Tuesday, March 27, 2012

hillaries sprint race report 2012

during the week i thought about pulling out of this event but i am really glad that i didnt.  while i didnt have a great race i did have a great time.  you really do learn something new every time you line up for an event and this one was no different.

preparation - flog the legs

this i did very well.  i was tired all week and just could not get going.  every session was a struggle and the    reason  why i thought about pulling the pin.  but as the week progressed i did start to feel better.  i ran close to 18k on thursday night and decided to get my long ride in saturday morning.  this was 90k into a gusty fresh crosswind.  nice punishment.  my sister was arriving from the states after the race on sunday so i had to get the house organised.  this meant time cleaning instead of resting up on the sofa.  felt okay race morning and while my foot was bothering me i figured i would make it through.  the conditions were the best i have seen at this course in a long time.  very little wind.

the swim

the water had very little chop and looked great.  since i really enjoyed my last open water swim i figured this would be okay although i knew my legs would feel heavy.  i am pissed off that i wasted good conditions and had a shit swim.  it was a wetsuit swim and i had planned on this as a good opportunity to get back into using the wettie.  as it turns out it had tightened up while lying on my sofa and i struggled the whole way to breathe.  i pulled at the neck trying to get water in and it loosened up but it never improved.  it also didnt help that i got a pretty good kick to the mouth.  i think she cut across in front of me and then just gave a kick.  i grabbed her leg and thought about yanking her back and smacking her in the face too.  but i checked and i still had my teeth so i let her go.  when you get a smack from out of nowhere your reaction is to hit out and even though i may have wanted to i would never do it.  i had swallowed some water and had to stop for a bit.  i then thought that this had fucked up my whole race.  but a bit of advice that crowie had given his sister-in-law popped into my head.  he just said that when something negative happens you have to let it go and just move on. so i did.  time 18.34.  very bad.

the bike

i was tired getting onto the bike.  it took me the first lap to warm up.  the second lap i was swapping positions with some young tri wa girls and by the third lap the wind had picked up and i just wanted to be done.  i passed alot of girls and really tried to make up for the bad swim.  but still my legs were tired and i didnt have a fast bike. not for that course and those conditions.  in my age group i was fifth fastest.  i did  pass one of my age group competitors who only races the short distances.  she has fresh legs and usually beats me by a few minutes.  i came in before her in rockingham and i really wanted to do it again.  i had gained four minutes on her on the bike.   my lip had also grown on the bike and i could feel this fat section on my top lip right in the middle.  i just tried to make sure i wasnt drooling while having a drink. 

the run

i have to say both my transitions were super quick this time and i was happy about them.  the wetsuit came off easy and i changed my laces over so while i still put socks on i didnt have to worry about tying laces.  the first half of the run was slow and painful.  my foot hurt a little but i knew that would go away.  my Achilles was bugging me a bit and i could now really feel the fat lip.  it is an out and back course so once you turn around you can see who is chasing you.  i was probably only 300-400 metres in front of the girl i wanted to beat.  i had promised myself that if i could i would really push it in the run and i needed to increase the pace to stay in front.  so i went from running 6.00 min training pace to 5.15 pace.  it hurt and i felt like stopping but i really have had enough of people passing me just before the finish line.  the last 2k of this run made my whole race and i was very pleased with myself.  i know that compared to other people my time is very average but i proved to myself that i can hang in there and i can push myself. 

groovy girls

what i have loved about the last two events is seeing the girls i know at the finish line and going over what happened to each other over the course of the race.  sometimes you cant get a word in and it is hysterical and so much fun and every one is totally pumped.  i love that the rest of the girls do so well but whatever the result it is just about meeting personal goals, having fun and a great race and personally  i am stoked that i am now a consistent MOP person with the odd flash of speed on the bike.  it is just fantastic that i get to be a part of it.  this race i bumped into a girl i had chatted to at the busselton half last year.  she is super nice and is a breast cancer survivor.  she also did the full ironman last year and so i am in awe.  hope to catch up with her again at busselton.

the wrap up

i grabbed some ice from the medical people and when i finally got to see my lip it was fucking huge.  people would pay good money for that look.  i wanted a picture but it is really hard to take one of your mouth without then getting a close up of what is up your nose.  final result - i was 7/15 in my age group with a total time of 1.30.39.  not a pb at this course but who cares.  i had fun.  this was the final race in the triseries.  next week i am in karri valley and i better get some legs back for that.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

imwa week 38 - fark it is only 7 weeks till busso 70.3

time to get serious about the busselton half.  only seven weeks to go from LAST saturday.  i am at the pointy end of things.  this week is  week three of a three week build.  then a week of recovery followed by the two biggest peak weeks and then taper time !  but i also have a sprint race at the end of the three week build followed by the karri valley triathlon during the recovery week.  and karri valley is not normal.  a 1.5k swim, 60k hilly bike ride and a 12k trail run should be interesting.  i think i will taper some for this event. 

touch wood but so far everything is going okay.  i am back swimming with the swim smooth squad and trying to pick the pace back up again.  swimming did suffer the most from the iron incident.  my goal is to swim more than i did last year in the last 8 weeks of busso training.  

the bike is going well but i would like to do more.   during my mid week ride my goal is to push a bigger gear than the one i feel comfortable with.  i want muscular endurance.  my group ride on saturday morning is all about a high tempo ride.  and winning the sprint to the coffee shop.  sunday is long and i am now aiming for consistent 120k rides.  i need to sort out my seat and position and set up the aero bottle.

