My daughter is five. She recently started kindergarten and we have settled into a morning routine. She usually has cereal for breakfast.
This morning she didn’t finish it. I saw that bowl with milk and little “o”s in it and I got mad. “I work for the money for that food!” “Why is she wasting food?” She doesn’t intend those things though.
Why was I mad? I was mad because I would never have done that. I filled the bowl and sprinkled sugar on it and drank down every last drop of milk. Why? Because I was hungry. She’s not finishing it because she isn’t hungry for it.
My kid has enough to eat. She eats when she is hungry and stops when she is full. We make sure that she gets enough protein and eats vegetables and don’t make her clean her plate.
I get frustrated when she doesn’t eat a lot or rejects food without trying it. Her tastes and appetite change. But sometimes she’s not hungry and that’s a good thing.
So I know my stroke rate in the pool is slow – usually around 44 spm. I was racing on Sunday and my stroke rate was ~60 spm. I know that a faster stroke rate is better, and it’s definitely better for open water – I hadn’t been aiming for it, I just fell into it. I went back and looked at my previous four races this year. Same deal – my arms always move faster when I’m racing.
I’m much faster in the water when I race and I had been chalking that up solely to the wetsuit but now I’m thinking it’s a combo of wet suit and a higher cadence.
There were family logistics to consider so I didn’t sleep at home, which meant that I didn’t sleep. Not too much of a bother and I was up bright and early. Or really, when my alarm went off I lay in bed and visualized by race for twenty minutes.
Got to the race on time, got checked in and set up. Set up the technical error for later and chatted with fellow racers. There were quite a few first timers and this was a good race for them! Very small (about 160 registered), flat course, easy water. I handed our some spare equipment and advice, mostly to wait at the start of the swim and not go off too fast.
As it always does on race day, the time flew by. There are always first timers showing up fifteen minutes before the start like it’s a 5k and they can stroll up. I never know whether to laugh or feel sorry for them. I didn’t feel too nervous until I had to put on my wetsuit and then I started getting butterflies.
The Olympic Race went off at 8 (a very civilized start time) and I got into the water ten minutes later to warm up. I really warmed up, not just paddling around to get used to the temperature, which was a perfect 66 degrees, but really revving up my heart rate a couple of times. Getting out of breath with a few accelerations and then hanging out waiting for the start.
We were swimming north, which is great because we never had to sight into the sun. I was nice and warm. I had confidence from my training and I went for it. Not too hard but definitely pushing my pace. I was aggressive at the start and going around the buoy. My sighting was good and I finally figured out how to keep my goggle from fogging up! I could actually see for the whole race and it was awesome.
T1 – Goal 6:00 – Race Time – 4:16. This seems good but let me tell you what happened.
I have a bit of pride around my transitions. So much pride that I kept my bike shoes on my pedals, even though I haven’t practiced getting into them while moving since last May. Yeah. Good T1 time that led to a complete stop 400 yards into the bike to put my damn shoes on. And it was a tiny transition area so even if I had run in the shoes it wouldn’t have cost me much time at all. I lost the forest for the trees right there but I was able to laugh at myself and learn from it.
Bike – Goal – 1:00:00 – 16 MPH – Race Time 57:06 – 17 MPH
Despite my technical snafu, my bike time was good. It felt amazing. I was able to laugh off my jackassery and get stuck in. The course was very well marked and volunteers were doing a great job. My handling was not confident as this was my first outdoor ride on my road bike this year. So there are a couple of minutes I could have shaved off with better technical execution.
My effort was steady and strong, with a good cadence. I never got tired. I spent a solid amount of time in the drops – which is something I’m working on improving. There was a woman in my age group who was right in front of me for half the bike. I passed her just after the halfway point but she passed me right back (and then slowed down to the same speed so she just wanted to be in front). We turned east with about four miles to go and I noticed two things. 1) We had a headwind and 2) she hadn’t been in her drops the whole race. I got in my drops, passed her and dropped her. I was going too hard at that point but damn if it didn’t feel good. She was a few seconds behind me coming in to T2 (Spoiler, she didn’t pass me on the run).
T2 – Goal – 2:00 – Race Time – 1:05
Still got it!
