Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Tri Worlds Here I Come!

A week ago I had to decide whether I wanted to go the Short Course World Championships. Yes it had been part of my goals for the 2005 triathlon season. But then again so had a Top 10 finish at Nationals, and beating my Olympic Distance PR of 2:35:32. The former was washed out by the rains from the plains, and the latter probably won't happen on any of the upcoming Olympic courses I'm doing this season. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I'll ever see that time again. That time came on a day when everything went just right. As long as I have cranky feet that don't move very fast, I'll never have that just right day. I can live with that.

So of going to Worlds was on my goal list for 2005, why would there be any question of my not going? Maybe it was the idea that I didn't earn it by beating the people I needed to in order to make the team. Maybe it was the fear I wouldn't make the cutoff to count for official Team USA status. Maybe it was knowing that I'd be making this trip by myself without my personal one man cheering section, photographer, sherpa, etc.

But I think that last reason was the most compelling reason for me to go. I need to break free of those fears of a different life that faces me. So what better way deal with the possibility of becoming a single woman again then to go take a trip to a beautiful romantic place alone? I won't be really alone because I'll be there with hundreds of people who share a passion for triathlon. But still it won't be quite the same without him there.

So last week I faxed my Team USA contract, commitment, and entry form to USAT. This week I booked an airfare, and a hotel room. Later today I'll order my uniform. I guess I'm going now. I guess that means I better get my sorry ass out of the house more. My post travel training funk is officially over! Yesterday was a good start. I actually did all three sports.

Today wasn't wonderful. My run sucked, but at least I ran. I'll blame it on the wind, humidity, and yesterday's triple play. Hopefully as I get back into the swing of things, and refocus on my remaining races the running will feel better. Running frustrates me to no end. It's what holds me back from that next level. I look at the other women in my age group who just run so much faster then me. I think about the NYC triathlon where I biked 7 minutes faster, but the winner of the age group ran 8 minutes faster then me. Even though I think the run was short, I still had one of my better runs. So in 5 weeks can I do anything with my running? I guess we'll find out.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Catching My Breath. A quick summary of Timberman.

I've been home for a week. What a week it has been. Mentally and physically I'm fried. I thought it would be good to get back to my own kitchen, make my own meals and sleep in my own bed. However coming home just reminded me of the reality of choices I have to make right now.

Stress in one's personal life has a definite impact on one's training and racing. I was amazed I did as well as I did in Timberman. Friday night before the sprint I wasn't convinced I'd be able to do the race, much less try to win my age group again. The thought of then trying to do the aquabike on Sunday was really making me nuts! What the hell was I thinking of when I signed up for back to back races?

To make a long story short, despite the fact that I thought I was going to puke during the swim, I ended out having a very good day in the sprint. I won my age group again. Once again my swimming and biking made all the difference. Sunday's aquabike was a very different experience for me, and despite not really pushing very hard I finished a respectable 7 out 20 women. All the details can be found on my race report at Beginner Triathlete

Thanks Pete for a good run photo. Now if I could do something about my atrocious form!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

My Road Trip to Nowhere Part II

Part 2 of my rather detailed non-race race report.

Saturday August 13, 2005

After much debate the night before we opted for a 4:30 AM meeting time. This would give us time to go to Mac Donalds for John. It was very clear that it had rained over night, but it was only drizzling a little bit as we left. At this hour there wasn’t much in the way of traffic so it didn’t take us a long as it did on Friday.

It was obvious that it had rained a lot overnight. We were hoping this would be the end of the rain, but that would not be the case. We made up to the race site in good time even with the Mickey D stop for John. Body marking didn’t take long at all, so I went to set up my stuff. It started raining again so my first order of business was taking one of my garbage bags and making a rain jacket out of it. I was glad I had found the garbage bags that I had packed in NY.

The rain started coming down really hard, so I made sure I covered all my stuff after I laid it out on my towel. They delayed the start of the race in the hopes that this band of rain would pass. I started getting goofy, and put my swim cap and goggles on, and ran around in the transition area saying, “It’s time to go swimming!” I was trying to relieve some of my own anxieties, and also lighten the mood a bit. Then I went and stood under one of the tents with a bunch of wet and cold triathletes. It was at that point that they announced they were canceling the swim, and would do a time trial start for the bike. At least they weren’t adding an extra run.

They then told us to go back to our cars, and that they would tell us at 8:30 what was going to happen. They also told people that if they did not want to do the race to leave since once they started the bike, no one would be able to leave. Mary decided she didn’t want to do the race at this point. I felt that wanted to do the race, but I was feeling very anxious about riding in this rain on an unknown course. I’ve raced in the rain before, but the level of nervousness I felt at this point was like nothing else I’ve felt before.

