Sunday, June 15, 2008

2 week catch up!! :)

It was only GW du that I wrote about learning something from every race, whether it is something to deal with mechanics, strategy, nutrition, etc. Also critical is to recognized what strengths you ahve and to capitalized on them. whether this is something that you just do for maintenance or you are just fortunate to have "mastered" it through past experiences. This will be more recognized in manitou's right up.....

Already 2 weeks ago was Pigman Sprint race in Palo, IA (now underwater). It was a great road trip with Yndestads, complete with 4 bikes, lots of road snacks and our basic gear for the first tri of the yr for all of us. For this race I was not nervous, but E was hoping for some big improvements on the bike and had enough butterflies for both of us. He has been focusing this winter on some solid biking as we got a TacX system to help measure Watts as he would push thru levels not tapped so often before. Oakdale du was the opener of the season, but he went into that bike and held back a bit to save something in the tank for a solid run. Thinking hindsight, he wondered how fast could i go if I lay everything out there. That was a question I started to ask myself 3-4 yrs ago on the bike for sprint races. It can be mentally tough to fight the lactic burn in a race knowing there are 3 or 4 miles to run yet. But you'll never get the most out of yourself if you don't give everything of yourself. This mentality works best for sprint, but there are always mental games in racing any distance. So Erik opened this up hammering the 15.5 mile course the best he could and ran very solid. oh and this was also the first time he was not racing with a watch or bike computer. By the end, all 4 of us were going home wiht slower overall times then last yr. Was it the humidity that came in that none of us have trained in yet?

For my race, I've been improving consistantly in the pool this winter and was hoping this could translate into the OW (open water). It did and I was pleased. my goal was a lofty 35-40 second improvemnt over 547y, but based on the meters and TTs in the pool I thought I could do it. came out of the water with about a 20 second improvement.... not quite where I wanted to be, but happy with the improvement. The ohter technicality I've had challenges with is swimming straight; for this race only 1 time when I sighted did I have to correct myself. Great job and onto the bike...I wore a Speedo fast skin racing (instead of previous yrs tri shorts and jog bra) and found that my legs were numb by about half way. I would shift around and stand on the hill climbs - this was wierd. I got off my bike and onto the run and finally the legs came around at mile 1.5-2ish. A little late for this short race. Meanwhile I watched a second place finish slip away to a stronger runner at mile 2 and happily finished in 3rd. :) We had a chatty 4 hour drive home discussing our peronal experiences and discoveries.

Tuesday June 3rd - A Fun training situation that E and I have created when track workouts fall on days when weather is crappy is Track on the TM (treadmill). We had a series of 20x200's on our plan and this is the 2nd one on a TM, but this time we went for more challenge. Our set up is set the TM at 5:20 pace and each person run for 40 seconds and hop off then the other runs and rotate this 20 times. The first time was to test ourselves on how we could do with continuous 20.... This time we did it we started bumping up the incline .5 starting with the 7th one and every so often would add more, by 20 we were at a 5% incline and sweating like hogs! Great teamwork and great workout!

Wed June 4 was BDTT#3, finally I started to feel my biking legs come back. Posted a 10 second improvement and went on to do 12x30 second hill repeats on the bike. It was a great midweek workout. Now it felt like a few days to taper down to the Manitou sprint tri on Sunday.

Manitou in White Bear lake has been typically a who's who race, but this yr it seemed to be a mix of some old and some new. There are a number of newer faces racing in the elite wave that add some extra fun in the heat. The MJET's (MN Jr Elite Team) all seem to be racing elite as well as a couple who started racing tris last yr and have didn't take long to discover that they had some strong podium talent. In the elite wave there were 20 females - just amazing and fun . Pigman there were 7-8 in the female elite wave, now with men included there were over 40. Could I still swim straight or was I just lucky last week? Goal was under 15min, hoping for 14 and in hte 13's would be thrilling- my watch said 14 min upon exiting and I was pleased. I had no idea where i was but typically am way back and just hammer like hell on the bike til I find the "fast swimmers" - then it's time for T2. My hammer-to-find targets were Mary Beth and Kate McCann. I felt these two were the two known tartgets that last yr were so similar to me. last yr MB was 4th, me 5th and kate 6th.... (finishers that took 1st-3rd were not at this race) Well my hammer like hell only got me to MB, Kate was still ahead at T2.

Coming out of T2 she was on the other side of the park as I was starting the park; about 30-40 seconds down. When I got her in my sights I thought too much about "the pass". Go after her now and risk her coming from a blind come-from-behind finish to take 2nd? Or run agressive but conservative and me be the one to pull out the kick for the finish line win. I really thought I could do it when it would come time to exacute. last yr I passed her (the same kate) coming into the last pass at the park home stretch. it was de ja vu - but at a faster pace with more on the line. I thought I had control. Brent loberg was coming from behind asked if that was the leader and tried to help guide/pace/pull me in for the last 400y +/-. We worked together... picked it up a lttle bit - but I couldn't hang on - mental games. I feared collapsing, the feeling of out of breath or my heart was pounding so hard (almost fluttering) that could I have a heart attack? Why do some of these worst case scenerios go thru my head? two of the guys who ran me down later told me they thought I look tight and tense while running. I look at yndecam photos and see what they're saying, but how do you push that far out of comfort and think relax. I relax and slow down. ultimately...inexperience fighting in fatigue mode?? I felt like i gave it my all, but then ask, did I have a little more? like 9 seconds more... i had to have... I know i did. I played the race aggressive conservative. what the hell? why not just plain old agressive?