Run – Goal – 32:30 – 10:30/mile – Race Time – 33:40 – 10:52
Well – I’m ok with it. I raced hard. The run was pancake flat with no cover. It was a slog. About a half mile out from transition a newbie triathlete I had been chatting with passed me. I saw that she was in my age group. Ugh. I stuck to my pace. She was about 100 yards in front of me at the turnaround. I thought I could get her.
Last year my age group was six people and I really wanted a podium. I kicked it up just a tiny notch. She wasn’t coming back though. We were both passing people at the same rate. I was hurting. Then I saw her walk to take a drink from her bottle. She started to look tired.
There are two ways you can go at the end of a race. There is the “horses coming back to the barn” surge of speed and there is the “Whew, that’s over with” relaxation and slowing. There was a slight downhill and she didn’t speed up on it. I started pushing harder. Then a tiny up hill to a hairpin turn and the finish chute. I pushed up the hill and turned she was ten yards in front of me.
Well if there’s one thing I can do, it’s sprint forty yards for sixth place! I passed her right before the line and had to bend over to not fall down. I very properly negative split my run and ran so hard at the end I nearly threw up – so a standard day at the office for me.
Total Time – Goal – 1:57:30 – Race Time – 1:51:35
Overall 31/64 Division 9/25 Age Group – 6/11
It’s funny, last time this race was run, that time would have gotten me second in my age group – so I hit the time I wanted.
Super fun day. I would absolutely recommend this race, well organized, well run, would race again.
Continuing my two year tradition – this will probably be my first open water swim of the year. Not exactly setting myself up for success. I may try to get a quick one in this weekend along with some transition practice.
Last year I managed to mount my bike with the shoes on the pedals and get into them while riding (and not knock either myself or anyone else down). I did not manage to get my feet out while riding. I had practiced the maneuver with dry feet. When I tried to take my feet out at the end of the bike leg, the moisture from the swim had stuck the shoes to my feet and I couldn’t get them off. This year I will practice with wet feet and lube my bike shoes so they slip off more easily.
(I don’t do the “flying mount” (shown at :55) or dismount. I run my bike to the mount line and then mount regularly, using my clipped on shoes as pedals until I get some speed, then put my feet in. On the way back my goal is to get my feet out, stop the bike and then dismount regularly. The time savings I get is from not having to run in my bike shoes.)
This is a very small race. Last year in the ten year age group there were six women. I think I have a chance at coming top ten! Actually, I think I have a chance at the podium – so that’s exciting/motivating/scary.
The swim is in a freshwater marina, so no current and a very “honest” swim time. T1 is ~400 yards. The bike and run are dead flat and T2 is short. I’m thinking it will be fast but not super fast. The training plan I’ve been following hasn’t had much in the way of outdoor riding which gives me very little context for what my effort level is going to look like in terms of speed.
I’m going with a conservative prediction on this one.
Swim – 17:30 – 2:30/100y Swim training has been going quite well. I’ve been able to hold 2:36/100 for 1000 yards and that was moseying along. I’m not giving myself any wetsuit credit or drafting credit. I will be wearing a wetsuit, so this could be much, much faster.
T1 – 6:00 – Big cushion here. I have done a slightly shorter transition in under four minutes but I don’t know the terrain.
Bike – 1:00:00 – 16 MPH As I said, no idea what my outdoor speed is right now. My last flat bike race was a touch over 17 and that was almost a year ago.
T2 – 2:00 – I haven’t transitioned in 10 months. This could be crap or it could be under a minute.
Run – 32:30 – 10:30/mile – Running has been going ok but I’m not feeling super fast right now. Holding 10:30 will probably actually be really hard and this could be closer to 35.
I’ve been at loose ends for a while now, really since last May. Sort of floating along. I’ve been consistent with strength training for almost 8 months, which is great! I don’t have any goals for 2017. I was planning to set my year around Wildflower, but Wildflower isn’t going to happen so I have been needing to give my self something to build my fitness year around.
One thing I haven’t focused really ever is getting faster as a runner. I used to believe I was “slow.” Now I know that I’m as fast as I work to be and I could get faster if I put in work.
I still have not broken 30 minutes for a 5k, so that is going down this year. I can do push ups (go me!) so I want to increase those and work on pull ups. The overarching goal is consistency. To stick with it and not sorry too much about outcomes.
