Monday, October 22, 2012

Soma… yet again!

So, the 5th time was definitely a success, unfortunately just a bit off from my goal!  I had a crazy, but really not THAT crazy, goal of going sub 5hrs.  The numbers were there (yes I ran them over and over and over until I wasn't thinking clearly).  Last years times were ~35, 1:40, 1:57.   I While my swim is strong, that swim is just never fast for me so I figured I would swim about a 33mins but after wetsuit stripping and getting to the T-1 timing mat I woudl be about the same 35.  I was dead on.  I (over) analyzed past bike times and people I've been racing (bike splits) similar too and thought, on paper, I should be able to bike a 2:35.  The thought of that seemed crazy tho, so I settled on a 2:37 goal.  My run has been improving greatly, especially in the past run and I thought a 1:45 totally doable!  Add those up and they are damn near a 4:59!

I swam my ass off.  2 super fast girls bolted out in front and were instantly gone.  I had maybe 2 other girls with me, and one was right next to me so I decided to pull behind her and save energy.  Unfortunately the sun was straight in our faces making it impossible to see and she kept STOPPING so I finally went around her and pretty much swam the rest of the race by myself.  I caught up to other waves but it was really not all that crowded.  I swam as hard as I felt I could, but sure enough by the time I got out of the water my watch read just shy of 33:5x so,  and by the time I got wetsuit stripped and into T-1 my official "swim" time is 35.

I left transition with a super speedy cyclist team mate.  My goal was to try to keep her at least in sight.  I managed that well for the first lap and she had only gained about 90 seconds on me (she is FAST, so yes I considered 90seconds good).  I was cycling hard, but my lower gears were giving me a lot of problems, so I spent a lot of time messing with them.  I finished loop 1with a avg pace of 21.1… not quite as fast as I hoped, but within myself.  Then things started to get ugly.  Loop 2 I had my first mechanical problem.  Same thing happened at IMCA on a descend.  As I got into my hardest gear and actually put pressure on the crank, my chain popped off the rear derailleur jamming it up, leaving me unable to pedal.  I'd be lying if I said I just hopped back on my bike after fixing it with my head totally in the game.  I had a huge mental struggle, getting mad that my paces had dropped and it really screwed with me.  By loop 3 I had lost even more time.  Partially due to my attitude, but I had yet another mechanical, this time worse because I was trying to fix it by shifting gears only to jam up both the front and rear derailleurs taking even more time to fix it right before a short steep hill.

Long story short I didn't have a pretty bike split.  My time was 2:44.  I was passed by a girl in my age group and my sub 5 goal was out of reach.  I struggled with getting my head back in the game.  I hate to say, but I even considered dropping out.  I just wasn't feeling it.

THANKFULLY, I bitch slapped myself into remember why I do this stuff.  I choose to do it because I enjoy it.  I enjoy being out there, I enjoy the work, the pain, the accomplishments.

I had a quick T-2 and headed out on my run.  It took me all of 1 mile to get my head back in the game and realize I was going to finish this day, regardless of the outcome.  I felt good, strong, steady.  While I was slowly loosing my goal pace of 8min miles, I was not fading nearly as bad as many others out there.  As I passed through the transition area heading out for loop 2 I was overwhelmed by the cheers of my friends out there.  My first local team and family, Racelab.  My training partners, my husband.  It lifted me and carried me the entire second loop.  I never looked back, I just kept moving forward.

In the end I had a very solid run.  I took 10mins off last years run time and managed a surprise 2nd place in my age group.  My first 70.3 distance podium.

While I'm still mad at my bike, I've also got ideas of how to fix the mechanical an some changes to make to help me ride stronger (starting with a new cassette).  I also reviewed the race results and it looks like everyone's bike times were slower by about 3ish minutes from last year, so despite my mechanical issues, I'm sure I would have been slower than planned as well (and it also makes me feel better about my crappy bike time).

I'm ending the season tired, happy and completely satisfied with my accomplishments.  It's been a tough, tough year personally but I've also found myself finding new dreams and goals I never could have imagined possible.

I've got a fantastic life, I'm healthy happy and besides the minor detail that I'm about to be jobless…. the possibilities are endless

Cheers ;)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dream Big

Of course a post with "dream" in the title would come right after the ever-inspiring Ironman World Championships, right?

I know everyone will have their favorite stories of the day, people that surprised them, endured, kicked ass, survived.  Who didn't love watching Leanda Cave run herself into first place, IM World Champ?  In fact, Shane and I were at sushi happy hour, sitting at the bar with my iphone leaning up against the menu watching the live feed.  Our bartender/waiter actually came around to see why the hell we were staring at the menu, #weirdos!   He was relieved to see we were actually watching something.

When our bill came, Shane looked up at him and said, "extra point (tip!) if you can name what it is that we are watching."   His response… Ugh, Kswiss Triathlon????   Lol.  Yah, something like that!  When we told it what it was, his response was "oh, cool!  have you heard of Ragnar?  I heard it's like really really hard!"

We just laughed.

I followed this year's race and pre-race coverage more closely than ever.  I had envy.  I wanted to be there.  I wanted to be there like never before… Could it be because I can, for the fist time, actually see I may have the potential of actually earning my way there?  You know, in the past I always said I had no interest in racing in Kona.  I never entered the lottery, I never thought it possible.  I said the heat would kill me, the ocean scares me (It does!).  But now I find myself longing for it.  I find myself looking at AG qualifying times and thinking, maybe, just maybe I could get there some day!  I don't know when it will be be, or what race will help me get there, but for once I'm starting to actually believe it can happen!

As I sit here thinking about all the possibilities, and dreaming big I'm in my first day of taper week before my next, and last triathlon of the season.  Soma Half Ironman.  My love/hate relationship with this race continues year after year, yet I somehow keep finding myself on that starting line.  I really wasn't going to do it this year.  I wanted to bask in my ironman canada high and recover for a while. Shane was going to to do it to put some revenge on his body that failed him at IMCA.  So, about 4 weeks out I realized how quickly I recovered from IMCA and was going to be training along with him anyway, so I might as well do it.  I registered 2 weeks ago!

Now I find that I'm excited for this Sunday.  I've got some run confidence going into the race and have nothing to lose by just going for it!  The only thing that doesn't feel 100% are my bike legs (and the couple extra lbs I'm carrying around in my post Ironman bliss!), but I'm hoping that's just from my harder running efforts.  Either way.  100degrees or 75degrees, come this weekend I'll put my last effort forward for the year and put it all out there.

Go Big or Go Home!