Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Shamrock report

First, I apologize for the boring presentation of my most recent blog postings. It seems that the only time I've had to post has been while mid air. And, you guessed it, I'm on the road again. This time it is for something fun! Tri Camp in Tucson, AZ with a bunch of other Jen Harrison athletes. And so it figures that my good travel karma has come to a close and our flight from Atlanta to Tucson (where I was so nicely upgraded) was cancelled. I'm instead typing this from my window seat (the worst possible for me) on my way to Dallas to catch another plane to Tucson. I only hope our bags and Kate's bike box make our new agenda. Thanks to fellow camper Melissa, my bike is getting picked up from TriSports. TriSports has been tremendous! and made it very easy to ship my bike to them. I promise the next time I post to add some pictures. Not sure how to do that from my iPad.

Shamrock was a mixed bag for me. As you know from my last post I was aiming for a sub2 hour time. But as you also know, I had been on the road in CA the week before and was a bit fatigued from work heading into the weekend. But I was optimistic and so on Saturday, after loading up our car full of dogs (we had Lulu, Mav and Oliver dog Sophie) we headed to the beach. Kate graciously offered accommodations at the Oliver house and we loved being able to crash in familiar surroundings with our fur kids. We joined Kate and the kids for a yummy Greek dinner and went to bed early. Unfortunately, my body clock was all off and I had another prerace surprise to deal with -cramps.

I ended up sleeping like crap with cramps and sweats through out the night. In addition, each time I woke, I heard the wind outside getting worse. When the alarm went off a 5, I was still feeling crampy and not race ready and broke down in a bunch of tears to Bart before deciding to suck it up and just see what happened. Kate O, poor thing, learned she had brought her old shoes with no insoles in them and no orthotics. Let's just say that as we headed to the start, we had no expectations on that cold and windy morning.

Our race plans were similar and so we decided to start together and see how it goes. I could tell Kate's legs were feeling fresh and mine, well let's say I was completely flat. I usually am able to cruise for a few miles of a race before I have to work at all. This was clearly not the case. I worked from mile 1 and from the start, my HRs were higher than normal. At mile 3, I decided to maintain my "warm up" pace around 9:20 and let Kate go. I figured that if I was able to hold this pace, I could find another gear mid way. Or at least I hoped. Mid way, I still had no extra gear. Try as I could to get into the 8s, that day was not my day. So I continued to push with what I had. The result was a very mentally tough 13.1 miles of which none felt good or easy or flew by. I did manage a PR of a few minutes but missed my sub 2 hour goal by 55 seconds. It will have to come in a different race. Kate had an amazing PR of 2:57 and some change and my other Richmond training buddies had PRs and some really strong races. It's great to see how much we've all improved over the past several years and how hard everyone continues to push themselves.

After a forbidden beer, we went to Pocohontas Pancakes where my surprise reward were some yummy gluten free pancakes! We returned to Chez Oliver, ran the dogs on the beach for a while and snuggled in for some tired afternoon naps.

Despite my disappointing performance run wise, I was still very proud of not quitting and hanging mentally tough. I worked for those miles like you have to work for miles at the end of a half ironman or Ironman when you aren't fresh and your body doesn't want to cooperate. That effort turned a disappointing race, less so and one I could be proud of.

Now, it's time to go get my butt kicked at Tri Camp! Mt. Lemmon here we come!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Maximizing Time

So the last month hasn't been too different from the previous. A lot of work, a lot of travel and a lot of juggling. Since my last post I've been out to California two more times (I'm actually returning now) and have had multiple day trips in between. Not to whine about CA though. Both times have been week long stays in sunny Pasadena at the Langham-Huntington hotel. I highly recommend it if you are ever in the area. My favorite part of those stays has been the amazing weather. What's not to like about being able to sit outside in the evenings or anytime of day, or better yet swim in an outdoor pool!

I'm looking forward to things calming down a bit but Im not sure when they will. As it turns out with my litigation schedule, this year may not have been ideal to ramp up to Ironman training but I just need to try and manage things as best as I can and not sweat the small stuff. As coach Jen pointed out manage my stress bucket and try not to exceed it.

On the positive side, I had a great run test - improved by almost 20 secs per mile and also upped my wattage in my bike test. Have been trying to ride outside and hills since my near disaster first time ride outside and I feel like I am gradually starting to get back to form. This weekend will be my first test. Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach. Going for a time that has a 1 hr in it. Would be my first but there's nothing like going for it. Will report later.

On other notes, getting excited to head to Tucson at the end of the month for Camp. I can't wait to have a few days to escape and focus on nothing but getting it done in the pool, on the trails and on the road. I will have to admit I am a bit nervous about Lemmon (mainly descending it) but as Bart said, don't worry, it'll be just like climbing and descending two of Crabtree Falls. YIKES!