Monday, April 23, 2007

what a little training can do...

Saturday was my last big breakthrough workout with the team before beginning a taper.

TNT runs a "practice" triathlon at Stevens Creek reservoir every season. This is intended as a final dry run for putting everything together, finalizing nutrition and transition specifics, and building overall confidence.

Anyway, the practice tri is meant to be about 1/2 the distance of the event you are training for...which means that on Saturday I did an Olympic distance tri as a run-through! For reference.., the only tris I've done thus far have been Oly distance, and they left me feeling beat-up for a couple days. I was expecting to feel a little sore and out of it on Sunday, but I had no ill effects. The added volume of training for a long course event has put enough in the tank for me to comfortably complete an Oly tri in less time than it took me to complete Wildflower Oly last year. Way cool.

Anyway, here's a quick breakdown.

Swim: about 1500m in the reservoir. Long course people went first and did 2 loops of a 700-800m course. This was rougher than usual for me. The water was quite cold and it took me most of the first loop to warm up and find my rhythm. I also had trouble catching my breath and had to alter my breathing cycle. I'm still experiencing pain and tightness from the wonky rib; now Azeeza thinks it could be that my diaphragm could be in spasm and pulling things out of whack. Need to call Dr. Raines TODAY! Anyway, even with the less-than-stellar swim performance, I came out of the water pretty early. No dizziness or nausea; I remembered to use earplugs and to kick like a maniac the last 100 yards or so. Really helps.

T1: slower than molasses in January! Intentionally so. It was cold, so I decided to swap out the tri top for under armour, a jersey, and arm warmers. That took a little while with cold fingers and wet skin. Downed a gel, packed up my gear for the coaches to move, and ran with my bike to the mount line.

Bike: about 24 miles. Two loops of a 12 mile course. HILLY. First followed Foothill for a gradual climb out to a 1 lane bridge. Turned around and headed back 3 miles. Then made a right up Mt. Eden. Mt Eden is about a 3/4 mile climb...and after eveything I've been up to in training, DANG was it easy! :-) I dig hills. I got my spin on and passed about 8 people on the way up. Got to the top, said hey to Barney and Denise, heaved a sigh. Turned around and said "here comes chickensh*t." Everyone I passed headed uphill FLEW past me on the descent. I'm starting to think I should sign up for some of those King of the Mountain races, where they only time you going uphill. Anyway, after that we headed back into the park, up a nasty little puker of a hill, and then repeated the whole shebang. Tried to focus on eating on the bike, but forgot to set my watch to beep at me. Probably only got in about 500-600 calories.

T2: this is always fast for me. T2 was in a different spot than T1 (back up the puke hill). Threw off the arm warmers and jersey to run in the under armour.

Run: 6+ miles. Two loops of a 3+ mile course. Mostly a trail run hugging the side of the reservoir. Two nasty hills that I had to head up (and down) 2x each. One was the puker from the end of the bike ride. I was able to run comfortably the whole time, but my cadence was a little low...not sure why. Legs were dead at that point. Probably had to do with being a little pre-dehydrated from the day before...and the 3 glasses of red wine the night before. Well, won't be doing that before the race anyway. :-)

Finished in about 3:27. For reference, I did Wildflower in 3:35 last year, and Treasure Island in 3:05 (it's flat). Not bad for probably having had a 12 minute transition at T1, and not taking care of myself the few days before. Also probably only went out at about 65-70% effort.

Proud of myself today. :-)

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