Thursday, April 23, 2015

Turning up the Crazy



In my last posts, I talked about how I never had the physical fitness to do an oly, let alone race one. That is, until I started working with Coach Liz. It has been an amazing process and incredible transformation.

Where am I now? TURNING UP THE CRAZY.

If you want to get faster, you have to run fast. NOT faster. FAST.

(When I say "you", I mean ME. Everyone is different and has different needs in training, BUT if you are beyond newbie and are at the point you're striving for OA Podiums, ITU Worlds, etc. you might benefit from this).

What I mean by that is if you race 10Ks or Olympic distance races, it doesn't do you any good to run :20 or :30 seconds faster than 10K pace.

Think about it this way, if your average pace is a 9:00 pace, and you run intervals at :20 faster. This approach doesn't make you faster; it makes your existing speed sustainable because of accumulated fatigue.  Most people, and there is research to document this, SLOW down during a race. Running :20 faster for intervals simply means that you won't slow down as much. That means, they don't have the physical fitness or strength to hold the pace they were holding. The only thing you are doing is keeping your body at your current average pace. You start out faster.....and fade....it's not just you. It's everyone, and it's because of your training. It's not because you're mentally weak or can't handle pain. (Again, that approach isn't completely wrong. It's good for people who are newer to the sport or to people who primarily do longer distances and aren't used to lot's of high intensity workouts, but it doesn't engage those fast twitch muscles.)

Remember this: That type of workout is comfortable. You don't push out of your comfort zone. You get incrementally faster....maybe....or maybe you slow down over time....that's what happened to me.

In order to breakthrough that.....

YOU NEED TO RUN FAST. It's the only way to build the strength in order to race hard.

I did a bike threshold test. Immediately after that, I ran ALL OUT. THAT's how you get faster. Running at 10K, only ingrains 'running at 10K pace'. It does nothing to help me get faster.

We need to experience running outside our comfort zone. We need to hear our bodies when we are suffering (ie: no wearing an ipod). We need to learn how to handle the stress of true suffering, so on race day, we are able and willing to do what we need to, to be successful.

Run fast, do strength work, do plyo's. The goal is to get as strong as possible. Strong, to be able to hold good run form which in turn makes you a faster runner. Power to push off on your run.

Several weeks back, Liz gave me an interval workout to run faster than 10k pace.

"Ok", I thought. My 10K pace is in the upper 9 minute range, so she means 9:30 or so. After all, that's what I've always done. We all know the saying, "Do what you've done. Get what you always got." Or something like that.

I did the intervals. Within SECONDS, she responded with, "You should be doing these intervals in the 7:00 pace range not 9:30. The way to get faster is to go fast."

Oh.


For the coming weeks, Liz has put a little bug in my ear, "We have some good challenges coming your way. Embrace them."

I'm completely up for them. I've never had anyone push me like this. When she does it, I know that she really cares. She really wants me to be successful. She is personally vested in each and every single one of her athletes.

I don't need warm fuzzy. I don't need someone telling me "Good job" on a daily basis.

But it's really nice to have someone believe in me AND my goals....no matter how crazy or "out there" they seem to other people.

It's time for me to step up and take down the new challenges that she's throwing my way.


One more thing, this is her current blog post and a must read. Why? Because no matter what life throws at her, you'll never see a "poor me" post.  She's the toughest and most down to earth person I know. Welcome to Life. Welcome to the grind.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Learning to suffer


The other day, Mr. Tea was watching me do strides.I didn't know he was watching. 

When I got home, he said to me, "THAT's the form you need to use when you're racing. You don't. I bet you could run an 8-9 minute pace with that form. It was perfect. When you race, you still sort of trudge along, but you have this in you. You just have to do it."

Of course, this lead into a huge ♥ to ♥ conversation about my mad running skillz. Mr. Tea has been watching races since we got together. He has seen the very best runners run and the rest of us. He knows what good run form looks like.

I didn't make any excuses. I just listened to what he had to say.

