Saturday, October 31, 2009
I've had a week to let the race sink in. I am sitting in front of the computer, procrastinating the start of my second last long run. No better time to blog!!
I can tell I'm getting close to IM - it is a struggle to get out the door for even the shortest workouts. I am definately ready to race, and ready for the offseason that follows it!
I was very excited to race Soma. I had lots of friends heading up there to race or watch and really wanted to test my body.
This year has been so different for me in terms of training. I have been working a lot more (almost always overtime) and have lacked a lot of motivation. I haven't put in as many miles as I'm used to but have been making the workouts I can fit in, count. Despite the lack of quantity, I have still been feeling strong.
Soma was the perfect test for IM AZ, as it's basically the same swim and run course (just half as far!).
The swim start was waved but I have never swam in a rougher environment! Those chicks were brutal! I was literally grabbed (like fingers wrapped around leg, grabbed!). I made the mistake of wearing clear goggles since I thought we were starting before the sun came up. Nope! We swam straight into the bright Arizona sun. Blinding. I couldn't see anything in front, and the water was soooo dirty, I couldn't see the feet in front. I came to a dead stop 4 times to see where I was. Not a great start. Once we hit the buoys and I could see where I was going, I turned on the afterburners! Not a great swim time for me, but lesson learned. IM AZ I will bring the tinted goggles!
The Soma bike course was not what I expected (should learn to look at the maps before the race!). There were lots of turns making it very technical. It was very flat with only a few sections were you could stand and stretch. But the turns made it very difficult to find a rhythym. The first lap was very congested and there was a lot of drafting going on. The second and third laps thinned out and were legit - and windy. I didn't race with a computer so I only had my watch to monitor my pace. I was consistent and did all three laps in 50 minutes... exactly the way I want to race IM AZ - only add an hour to each lap!
The run started the same way all my runs are starting in races lately, I felt like ass. But this time, I was expecting it. After Muskoka, my coach stated the obvious, "You just did a 90 km TT, how are your legs supposed to feel?". I now give myself 4 - 5 miles to shake the crap feeling before I get tough with myself. There was a chick that was 30 seconds or so behind me on the bike. She passed me just after the first mile. I ran it in 7 minutes. I let her go, calling her bluff. I had confidence that I would start to feel better in a mile or two and I would bring her back. She only ever got 20 meters ahead. At mile 4, I brought her back, fast. I finished 6 minutes ahead of her.... tough lesson, but we've all been there! The run is pretty flat with minor, welcome undulations to change the muscle usage. Almost exactly the same as IM AZ.
By the end of the race the sun was out in full splendor - 89 degrees... hope for the same at IM!
"and now a word about my sponsor"
Having a kick ass sponsor that you really believe in is kinda' a catch 22. If the product works and you can't live without it, you should tell everyone how great it is..... however, you also don't want to give away all your "secrets", especially to those who may be challenging you for that podium spot. But the time has come.
I was fortunate enough this year (and next) to be sponsored by 1st Endurance nutrition. I have come to depend on two of their products for race day performance.
1. Optygen HP
These products have changed the way I race, no bull.