Friday, January 21, 2011

I am on the board!

Today - January 21, 2011

I have officially stopped talking about registering for races and actually went through with it!  2011 Schedule is in progress, but I have two races on the books.

Rev 3 Knoxville - May 15, 2011 - My first Olympic distance race.  This is my first "A" race (may sneak in something earlier but not sure yet)  I am greatly looking forward to meeting my Trakkers teammates at this event and sporting all of the new gear for 2011 from our sponsors: Kestrel Bicycles, Avia Shoes, TYR Wetsuits, and First Endurance Nutrition.

The second race....

Rev 3 Cedar Point - September 11, 2011 - I did not join a team to stay the same, I did it to push myself to be better and grow in the sport.  I have been talking about getting into longer distances especially since I have only been doing sprints in the past.  Here goes!!!!  Half Iron distance race.  Some will think I am making a big deal about doing a half in comparison to a full, but you have to understand a bit of my past.

I have never been a strong athlete, I was tiny in high school and played football, well I was on the team, although we barely had enough people to staff both sides of the ball in practice, I saw pretty limited time playing, not because I didn't have talent, but because of my size, or something like that.  Regardless... I also wrestled.  Here I was matched with like weight opponents and was alright, but far from a State Champion, but I do have some good memories which I will save for another time. 

Triathlon has given me an opportunity to keep active and get some competition in my life.  My first year was a year for learning mostly, and getting used to the sport.  The past year has opened my eyes to how successful I can be in the sport by training properly and pushing myself.  I have been doing short distance races, because I am just alright at endurance levels (marathons etc)  My marathon PR is over an hour off of the "old" Boston Qualifying times.  I have a pretty solid half marathon PR at just under 1:40 which trended towards the upper middle of the pack, but I shine in short distances.

By no means am I trying to be arrogant, but I have found that I can push myself to be uncomfortable (and I still have room to push further) for fairly short periods of time.  You know that feeling where your stomach is hot and rumbling, and not the kind where you had some bad mexican food.  Your lungs feel like they are going to melt, your limbs are starting to numb from the lactic acid burn, and your stomach is about ready to dispense anything remaining from earlier in the morning.  This is why I have stuck to my "comfort zone" of short races.

Thinking of racing longer distances includes more nutrition, pacing, and mental strategy, not just oatmeal, coffee, balls to the wall, and around an hour of pain.  It is so much more than that. 

The swim does not bother me, I am comfortable in the water, my biggest concern is what pace can I hold for 1.2 miles?  I know I can do the distance, that is not a problem for me, but how quick can I get out of the water and get on with the real race.  I put my swim time to be 35 minutes, I think that is a good shot right now, something around a 1:40/100 yard pace and not burn my matches too early.

The bike... Who knows what to expect? I can do the miles, I train with power, and I love numbers.  What I may not love is what I get back when I combine them all together.  What power numbers can I hold for the 56 mile ride? More specifically what can I hold and still run like I am in a race.

The run - This is where I may lose my marbles.  I get off the bike, its getting warmer out, who knows how I will be feeling, did I take enough calories on the bike to keep me fueled for the next 13.1 miles?  Can I have a run that is fairly close to my open half time?  If I am going to fall apart, it will be on the run.  Mental toughness becomes huge at this point, counting down double digit miles or over an hour of time left in one sport is painful.  How much can I make it hurt and still make it across the finish line?

All of these questions have kept me from the longer distances, but I know I will have an AMAZING support crew from Trakkers through training and at the race.  Here is to the start of a season that will bring new experiences, acquaintances, and PRs.  Now that I have races scheduled, it is time to get serious.  Monday starts my 16 week plan to take me to Knoxville then a transition to Cedar Point half training. 


oculartriathlete January 21, 2011 at 10:33 AM  

You'll love the longer races. THe first one I did was such a learning experience. I actually enjoy them more. Feel like I realy worked my tail off!!! Plan well and execute well

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot January 21, 2011 at 11:31 AM  

Good schedule Jeff - I'll see you at the CP 1/2!

I am much faster on the short courses too. I've always been a "sprinter" and this translates well to the short races.

Now i am learning how to be a racer and it is very fun. Learning how to race these longer distances is so mental and the challenge is worth all the hard work. Once you take the plunge into the 70.3 distance you'll be hooked. And you get ride that badass looking Kestrel 4000 longer!

Laura January 21, 2011 at 7:37 PM  

I think you'll like it... not that I'm any kind of expert! ha I can do the balls to the wall stuff, but prefer the 'pace myself' and hang in there stuff! I'm sure our Trakkers will be a well of information! Can't wait to meet you at Knoxville!

tribirdie January 22, 2011 at 10:29 AM  

What an exciting year! The move up to half is a big one, but you'll be fine! It's my favorite distance, but that's because I really only have one speed. ha ha Good luck with everything and your team is behind you 100%!!!!

Caratunk Girl January 23, 2011 at 7:51 AM  

You are going to do great at the longer distance. I will see you at the CP 1/2, we are going to have quite a crew.

Kacie Darden January 23, 2011 at 8:27 AM  

Great schedule! Can't wait to hear about the training. I love the longer races so much, and as your endurance goes up, I'm sure you will grow to love it!!

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