We went back to the car. I was glad I had rented the SUV. There was lots of room for the 3 of us. We listened to the radio, and waited for the 8:30 announcement. 8:30 came and went with no announcement. The music continued to play. 8:45 came and there was still no announcement. We’ve been out there for over three hours, and nothing has happened. Finally around 8:50 they come on the radio, and announce that the race has been cancelled and that there would be a 10K fun run. John, Mary and I look at each other, and are stunned. How can a National Championship/worlds Qualifier be cancelled? How were they going to figure out who would fill out the rest of Team USA? I’ve raced for years and I’ve never had a race cancelled.

In some ways I was relieved, because now the decision to race in dangerous conditions had been taken out of my hands. All of the angst I been feeling all week was gone. No longer did I have to concern myself with the hotshots who have trashed me in other events. I didn’t have to worry about not quite being on top of my game. All week I had prayed to God to give me peace about the race, and let me do my best, and accept whatever happened. This was not exactly the answer to prayer that I was expecting. God in His divine wisdom has a funny way of answering prayer.

I did opt to do the fun run. I took it real easy, and watched most of the field pull away. Many handled the situation with humor by running in their wetsuits, and bike helmets. It was pretty funny to watch that. At the start of the run it wasn’t raining much, but later in the run the skies opened. It was a beautiful run course. I would have enjoyed it better during a meaningful race. Afterwards, I grabbed a few extra towels and went back to the car. There I found a very wet and cold John and Mary. Also the field looked like Woodstock. Lots of muddy people and cars getting stuck.

Post race:

USAT decided they would ask ITU if the United States could send extra people to Worlds. To be considered part of Team USA, Kansas City entrants would have to finish amongst the Top 16 USA finishers in their age group. It seemed like the fairest thing to do. I would have loved them to go back to the Shreveport results and take the Top 16 from there, but that wouldn’t be fair to the ones who bypassed Shreveport knowing they’d get another chance this year.

I have mixed feelings about the way they’re considering doing Team USA. I felt I was going to be on the cusp of making the team. Much was going to depend on how well I did on the swim and the bike, and how many I could hold off on the run. I feel a little funny about backing into the Worlds this way, but Honolulu will be our unofficial National Championship.

The Final Blow

Sunday morning we awake to sunny weather. The storms that plagued us have moved east, and may delay our departure. We actually get off on time, and arrive in New York a little ahead of schedule. Then the skies opened and the thunder and lightning started. They ended out closing La Guardia and our luggage remained on the plane. I felt like this was a repeat of our return from Lisbon. However this storm lingered. Instead of 45 minutes of waiting, it was several hours. I was not leaving the airport without my bike. There were a number of others who felt the same way. We hung out in baggage claim until 4 hours later when the airport reopened. We were all glad to see our bikes coming through the door.

Here is my finish line photo from the trip to nowhere, and back.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

My Road Trip to Nowhere Part I

August 17th, 2005

It’s Wednesday morning and I’m up in New Hampshire now. I’m finally at a point where I’m ready to put my thoughts on paper about the race that didn’t happen. It’s hard to know even where to begin, but I guess simply describing the events as they unfolded is simplest.

Friday 8/12/05

Mary and I went into town to attend the women’s breakfast at 8:00 AM. I always enjoy the breakfast and seeing the ladies that I’ve met over the last few years. The other dynamic is the checking each other out that occurs. Mary noticed this in particular when she was taking a vitamin and someone asked her if she was taking Advil, and was she hurting. Then I guess the woman lost interest when she found out Mary wasn’t in her age group.

This year’s theme was sharing our stories about getting into triathlon. I had sent in a piece that was comprised of journal entries from August and September of 1983 regarding getting ready for my first race, and then the actual race itself. Jean liked it so much that she asked me if I would read part of it at the breakfast. I was already out in Kansas when she asked me this so I told her to bring a copy because I didn’t have it with me. She assured me she would.

Well, she didn’t, so I had to wing it. Not only that, I was the first speaker. So wing it I did, and actually it went very well. Everyone got some good laughs about my early venture into triathlon as a runner. I actually managed to stay within the five minute limit too.

It was good that I was the first speaker. I would have had a lot of difficulty winging it with my brand of humor after hearing the other stories. The next story after mine was pretty light hearted also, but the three that followed were very moving stories of women who did triathlon despite going through ugly an ugly divorce, losing a teenage son in a hazing incident, and struggling with MS. No this wasn’t one person! Three women, with three very compelling stories.