It's not always easy to hear, "I think this is what you need to do."---especially when it is unsolicited. I mean, I'd like to think I'm already doing everything possible.


But, I needed to hear it. And no one has ever called me on it before. Liz calls me out when she thinks I'm not going hard enough. In fact, this week for intervals.....she didn't leave it for me to decide what I think *fast* is....nope.  

She said, "Tea. You will run these at a 7:00 pace".

The advantage that Mr. Tea has is that he can actually SEE me running.

Since THE TALK, I've been doing a lot of thinking. He's right. I could give every excuse in the book as to why I'm not running the way I should be, but they are just excuses.

I decided to change.



If Mr. Tea thinks I can run fast. And Coach thinks I can run faster. I need to STOP thinking that I CAN'T run faster....and RUN FASTER.

This will require that I focus 100% when I am running and NOT GIVE IN. I am strong. I can hold good running form. When I hold that form, I can run fast at less effort.

When I'm running, I am going to block out everything, block out distractions and only be concerned about being the absolute best runner that I can be at that time.

Today, I had a bike test....which went very well...thankyouforasking.

Immediately after the bike test, I had to run 20 minutes, starting at 5k pace and increasing pace every minute to faster than my fastest ever mile. I had to do that for 10 minutes.

THIS was my opportunity. I was going to RUN. NO FEAR. RUN. SUFFER.

And I did. I had a headwind the entire way out, but I didn't let it distract me. I focused on my form. I focused on running hard. 

And it hurt.....really bad....especially toward the end, but I managed to run a sub 9:00 pace, finishing at an 8:30 pace. Mr. Tea was right.

I was in a world of hurt. I really was, but I DID IT. 

I ran 2 miles in that 20 minutes, with 10 minutes of recovery....which were very very slow.

I realized that I can do that in a race. ONE MORE MILE. I know what it means now. I know what true suffering is. It's WAY beyond going HARD. It goes beyond paces or speeds. YOU GO UNTIL YOU ARE SUFFERING and then you push a little harder. You can't put a time on that because it's faster than anything you think you can do.

It truly means blocking out everything and going to a place that not many people are willing to go.

Drop everything. Forget who you think you are. Start today. Re-define who you are. 

That's what I'm going to practice. every.single.day.



Monday, April 20, 2015

Friends


I had a particularly good day today. At masters, I met two new guys who are super nice and were (right off the bat), easy to get along with. The chemistry in the lane was right on. (Sometimes just adding one person can be a struggle, but these guys fit right in).

The majority of my masters are men. I'm the only woman in my lane. The guys are so incredible. So supportive. The lane is the perfect mix of competition, support & kidding around.

After masters, I stayed to talk with a friend for awhile.

When I got back to work, I saw an article about friendships. It just really hit home for me. I thought I'd post it here.

I know I sound like a broken record, but I wouldn't be half the person I am without all of you. Here's the article, or you can click the link above.
*********************************************************************************


Friendship is one of the best aspects of life. That said, certain friends are certainly much better than others. A real friend and fake friend can be hard to distinguish, but they are very different! Real friends are people you can go to for anything. You know they will always be on your side, through thick and thin. Fake friends might as well be scum of the Earth for all the support they will give you. Use this guide to figure out if your friends are your real friends!

1. Support you in all your endeavors

A real best friend will encourage you with anything that you try! Whether it be taking up square dancing, or changing your career path, a real friend will be there every step of the way.

2. Love your dorky personality

We all have those dorky things we do on a regular basis. A real friend loves those things! In fact, if they are a true real friend they just might join inwith you!

3. Forgive you for anything

Sometimes you royally screw up. With fake friends, a mistake can cost you a friendship. Real friends will know that sometimes you’ll mess up. They will forgive you because they value your friendship more than your (temporary) mistake.

4. Always have your back

It isn’t a matter of who is on the other side, what the issue is, or if you’re in the wrong – a real friend will stand by you no matter what. They always are on your side and will fight for you with no questions asked. That’s just what a real friend does!

