Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Believe - 2011 Tri Season

Dear Coach,

It's been a long off-season (probably too long.)  And now I am ready to swim/bike/run into the 2011 season.  I got some new toys for this season -- a Garmin, leg compression sleeves, arm warmers, a new training partner, new Aquasphere goggles (that actually fit my face) and a new dedication and focus for the season.

As you know, this is my last season in the 35 - 39 year age group category.  I need this year to be THE year to take triathlon to a new level.  That darn 40 - 44 year old category is so DARN fast!!!  I want to be ready for it and need to gain some speed in the 2011 season.

So here is my race plan for 2011

YMCA Indoor Tri - Mar. 7th (just to feel some speed again even though I will still be in the base period)
Eastern States 1/2 marathon - Mar 27th (the end of my base training)
Polarbear Tri - May ?
Mooseman Olympic distance Tri - June 4th
Black Fly International distance Tri - July 9th
Gloucester Fisherman Sprint Tri - August 7th
Age Group National Championship - August 20th
Pumpkinman Sprint Tri - Sept. 10th

My "A" races are definitely the Mooseman, AG National Championships and the Pumpkinman Sprint.

I have been getting back into swim/bike/run gradually but more consistently these past two weeks.  I am following Joel Friel's "Your Best Triathlon" base training so I'll be ready for a butt kicking once I get to you in March.

Coach -- I am being serious -- I am ready for whatever you have to dish out....track workouts, bike intervals until I puke, constant salt water hair......I'm ready.

BTW - I won't be ready for the nutrition portion until after January 1st, 2011.  These are my last few days of indulgent eating.  I know, I know, I know...it just makes me have to work that much harder on 1/1/2011.  But the biggest sacrifice and commitment I am making is to the nutrition piece.


Doing the calculations -- I can shave 4 minutes just by dropping the weight I need to.  You did say we were going to drop my 5k time down 3 - 5 minutes this season.  This SCARES and EXCITES the heck out of me.  This would put me @ 19:30 - 21:30.  HOLY COW!

I need to get in the right mindset for this.  And the theme for this year (thanks to you and my tri BFF Jen) is BELIEVE.

There are obstacles in my way from now until August -- no doubt.  But if you lay out the plan - I will push, run, bike, swim, crawl, lift, puke, cry and scream my way to the end.  Sometimes for me it is the mental part of triathlon that gets me in the end.  If you provide me the physical tools -- I will work on the mental one:

I will believe.

See you in March coach.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

First "Race" of the Season - a long way to go....

Today was my first race of the new season.  Well……wasn’t really a race – more of an organized run.  It was for Operation Jack, a satellite run for Train for Autism.  My tri BFF Jen talked me into running it and I finally registered the day before.

This was before:

Let’s just say – the during wasn’t pretty.  I definitely had an off-season after my last triathlon.  I trained from January all the way until the end of September and really needed to not do or think bike/swim/run for a long time.  I complied for the most part about the “do” but definitely not about the “think.”  But “thinking” did not help me today. Some "doing" might have made it a lot better.

This morning – 18 degrees.  BRRRRRRR……no……effin BRRRRRRR.  And this would be the one time I don’t bring eight different outfit options with me.  Jen showed up at 7:00 a.m. and I picked up another runner friend, Misty, and off we went up to Southern Maine Community College for the run.
Now – the longest distance I’ve done in a  strictly running race is a 5k.  I actually swore I wouldn’t ever do a 10K – I was going to jump up to the half-iron distance  and skip over the whole Olympic distance triathlon.  Today – I did my first 10K…….and not well.

Granted  -- let me get my “excuses” out of the way:

  1.  Started base training three days ago.  Running on the dreadmill, at a speed I am embarrassed to admit to, yielded a 169 heart rate three days ago.
  2. Prior to three days ago – no running since the third week in November. I was up to 8 miles at that time. After that: nada – because…
  3. I got very sick right after Thanksgiving – bronchitis and pneumonia that basically trashed my lungs for almost three weeks.  Strong, strong antibiotics, and orders forbidding me from running and had to stay out of the cold air as much as possible.

So today was my first 10k “race.”   Two words: it sucked.  The air was so cold and raw that it felt like all my airways constricted.  I was breathing really shallow and basically my lungs burned for the first two miles.  Thank God Jen was there to distract me from myself.  I vaguely remember her singing Christmas carols and pointing out a Santa that had fallen drunk along the route(I think it was an inflatable one – but I can’t be sure.)  The pace was glacial for her – but she is an awesome friend and stuck with me. 

Oh and one more thing about the route – how in the hell can there be that many HILLS in one South Portland neighborhood????  For crying out loud – Jen finally just said “don’t look up.”  She kept asking me these questions – I don’t even remember what she asked me – but my answer was the same “Do you want me to puke?”  Literally, it was the answer to at least four separate questions.

Alas – one foot in front of the other – I finished.  It was one of those terrible, awful runs that you just have to get through.  And I did.  I looked at my Garmin close to the end and realized that I was close to breaking 60 minutes.  I did.  Whew.   

Oh man. Six months from now I need to be sub 45 minutes.  This is where I begin.   Bring it on.