What happens when you put someone who has been training for Ironman distance into a Sprint Triathlon on a whim? Well, I'll tell you. You can go maybe a TAD bit faster than normal, and finish ready for the next workout :)
July so far has been about all these fun new challenging workouts. Short, hard, max effort, hammer up the hill, squat, lunge, then run or ride on those squat and lunged legs, repeat. No 5hour rides (although the swim distance is still there, so are the 100's repeat!), no long slow HR caps.
I'm loving the mixup of training, and based on what my Garmin is showing, it's MUCH needed. My legs poop out on the max effort 1min hill repeats with a HR BARELY hitting 170. I can run at 145-150 all day long but that 170 on the bike I literally almost fell over at the top of the hill only to dart down it and do it all over again.
I guess I got off topic here. Shane & I were out on this gorgeous ride on the old IM Course by Hayden Lake. It was a Friday afternoon and I took a long lunch. It was perfect weather, perfect scenery and I was happy as a clam. I have absolutely no idea how the idea popped into my head, but I said to Shane, "what do you think would happen if I raced a Sprint tri on Sunday." He replied, "Well, you probably won't win."
Challenge Accepted. Kidding. But, of course I got home and send Michelle and email saying something about Good idea? Or, Bad idea, trashed slow ironman legs? I honestly wasn't sure what she would say, but I figured if the idea is to get me out of my comfort zone and try to find some top end, or at least get me out of Ironman speed then a sprint race would certainly give me that opportunity.
Michelle thought it was a great idea but she instilled a PANIC REST taking my long hill repeat ride off for Saturday in lieu of an easy flush ride trying to give my legs a little last minute pop. So, Saturday I soft peddled for about an hour and rode over to the race registration. The race would take place just down the path from our rental so I could just wake up and ride my bike there in the am. Perfect!
The quick recap (how much detail can there be for a race that is just barely over an hour!?) is I had a blast. It was very well organized, a good mix of local pro and elites all the way to beginners. I was in a swim wave with all women 30-39 and I did just exactly what I've been trying to do for YEARS in the water. I started out in the front hard and didn't let up when I wanted to. I swam with one other girl who started to pull away so I got behind her until she was veering too wide from the buoy line so I pulled away and swam straight . We exited the water together as the first two in the group and I hauled ass up the 1/4 mile stretch from the river.
From there on out I stayed out in front passing the youngsters that started behind me on the bike. The bike had lots of turns and 2 loops for just 11.5 miles. Thankfully I'm well experienced with that since all of our races in Tempe do the exact same thing. My legs and lungs burned from the get go but I just tried not to let up. I didn't get passed once and was out onto the run with a quick ~:30 transition.
The run was an out and back with a 1 mile jaunt off to the side (.5mile uphill/.5mile downhill). I had ONE speed. I didn't wear a Garmin but I checked my watch at every mile marker and mile one was only my half ironman pace :) Thankfully, each mile mile my legs loosened up and I could get a faster turnover. Who negative splits a 5k by ~1minute? Clearly someone who is in Ironman shape....
I was passed only once on the run by someone who started in the wave 5minutes behind me so I was super happy to finish a race for the first time ever NEVER being (race wise) passed.
I checked the results later and while my splits are nothing to be very impressed with, my attitude to go out there and go hard and not give up (YAY, I'm finally learning how to race a swim!!!) = mission completed!
I ended up winning my age group by ~ 6 minutes and coming in as the first age grouper (non pro or Elite) for the day so couldn't ask for anything more (the results show one girl ahead of me that started in my wave but pretty sure it's a mix up since no one was ahead of me or passed me).
This is my second local race here and I have 3 more - I'm very impressed with how organized and well everything runs so I hope the next races are the same! Loving the different venues, different competition and overall experiences of this summer.
Next up is a very HARD and hilly race that starts in the same place as IMCDA. It's a very competitive race that has been going on for over 30 years. I competed as a relay a few years ago (swimming), but I'm up for the challenge of that nasty (yet gorgeous) bike ride!