Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Weekend Update

With the plethora of races available in Central New York, I had no trouble finding two competitions for Saturday and Sunday, June 16 and 17. First up was Tri-Oswego, a second-year race that features both a sprint and an intermediate distance. I selected the sprint--800 meter swim, 15.5 mile bike, 3.1 mile run.

I enjoyed this race immensely--the swag was impressive (a transition towel? love it!), volunteers were plentiful, smiling and encouraging, and the bike course was well-monitored for traffic. I do wish the miles had been marked on both the bike and the run, however. Oh, and the food afterwards? Really nice--especially the fresh fruit salad. I heard the next day that the swim and run were both longer than advertised, which would explain my "slower" times.

Heading out for the run.
It's no big deal, really, but it would be nice to know that my slower swim can be attributed to a course that was longer than 800 meters. Finishing third in my age group was a wonderful Sunday morning surprise as well (we didn't stick around to find out, since I have only once before placed in my age group). I'll put this race down as a definite-maybe to consider for 2013, and probably at the longer distance.

Sunday, Father's Day, dawned hotter and brighter than the day before (the clouds of Saturday helped keep the athletes going for sure). The run I had signed up for, Mike Caruana Father's Day 5K, was in Fulton, a mere 17 miles away. So the plan was to bike there, run and bike home. Apparently, Saturday really wore me out because I woke up too late to execute that plan.

Oddly, I also left in the car later than I would have wanted, so I felt a bit rushed to get my race number, stretch, warm up, hit the bathroom one last time and head to the start. Something had to go, and it was my stretching routine. I did some dynamic stretching, but nothing on my back. Now, I have read that static stretches do nothing for improving the run. I have doubted this, but limited time forced me to do standing stretches only. And I ran a terrific race, considering where I am in my rebuilding year, and the fact that I had competed hard just 24 hours earlier. So maybe there's something to that stretching advice after all.

This race course is not an easy one, but I hit the first mile at 8:20 (not bad!). All told, I crossed the finish line in 27:01, good for an 8:43 pace. Can you say thrilled?!

A hot time in Fulton!
So for my fun, exhausting, weekend I got two medals, which I proudly hung from the new display rack my husband gave me for my birthday. He's so supportive of my efforts, and understands my ups and downs (and frustrations with my feet). Giving me another rack was his subtle way of displaying his continuing support without being pushy--the other rack was too full, and he fully expects that I'll earn more medals. But he would never say that; he's more a man of action.

Next up: Runapalooza, Fleet Feet's new race, a 5K on June 30. Then a few more road races until my next triathlon, Delta Lake Olympic, July 29.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Unreasonable Doubt

OK, I look at the calendar and I am 10 weeks out from my half-ironman and I'm starting to panic. There is no way, I think, that I can get in all the training I need to do! I don't have time! I haven't even topped 11 miles in a run yet! I need to bike 56 miles twice before the race!
Is this what all of us go through? Perhaps this is the point where a coach would be a good investment--that or a sports psychologist!
Even though I have used the training plans on beginnertriathlete.com, my mind is telling me that I am no longer a beginner, that I need to bump up to intermediate status. And even though that excellent website has intermediate plans, I looked elsewhere this morning.
But here's the thing--when I look at the plan I found and printed from trinewbies.com (not an intermediate site, I just realized), that training doesn't seem like enough! I'm doing way more than it prescribes! Oh, dear; now I'm really confused!!!
I don't train technically--no heart rate monitors, no zone 1/2/3/4 stuff (I don't even know what that means)--I just go out and swim, bike and run! In fact, I didn't even own a pair of bike shoes and clipless pedals until a month ago. My bike is an Internet special--$500 delivered and "90% assembled." Thank goodness I have a handy, patient husband, because it arrived more like 10% assembled. I never could have put that bike together myself. Would I like a $2,000 bike? To quote Sarah Palin, "You betcha!" Can I, in good conscience, purchase a $2,000 bike? What do you think?
My sweet little bike. She still needs a name. . .
I am in no way complaining about my equipment. We have built up my triathlon arsenal piece-by-piece, purchasing most items in the off season so they're a bit less expensive, and my husband is great at trolling websites to find free shipping (and free return shipping, which came in handy for the first XS wetsuit we bought that fit more like XXXXS). I buy my swimsuits on clearance, or with my USA Triathlon 20% discount. I hoard the swim caps they give us at races like a squirrel with her nuts.
I guess I'm just feeling like I can always do more, always have better equipment, always squeeze in a workout (even if it's not part of the plan). Is this how all of us triathletes feel? Or am I just especially neurotic?