Since Mary and I were staying out near the airport we decided we would kill time by just hanging out until the expo and registration started at noon. It’s easy to kill time when you have a hotel full of tri-geeks wandering around, also trying to kill time. You talk to people you know from other races, and you talk to people you’ve never met before. But because we’re triathletes it’s easy to find common ground.

Finally the registration opened and we happened to have plopped ourselves down on the floor right in front of the entrance so we were some of the first ones in the door. After picking up all my stuff, I went on a shopping spree. I am not really a shopaholic, but when it comes to triathlon expos I can become one. I think I managed get out of there for under $250.

After going to the race meeting we finally head back to our hotel to pick up our bikes and go out to the start to rack them. With everything spread out so much, it made for a very long day. The race venue was way out in the middle of nowhere, but it certainly looked beautiful. Mary was having some mechanical issues with her bike. We had not done a great job of putting her bike back together on Thursday night! After resolving that we went out for about a 5 mile ride. On the way back I decided to air it out a bit and see what sort of gearing and momentum I would need on these rolling hills. What a fun bike course this appeared to be.

When racking your bike you get to scope out your competition a bit, and see what they look and act like. Mary and I got to see up close and personal the super intensity of one the heavy hitters in our age group. She’s one that would certainly finish in the top five as long as she had no technical issues. I thought I was intense and got hyped up, but I’m Ms. Mellow compared to her. First she was bitching about the racks being too high, and that her fluids were going to spill out if she set up her bike by the seat. Then she hadn’t brought any plastic bags to put over her bike, so she was mooching from others, including Mary. Then I guess she didn’t like one of the bags she got. “OMG! Take a chill pill lady!”

In the meantime the storm clouds are blowing in, and the announcer is saying that bad weather is coming in. He’s suggesting that people get their preparations done and leave. The clouds looked like a scene out of the Wizard of Oz. This may have been Missouri, but it sure felt like Kansas. We’re driving back to our hotel and watching really wild lightning that’s going across the sky, not up and down. Mary is freaking out, and saying “What if it’s doing this tomorrow?” I’m trying to be optimistic and say, “It’s going to be beautiful tomorrow. This is going to blow out of here tonight.”

For the most part I’ve been pretty fortunate with weather at my races. I’ve had to do a few in the rain, but for the most part I’ve lucked out with some dry days when the forecast called for rain. I was trusting God to keep me safe, and help me do my best on race day. That didn’t necessarily mean kick butt, and do my best time ever. It just meant doing what I could do given all the circumstances of my life right now. After all my angst and freak outs earlier in the week, I had given it to Him. Whatever tomorrow would bring in terms of weather, and such I was trusting God to see me through it.

John, Mary and I went to the hotel next to ours for dinner. I had decided after last year’s crappy pasta party, that I wasn’t going to do that again. Also considering how far the host hotel I was glad I had not opted to do that. One trip a day into downtown Kansas City was enough.

The hotel where we had dinner was the site of a ballroom dancing competition. It was interesting contrasting competitive ballroom dancers with triathletes. They too have their rituals, and you’d see them practicing their routines out in the foyer before it was time for them to go on. You’d see them primping and preening to make sure everything looked just right. What they do is pretty and graceful, but it’s competition and the same intensity that drives triathletes can also be seen in these dancers.

After dinner, I went back to the room, and did my race eve rituals. I went through my checklist, putting all my gear back in the bag, laying out my food and clothing for the morning, and then taking my warm bath and shaving down one last time. After that I crawled into bed, and listened to the visualization and some of my race music. All I could hope for now was some decent weather.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Mother Nature can be a Bear!!!!

It's shortly after midnight, and I'm still stunned about this insane weekend in Kansas City that was supposed to be Nationals Age Group Championships. To make a long story short the race ended out being cancelled due to horrific rains that just made it unsafe to have a race. They've been in a drought all summer, and it's been sunny and in the 90s and 100s for 3 weeks. On Friday and Saturday Mother Nature let the rain loose. It was great for the drought stricken farmers, but for for the athletes who had made their way to KC to compete, it was a washout.

I will share more about the weekend as I'm more able to sort out the events, and all my emotions. I returned to New York not only with my mementos of a race not done, but also the weather that wrecked havoc with tri-geeks' championship dreams. We were one of the last flights to make it into La Guardia Airport before the same storms that soaked us out in Kansas City brought their act to New York and closed down the airport. So there we were sitting in baggage claim waiting for our luggage and bikes that were sitting on the plane. It would remain there as long as the airport was closed. So our group of about 6 triathletes sat on the conveyor belt waiting for bikes and luggage, and shared our stories of our seasons thus far, and races coming up.

