Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What I have learned this year

First off, the mighty magnolia is just a little over 10 days away and the training is winding down.  There is not much I can do at this point to make myself better for this race.   Riding the race course a few times and swimming some is all I have planned.  I'm sure I will run some too. 

This summer of triathlon has been all over the place.  It started out pretty good then progressively got worse only to be really good for me at the last race.  I can tell I have gotten stronger and smarter.  I just think back to what I used to do/think and I can only laugh.  I was such a noob.  I am guess I still am a noob.  It is/was fun being a noob. What have I learned you might ask?  Well I have learned it takes some consistency.  The 2 months leading up to my last race were my most consistent.  On a side note those past 2 months were the first 2 months I started training with people that were faster than me too.  Coincidence?  I think not.  I was putting in good mileage on my bike leading up to that race and even had to take the last 2 weeks before the race completely off and still had my best bike to date.  Probably my best bike for a while too.  I have also learned it is better to train with people that are faster.  Duh.  When I first started training with this group of guys I was the slowest.  Now I am equal to or faster than everyone. There is no question they have pushed me to where I am now.  I have also learned that I just want to get faster from here.  Who doesn't right?  The thing I can get faster at would be the run.  The best way to do that would be to lose more weight. I have lost a bunch so far and want to drop like 10 more pounds.  These will probably be the hardest 10 to drop.  Maybe I can get some help from this person?  It has definitely helped in the past. (good luck at Kona too)

So from here where am I headed? I do have some race plans for the rest of the year and next year.  After my triathlon I will be putting the bike and goggles down for a while.  I plan to just run up to the Stennis Space Center half marathon on Thanksgiving weekend.  I need to up my mileage before that race.  From there I plan to do a triathlon in Gulfport in March and hopefully do the bike leg of the NOLA Half Iron.  I also want to race Memphis in May and Heatwave.  Memphis in May has been moved to Tunica, MS at the casino resort and I want to check that out.

The last thing I have learned is I am not very good at this blog thing.  Oh well, it is pretty fun sometimes and it adds some accountability.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tri4Life Race Report-Finding my Rhythm

Finally a race report that I am actually looking forward to writing. Let me preface it with this. Saturday I did the Tri4life Triathlon that consisted of a 1/3 mile swim, 13 mile bike, and a 5k. This was my "A" race. I had a few goals going in as I guess I do in all of my races, but I chose not to blog about them with my race luck last year. With that being said my goals were to average over 20 mph on the bike and run a 5k under 30 min and no walking. Leading up to the race I hadn't been able to train as much as I wanted to but what can you do about it. I actually only rode my bike twice in the last 3 weeks leading up to the race.

I rode up to the race the day of with Jeremiah. The race started at 7 so we left Hattiesburg at 4:30. I wanted to do this so I would get to sleep in my own bed the night before. There is something about your own bed. Anyway, we got there in plenty of time and did all of the prerace routine stuff. I got set up talked to a bunch of different people and waited for the race to start. Once again, no warm up.Why? I don't know. Race time.

We had a time trial swim start every 5 seconds. I hit the water and got into a good routine, but I didn't start my watch. I'm such a noob. I messed with it about halfway through the swim and finally hit start. For some reason I couldn't find start. This was a watch I don't wear very often. Once again, a noob move. I hadn't been training by heart rate all summer so what do I do come race time? That's right. I wore my heart rate monitor. I had a good rhythm the whole swim and before I know it I am done. My swim time was 5:10. That's very fast for 1/3 mile. So the course was a little short but who is counting. I made my way into T1 feeling pretty good.

