Another recovery week, survived. Actually, this one went really well. I rested some, worked out some, played some. Isn't that what a recovery week is all about?
I had a great little run on Wednesday. Felt great. Allowed myself to sprint, just a little. Why not? I got such a runner's high that I picked wildflowers from the side of the road as I ran and tucked them behind my hair, eliciting curious smiles from passing cyclists. I blasted back into our neighborhood and down the hill to our house. I saw our neighbor out front, playing with the kids. I waved and ran even faster.
"Look at me! I'm such a super-fast badass, huh?" I said to myself, showing off. Later, our neighbor asked Brent if I was injured. He thought I was favoring one side. Can it get any more embarrassing? That's what I get for showboating.
Saturday, Brent, his brother, and I all did the club race (www.triclubsandiego.org). Believe it or not, it was my first club race. His brother, Brook, had never done a triathlon (he's training for the Nation's Tri in D.C. in Sept. (an Olympic)). I don't think he realizes what he signed up for! I put him on my commuter bike (Specialized Sirrus) since it didn't require clipless pedals and was faster than a mountain bike. Then, I dug up a wetsuit from a friend, which he somehow squeezed into with great difficulty.
On race morning, we woke up in what should have been plenty of time.
"Aren't the club races at 7?" I asked Brent, sleepily. He insisted they were at 8. Well, he should know. He does them all the time, I thought. He decided to check the website, just in case.
"You're right! It IS at 7!" he exclaimed. We all scrambled to get to the start. Where's my helmet? Where are my tri shorts? Ack! I'm usually so prepared! I can't believe I didn't forget anything (or any of his brother's stuff). Poor Brook was scared enough already, and now we were rushed on top of it all.
I got to the transition area, Body Glided myself and Brook and helped him into his wetsuit. The, it was time to get into the water. Not a minute to spare! Brent swam with his brother the whole time. I guess I had a bunch of pent-up energy from the week's rest. CA 70.3 just didn't leave me feeling that fatigued. I decided to race. The horn blew and we plunged into the murky waters of Mission Bay. After the cold, Oceanside Harbor the week before, the Bay felt warm and comforting. I swam as hard as I could, quickly disorienting myself. Bam! Whack! Slam! I got pummeled in the face and jaw a couple of times by elbows, fists, and feet. I was seeing stars. Why are the club races always the most aggressive? Finally, I reached the turn-around and started heading back. 800 meters for a sprint? Sheesh! Game on!
I reached shore and hopped onto my bike. All I wore was a singlet and tri shorts. As I started my 5 laps around Fiesta Island (12 miles), it started to drizzle. I just hammered harder, trying to keep warm. It was fun to put the pedal to the metal for once. I was able to eke out ~19 mph average (with race wheels). Oddly enough, I wasn't cold at all, and the typical gusty winds felt very mild to me. I cheered on Brook as I finished up, slipped into my running shoes and took off running.
After 1/2 miles, my legs found their rhythm. I was huffing and puffing and a stitch in my side wouldn't quit bugging me. I had forgotten how hard sprints can be! But I felt so good! I ran harder. On the final 2-mile lap (4 miles total), my legs became springy and bouncy, and I settled into a 10K pace. The final 400 meters approached. I caught sight of a thin, fit older gentleman in CAF (Challenged Athlete's Foundation) garb. Bob Babbitt (founder of CAF and Competitor and the sport of triathlon itself, in my opinion; plus, he's just an all-around great guy)! Could I pass him? Poor guy, running along, enjoying himself. He didn't know he had a HUGE target painted on his back! I started sprinting. It was going to be tough. As the finish line emerged, I blew by, panting, "You're hard to catch!"
"Go get 'em, kid!" he yelled back. I blasted through the timing mats, exhilarated. Afterwards, I tried valiently not to puke from going all out (and succeeded). Thanks, Bob, for making me push so hard!
I cooled down with Brook and Brent for an easy-going 2 miles. Afterwards, we enjoyed the awesome food all the volunteers had brought. Brook did his first tri and thoroughly enjoyed himself. He also realized he has his work cut out for him in September!
On Monday, Brent and I hopped into the pool for a UCSD masters workout. I was feeling particularly stressed out from work. Then, Brent pissed me off by making some rude comment about some young college girl. I started swimming, H-A-R-D. We started doing sets of 500s (meters, long course), my favorite. Terri, seeded us, and I remained the last swimmer of the group. As we all took off, she looked at me and said, "Okay, now you can mow them all done." As if this were my assignment, I took her very seriously and pushed off from the wall. My goggles were leaking so I took the first 100 easy. Then, I began picking them off. Swim, swim, swim, bubbles....bubbles? Excitement began to build. Draft, draft, touch toes once, twice. Ooops. Sorry. At the wall, quickly go around. One swimmer down. Next length, 2nd swimmer down. Next length, oops she didn't want to let me go. I checked ahead, all clear. I swam hard to the left and went around, squeezing in between her and the final front swimmer. Touched his toes. Hit the wall, and quickly took the lead. The gap between me and everyone else widened. I finished the 500, exhilarated. Terri smiled at me, "You did it!" Everyone else looked a bit pissed because of my aggressive swimming. I quickly apologized, and they all forgave me, just as quickly. I lead the rest of the workout. The pressure was on, now. I had to maintain my lead. I couldn't slow down now. I had half a length between me and the next swimmer behind me for the other 500s. I had a great swim! Plus, I got all my negative emotions out. Swimming angry is the bomb!