We were there for close to four hours, and the time passed quicker then I thought, but OMG I have get home, unpack, repack and make my way up to New hampshire for my next triathlon adventure; Timberman. I was not leaving that airport without my bike. I was not leaving Blue Bayou (say it out loud) in the hands of American Airlines baggage service. She is my lean, mean racin' machine, and I have enough anxiety flying with her. I always feel a lot better when she finally comes rolling through the oversize baggage area doors.

You should have heard the round of applause at each baggage carousel when it started up. There weren't many left at ours by the time it started up. Maybe there were 20 of us left from a totally full flight. The tri-geeks waiting for their precious steeds made up probably 35% of remaining people. There was a cellist waiting for instrument. As each bike came rolling through the doors the happy owner would let out a whoop and pump his/her fists in the air as if he/she had just won the Nationals. I guess landing before the airport closed and getting all our stuff back was going to be the major triumph of our weekend.

I did a lot of freaking out, calming down, and freaking out again over this National Championship. When I was out there I had to call my best friend/triathlon/prayer partner, and get her to pray for me and give me words of encouragement. I felt better after I talked to her, and was ready to leave my race in God's hands, and put Him in charge. God has a funny way of answering prayer, but I didn't have to deal with all the whatifs reagrding the race. More importantly those God loving farmers from the local church that came with their tractors to pull stuck cars out of the field after the event got some much needed rain for their crops. The tow truck operators came to make a killing, charging $50 for a tow. The farmers just wanted a contribution of any size to give their church.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Random thoughts on a solo ride.

Today I leave Manhattan, KS to head back to Kansas City. I had a very nice time hanging out with my sister. Wednesday I did take a nice 20 mile bike ride out into country side. A little headwind on the way out, and tailwind coming back. Can't ask for the wind situation to be much better. I don't do a lot of riding by myself. I get rather addicted to my group rides, and the opportunity to talk with others. So when I do those rare solo rides it gives me a chance to reflect on things, and try to sort out some of the emotions tied in with my personal life.

I think for the first time I was starting to think that perhaps would not be horrible if we chose to go our own ways. Despite our wonderful friendship there are things that may never be resolved for either of us. I got thinking about maybe I just take my share of the proceeds of the sale of the house, buy something cheap in the middle of nowhere, invest a portion of it, and take the rest and go try a tri in every state. I could certainly knock off the rest of New England quickly. The other mid-atlantic states would be easy. It gets tougher the further I get from the east coast.

The bike ride felt good and I took a swim afterwards. My sister's neighbor has an indoor pool that's about 11 yards long. It's air conditioned in the summer, and heated in the winter. DAmn I wish I had a neighbor like that. I don't live in a neighborhood with weighbors like that. *Sigh*

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Kansas City, Kansas City Here I Come.....

With a detour to Manhattan, Kansas AKA The Little Apple.

Normally I'd leave for Nationals on Thursday, but I decided to make a side trip to visit family out here. I left on Tuesday for Kansas City. I wasn't figuring on seeing anyone at the airport heading out for the race this early. I was wrong. I spotted one of the women I know from last year's Worlds and Nationals. She had on a Team USA shirt so I recognized her. It was nice to hang out and talk to her since the the plane was late. Sheila is in the 65-69 age group, so she's already qualified for Worlds. She's part of the generation of women who have gotten into the sport later in life. The age group is much smaller. When she was in her 50s there weren't many so it wasn't hard to win. I can remember going to races with Jeannie who is around rhe same age as Sheila. She was always winning the age group with times that were so much slower then what I do now in my 50s. I'm an early Title IX woman so my age group is still pretty well populated on the National level. My generation was just entering college when Title IX kicked in so we got the early effects of it. There are women in their 50s who can run a 7:00 minute mile, When Jeannie and Sheila were in their 50s there probably weren't many gals running those types of times.

Sheila is an amazing lady. She's done a triathlon in every single state, including Ironman in Kona. I think that would be cool to do a race in every state. I'd love to add Hawaii to my short list thought it won't be for Kona. I have a long way to go.

States I've done so far:

New England: MA, NH, CT, NY
Mid Atlantic: NJ, DE, MD
South East: FL
Other: LA, and after Saturday, MO.

10 down 40 to go.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Pre-Nationals Freak Out #2

After the great packing adventure I was scheduled for a massage. She's about a 20 minute drive away. I do have to travel the highway from hell I-95. Drivers on that road are such morons. I won't get started on one of stupid driver rants, but when one is on edge every stupid thing makes road rage almost seem reasonable. Between the morons going exactly the speed limit, and the trucks that either just sit in your blind spot, or flame up your ass, it's enough to want to make it a 2 hour massage.

