She’s not hungry

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.

 

More Data for Better Living – Swim Stroke Rate

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.

First Race of the Season!

Woo Hoo!

Discovery Bay Tri – Sprint Saturday, April 22, 2017.

700 Yard Swim – 16 (15.4) Mile Bike – 5k Run

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’m aiming for fun, fast fun, but mainly fun.

Onward!

 

 

Finally, progress!

Not me y’all, Lake San Antonio!!

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.

-FH

This really doesn’t feel very important

Like many people, I’m despondent right now. Triathlon doesn’t seem to be worth anything. Why train at all? Why even try to do anything?

I know that there is tons of advice about picking yourself up and carrying on.

I’m not feeling it. I worked out this morning. I don’t know what the point of it was but I went anyway, so there is that.

I don’t have to do a triathlon or a trail race or a 5k. I can do other things and that’s ok. It doesn’t dishonor or devalue what I’ve done to not keep doing it.

I am weird – Part Infinity!!

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.

Tired right now

Since the events in my last blog, I have raced three times. Two trail runs and one triathlon. No race reports.

I’m very tired right now. Had a very, very big work project that ate all my energy in May and June. I’m completely burned out on triathlon. The emotional work of trying to decide to race Alcatraz took so much out of me that I don’t think I can even race the Oakland Sprint much less jump into the bay.

There is only so much bandwidth in any of our lives. I am stepping back from tri right now because I can see that it’s too much. It feels like an obligation, rather than a privilege and that’s not a flavor of energy that I want to associate with my stress releasing me time activity.

I focusing on strength training and endurance running now. I’m lifting twice a week and keeping up with my yoga practice. I’m running three days a week and once the reg link is live, I’m hoping to do the Golden Hills Trail Marathon in October.

After that, I will probably switch to working on running speed and 5 k training with the long term goal on being able to run 1.5 miles in 12 minutes (that’s 8:00/mile which is fast for me but I think within sight).

 

Let’s make some reasonable goals!

Wildflower  cometh, and with it the massive amounts of anxiety that can only be dealt with by obsessively playing with triathlon calculators and training data to come up with a a decently realistic set of race goals.

I took too long and too off an off season.  I didn’t take it easy and do some running, biking, swimming and other fun things. I did fuck all for like two months. So I’m slower than last year. Sigh, so annoying but I did it to myself.

I can think about my long term goals, things like “Do a 5k under thirty minutes!” and “Do an Olympic tri in three hours!” but those are to be worked at for years. Those are goals where the process must be savoured, cuz I’m gonna be working on that shit for aaaagggggeeeesssss……..

I can think about my comparative goals. I always compare my speed to the pros on the ITU/Olympic circuit. I try to go half as fast as they do.

For instance, Carolina Routier swam 1500 meters in Abu Dhabi on March 5, 2016 in 18:48 which is just under 1:15/100 meters. I want to swim the swim at Wildflower in 37:36 2:30/100m twice her time. This goal is a bit tricky when you’ve got either tide or current at play (Oakland Triathlon was against the flood tide last year, thus, slow as dirt swim).

Wildflower is in a lake, so it should be relatively fast. There is no pro field in the race I am doing. The best women’s swim time last year was 19:12 for a 38:24 or 2:20/100 y.  I think I can do that! When I do pull buoy sets I can hold 2:22 easily so I’m going to set 38:24 as the goal for the swim.

Last year’s best bike time was 1:17:19 19.2 mph.  That’s pretty slow, so the hills are a big impact.

And I have no idea how fast I am right now, in any capacity, on the bike.  I do my very hard bike work on the trainer – which is great for hitting power targets and watching fun videos. It sucks for translating into road speed. You can’t take your bike wheel speed because the trainer resistance is very different from pedaling on the road.

I really want to average 16 mph because that’s about what I did for my last Oly tri. Averaging 16 mph on this course would actually make me faster than I was on the flat course from last year. I have been training really hard and I raced that race too easy.

and the run. Is split into two parts. Due to the drought, when we come out of the water, we have to run 2.2 miles to our bikes. After we bike, then we run the other 4 miles. So, ummm, how the hell do you plan the pace?

Heart rate! If I am planning to race for 3:30 – 4:00 then I should be staying in the high zone 3, low zone 4 heart rate zones. That’s it, just forget about pace and focus on effort.  Yeah, I’d like to do the run in something like 1:10 – 1:15 but it’s hilly and it’s going to be hot so I have no idea if that’s realistic in any way.

I should stop bloody worrying about speed and focus on racing at the right intensity so I don’t blow myself up trying to hit an unrealistic pace target. Which means ignore just about everything I’ve written so far (except the swim part, that’s still valid).

My goal for Wildflower is to race in Zone 3 to low Zone 4 for the entire bike and run.  That means not going too hard on the uphills and pushing the downhills.

Effort, effort, effort. Sounds like a triathlon, actually.

-fh