Last year when I heard that the STG ironman was going to go from a full to a half I totally committed myself to a years worth of training to do it. It has been my dream for a while to do an ironman but I knew that I was still 3-4 years away from attempting one but knew I could be ready for a half in a year. I wrote down 3 good tune up races before the HiM on May 4th and this was the last of the 3. The first was Kokopelli an Olympic open water in September, a sprint in November (same one as this done twice a year where I set a 20 minute sprint pr) and then this one which is exactly 4 weeks out from 70.3.
Last summer I trained for both the Olympic and the marathon at the same time which brutalized me. After the marathon in October I was completely burned out and ended up taking the next couple months as low cutback months with the plan to start back up in earnest in January. January didn't go anywhere near as planned as I got the flu on Christmas, that nasty one with the cough that just wouldn't go away for 3-4 weeks so January still ended up being a cutback month. I upgraded my road bikes crank figuring I would be using it for the HiM in May as we saving to see my terminal sister in Canada sometime this spring. February went a lot better, as I got back up to my highs when training for the marathon and Kokopelli.
In February my sister also decided to move back down here where she had a better support system then Canada and that allowed me to instead save up for a new bike. My great local bike/triathlon shop put me on the layaway plan and the hope was to be able to have the bike a week or two before HiM in May. But then we got taxes back (first time in like 5 years as I was in regress for student loans when were struggling financially until like last September and I was actually no longer in regress so they didn't take my entire tax return this year) and I was able to get the bike last week. I am absolutely in love with it too, its a Quintanaroo Kilo TT triathlon bike and is super fast. I joke the engine was always good now we just took it out of the VW bus and put it in a sports car. My old road bike weighed 31 pounds my new TT bike weighs 19 pounds what a difference that makes.
March is always a tough month for me because I suffer greatly from spring allergies. It actually didn't dawn on me until this year that all my worst races ever have all come in March. Despite the allergies I forged ahead with my training and actually had my second highest month ever of 337 miles (run, bike and swim). It has made training tough at times and literally knocked me on my ass several weeks but I knew with HiM only 2 months out I couldn't afford to take the time off too much. I am thinking I will do Oceanside next year as my HiM as it was last week meaning I could taper during the worst of my allergies.
This week and next week were my big training weeks before a taper so I have been training a lot. On Thursday I ran 7 miles on the HiM course followed almost instantly by a 10.5 mile ride. This didn't go too well as I hadn't eaten in 12 hours and cramped a little on the bike but I still managed to average 19 MPH for the ride which is 3mph faster than what I got on my old tank of a road bike. So I was really looking forward to Saturdays race and trying for a 20Mph average on the bike portion.
Friday I woke up worst than usual and I kept telling myself all day it was just my allergies as I didn't want to jinx myself and try and make excuses for the race today. But by the middle of the day I knew it was more than allergies and that I had a pretty nasty cold (my son also has it as it seems we get each other sick constantly as we drink from the same water bottles all the time, poor kid). I still said screw it because I have heard people say they have done great in races despite colds and I was like now way is this cold stopping me from pring.
Did a quick warmup and strategy swim last night because this race is only 400m and typically I swim over 2000m for almost all my swims with my lows being 1500m swims. So I wanted to figure out how I would race it with it being just a quarter of my normal swim. Swam three sets of it, one as a break neck pace from the beginning and then next as a rest set and then another at a steady pace. Found out at the break neck pace I wore myself out after just 100m and that my times for the third set were just as good as the first set of 10 minutes so decided to go with the second strategy and if I had any left do break neck last 2 laps.
Last night I spent quite awhile trying to switch my pedals from my old bike to my new bike so I would have my cages (going to go clipless but not for awhile). I tell you that was the most frustrating experience ever because pedals defy everything I have ever been taught of righty tighty lefty loosey and you loosen them by going clockwise instead of counter clockwise. Had the bike shop owner and me texting back and forth until I got it figured out. Being about 10pm and being wiped out decided to take some cold medicine, allergy meds and go to bed. Could not find the cold meds at all and all I could find was the children's cold medicine as my wife was out with a friend. So I took the children's meds and that stuff is nasty how do you get kids to drink that stuff yuck. Set an alarm for 6am as the race starts at 7:30am.