5. Let you explore your interests

As we grow, we discover new interests, and sometimes they seem very unlike ourselves! Fake friends will make fun of you and tell you to stick to the status quo. *cue High School Musical song* A real friend will let you do your thing and encourage you to explore this new part of yourself.

6. Know all your little quirks

We all have little quirks about ourselves (IE: we are cranky in the morning, we get flirtatious when drunk, we eat too many dinner rolls, etc.) that only our true friends know about. No one else knows you quite like your real friends. The fact that they notice those little quirks about you is a good sign!

7. They constantly keep in contact

Fake friends will only contact you when they need something or want to know some juicy gossip. Real friends will contact you wherever and whenever because they are always interested in what’s going on in your life. They don’t have to know the latest gossip about your relationship. They might just want to know what you had for lunch today.

8. They keep your secrets

If you can trust anyone to not gossip around town about your dark little secrets, it’s your real friends. Fake friends will treat your secrets like it’s nothing sacred. A real friend values your confidence, and will not tell anyone.

9. Don’t have to dress to impress

If you have to put on really nice clothes, do your hair, and make sure that you smell nice just to hang out – then you know you have fake friends. A true friend will let you come over in sweatpants with unwashed hair. The worst they might do is make a joke, but they won’t really care at all. They just want to spend time with you. Real friendship is measured in how gross you can look when you hang out!

10. They make time for you

It doesn’t matter if they only have an hour between work and their pottery class, a real friend will let you come over for a drink any time. It isn’t a matter of time, it’s a matter of they want to spend time with you, rather than having time to themselves.

11. Always have a shoulder to cry on

A big difference between real and fake friends is how they deal with your ups and downs. If you’re feeling down, a fake friend will pat you awkwardly on the shoulder and try to change the subject. Your real friends will wrap you in their arms and listen to you blubber all night, if you want them to. Real friends are there for you, whether you’re happy or sad.
If you’re trying to decide whether your friends are genuine or not, hopefully this guide helped you decipher which kind of friends you surround yourself with! It’s time to get real.

Source: “11 Differences Between Real Friends and Fake Friends,” from lifehack.org, by Morgan Hegarty


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Adapting


We probably all know someone who has lost a lot of weight. For awhile after losing the weight, they walk into clothing stores and automatically reach for their old sizes. 

Their brain hasn't adjusted to their new bodies.

This is why I stood in transition staring at all the bikes.

This is why I stared again later, seeing that no bikes had been returned yet.

I haven't adjusted to my new faster self. I know I've gotten really fast. But sometimes, I'm still surprised, no shocked at what I can do.

I haven't shed that old self. I still see people that I think look like athletes (like Fifi), and I don't see myself as one of those fast people.

I know I'm a great swimmer. I know that I'm a strong cyclist. I know that I'm a solid runner. 

But I still don't see myself that way. 

I think it will just take time. After all, I spent years as a back of the pack triathlete. It's only been recently that I've made these huge gains. 

I look at my times. I still shake my head and think "that can't really be MY time". 

In masters, we'll do intervals, and I have to calculate and re-calulate because I can't believe I can swim that fast.

I was recently asked about my bike speeds. I spit out some numbers. The guy said, "Wow. I didn't know you were an elite cyclist."

Me? Elite? No. At least not how I see myself.

When I head out on the course, I always line up in the front on the swim. And THAT took me awhile to do. I finally got fed up with fighting my way through slower swimmers. Whether I believe it or not, my times always mean I'm going to be first or second out of the water. 

When I get to the bike, I always look for any women that beat me out. I don't worry so much about catching them, but I will hunt down the men. I don't really think about my speed. (Hell, I don't even look at speed on my garmin). I just think of hitting my power zones. 

By the time the run rolls around, I can feel myself falling back into my old "slow" mentality. THAT's what I have to break out of. 

Instead of being surprised by my new found speed, I need to remember that I worked for it. I'm here because I worked for it. 

I don't know where this journey is going to take me, but I have a weird feeling that I haven't topped out yet.

That's what I really can't get my mind wrapped around.

I'm not even at my best yet. 



