some limited success. I will be slower than last year, I just have to understand that and deal. Also, I’m not sure my endurance is up to par..so if there is much more walking on the run and slower hill climbs on the bike, I have to be OK with that. I am not setting a new PR. I am dipping my toe in and seeing if this is for me.  Yeah, I keep telling myself that too. Then I stare at last year’s times and obsess over them. I was so disappointed last year at my minimal progress. What?! I was doing great, I just had to see the other side of slow again to notice I guess.

The self doubt and voice creeps in my head says, please just quit. You are going to embarrass yourself on all your lost progress, etc. Why bother, sitting on the couch is so much easier…yes, yes, it is.

Before I committed to do this race mentally I talked it over with John.  We discussed the pre-race nerves and that I hate them. I have all kinds of gastric distress in the morning..can’t sleep the night before. He pretty much said what any good coach would–you will get over it.  You are pretty much going to be doing this rest of your life so you better practice up.  What?!  I love that he doesn’t doubt me like I doubt myself. Will I really be that 60 year old doing a triathlon with grand kids in tow?  Haha…I hope so. I told John that a half Iron Man sounds like a good retirement goal. I think I might have the energy and time then, right?

Last night I went swimming with a friend at the pool where the race will be held. It had been renovated so I wanted to take a look and get a feel. We walked in and I realized how much longer a 50 yd/Olympic size pool is compared to the 25 I’m used to. It’s intimidating and feels like you are staring down a football field of water. Then I noticed that the pool’s shallowest depth is about 6 ft…what?! The mind games started. I didn’t want to get in to even practice. What have I done!?  But I got in and loved it. The pool was sharp–clean lines/new tile, no dirt, crystal clear water, good temp. This is going to be great. My second practice 400 was much faster than the first so, maybe I will surprise myself.

And for all you crafters out there. Here is a taste of what I have been working on. Two sad side tables have been painted grellow (greenish/yellow). Just putting the finishing touches on them.  I will share them soon!