Sunday, June 9, 2013

Too Many Crybaby Moments

Between training and racing it's been a very full week. I can feel myself getting stronger in some areas, but others - like swimming - still need a lot of work.  I also need to work on my mental toughness since I had far too many crybaby moments this week.

Monday, June 3rd:
Tonight's swim was a train wreck. I got stuck in traffic on the way to the pool and felt like crap the whole time I was in the water.  I pulled off the full 350 yards, but not in the combination that I was supposed to.  I needed to take a breather every 25 yards.  This does not inspire confidence in my swimming abilities.  Sigh. I will be redoubling my efforts on Thursday.

Tuesday, June 4th:
After yesterday's disastrous swim, I needed tonight's brick to go well since it was my last chance to cram one in before this weekend's race - and boy did it ever. Granted, these miles were all done on the trainer, but still...I'm not complaining!

After my stellar ride, I threw on my running shoes, dashed up the basement stairs, and headed out for a 1 mile run.  Not bad at all.
If I can translate any of this to the road, Sunday's race should make me very happy.

Wednesday, June 5th:
 Tonight's workout was a short track workout with the whole tri team (we only did 2x400).

After the track workout, we walked across a parking lot to join the local running club for their weekly 5k "fun run". There's no chip timing, no course support, just a course and a clock.  I knew that this wasn't going to be a p/r run for me since I was already a little tired from the track workout (what is it with repeats and kicking the crap out of me?).  There were a few words from the club's president and then he shouted 'Go'. I took off and settled into a relatively comfortable pace for the first mile as a light drizzle began to fall. Mile 2 was a little rough. I had to stop and walk it off a little - which annoyed me to no end.  I picked it up and started running again.  After a while, I started hearing one of my teammates over my shoulder and I figured that since I had stayed in front of her for this long, I wasn't about to let her pass me!  Go figure, the course was .19 miles longer than a 5k, but overall it was a pretty good run, but there's always room to improve.

It got even better when the running club invited us to join them for beer and a cookout in the parking lot.  We hung out in the rain eating brats and sipping Miller.  It's nice to have my first race of the year out the way, so hopefully that will take care of some of the nerves before Sunday's duathlon.

Thursday, June 6th:
I was supposed to go to the pool tonight, but my legs were just completely shredded from last night.  I realize that swimming probably wouldn't have been that rough on my legs, but I'm being extra cautious since I've got 2 more races in the next 6 days - yeah, 3 races in 7 days was not the smartest thing I've ever done.

Friday, June 7th:
After a particularly un-fun morning at work, I left at 1pm (yay, summer hours!) and headed home to change into my swimsuit and grab my forgotten flip flops before driving out to the pool to cram in last night's missed workout.  I pretty much threw the Iron Cheerleader's swim workout out the window and focused on figuring out how to breathe on my right side (I can sort of do it, but my head comes up so far that my legs sink) and how to do a catch up stroke (helps protect your head/face in a triathlon swim).  I was by no means fast, but I did put in 50 yards more than the Iron Cheerleader called for!
After that, it was a quick trip to the grocery store and then some last minute cleaning before Little Sister, The Boyfriend, and Mason came over for dinner.  I haven't seen Little Sis in a few weeks and I haven't seen Mason since February!  Don't worry, he's still as cute as ever - all 5 lbs of him! So, without further ado, here are the pics.

Saturday, June 8th:
Mr. R&R and I drove down to Cudahy early this afternoon to pick up my race number for tomorrow's South Shore Duathlon. It was uneventful, as usual, and we took the opportunity to take a little walk to what I remembered as 'The Hill from Hell' last year.  It was even steeper and nastier than I remembered!  Fortunately, we were able to stop and enjoy the view at the bottom - something I won't be doing tomorrow morning. The water was so clear, it almost looked inviting!

 The rest of the day was spent figuring out how auto-multisport mode works on my new Garmin, gathering my race gear, and hydrating like it was my job.