The plan is as follows:
One Long Run, One Tempo Run, One Interval Day, two full-body weight days and one yoga day. I should be able to separate all runs and strength sessions by minimum 8 hours and generally 24 hours.
I may add in easy runs or some cycling and swimming at a recovery level but only if I do not have excessive fatigue. When in doubt, leave it out.
Tracking mood and energy levels with nutrition. I am not trying to lose weight, I’m weight stable and have been for four years and my focus for the last year has been getting adequate protein – 100g per day.
I need to keep a good handle on sleep hygiene. No caffeine after lunch, get to bed at a consistent time, solid bed time routine.
Schedule baseline testing and retests. For me this will include racing with a focus on 5ks. I did a 5k on New Year’s Day and I’m planning to do the same race next year to see my progress.
Wildflower was cancelled and took the rest of the TriCal season with it, which totally sucks as they have been a bulwark of the independent triathlon scene for a long time. They said that they would return to Wildflower when Lake San Antonio was once again above 20% capacity and they could hold the swim at the Lynch boat ramp.
I’ve been tracking the reservoir levels and they have been dropping, slowly, all year. Even when the rain started, even when rain fell on the lake, still the level went down. What was going on? Was the ground that dry in the lakebed and watershed that it was all just getting absorbed? Considering how dry it has been for the past five or six years, yeah.
California is in the midst of a massive rain storm and I checked in and yes!!! Lake San Antonio got an inch of rain in one day last week (for non-Californians – that’s a lot) as well as continuing direct rainfall and rain on the watershed. It has gone from 6% full last week to 11% full as of yesterday. That includes an increase in overall depth of more than 12 feet in three days this week and an increase of 1.3 miles in length. If you have been to Lake San Antonio that will mean a lot to you, as the actual lake has been really, really far from the Transition/Finish Line/Festival Area for years.
Now we all now that this was just an elaborate ploy to keep Jesse Thomas from 7-peating but as soon as Wildflower is back, I will be there and I hope you will too.
The triathlon season is winding to a close. So naturally, I’m getting excited about triathlon again!!
I trained longer and harder than ever for Wildflower and I definitely burnt out a bit. It didn’t help that my big race for the fall was cancelled. I learned that I am an emotionally fragile athlete. Losing that race from my calendar threw me into such a tailspin that I shut down and sort of hibernated.
I came out of that thinking I would go for a fall marathon – but I totally overtrained and did in my knee. Yay.
I was starting to look at 2017 this week and I was pencilling in Wildflower, perhaps even Wildflower Long Course as my first ~70 mile triathlon. Then the news came that Wildflower was cancelled, along with the entire Tri-Cal season.
Bizarrely enough, that got me kind of fired up. I started poking around, seeing what races were going to be where.
Next year’s tentative race calendar
November 2016 – January 2017 – get back into the flow of training.
Early February – test 5k – I really, really want to break 30 minutes for a 5k. At Monte Rio this year, as the run leg of a triathlon, I ran 30:01. I should be able to break 30 with sufficient training.
April 2 – Oakland Running Festival – I will be doing something – probably just volunteering, but potentially running a relay leg.
April 8-9 HITS Napa – I am committed to supporting local races. I will probably volunteer or even just cheer at this one.
April 22 – Discovery Bay Triathlon – Some teammates from OTC have gone out to this race the past two years. It’s tiny (71 finishers last year), it’s local. I looked up the results and if I had race there this year, I could very conceivably have podiumed in my age group. I am a firm believer in picking your ground. I am totally targeting this race to try and get an AG award.
Third Sunday in May – Tilden Tough Ten – I like this race. It’s as hard as you want it to be. I went into in this year with no specific training and I had a great time.
June 4 – Monte Rio Sprint – Another race I like. I have had two very good years in a row at this race. It’s well run on a fast course.
Sometime around Father’s Day – Woodmonster – Even though the course was changed this year, I still like this race. It’s unapologetically hard. I feel great when I finish it.
August 27 – Oakland Triathlon – I will be involved in this somehow. Depending on how I feel I will either 1) Volunteer 2) Cheer 3) Train moderately 4)Train hella hard.
Early November – Morro Bay – I might do this race next year, it’s on the radar. Or maybe I’ll do that fall marathon I keep thinking about.