Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Baby No. 2

Tracking Coach K and three other local triathletes as they competed in Ironman Boulder made me wish I was racing too. Is it normal to want to do another 140.6 mile race so soon after my first? I mean, it's only been a little over a week since I completed Vineman and my blisters haven't even healed.

I guess my enthusiasm comes from the potential I see for improvement. I felt this same way after completing Barb's Race the first time. I was energized by the fact that even though I raced well, I knew deep down that I could have done so much more. I think I can do a lot more at the 140.6 distance too. Of course, once Coach K explained that my training program had been designed to complete the event and not necessarily race it, I knew for sure that I could do more.


Words of wisdom from my all-time favorite Forty Niner :-)
Swim

Sometimes I feel like I’m my own worst enemy in the swim. I’ve been fortunate to have some great swim coaches at my disposal and my swimming has definitely improved. Unfortunately, during races (and even practice) I choose to take the path of least resistance which for me is swimming slowly. Coach K wants my 500’s to be descending??? Ok I'll make them descending...swim the first one, add paddles to the second one, and add fins to the third. Ta-da! Descending 500’s a-la-Tracy (I just ratted myself out!)

There is a chance that the next “big” race I do will be wetsuit-optional. This means that I will need to swim sans wetsuit if I want it to count. My wetsuit is my safety blanket. I always assumed that I would NEVER do a race without it. However, if I want to consider a wetsuit-optional race, I am going to have to step up my swimming game.

Coach John has never had a problem striking fear in me and getting me off the wall. I still remember the night he decided to focus on (punish???) me for some reason (could have been because I was sitting on the wall) and he pushed me and pushed me and pushed me. As much as I hated that, I think it’s something I need. I need someone calling me out when I'm doggin' it. Coach James would be the ideal person to do that, but I think he's is scared of me! Honestly James, the looks I give you are just my normal face (aka Bitchy Resting Face) LOL

Lots of room for improvement!

Bike

I rubbed my inner thighs raw in spots during Vineman. This had never really been a problem for me. Following the race, I did a little research. I found that this rubbing could be a result of a couple of things 1) poor cycling technique or 2) a cycle fit problem. Either way, this is something that I can work to correct.

Of course my knee jerk reaction was to order a new saddle, which will probably help some. I chose the Adamo Attack because it is the narrowest saddle ISM makes and because it’s also the one Miranda Carfrae races on. 

Back to the bike fit issue. Earlier this year, Specialized recalled the aerobars on my Shiv. The fix proved to be less than ideal because it moved my arm rests an inch and a half further away than originally set up. During the process of trying to get me closer to the arm rests, the fit “expert” at the bike shop completely changed the set up of my bike. The seat was moved forward, back, lowered and who knows what else. He even moved the pads (just the foam pieces) back about ½” in order to close the gap. Apparently he didn’t see anything wrong with having the pads off the actual rest. It looked stupid, so I moved the pads back. 

Since that time, the bike just hasn’t felt right. I find that my calves get tight at the end of long rides, one or both of my feet go numb (and I haven’t changed shoes) and of course, there is the whole “rubbing” issue. I have contacted our local bike expert, Robert Fuller of RS Bike Labs and have an appointment with him this week!

The question of poor cycling technique remains. I mean honestly…I’ve only been doing triathlons ( and riding) for three years now. There is a definite possibility that my riding technique needs some work. In 2014, I had the benefit of having Coach James  ride with me a lot. This year however, he’s been more focused on swimming, so my riding technique hasn’t had much work.

I have read that it takes 10,000 hours to master a sport. According to my Garmin data I rode approximate 234 hours in the last year. I see plenty of room for improvement.

Run
I started running several years ago with my dog in an attempt to burn off some of his energy. It wasn’t something I did quickly or consistently. In 2006, I completed my very first running event ever. It was the Asparagus Festival “Great Spear-It 5K Run. In 2007, I completed two 5Ks. 2008 and 2010 were single event years and apparently I took 2009 off completely (must have been exhausted from my demanding race schedule LOL).

In 2012 I once again signed up for my annual go at the “Great Spear-It 5K Run”. This time I actually placed in my age group. It was a first for me and also an indication that the faster people decided to stay home that Sunday. Regardless of the reason I got my medal, the taste of success lit a fire in me. I wanted to keep running and racing. Since that time, I’ve seen some quicker paces and some slower paces, but I’ve never been comfortable at any speed. Running always feels like a struggle for me.


I’ve read plenty of books about running technique and form and I’ve been briefly able to apply some of that to real world running, but it never seems to stick. As soon as I am distracted, my form falls apart. My solution? I have registered for a Chi Running clinic this fall. This clinic is being taught by the man himself, Danny Dryer, the creator of Chi Running (I have two of his books and one video)….I am so excited!!




I think out of all three disciplines, running has the most room for me to improve.

Race Weight

This is the fourth piece of the puzzle. I had every intention of getting to a certain weight before Vineman, but it didn’t happen. To be honest, I didn’t even try to get there after my training started ramping up. Most of the time I was hungry and I just didn’t put the effort into really watching what was going into my body.This correction will be a 2 phased goal. Phase 1) Get below 140 before CIM Phase 2) Drop another 5 (if possible) before my next “big” race.

Hope

I may be completely off-base with all of my thoughts on where I can improve, but right now I am feeling energized and focused. Each day is one step closer to my next, although still undecided goal. I will probably compete in one or two more triathlons this season for fun, but my main focus is going to be working on the areas that need improvement ;-)