Sunday, June 9th
As always, the alarm went off too early.  I showered, put on my race clothes, strapped my bike to the car, and Mr. R&R and I were on our way back to Cudahy for the 2013 edition of the South Shore Rock 'n Ride Duathlon.
"Breakfast" was consumed enroute
Once we arrived, I inflated my tires, racked my bike, set up my transition area, and picked up my timing chip.  I also took a few minutes to walk myself through where the bike in/out and run in/out areas were - which is good since they changed a bit from last year.

As gun time drew closer, I followed the herd into the starting area and watched as the speed demons from Wave 1 took off. 30 seconds later, it was my turn since I was in Wave 2 this year.  As soon as the gun went off, I settled into a comfortably miserable pace since I knew I needed a time cushion to help mitigate the damage that the Hill From Hell would do to my pace.
All smiles at the start
 Mile 1 ticked by in 8:48, just before the top of the hill. The run down the hill was fun, except for dodging and weaving around some people.
Going Down
Unfortunately, the free speed boost of running downhill was quickly nullified by having to run back up the hill!  It's a very twisty path and I swear that every time you turn a corner, you think that it's got to be the top, but no...there's more hill.
Going Up
Once I was up the hill, I did the best I could to recover my pace, but the hill definitely did a number on it.
I jogged through transition, switched to my cycling shoes, jammed my helmet on and hustled out to the mount line.

T1 Time: 2:39 (Not good. Not good at all. I've been lax about practicing transitions and it showed. This was just downright sloppy.)

I jumped on my bike and started pedaling furiously.  The first 2 miles were awesome.  Miles 3-5 were terrible. Miles 6-8 were decent. Mile 9 was a friggin' trainwreck. Mile 10 was passable.

See...I don't just ride it in the basement!
I don't exactly know what happened on the bike leg, but I suspect that it was a combination of being in the wrong gears (even though my cadence was amazing) and some serious crybaby moments - both of the mental (mind started quitting) and physical (chafing somewhere really bad) variety.  Whatever the case may be, I need to figure it out and fast.

At long last, the bike leg, and it's accompanying mental breakdown, was over. I hustled into transition, re-racked my bike, ripped my helmet off, and switched back to my running shoes.

T2: 1:45 (better, but still could use some work)

The first part of the second run wasn't too bad since I don't think my legs had figured out what was happening yet.  Like last year, the second run was a reverse of the first run, which meant that the Hill From Hell came up early on.  I ran down it, but mostly power walked up it - another huge crybaby moment. By the time I got to the top, I just wanted to be done - especially since the final climb to the top is just ugly steep.
My legs felt like lead for the last mile and the cramps in my quads were quickly becoming unbearable.  I ended up run/walking most of the  last mile - and I paid for it. I got passed in the final 1/4 mile. That stung.
At long last, the finish line came into view and I did my best to sprint in.

Ready for it to be over.
Official Finish Time: 1:26:54
That's a full 4:54 slower than last year. I've narrowed the cause down to a couple of factors: 1) both run courses were quite a bit longer than they were last year 2) my transitions were slower because I was switching from running shoes to bike shoes to running shoes 3) my bike time wasn't as good as it should have been.  I could throw a tantrum about this, or I can learn from it and improve going forward.  I'm pretty sure that tantrums qualify as crybaby moments, so I think I'll take the learn/move on approach!

Week 6 Totals:
Swim: 800 yards
Bike: 20 miles
Run: 9.3 miles
Total Time: 3 hours, 9 minutes


Anonymous said...

Does mr. R&R run/bike/swim with you or is he your photographer/press agent? I know he runs but I didn't know if you do races together.

Mary said...

He does race a lot of the same races that I do, however he sat this one out due to some nagging knee and bike issues. We've only raced side by side twice (Madison half marathon in 2009 and the Fox Cities debacle of 2010) - when he took pity on me and raced at my pace instead of setting the road on fire at his!