Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tucson Ride

I was going to post this yesterday, but since Brandon blogged twice (!) yesterday (go check it out!), I decided to publish today.

Back in early April, Brandon and I headed down for a teeny tiny Tucson trip. It was ostensibly to go buy wetsuits, but we didn't take into account the fact that inventory would be depleted from the TriSports birthday sale. Oops. The ones that were available in our size? Well ... not a fan. The search continues ...

While we were down there, we also rented bikes (QRoo CD.01 ... *drool*) and went for a ride around the Tucson metro with Seton Claggett, a.k.a. head honcho of TriSports. He took us on a new path that connects the entirety of the city - you can do a 90 mile loop around Tucson! How cool is that? - with a climb up Starr Pass and A Mountain. 

It was super fun. We didn't stop (besides lights) except near the top of A Mountain so I didn't get too many photos, but I did get a few:

My bike, Brandon, and Seton looking out over Tucson.

Me with the A behind me.

The three of us.

I texted my dad while we were up there - he grew up in Tucson - and he thought it was super cool that we rode up there. I was personally happy that I managed the climb okay ... but on the way down, realized my awesome descending skills don't really apply when the road is super twisty. Things to work on ... maybe.

Great little break in the sun and we need to hop down there again soon!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

1/3rd of the Year is Done - Here's a Report

The year seems to be flying by.  I know, I know, we all say that all the time.  Where's the time gone, blah blah blah.  But I'm serious - it's been a whirlwind!  

I've pretty much run the gamut of emotions so far this year.  I've had some awesome workouts in all three disciplines of triathlon where I feel like I can conquer the world and then some other workouts where I wonder how the hell I'm going to be ready for my Ironmans. It's funny - you know you're doing the right thing and at the same time the self doubt can be so strong it's overpowering.  

It's easy to look at the numbers of what other people are doing for their races and think you're not doing enough.  Hell I could even do that by looking in my own house (T is owning me in the numbers department, especially on the bike).  And let's face a reality - our sport is driven by numbers.  Why log it otherwise, right?  And although I've had the debate rage within myself about "less is more", sometimes, it means nothing.

So anyway, here's my honest to god numbers as of April 26th at 11:03 am:

Swim - 46,300 meters
Bike - 615.27 miles
Run - 159.14 miles

Now I look at those and strangely, I'm not cringing.  I know they aren't big, but I'm not worried.  I have put my faith in my Coach, and she has assured me that what we are doing is building.  Putting in a strong base so that when May, June, and July roll around and the intensity/length of workouts skyrockets, I'll be prepared and ready.  There's wisdom in her words and I'm putting my faith in them.

Here's what I'm looking for in May:

- coming out of the month with confidence.  My confidence this year has been a roller coaster, and if I train in May correctly, I will have soaring confidence.  
- a big bike month.  I don't have a number in mind, but I know if I do May right, I'll feel it.
- the BolderBoulder.  I'm off Memorial Day, so I'll be doing this 10K.  Whether we race it or not has yet TBD by Coach.  I'm 50/50 on what I want the day to be, race or fun.
- Being smarter with my workouts.  I'm realizing some truths here - travel days are exhausting.  Commuting to the east coast, while great for my work schedule, takes its toll on my body and instead of trying to force a workout in those days, it might be wise/prudent to use them as off/rest days.  I also am ready to tackle some 2 a day workouts.  Instead of doing a long run, split it up.  Do a bike the same way.
- Lose some more weight.  My weight is stagnant right now in the high 190's.  It's time to chop a few more pounds down
- this is the most important point in May.  HAVE FUN!

Race #2 of the Season - BAA 5K

Yes, it's been awhile since I've blogged, and there's a lot I would love to talk about; I need to get caught up on my life right now.  

I'll talk about our Boston vacation in a separate post - right now, it's just time to talk about the BAA 5K.

The night before, T and I found a diner to have breakfast at.  Straight up Greek diner, and it was amazing.  Wolfed down some amazing food.  As you all know, breakfast is our go-to pre-race meal and we took full advantage of this amazing opportunity.

