Thursday, May 08, 2008

Life Goes On...

I'm finishing up week 4 of my "unstructured" training period, recommended for recovery following an Ironman. The post-Ironman blues phase has faded into more of a stone-washed denim. I feel well-rested, fully recovered and am mapping out my training plan for the summer. I feel energetic, healthy, and rarin' to go. Honestly, I can't wait.

I can't wait for my summer races. Can't wait to work on speed. Long, at last, I finally get to work on speed. After months and months of base training, I get to go fast. Oh, boy! I'm chomping at the bit. In addition, I get to settle back into the comfort of a routine training plan. Since summer is around the corner, I also get to look forward to long days at the beach, playing in the surf and boogie-boarding. Finally, I can't wait to keep all you guys up-to-date with more race reports and training rides, which will continue to breathe life into this entity of a blog. Sometimes I wonder if I don't train/race to blog!

5/4/08 Spring Sprint
5/18/08 Encinitas Sprint
6/29/08 San Diego International
7/19/08 Camp Pendleton International
8/9/08 Camp Pendleton Sprint
8/24/08 Santa Barbara Tri (Long Course)
9/7/08 Gatorman (3 mi ocean swim)
10/19/08 San Fran Nike Women's Marathon

Yup! It's a full season!

This Sunday, I kicked off the '08 season with the Spring Sprint Tri . Always a favorite. Even though IMAZ was technically my first triathlon of '08, I felt like it ended a season. Closed a chapter in my life. Hence some depression that follows the ending of anything. With Spring Sprint, I opened a new door, started a new beginning and felt nothing but a wash of excitement as I crossed the finish line. With a full season ahead, I have A TON of things to look foward to. Let the games begin!

Don't worry. The saga of my so-called tri-life will continue....

Spring Sprint Mini-Race Report:
I had a fantastic race. With absolutely no expectations, I arrived calm and relaxed. Met up with a ton of friends. I warmed up by running an easy mile. Stretched. Got into the water early and swam back-and-forth. Avoided the jellyfish floating menacingly about. Peed in my wetsuit. Realized I had gotten in too early because I was freezing if I tried to get out.
Swim:
I saw my wave lining up and joined them, seeding myself towards the back as I normally do. The horn blew and we were off...
I quickly realized I should have seeded myself up front. When swimming only 1/4 of a mile, cutting in and out of slower swimmers makes a difference on your time. The pack split into 2 groups, and I was caught amongst the slower swimmers. I squeezed my way to the front of the slower group and missed the draft for the faster group. Oops.
However, my sighting was spot on. First buoy--dead smack in the middle. Turn left, 2nd buoy. This was great! I had forgotten how quickly a 450 meter swim goes by. I felt strangely sentient for the swim-part of a triathlon; none of the disoriented fog I normally experience. 3rd buoy--Wham! 4th buoy--Boo-ya! Then turn left again. The 5th and last buoy was to the right. I noticed most of my wave swam waaay over towards the last buoy before cutting left again and swimming again. I decided to use my skills from geometry class and swim the straight line between 2 points (the shortest distance...ahem...you get the point). I abandoned the pack and cut left to swim straight in.
T1:
Out of the water, out of my wetsuit and into T1. Swim time: 9:30 minutes. Surprisingly slow. Oh, well. Not a big deal. Time to work on sprint sets in masters swimming! Yipee! T1 was pretty fast. I noticed many bikes were still on the rack. Since when did I get so competitive? Anyway, I didn't even dry my feet. Into my shoes, helmet on, and I'm gone. I definitely need to learn how to clip into my shoes on my bike. That's the next goal. Anyway, T1 took ~1:00. I think I could go faster if I practiced--my goal is to get it down to :30.
Bike:
The bike was sweeeet. Fiesta Island is normally windy but in the early morning fog, the winds were strangely absent. Conditions were cool and calm. Purrrfect. A nice change of pace after IMAZ. One girl on a pink Guru took off in front of me, right out of T1. I kept her in my sights. Since running is my strength, I just try to keep my competition in view on the bike, and go in for the kill on the run. Pink Guru girl faded at mile 4.5 of the 9 mile bike. My speed didn't change the entire time. With my Zipps (Speed Weaponry!), I was able to maintain a consistent 20 mph pace. I blew by her, entirely expecting her to chase me down. It never happened. Only 2 guys in the wave behind me passed me on the bike the entire time. This was my race. First time in my history of racing. I was having a great day. Screamed into T2 for a bike split of ~28 minutes. Whoo-hoo!
T2:
I definitely need to work on transitions! I'm still using shoelaces! Talk about old-school. My hands were shaking from pushing it on the bike. I need Yankz! 4 girls beat me out of transition. All-in-all T2 took me about 1:30. I can get this down to :20 if I unclip on the bike and get Yankz. Simple.
Run:
Keeping the girls who got out on the run first in my sights, I began the hunt. I was gasping for breath but decided to hammer. Afterall, it's a 5K. Worst-case scenario, I can slow down. All of a sudden, the course took me through deep sand. WTF? It's an obstacle course. I began leaping and bounding through the ice plants for better traction. I could feel my heart-rate soar but was passing people left and right so I didn't care. I passed all speedy T2 girls in the first 1/2 mile. Whoo-hoo! This was fun! For some reason, I felt super-competitive. I would find a poor victim with the age 30-34 on her calf and chase her down. Then, I immediately looked for my next prey. I was ravenous! I caught Michelle at mile 1.5, a good friend of mine who is super fast and has beat me on every previous race . We chatted for a bit (actually, I let her do the talking while I slowed up to recover--sorry Michelle!) before I pressed on. Girls and guys race so differently! Guys usually talk smack while girls pretend to be syrupy sweet. On the inside, we're thinking, Kill, kill, kill!
"Look at you, Miss Speedy," said Michelle.
"Well, you're really fast too. Good job!" I replied.
"You're doing great."
"You too."
"Don't let me hold you back."
"Oh, no. I'm sure you'll catch me in a minute," as I run on ahead. In my head, I'm thinking, I'm going to beat Michelle! Yessssss! (Again, sorry, Michelle! I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be able to catch you because you are SO fast and strong!)
I ran on ahead and began my 2nd lap. I couldn't find anyone else with the 30-34 numbers on their calf. Strange. The finishing chute came out of nowhere, and I mustered up the last bit of reserve to sprint down to the line. I didn't have much left for sprinting. Good. I normally leave too much in the tank anyway. Crossed the finish and actually recovered almost immediately--none of that pukey feeling I normally get from going hard.
Run: 22:30
Hmmm. Faster than my PR at the Carlsbad 5000 with the deep sand. I'm thinking that course must have been short b/c that time just seems impossible.
Total time: 1:03
A new PR for me by 4 minutes!!! Whoo-hoo! This is the year of PRs. Plus, I placed 6th in my AG, which has never happened before. I'm pretty happy. I wasn't trying to PR, which, of course, is when it always happens. I think I can break an hour next year!!!
I guess the moral of the story is: to go faster in a race, do an Ironman 3 weeks before.