I made my way out to the bike mount. I had a good flying mount and got out onto the course. Another goal for this ride was to not be passed. Once again I looked for a good rhythm. I wanted to definitely average over 20 but to also have an even bike. By that I mean to not get into the red zone too bad and not be able to run. With that being said I averaged 24.5 mph for the first 2 miles. Whoa. Slow down. I would definitely be in the red zone really quick doing that. I felt great. I found my rhythm and started picking people off one by one. The first part of the course was very flat. Once I got to the hills I just stayed within myself. Sure I slowed down some but still kept the effort steady. It was mostly rolling hills. I stayed in the aero position for most of them but got out in one of them but only by choice. Once again, no red zone. We had one big hill that I went up fairly easily and got up to 32 mph coming down. That definitely helps the average. On the way back, I just kept the effort up and started checking my times. I really liked these times. I still hadn't been passed and was continuing to reel people in. I got back into the park and what happens? I get passed. No way, this isn't happening to me right now. I wasn't going to get passed especially in the park so I got him back right at the line. Actually, the only way I could pass him was because he had to clip out and I was already on top of my shoes. Had he passed me it wouldn't have been so bad. I reeled him in from a long way away but nonetheless he didn't pass me. I dismounted and made my way into T2. I averaged 22.4 mph on the bike. That's right I said 22.4. First time over 20 mph and obviously my fastest average ever.

Once I got into T2 I wasn’t feeling so good. Who ever does? Maybe the last second pass jumped my heart rate up. I did the whole shoe change race belt swap and made my way out onto the course. They didn’t want us running out where they were biking in so had to run on a makeshift trail through the trees. The trail was dark and full of roots. I was really careful running through there. The last thing I wanted was to fall flat on my face. Stupid me didn’t think to take off my sunglasses. Oh well once we got out of the trees it was fine. I hate to say it but I ran conservatively. Who runs conservative in a 5k? I do. I couldn’t stop thinking about the run in my last race where I blew up. Plus, they didn’t have a mile marker so I had no idea how I was running. At the turn around I saw a friend of mine and had a new run goal. Don’t get caught by him. Soon after I saw him I saw my training partner and speedy runner Jason so I had a newer goal. Don’t get caught by Jason. I knew if I could hold Jason off I would have a decent run. Once I got back into the part I had my rabbit sized up. He had passed me right after we got onto the run but I wasn’t going to let him beat me to the line. Plus, it was like I could smell Jason back there which I was right in thinking so because after the race he said he had me sized up to pass me. On the last turn I was running hard. We finished down a hill in the trees again with all of the roots but I didn’t care. They told us to be careful at the finish but I was all out. I held Jason off and beat the other guy in front of me. It was the first time I had to hold down some projectile vomit from exercising. `My run time with T2 included (they didn’t take it out) was 30:20. My usual T2 time is around 1:20 so I will say I ran a 29 flat. Even though I ran conservatively I will take it. I finished in 1:12. I was just a few minutes behind Jason. I beat him on the bike and swim and he smoked me on the run. I was 7th in my AG and 66th overall.

Team H.A.M.R. (our tri-club) had a good showing. We had a few age group winners and plenty that placed and Jason was 4th in our AG. I had a blast. That was a great race especially being a new race.

With it being on 9/11 they had some firemen that did the race. They biked and ran in their full fireman gear. They said it added 45 extra pounds. They were brave. They all finished together and at the finish we all lined the finishing chute and gave them a huge cheer. It was pretty neat.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Slipping Again

It seems like I am getting good at this.  Since I'm not that great at much (read swimming, biking, running) I am good at not blogging. Life and work seem to always get in the way.  Especially work.  I have one GOOD year and they double my expectations for the next year.  I can't complain too much though I did get a big year end bonus and an all expenses paid trip coming up in November.  So needless to say without having much time on my hands I haven't had much time to train.  I have been able to run some but not as much as I would like.  Oh well what can you do about it.  As my next race approaches (Sept 11) once again I am back in the pool.  I am so inconsistent about swimming.  I think I will be ok come race day though.  My plan is to get in as much swimming as I can these next 10 days.  Looking at my schedule I should be able to swim 5 more times.  I will be fine

Back a couple a weeks ago I was logging alot of miles on my bike.  In fact, I had the most miles I have ever had.  124 miles to be exact.  Most of that was done in groups too.  Our newly formed tri club has regularly schedules rides.  I hope this helps me in these next 2 races.  I'm sure it won't hurt.

Now that it is September I am anxiously awaiting 2 things.  Anyone want to guess what those are?  Football and cooler weather.  In fact, we (Southern Miss) kick off the year tomorrow.  Let's go Eagles!!  The cooler weather won't hurt either.  Just for it not to be in the 90's would be great.  Come on Fall.