We woke up Saturday morning and quickly got dressed.  I put on a new pair of compression socks that I bought at the expo the day before (who knew my calves were only a medium?  Sad day).  We caught the T to the Boston Common.  Although gun time was over an hour away, our triathlete minds kicked in and we wanted to be there early.  

First thing I did was beeline to a coffee trailer.  I didn't even care about drinking it, just wanted the warmth.  I held it for the most part.  Then we walked over to grab our shirts.  They look like a soccer jersey, so while I'm not crazy about it, at the same time, it is pretty cool to wear something with the BAA logo.  After that, we found where gear check-in would be, hit the porta-potties for the first time, and then met up with our friend Norm.  He was planning on starting near the front; I was joking that he was going to win the thing.  He laughed and we all wished each other good luck.  Then we checked our gear in and hit the porta-potties one last time.  The lines were taking forever and we were a bit worried about missing the start, but it turned out to be no problem.

T and I had discussed at length how we were going to race the race.  After the miscommunication we had in the Skirt Sports 5K last year, we elected to just do our race this time.  Since both of us were (conceivably) gunning for a PR this race, we decided we had to do it our own way.  So we split up in the start corral and I put my headphones in.  Normally I don't listen to music while running, but I've done it a bit more this year and am enjoying it, so I decided to go for it this race.  Unfortunately, my headphones were dying and I didn't know if they'd make the whole race so I put them in my pocket.  

We shuffled towards the start as one big collective group.  I started my Garmin and off we went.  I didn't plan on looking at my Garmin all race; I was running by feel.

The Race
As with any big race, crowding immediately became the issue.  Free space was hard to find, and I was blowing by people everywhere I went.  Pretty early though, the crowd separated and I was moving pretty well.  I knew I was running hard, but it wasn't unsustainable; if anything, I could have probably even gone a bit harder.

This course was FLAT.  And when I say flat, I mean flat.  You do runs out here, and there's always some elevation.  This course had none of that, and I was feasting on it.  My opening mile came quickly at 8:52 (I didn't know this at the time) and yet I was feeling great.  I chose to open it up a bit more.

T had started a bit ahead of me, and around the 1.5 mile point, I caught up to her.  I don't remember if we spoke but I remember someone cheering for the skirt sports print she was wearing.  The 2nd mile split was 8:32 but I was still feeling great.

In the final mile, you run down Boylston Street, where the marathon finishes.  As any endurance athlete would, I got a bit emotional.  Knowing I was running the same street that brings so many people joy and that a few years ago brought so much heartache, it just was wonderful.  

The final kick was amazing.  I was sprinting down the corridor and a lot of people were cheering. I coaxed out of my legs what was left in them and hit the finish line.  Stopping my Garmin, I looked back for T as I kept moving through the finish corral and saw her shortly thereafter.  I looked down at my Garmin and saw 26:39, which was only 42 seconds off my 5K PR and my 2nd fastest 5K ever.  I was very happy with that and knew T had a good day as well...or so we thought.

Time - 26:39
Mile 1 Split - 8:52
Mile 2 Split - 8:32
Mile 3 Split - 8:24
.11 split - :50

We got our finishers medals, which is kind of funny for a 5K, but whatever.  We high-fived each other and congratulated ourselves.  T didn't start her Garmin so she had no idea what her finish time was, but we reasoned it was close-ish to mine, about 15-20 seconds off.  We got some Gatorade, got our pictures taken numerous times, and picked up our gear and went back to the hotel.

Later, we found out that T's time was 27:35, nearly a minute behind me.  She was very disappointed.  While I was a bit as well, I reminded her that there was still growth happening.  She had shaved off 10 seconds from her 5K last November and was closer than ever to slashing her PR.  I know she's bummed still but we'll let her talk about it.

So yeah, overall I'm happy with this.  I don't think PRing was happening that day.  Too early in the season?  Perhaps.  Not enough speed training?  Perhaps.  Regardless, I am excited with where I'm at right now in running.  There might be some PRing in me yet this year!