Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Looking back, and Moving Forward!

I have to be honest. The start of this week has not been easy for me. I didn't have the race I wanted to have, I wasn't committed to another race, and whatever is going on in my calf muscle or bone (please please please let it be a soft tissue issue and not a stress fracture!!!) is killing me! And let's be honest- that other huge aspect of my know the whole attorney gig ...well it's reached a level of stress that for the first time seemed too much to handle. So many attorney's handle their stress through a beer (or two or ten), I handle it with triathlon training. So when both aren't going well I have some moments of weakness. This week, I've had more than the past 3 months combined.

So, the race report. Yes it was cold when we arived in the morning. But the sun came up, and it was the best weather we've had for this race in years!
Swim: I opted for the clean water over the draft. I didn't know if it was the right decision until I exited the water. Wrong! I've been swimming a ton, but still came out of the water in 31mins. Ugh! I ran up the ramp with Rachel Ross, and knew she'd hop on her bike and start working her way towards the leader. I just didn't know how far ahead that leader was.

Bike: Sadly after about 10miles Rachel was gone, and I hadn't caught many from our age group. I didn't know how many were ahead of me, but I was feeling good. The bike felt strong through mile 40. Then it was as if the light switch was turned off. I literally was thinking about how great I felt at mile 42, but at mile 43 I felt awful. My lower back started killing me. Up and over one of the last climbs I went. But this climb was a bit different than the rest. 3 guys saw my name on my number belt, and started singing Sweet Caroline. I felt rude by not singing with them. I NEVER resist the opportunity to belt out the lyrics to that song. Usually I jump up on the closest table and dance my butt off! But this just didn't seem like the time to be belting out Sweet Caroline. My back hurt and I just wanted to get on to the run. The bike was just ok. My time 5:53. I was about 8 mins off where I wanted to be, but I was still on track to break 5:00 if I had the run I was capable of.

Run: I've been running so strong lately! But not today. Sadly my stomach made it very clear that although I was hungry I didn't want any more calories. I am fortunate that I usually don't have this issue. My legs felt heavy, my stomach really wanted me to stop running, and my mental strength was dying. My run was 1:42. This was the disappointment of the day.
Although Gil (pic at the right) would like me to admit that the disappointment of the day was losing my bet to him. He started 3mins behind me, and we had a bet for who would get to the finish line first. I needed a strong run to catch him...and didn't. He had a great race, and won the bet!

The volume of training I've put in over the last 2 months has been higher than what I've ever been able to do for this race (or maybe for any race...even Kona last yr!). During those high volume weeks I told myself: "I want to do well at Cali, BUT that race is about building fitness for future races." I didn't have the greatest race last weekend, but I did beat last years time by 13 minutes. The best athletes look back at their training and race performance, and realize what can be done to improve performance moving forward. I know my training has put me in a position to have a season that blows away even last years accomplishments. So with that.... I look forward!ROW BLUE! (man it seems like forever ago that I was entrinched in that sport! This past weekend I had the opportunity to check out my girls! Ok they really can't be "my girls" anymore because I don't know a single chic on the team! But they sure did look like the Michigan Rowing that was built back in 1998-2001! The team returned to the San Diego Crew Classic for the first time since my freshman year. Although I was exhausted Sunday morning I woke up and ran to the shore line to chant "Lets Go Blue" over and over! They looked awesome! The 1V took the victory, and the 2V narrowly missed winning. Sadly they lost to our arch rival Univ. of Washington. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. Our media man clearly wasn't at the race because doesn't have any pics from the wknd. But here they are (I'd guess on a training day on Belleville Lk back in MI. They looked way better than this in their race uni's- however it was strange to see them in Addidas and not Nike!)

I put a LOT of thought into planning my race schedule for the year. Without a race plan and set goal I go crazy! I had to sit down and figure things out. I was 99% sure I would go back to Honu, but I don't think it is going to happen this year. Instead I will hit up some local olympic distance races (in an effort to focus on speed speed speed!), then head back to Lubbock in June, Vineman in July, and a late season Ironman to cap off the year. That's the plan for now....but with the way my week has gone, that could all change by next week.

However I did opt for a pretty awesome alternative to Honu!!!!!!!! My mom has dreamed of vacationing in Bermuda for years and years. She really wanted to go when she retired (1.5yrs ago), but we haven't made it over there. We also have this tradition of spending our bday wknds at different spa's thorughout the country. She thought of the idea my senior year in college when we were at a resort for NCAA's on my birthday. Last year I broke tradition and chose to race at Honu instead. I sacrificed everything to get to Kona. But is that what I really want this year?! Is that what is most important to me this year. NO! So often as people go through difficult times, they remember what is really important in life. Well I'm goiong through one of those times. And I never want to forget how important my family is to me. Time with them is golden! So in May my mom will board this ship
We'll celebrate our birthdays together- We will get to NYC on my mom's bday, May 16, and get off the ship on my BIG B-day: May 24. Ocean swims in Bermuda....SIGN ME UP! The main island is 14miles long, and 1 mile wide. Hmmmmm, running around the island would make for an amazing LONG run!

That was a long post! Lots going on in this little head of mine this week......


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