I tried so hard and feel I failed... dissappointed myself with such fearful what if's. I let Brent go when he said she's within 5 seconds. I saw it as more then 5 seconds, but I don't know what a kick can do - he could see it. I encouraged him to go as it was his first race in 3 yrs... and he had the kick to pass her - I watched him run like a gazelle....I wish I could change those moments to just try that little bit harder... finished 9 seconds down. Didn't sleep well that night... just hung on to that frustration in lack of execution.

On the positive....happy with swim time, 1:35 average, bike 23.1 avg, run 6:35 avg. I look at those figures and am happy with that, plus it is a 40 second course PR. My transitions were solid and I learned alot.

Lesson learned - minimize/eliminate the conservative aggressive when it comes to taking over somebody - esp someone who I have outrun before. Practice and develope a kick. You never no when you'll need it ... so leave NOTHING out there and go for it.

Wednesday the 11th - A group of 7 ladies met for a track workout and a Pepito's dinner to celebrate Darcy's (our ring leader) birthday. This is a great group of ladies that meets every Wed... I can rarely make it as everyother wednesday is the BDTT.... So tonight was my first night to hit the track wiht a new pupose - develope a finish line kick. One of the things that made this workout great is that I was just on the phone with friend Merilee (a HS track and CC coach) and she gave me powerful coaching thougths and I was motivated to make this a great track night. Once at the track we warmed up and verbally threw out there what we were shooting for with our first mile adn I found Andrea was a very similar runner to me. Thank you Andrea for coming. Although fatigue and LT levels are high, I have to practice a finish line kick. I know I have it in me I just have ot find it. At the end of the 3.5 miles of challenging speedwork I did a PR 400 = 1:21. This was an awesome workout, but was the first time that on every effort I gave that final 100-150m a solid kick to simulate that finish line race. Mentally I learned so much - I can do it and not die. :) Whew!.

Sat June 14th - the Liberty triathlon - Erik took pictures for Yndecam and I did a the biking leg in the half iron distance. This was so much fun out there today. So many faces not seen for a while and our team had a fun time! Great job ladies!

E and I were off to go camping with the Hull cousins for a Father's day outing... Great to see all of them again.

Two weeks til Waconia so this is a solid week of training.

Yippee - we're up to date on this end. Hopefully we'll get creative enough with our next post to plug in some pictures.

Thanks for reading!!! Make it a great day!


Monday, June 9, 2008

Finally an update!!!

Hey I'm/we're back....for sake of catch up mode... I'm going to do a recap, but be brief (can expressive's be brief? - yes if you have some driver traits in you)

Wed - 5/21 - BDTT 2 of 9 in the series. took off about 10 seconds 16:33 on a 7.2 mi course. pushed hard but for some reason have not yet been able to tap into that next level... i can feel a difference - I'm not there yet. Erik was at home simulating his own 10 TT near home. His commitment to become a better athlete has meant that he miss more of these low key (boring spectator?) events. miss him being here, but love the drive and determination to want to be a stronger and faster athlete. Dear friend Cathy and i had a great post race run - strong conversational pace.

Sat - 5/24 - the Beautiful Apple Duathlon (5k run,33k bike, 5k run) in Sartell, MN - I have done this one for 3 or 4 yrs now. nice race - always really well run with great friendly volunteers and athletes. Erik was planning to take picture - but a little miscommunication on camera equipment left him cheering with Mark for the duration - but said it was probably the most exciting race he's ever watched. Payton was along for this on since E was not racing and we were road tripping for the rest of the holiday weekend.

This yr Apple Du was the regional qualifier for worlds (in Italy - no desire for me to go) so they decided to have an elite wave for those of us wanting to gun it but not be on the line for a worlds qualifier spot (that is my guess for this being the only yr for elite wave) - typically just AG waves. Well these women's and men's field were stacked - that might be an understatement. I raced my arse off and while not having a solid CC/track background just can't toe the line and expect to pull it off with my running abilities. So I think I was in about 12th coming into T1, then worked my way to 4th off the bike (behind the regional champs Marni walth, Marlo Crosby and CY) The two I just passed in the last couple miles of the bike were going to be coming on my heals, pro triathlete Heather havland and past world du champ Sarah Kolpin.... Heather, aka gazelle, ever so smoothly clipped by at mile 1 and Sarah came at mile 2... I held on to 6th. I would have been absolutely thrilled to be anywhere above this position as the talent of those in 1-5 was solid, consistent and almost predictable. Anything can happen, but you can tell that these ladies plan and always do in order to minimize the effects of the "what if's".

From Sartell - we hit up our favorite Chipotle with K and CY, then ventured on to Sioux falls. My mom and dad are in Sioux falls, and due to incredibly unfortunate circumstances are separated. E and I have been to visit my mom at the house 3-4 times since my dad's been out of the house. The mission is to get it ready to sell. This trip the focus was on the dining room and the pool. DR: prep for painting (taking off wallpaper boarder glue etc), getting it painted, and putting it back together before we left on Monday. Pool: prep for opening it up for summer. Mom's been incredibly strong - very admirable with the roller coasters she's been through. I love my mom dearly - we laugh and cry and she's so good with positive one liners that have helped define who I've become. The Golden rule and excuse rather then accuse, are a couple that come to mind - she's full of great insight and helping me see some situations from another perspective. I am left brain and she is right brain... She's been the proud mama as I've grown in this sport... so supportive, so giving of her time and energies. Mom, if you ever read this... I love you dearly!!!

E and I squeezed in some training, but mostly focused on mom and her projects....We all had a great Memorial day weekend.

That carries us thru May 31st....Next post will be a double header.... June first pigman sprint and June 8th Manitou, oh and BDTT#3. E and I both raced the tri's so I'm going to encourage him to share his perspective. Or maybe we'll each do one.

Until next time - (tomorrow??) Make it a great day!