and then there is running.  my dream goal for this year is to do the training and remain uninjured.  i would also like to not miss any sessions and run more than i did last year.  so far so good.  my feet are better this year with the new shoe set-up BUT i am having a small issue with a bit of plantar facsitis in my right heel.  what i have come to understand is that it all comes back to my calves.   lots of ice and heat and massage and stretching.  i am stretching everyday and trying to get in a couple of yoga sessions every week and it is working.  my heel is improving and my legs feel better.  and my fortnightly massage is just a miracle session and worth every cent.  i have also ordered a trigger point therapy kit and i am hoping that i havent wasted my money.  my long run is up to 17.5k this week. 

as usual not much is getting done around the house and i have just bitten the bullet and accepted that i will wait until the half is done with.    all this is not incredibly exciting and life does feel like it is just going through the triathlon cycle - eat, sleep, train and repeat.  but i have learnt it needs to be an organised triathlon cycle otherwise it will all fall apart.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

rockingham sprint race report - with iron.

this felt like my first race of the season and was probably due to it being the first time i have been close to 100% fit and healthy.  while i think i still held back in fear of pushing things (and finding out prior that it is bad to race while on antibiotics) i was the most relaxed i have been in a long time.  i had so much fun and it was a great day out.  perfect weather and a fun course.

the swim

i dont know how or why but they declared it a wetsuit swim.  when i swam back into shore i did go through a few cold patches so maybe that is where the officials put their temp gauge.  anyway i didnt bring my wetsuit as it is bloody summer !  and if i had then my worlds slowest transition would have taken longer than my swim.  i was surprised that people who did have their wetsuit chose to wear it for a nice 750m swim.  which gets me to the next point.  it was longer than 750m.  i think this year ,due to the shark factor, they have changed the swim course (for the better) and instead of swimming out in a rectangle shape we swim along the beach in a rectangle shape.  we dont swim out so deep and therefore try and avoid any big fish.  but as soon as you looked at this course you knew it was longer than 750m.  i also liked how we started deep and avoided the walk/run across the shallow water.  another change is that not only was i in the second wave (which starts just after the open/elite category) but it was just the pensioner blokes and 45 plus women.  i had a head start on everyone and got to race at the front for a change.  plus with all the big men in the water i could draft off and hide behind big bodies.  i really enjoyed the swim and felt great from the start.  i know the course was longer than 750m because my time of 19.19 did not reflect how the swim felt.  last year i swam in a wetsuit and struggled to get any rhythm, had a terrible swim and came out with a time of 16.59. 

the bike

i fucked this up.  at rockingham they do not record your transitions times.  your swim ends when you enter transition and so your bike includes T1. it also includes T2 as you do not cross another timing mat until you head out on the run and this is the same timing mat you crossed as you entered from the swim. make sense !?  anyway my T1 was probably okay but nothing flash.  i still fumbled around finding a safe spot for my goggles.  i started mr garmin when i got on the bike.  it took me awhile to get going but when i did i was having fun.  have i mentioned how much i love the crisis bike.  the course is flat and only two laps.  going out you had a bit of a headwind and it was an easy ride coming back.  the only people who passed me where the serious stick insect guys.  being the second wave it was also less congested.  i passed a girl who had number 100 which meant that she was in my age group (i was 98).  once i passed her she probably realised and she made the effort and passed me.  i have to admit i had a bit of a laugh.  i think she thought i was a threat.  now that has never happened before - she obviously didnt know i cant run.  as it turns out i did have a faster bike split than she did.  i liked the pace so i sat the legal 7 metres behind her for the last portion of the last lap.  mr garmin tells me that my bike split was 33.38.   and that is even with forgetting to stop it until i racked my bike (at the furthest distance from the bike dismount in transition).  the official time was 36.21.  my T2 was 1.12 (i was 2 metres away from the timing mat onto the run)  so that means it took me 1.12 to take my bike shoes off, put my socks on and then my shoes, tie the shoelaces, grab my hat and change mr garmin over to the wrist.  at least i did not sit down to  put my socks on like lance armstrong.  did i mention i also dropt mr garmin and watched as he bounced all over the place - on bitumen !  it was nice to see i had the 3rd fastest bike split in my age group.  this means my T1 was 1.31.  i aim to be the quickest in transition for the next race.  i also think i can go faster on the bike.  this was a comfortable ride and a race that had no taper. this time last year i had no legs from training.  there are improvements.

the run

not much to say about this really.  i got a bit of a stitch again and i ran 5.35 pace.  this has not happened since before the loss of iron and i was a bit surprised.  i was thinking maybe 5.45.    i started off with the slowest first kilometre and then settled in to run faster for each one.  time 27.46. 

the summary

i finished 6/13.  i was 7/13 for the swim, 3/13 on the bike and 9/13 in the run.  running is my limiter for sure.  so now i am determined that i will improve.  last year i ran 27.06 so obviously my training may be giving me more endurance but not increasing my speed.  but i dont think i really push myself on the run either.  i get into a pace  that is only slightly uncomfortable and still worry about whether i am going to make it.  at the time it feels slightly bad but i dont think i ever feel bad enough.  i was 4 minutes behind the girl who came fifth and 11.53 behind the age group winner.  total time 1.23.47.  i am becoming competitive and no longer back of the pack.