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Final thoughts

**UPDATE** Just fixed some grammatical errors that were making me crazy.

In true Tea fashion, I've been thinking about my race. For the first time ever, I'm not posting times. (I didn't in the race report either because the timing company jacked up a lot of people's times....mine included. I didn't swim a 1:00 1500m. If I did, I should be in the Olympics. As slow as I am, I didn't run a pace of 11:19. Haven't run a 10k at that pace in YEARS. Also, I didn't bike at 23mph. I had a fantastic bike, and it was over 20mph, but it wasn't 23mph). All that really matters to me is the fact that I felt like I had a great day.

The results are officially screwed up. That's why I haven't said anything about them.

Forget the times. I had a major mental breakthrough on Sunday.

Maybe it wasn't a breakthrough.

Naturally, people will get faster when they train consistently for any distance. It's incremental, but they will get faster.

I want to point out. That ALL my friends do long course. I am the only one that focuses on short course and intermediate. I have NO problem with that at all. I will be the loudest cheerleader at IM Boulder this year. I'll join you for a portion of your long rides. We can swim together. We can run together.

I recently had someone say to me that they were planning on placing at one of the races that I'm doing. (She's in my AG). The race is a sprint. At IM and 70.3's, she typically comes in around the 50% mark. The assumption, here, is that the Sprint is so easy that someone who usually comes in around the 50% ranking will magically be top 3 at the Sprint. The sprint is the distance that I am best at, and even I would NEVER say I'm going to podium. NEVER.

I took pause for a moment. Without realizing it, she completely disrepected the distances that I do. I didn't argue the point. I will say this here....if you focus on long course, you will not magically jump up to a podium at the shorter distances. If the field is "slow" that day, you could.

But unless you TRAIN for short course and intermediate, you don't know how to RACE short course.

THIS EXACT FACT IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN LEARNING FOR THE PAST YEAR AND A HALF. (I started focusing on short course races in 2012).

It's one thing to DO an oly. It's a completely different beast to RACE an olympic. The men and women who race those distances are SICK fast. They can handle a level of pain that can only be learned through correct training.

Going back to my mental breakthrough. This race wasn't a huge race as far as times....well, except for that AMAZING bike.

The was huge because it took me a year and a half (well actually....much MUCH longer than that) to get to the point that I could race 2/3 of an oly and run (not race) well. RUN without the physical pain.

I don't know if I am going to say this very well.

The reason I could never race an OLY is because I wasn't physically fit enough to do it. Could I cover the distance? YES. But that's NOT what I'm talking about.

When I ran on Sunday, I was so shocked at how I felt after riding like I did....I was at a loss. Instead of pushing my boundaries and running like I should have, I took the 10K as a time to relish what I have accomplished.

I know that probably sounds ridiculous. In a way, I had to get the monkey off my back. I had to have a "good" experience with the Oly.

I've always hated it because I couldn't figure it out. But DAMMIT, I am just stubborn enough to keep working at something until I get it right.

Sunday, I got it right. The next step for me will be that; now that I know I am physically fit enough to run hard....that's what I want to do. I want to race 3/3, not 2/3.

Everything clicked for me at the Sprint last year, and I keep getting better.

This year, it's going to be the Oly.


To anyone that thinks they can do a sprint while training for Ironman and podium. Go for it. I'm confident, but I'd never be cocky enough to think I could podium at IM just because I do at the sprint.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Race Report: Marquee

I was going to wait until I've rested, recovered and peed out all that damn water retention. But as it is, I'm tired and laying around a hotel room and thought, "Since all you're doing is hanging out waiting to pee, why not write up the report?"

There was so much awesome and so much more that I learned. This was probably my most successful race ever.

A couple of things going into the race:

I never posted a race plan on my blog, so I'll go through those details too. In other words, this could be rather long.....and boring. The forecast was supposed to be hot and windy. Liz and I adjusted my fueling/racing plan based on this. The day before, the forecast changed to cloudy and no wind. BONUS.