Wake up feeling a little better than Friday but pretty crappy and not going to let it get in my way and pack everything I want for the race. I decided to ride to the race as it was only 1.75 miles from my house and seemed silly to load the bike for such a short trip. I got out of the house at 6:50 as this is a pool swim I didn't want to wait as long to get into the pool this time around and figured i'd be a little early and get in line earlier. Pull in and I realize I forgot my helmet, how the frak did I forget my helmet, I rode here how the heck does that happen. So I turn around and head back home to get my helmet and now know I am going to be almost last in the pool again.
Get back set up everything in transition and eat a bonk breaker and go get in line for the swim. Of course its a 40 minute wait and man was I thirsty the entire time, my allergies always make me super thirsty and I wish I had brought an extra water bottle. Finally hit the pool and I am swimming with another tri club member as you share lanes everything is going great. But he got in the pool before me and after 12 lengths he gets out and is replaced by a chick. I wanted to drown that chick. She swam right down the middle of the lane and at the first pass ran right into me even though I was on my side. She is slightly faster than me and and one point swam right over the top of me cmon fraking learn how to share a lane ughhhh. Swim was tough this morning as I was pretty congested and sadly couldn't match my time from the night before. Ended up swimming a 11:37 which was a 42 second pr from November but sadly not as fast as my swims the night before which were 10 flats. I am ok with that you can make up time on the bike and I am slower swimmer anyways.
Hit T1 and I think I got this down pretty good I set a new T1 pr by 1:18 vastly faster as T1 was only 2:45. Hit the bike and am doing pretty good the first lap but am dying of thirst and can't get enough to drink. Second lap kind of catches up with me as I just couldn't get enough to drink but know I will still easily set a pr. I am off the bike in 35:04 a 4:28 pr from last November which is good the new bike really made a difference just ran out of gas the second lap still doing good though.
T2 ended up being slower as I took the lid off my water bottle and tried to down the whole thing I am so thirsty, darn cold and allergies make me think I am dying man in a desert. t2 ends up being 53 seconds which is 13 seconds slower than November.
Hit the run and I know I am low on gas and am like ok lets just make sure you get a sub 30 5k, its been years since you ran anything over 30 so just suck it up buttercup I don't care how tired you are. Hit the first aid station and take a water and Gatorade as I am still dying of thirst. Its 2 loops on the run too and I am seeing a lot of my fellow tri club members out there running who were in line with me. So I know I am not doing too bad. Hit the second water station and take another water and Gatorade. I know I will easily get a sub 30 5k at this point unless I walk or something. So its like lets finish this bad boy even if you know your going to be slower on the run then last time. Hit the finish in 29:04 which was 30 seconds slower than November but ended up with a 1:19:24 which was a 5:44 pr from November. Pretty happy about that because I persevered and didn't let negative things get me down and it was a great last tune up for the HiM.
Stuck around for a free massage and to get my times and then rode home slowly haha
I was thinking last night I don't even really think of myself as a runner anymore, I have only one running goal this year but like 10 triathlon goals. I think of myself as a triathlete now and I can't even imagine just training for a running event anymore. Maybe I will get faster from all my triathlon training on running events but I don't think I will ever stop tri training and all my running prs will now be just a backlash to my tri training. Its a weird feeling, I mean I thought of myself as a runner for years and now I just can't associate with that anymore. All the events I look forward to are tris and the prs I want to set our in tri's.
It ended up being a good race and I am happy with it glad I still have some suck it up buttercup in me because I'll need it in 4 weeks. Next up Saint George Pro Championships Half Ironman 70.3 wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Wow, that was a longer RR. Your writing style does a good job of keeping my attention. Good job on the PR on the sprint tri. It's definitely something that I want to get in to but I need to do the pool work and get myself a decent racing bike. A whole lot of good luck to you on the HiM coming up in 4 weeks. That sounds like a blast.
Brrrrr I did my first sprint tri on a mountain bike with a nearly flat rear tire. A nice bike makes it easier but you can get started anywhere. Saw a ton of different bikes today. I would recommend some swim and pool time though, I agree with another tri club member who said you should learn to swim before you do a triathlon instead of doing the back stroke or doggy paddling the whole time.