All-in-all, I had a fantastic time, got in a great workout, and was able to reacquaint with several good friends. A good time was had by all.
Laying down the hammer at Spring Sprint

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fast certainly is relative.

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Awesome job! That huge mileage base makes a big difference in what you can do in shorter races. That's why college cross country teams do 100 mile weeks even though the longest race they do is 10k.

Keep it up. Looks like a great summer schedule.

Ryan Denner said...

"Sometimes I wonder if I don't train/race to blog!" - ITS ALL ABOUT THE BLOG!

beth said...

great report! yes- that sand was quite a surprise. i beat my carlsbad 5000 PR too, i think it was b/c the run was 3.0 instead of 3.1? also, i didn't know the swim was 450m, i thought 400 and was wondering why my time was. slow.
Can you PLLLLEEEEAASE come out to the club race on saturday and do your rachel ride on sunday? i have NO friends to ride with on sunday. so sad.

Marcy said...

Whooaaa CONGRATS chica! It seems like every time I read you just keep getting faster and faster :-)

PS. Could you do my speed work too? :P LOL

Kevin said...

Congrats on great race. You have quite a busy season scheuled

Shan said...

Yeah baby! Way to rock it! Your 2008 schedule looks awesome, and can't wait to see ya out there!!

If you're doing UCSD Masters swimming, you should just sign up for Masters tri, and then you could come to track and tempo workouts with us (they kick your butt, but are definitely fun - lots of amazing people come to those workouts). Plus turbo on Tuesdays and Fridays are awesome too...

Doing the club race this weekend? I think I might dust off the racing cobwebs and give it a whirl...it might not be pretty! :)

Ken Schulz said...

You are getting FAST!

Wes said...

Remember us back of the packers now that you are a speedy peep :-)

jameson said...

good seeing you on Sunday and congrats no a solid race!

Rainmaker said...

Looks like a great rest of the season! Plus, you got the hardest part taken care of already - so it's all 'fun' from here on out.

Btw, how are ya going to signup for IMC09 and be in Santa Barbara in the same day? ;)

Tri chick said...

Sounds like you had a great race!

Big Al said...

Rachel,
The swim and run distances are clearly listed on the Koz website. The swim was 400 meters not 450. The run was 3 miles not a 5k. The 3 mile run was exactly that according to my Garmin.

Good work.