As it turned out, the day was hot and windy (during the second half of the bike course). Even though the forecast had moved around, I decided to "plan for the worst" and hope for the best. This was the best thing I've ever done. Many of you know that fueling for an OLY bike has just been a thorn in my side. Last year at SOMA, I nailed my nutrition and was hoping for a similar outcome.  Another interesting little twist: the bike course has no aid stations. None.

So. Another weird thing. I couldn't get a straight answer on how long the bike course was. In the athlete guide, on the website and at the athlete meeting, there were 5 different distances. Again, plan for the worst, hope for the best. I love being on the bike. I'll never complain about having to ride longer, but it does take fuel (especially when the course has none).

Transition set up.
Transition opens stupid early, like they all do. The woman next to me starts explaining to me how to set up my transition area. Like most triathletes, we all have our own patterns of behaviors. We keep doing things over and over so they become habit and on race day, we don't have to think about it.

I said to her, "I think I'm good. Thanks." She went on. I finally left to just get away from it for awhile.

This is really judgmental of me, but she had a really sweet bike. Let's call her FiFi. FiFi was really lean. Very fit. I kept thinking to myself, "Why do you even care? You will be LONG gone before I even finish."

At the same time, I would never say things to other athletes unless they ask. Let them do their thing. That's what they've practiced. That's what they know. On race day, some athletes like to talk. Others want to be quiet. Some people dump their bags and some have a meticulous way of setting up their areas. Respect the other athletes.


The swim

The plan for the swim was to go out moderately and negative split. Actually, that's the plan for the entire race.

The race has an olympic, a sprint and a super sprint. The Oly race started first. I was the last wave. That meant that the sprinters and super sprinters going after me.....well, they plus my age group were probably going to collide at the turnaround points for those distances.

I lined up in the front. All women +40 were in blue swim caps. I lined up in the front of the swim. Yeah, I know that's a little cocky right? I mean ALL women over 40, and I line up at the front?

For the first time in a long time, I was nervous at the start. I really wanted a successful race, and I was so worried that I wasn't going to be able to pull it off....that I was going to screw up something. Not really a vote of confidence, but sometimes that happens. This is the Oly distance. It's a hard distance for me, and I feel like I'm still just a newbie at the distance.

When the gun went off, everyone took off. The women you're just talking to and joking around with are now beating the shit out of you.

I was instantly passed by by what seemed to be half the field, but I knew that they were all going to pass out in due time.

Sure enough by 300m, they were all dropping back. By 650m, It was me and two other women (that I could see). I didn't know or really care where I was in the +40 women. I had these two women with me, and I was going to try to drop them as soon as I hit the the next buoy.

Looking back, I should have gone a little faster at the beginning, but that's because of what I found out later.

What I found out was that when the oly, sprint and super sprint all collided, it was mass CHAOS. We hit very new triathletes who were doing the back stroke. We ran into the slowest sprinters. We were already passing the slowest men from the Oly. It was crazy.

I held my line. I wanted to get faster. I felt like I had "faster" in me, but I had to be strategic at the same time. I saw one guy swim right into a buoy. Another backstroker cut right in front of me going horizontal.

When we made the last turn, I saw an opening. I had a straight line to the exit. I didn't look at my garmin. I felt good about my swim.

I grabbed the volunteers hand and up and out of the water they pulled me.

T2
I went TEARING down the runway to get to T2. I saw Mr. Tea. He yelled at me "YOU'RE TOP TEN OUT OF THE WATER."

Top 10? Wait. There's no way I'm top 10. I'm almost always 1 or 2. Whatever. It's time to RUN. And I ran to transition.

I PASSED PEOPLE RUNNING TO TRANSITION. All I knew was that whatever I had to do to make this a great day, I was going to make it happen.

That's a first.

I get to transition. I told Liz ahead of time that I was going to take my time. I wanted to reapply sunscreen. Well, I spent a little too much time there as I stared in disbelief.....the simple fact:

ALL THE BIKES WERE STILL RACKED.....EVEN FIFI. EVERY BIKE IN MY AGE GROUP WAS SITTING THERE.

