Monday, March 31, 2008

Lonestar Report

Well, good thing today's an off day. I have lots of catching up to do with school projects and a couple of errands to run- among them taking my tri bike to the shop for a complete strip-down and tune up...I haven't gotten full work done on it like that since I bought it, so it really needs it.

The weekend went good. I stayed with with my coach's wife, Staci, and her parents at their house on Crystal Island which is a short ferry away from Galveston. Baby Ali came too, he's adoreable and a really good kid- the only time he cries is if he's hungry or needs to be changed. otherwise he smiles and makes funny sounds :) It's weird to think that when he's my age I'll be 40!!!!! OMG that makes me feel ancient.

Anyway, onto the races. In general- the course was a blast- flat and fast, only a minor crosswind riding parallel to the shore. The weather was ideal for my liking: humid, in the 70s and the sun even popped out by the run. Also, it's cool to do the winding through Moody Gardens. The ocean swim was very calm as it was on the bay side, and the temps were perfect with a wetsuit- not too cold and not too warm.

Saturday was the sprint. My swim did not go well. I lost my draft about 100m in and the next draft I caught was a ways behind where I wanted to be. It comes down to absolute focus for me and learning how to hurt in the water. I've picked up hurting on the bike the most and the run pain is coming along too (as neither of the three sports is my background and in tennis the "hurt" is more mental struggles than physical in the middle of a match). On the bike, I rode as strong as I could and got passed once near the finish by a guy whom I held on to the rest of the way. On the run, my legs felt pretty fresh and I pushed as hard as I could. Ended with a 20:56 split which had me content but definitely not overjoyed. I gave it my all on that run and was happy about that but talking to Ahmed later I did the bike all wrong (and would repeat this on Sunday's race hehe, oops) and should have gone way easy until I got passed from the BEGINNING stuck with that person, until another pass, go with them until another pass, etc etc etc. Stay with the person I'm drafting off of no matter how slow or fast. I'm talking legal draft of 3 bike lengths of course.

So for Sunday my focus was primarily on the swim- get it right. Concentrate place myself behind who I want to get out with and stay on them period. Swim as if there is no bike and run. Result- failed. I got next to Amanda Lovato and was with her oh, say, 50m until I screwed up. I should have been on her left side because breathing to my right is more comfortable for me in a race than breathing to my left thus having her on my right wouldn't hinder my ability to make sure I'm still on her as there'd be no need to sight. The rest of the swim I got behind some guy and came out of the water in a mediocre position and what coach called terrible, ha.

To the bike, and back to my mistake...I tried to justify myself to Ahmed but he wouldn't take my excuses- fair enough I need to learn and am absolutely not going to *&%^$ up on this strategy anymore. My stuborness led me to push as hard as I could on the bike from the beginning and try to put as much time into catching the lead girls as possible as they're all good runners. I raced the elite wave, and no, not because I think I'm pro yet, but for the learning/experience, the challenge, and seeing how close I could get to them. So my thought was if I let up even a little on the bike, Andrea Fisher, Amanda Lovato, and the other (not officially pros) in the wave- Michelle Leblanc, Peggy Yetman, and Julie Crosno would cream me bad. What should I have done? Bike very very very easy until another athlete passed me, go with them until another one, etc etc etc. And move along the bike course faster and faster while saving my legs as much as possible. Of course my rookie ego and head wouldn't let me and instead by the time I tried to hang with a couple of fast guys that went by after the tunraround, the lactate had me standing no chance.

Run time- CRAP! My legs were toast. wasn't pain from "I'm going hard and it hurts, but it's good and I need to block it out" was fatigue and heavy/trashed leg feeling of "this is going to be the longest 6.5 miles of my life- and it was. I'm dead serious, it felt longer than the marathon in Kona.

Ahmed's explanation: "because you got 1 (the swim) and 2 (the bike) wrong, your run sucks more than it should". Love it!! That's why this weekend's races were great- I got spanked and learned my lessons. It took me a couple of training races but I get it now. I really do hehe and next weekend I'll have the chance to do it at another local sprint- following exactly that plan on the swim and bike and going into the race with absolute ignorance and carelesness about anything else. I have to get it right then because the weekend after is Collegiate Nationals and, though not an A race, it's not a race I want to lose focus on.

Ok now I gotta go to the bike shop.