Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Coming and going . . .

Why don't I just sum it all up by saying this last week was interesting; interesting personally, professionally, and athletically. I am trying to wind it all down for the remainder of this week as I prepare for my first triathlon of the season, Belews Lake Sprint.

Last week I put in some solid workouts and finished the week with another triple play. Thanks to the calculations by the Athleticore website my week can be summarized with the following:

Run: 26.7 mi 
Bike: 126.7 mi
Sw: 9,600.0 yds

It is amazing to me to look at my workouts as numbers. I find these numbers incredibly disappointing for what I was considering a "solid" week. Back in the day we used to swim at least 10,000 yds a day and sometimes in a single practice! I only swim three days a week now so to see I averaged only 3200yds a workout is somewhat heartbreaking. BUT that's ok . . . I am not a real swimmer anymore, I guess . . . .sniffle, sniffle. I have been swimming at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center on Tuesdays and when I am running late I get to swim with(in the lane next to) the MAC Elite Team. Let me just say this team is not only super talented but they are beautiful. Years of dedication to the sport has created a body perfectly adapted to maximize efficiency and speed in the water. You look at them standing on the deck with their long arms, wide shoulders, narrow waists and big feet and you have to ask yourself are great athletes born or made? 

26.7 running miles is a good week for me. I usually only run 3 days a week but this past week I was able to sneak in an extra one. I had a day of drills, a tempo run, a long run, and a small track workout. 2nd time to the track this year! How many track workouts does it take to become legit? I do not think I will ever love running but I will say it is a lot more enjoyable when you do it with friends. I got to run with the Furman Fury on Thursday and Giants 1&2 on Sunday. The other two runs were by my lonesome and not so much fun . . . 

And then there is the bike. I am more than aware as I prepare for my first race that my cycling is lagging behind. I have no good excuse but there is a time for everything and everything takes time. 

While I am excited about racing this weekend I am not doing anything special to prepare for it. Yesterday morning I did spend a little bit of time in the pool working on my spotting technique. Open water spotting is a combination of timing and strength. To do it effectively you have to practice. I was a little rusty but after a few 50s of "spot the speedo" I felt a little more in the groove. Spot the Speedo is a little game I play where I hone in on a moving target on the deck and spot them . . . easy to do with the Elite team lingering around :) I will probably make ritualistic attempt to shaving my legs. Even though my legs aren't particularly hairy, the ritual is a vestige from my swimming days indicating race readiness. I will hopefully find an old pair of shoes still laced with quick laces and bike computer with a working battery. I will analyze my personal motivations and work hard to suppress my race anxieties. Finally, I will turn to music to supplement by inspiration.
Technically this song is a love song but I find the chorus motivating:
The first race of the season is always a bittersweet. You are never where you want to be but you want to have a great race regardless. Physically I am not ready to race so to me this race is more about building mental strength.

I want to wish the best of luck to Haycraft GTWD who is competing in the New Orleans 70.3 this weekend. He has come a long way and I am excited to watch his triathlon season progress. And also to my friends and teammates racing Belews. I can't wait to see you all out there!