Now, I've never....not once....podiumed at an Oly. BUT, I knew I had a really good swim, and the shocked look on my face must have been obvious because a guy on the next rack said to me, "you had a great swim."

And the thought stayed with me. FIFI's bike was still on the rack. She might pass me sometime today, but for right now....i beat Fifi.


I see Mr. Tea. I think I yelled at him. I'm not sure. All I know is that I'm ALL geeked up.

The bike

Most of you know that I got a new bike last week. What you probably didn't know is that I had not been able to ride it outside. I had NO idea what it was going to be like.....until yesterday when I took it for a spin around Tempe.

Let me say this. Me and Deus Ex Machina were made for each other.

As I hop on, I noticed that I wasn't getting any power or cadence info. Ok. That's fine. It usually takes a few seconds.

A few seconds later, I got nothing. I think back. Did I calibrate? Yes. Um. I'm at a loss. This is now the 2nd race that I will be racing without power.

I start doing some quick calculations. I didn't want to follow HR. (With the heat, it might be elevated). I decided to set a goal of 20mph. Based on my 70.3 last year, I thought I could pretty easily manage 20mph but anything above and beyond that is what I wanted. 20mph was the minimum speed.

My goal was to take the first 10-15 minutes building. Then, go for it.

This was really really tough for me. What was 171-182 watts going to feel like on my first ride outside? Was 20mph going to be hard enough?

It was all I had to go on. Demi can corner like no bike I've ever had. She climbs like a a GOD.

The men that I didn't catch on the swim, I would look, plot my strategy. (sharp turns, narrow passing lanes)....

And
SLINGSHOT ENGAGED

The only people that were catching me were the men in the sprint race. There were no women. I would catch woman in the previous waves and pass them.

At this point, I'm averaging over 20mph. I'm fueling according to plan. THEN, I see a pack of men. Clearly they sprinkled too much testerone on their Wheaties. I could make a move to catch them, but I had a feeling I should hold back for a second.

Just then, a guy from behind makes a passing move on a narrow section. I think to myself.

That's when I see the rider behind HIM, ALSO make a passing move.

And I SCREAMED, "NO!"

No one yelled out "passing" or "on your left. The guy in the middle got malachi crunched. He swerved into the guy passing. The collision of those two sent a 3rd rider down.

Four bikes down, immediately in front of me. I saw bikes flying and athletes skidding across the ground. I SCREAMED to the guy I just passed, "CUT RIGHT! CUT RIGHT!"

We both swerved into the lane of traffic.

We make our way around the accident and back into the race lanes. I didn't look back, but I'm sure bikes were stopping. (They had to). And I was hoping there was no more damage other than bruised egos.

The rest of the ride was uneventful. I never saw another woman in my AG until the woman from Havasu (Karen) passed me. We talked for a bit. She came in 3rd at Havasu, and I came in 3rd too. (Different race distances).

With 10 miles left, the wind hit. It was like riding into a wall. I saw my pace dropping and dropping and dropping. Liz had said to me, "Your speed will drop. Don't worry about it." But without power, how do I know if I'm going hard enough? Maybe I should be going harder? I stayed aero. And I pushed it.

As I came around the corner to head to T2. I glanced at my watch. 1:14. Wait. How's that possible. That's a 10 minute bike PR. I hopped off my bike and went RUNNING once again into transition.

Mr. Tea. has a HUGE smile. I had told him to look for me at around 1:30, but he got there early. All I kept thinking was, "EMAIL LIZ. TELL HER WHAT I DID!"

I threw my stuff down in transition. I stared again.

FiFi's bike was still not in.

Fueling: 450 Calories, 36oz of water and 1400 mg of sodium.

As I exited T2, I yelled to Mr. Tea. "Did you see what I did? Did you see it?" I think he was laughing at me.

I took off running.....or MY version of running.

So, the run. What I learned today, and this is a big deal....is that I space out on hills. I start plodding along. When I get to the downhill, I don't pick up the pace.

