This weekend will mark my third time racing the Carlsbad Triathlon, which is my favorite local sprint race. I had some mechanical issues on the bike last year (again) which caused me to have to get off of the bike and re-adjust my seat. Combine that with my desire to completely hammer this bike course, and I should see some improvement in my T1-to-T2 time. Of course, I do plan to taper for this race by riding a 100 miles the day before - so maybe I won't have the best racing legs when I toe the line Sunday morning.
Last weekend was SDIT, which I really don't like - but will probably continue to do because it's one of the few local non-sprint races. I felt really bad on the bike, and didn't really attack on any of the hills. That was disappointing because this is my home turf - I know the course very well. Despite desire to vomit, I kept my speed relatively high and had a very respectable bike split. The run did not go well. I was no longer able to stave off vomiting, and I marked mile marker #2 with my breakfast. I tried to run properly, but I was suffering from nausea and breathing cramps. A friend of mine who passed me at mile 3 said I was "running with heavy feet" - which is my normal style, but something I need to fix. Somewhere around mile 4 KT came and ran with me, she was very kind saying things like "you look strong" and "you're pace is great". Despite the fact that those were overly kind exaggerations, I appreciated the help. Technically you're not allowed to be paced by someone outside the race - I even got a friendly "hey - no fair being paced by a hot girl!" comment - but I don't think anyone would object to a middle of the pack athlete running with someone for a half mile.
Below is the overview of my stats within the 30-34 Male age group the last two years at SDIT. I improved in 2009, but not as much as I should have. It's a grim reminder that I'm not in Ironman shape, and IMWI is right around the corner.
|YEAR||PLACE||SWIM RANK||SWIM||BIKE RANK||BIKE||RUN RANK||RUN||FINISH|
I followed up the race with some of my worst workouts ever. My week was something like this:
- Sunday: SDIT swim OK, bike tough but OK, run miserable and slow
- Monday: Day off - went drinking with old co-workers from Chicago
- Tuesday: Run at track - ran my best 1 mile TT ever, 6:47. Rest of workout mediocre
- Wednesday: Swim went poorly, found out I'm back to dropping my elbows!
- Thursday: Trail run. Had to cut the planned 10 mile route short to 8, because I felt like death. Started to feel dehydrated.
- Friday: 1 mile ocean swim, goggles leaked and nearly blinded myself with saltwater.
- Saturday: 8 hour, 92 mile ride. That's 11.5 MPH. Ouch.
- Sunday: Long run. Oops, turned into a 60 minute, 6 mile sufferfest.
I'm running like crap right now, even by my own usually pathetic standards. I'm not going to let this continue, and I've told myself "no more bad workouts". If I feel too beat to do a workout, I'm just skipping it. During the workout, I'm going to do it properly - when/if I cannot do it properly, I'm cutting it short. Perfect practice makes perfect, and all that.
My plan of attack for the running is:
- buy new shoes. Not really going to make me faster, but I need them anyway.
- brick off of every bike ride, at least for a few miles
- run with (closer to) proper form, even if that means shorter distances.
- run with more structure. No more "go run x miles" workouts, I need to have some purpose to each run.
- continue trail running. The uneven steps help me to decouple my breathing from my stride
- continue running on the track once a week. I run with much better form when on the track, need to figure out how to transfer that over. Plus we do good drills there.