Even though, physically, I CAN. My legs felt great. I just plain space out.

I noticed this after the first loop. It's hot. I'm taking water and walking through the aid stations. I'm throwing ice down my shirt.

I get to the top of a hill....and I start to plod along the down hill.

WTF? SO. HELP. ME. Don't make me go all
"LOOK AT THE FLOWERS, LIZZIE" on your ass.

Are you willing to just THROW AWAY a PR?

Well, yes and no. The run was 6.5 miles. Although, I'm not sure, I think that's a PR pace.

But the biggest thing for me is that I now know that I have to keep my focus. I knew I wasn't afraid of running out of energy or blowing up.....but I couldn't quite figure out what I was doing wrong.

Also, I learned that my body is very strong. I was running, and I could physically feel the difference. That, to me, is a really big deal. I've never really felt that way before.

Now that I know that I can fuel correctly on the bike, and that I fuel correctly on the run (300 calories), and that I'm physically capable of running a 10k off the bike.....I'm ready for the next step.

I know it probably seems like I'm a slow learner and that I should just be able to run faster. You might be right. But, I'm really happy with my progress. There were a lot of issues that I've had to work through and some might be very basic to those of you that are runners, but I've had to learn them. On the other hand, there are things that completely come naturally to me on the swim and bike; things that take other people a long time to learn.

I can't begin to say how happy I am with this race overall. I have a sprint next month and then another Oly in June.

In Summary:
Although I think I did a pretty good job on the bike, I'd like to see if I was on track with my watts. A PR is great, but what if I can do better? The swim will be what it will, honestly. There are a lot of factors with the swim. Is the course measured correctly? Did I swim straight or go off course? Today's 1500m felt SO SHORT. Because of that, I think I have more speed in me.  The run: I'm happy with taking baby steps. I don't know what my next goal will be, but I know that I'm strong enough to run a 10k. I know that I have to work on my focus. Focus comes very naturally on the swim and bike. I don't know why I have to work so hard on the run, but I do.

I know this was very very long. I'm very very tired.

Thank you all for all your encouragement, calling me out on my own bullsh*t and being the best cheerleaders around (when I really need it).

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Let's go over this one more time


"Give yourself the race you've worked for all winter.  It won't be easy so really go after it and embrace any challenges you encounter."--Coach Liz

I wrote my race plan early in the week. Then, we had to make a slight adjustment after finding out the bike portion is actually longer than the normal oly bike course and that race day was going to be hot and windy. Although now, it's looking like it's going to be a very nice day.

I've gone over and over my race plan.
I don't know how I feel anymore. I have no expectations, but I don't usually for any race.

The Olympic distance has always been my nemesis.  In the Sprint, I have (as Tonya says) quite a collection of AG medals.

In the Olympic distance, the highest I've placed is 7th. In the past, I've always had nutritional issues. Last year was the first year, I really worked to resolve those issues.  When I did SOMA, I nailed the nutrition. It was a HUGE confidence booster.

I'm still a little nervous.

I keep telling myself to think about those intervals I've done. THINK about what I've accomplished on the bike, pushing intervals at 500watts, holding intervals for 245 watts. (HELL, holding 172-182 watts should be easy after that stuff, right? Well, nothing is easy in triathlon.) Focus on my run. Think about the runs off the bike that have felt like they've never felt before. They made me feel like a real, competitive, triathlete. Swims? I've gone to new levels, holding faster paces for longer and longer.

I do the Oly because it's the hardest distance. I want to get better at it. I want to one day say, "LOOK! I HELD close to threshold for X HOURS!!!" And yes, I would be screaming that.

I want to prove to myself that I can do something that I didn't really think was possible, but I put the goal out there for myself thinking that even if I didn't make it.....I'd be faster, stronger than I was before.

Still, there was this itty bitty voice deep inside me that believed that I COULD do it.

Now, I'm faced with my first oly of the year....I'm staring it down and wondering if I have the guts to make it happen.

Somewhere, buried deep inside is a little voice saying, "Yes. You can."