My emotions are raw right now. Some of it is pre-race anxiety, but a lot of it has to do with major things happening in my personal life. My triathlon training and racing has been a way to focus on something positive, and help me feel good about myself. My big goal was to make Top 10 again at nationals, and qualify for Team USA. I've had some really good results this season. I also felt I make some significant gains in the mental aspect of my game, especially with my recent performance at the Empire State Games. But suddenly the reality of my real life, summer coming to a close, and this race being here in a few days have all come crashing upon me. I can't even blame it on PMS anymore since it's hard to be pre when there's nothing coming.

I walk into Lisa's office, and the first thing I do is burst into tears. What a great way to go into a massage session. So today Lisa gets to double as massage therapist and sports psychologist. She helps me look at the situation from a different perspective, and I think that helped a lot. It doesn't change the reality, but anytime I can just unload for a bit helps.

I went out for the Monday Night Ride. It was not the ideal thing to do shortly after having a massage, but I was making myself crazy with all earlier packing and re-packing frenzy. Also I’m suffering from the typical post-cold/taper “OMG I’m losing my conditioning!” syndrome. I think Nancy was surprised to see me there, especially when I told her I was leaving for Kansas City the next day. She’s saying to me, “What are you nuts?” Yes, I’m nuts but if I don’t do something with myself I’ll go even more nuts.

My legs still feel pretty crappy, and my mind isn’t much better. I’m sharing my anxieties with Nancy, and she saying things like, “Even if you come in second you’ll qualify.”

“Hello, earth to Nancy. This is the Nationals, I’m not coming in second. In fact I’ll be surprised if I come in the Top 10.”

“You’re incredible cyclist. I saw what you did last week at the Empire Games”

“But, they can run much faster then me…..”

“That doesn’t matter. You’re great!”

Nancy doesn’t understand about the Big Fish in the Little Pond. She’s a medium sized fish in the little pond, and so it’s hard for to understand that there are wonderfully gifted athletes out there that may not cycle as well as I do, but they kick my sorry ass on the run. Some of those women who are awesome runners are better cyclists then I too. I’m good, but I’m not national caliber. Maybe with proper training and I can reach a higher level, but unless I get seriously faster on the run, I’m never going to truly be national champion caliber. That’s okay. I can live with that.

This ride an interesting mix of people. Most of them are people that I ride with on the weekend, but sometimes we get some newbies that come on the ride. About a month ago this guy shows up on our weekday ride on an ancient bike. He was wearing baggy shorts, sneakers, and I’m not even sure he had toe clips or not. I figured he’d last to about North White Plains and then we’d lose him when the pace picks up near the dam. He surprised me because he actually made it to the top of Bedford Road. On that particular ride I gave him suggestions about getting clipless pedals and real cycling shoes. So I guess he took my advice and then some because he’s been showing up on the Monday ride, and now has a new bike, clipless pedals and cycling shoes. He also got new shorts, but they’re still the baggy type. I guess he’s not ready for lycra bike shorts.

I wasn’t sure how far I wanted to go on this ride. My legs felt weak, and the heat was bothering me. I was enjoying the social aspect, which is what I needed at that point. I kept debating whether I’d try to gut it out to the end, or bail out at some point of the ride. I was thinking I’d turn off at the end of Purchase St, and back to White Plains via North St. I was going to base my decision on how I felt at that juncture. However, I totally lost it when the baggy shorts newbie blew past me on Bedford Rd. That clinched it for me, I was not going to do the entire ride. I didn’t even go as far as the end of Purchase St. When I saw one of the guys head back to White Plains earlier, I decided I was leaving with him.

It was actually better cutting out at that point of the ride so that I got home earlier. I still had things to do to get ready for my trip. Everything is pretty much packed, but it's just all those dumb little things that I end out running around at the last second taking care of. It's those little things that always make my departure times at least 45 minutes later then planned. However leaving late for the airport is not good.

Pre-Nationals Freak Out #1.

Yesterday I'm talking to my friend Mary who is going to her first Nationals. It's also the first time she's flown to a race. I've been helping her with all her questions, and giving her various pointers about things one needs to remember about flying with a bike. (Leave the Co2 cartridges at home!) I'm sounding like the cool professional who's done this a lot.

She starts telling me about how she's been checking out the entry list, and at all the people in our age group, and yada, yada. I had stopped looking at the entry list several days ago having decided that it doesn't matter who's in the race. What ever I do, I do. Knowing that so and so is in the race, doesn't change my stratagy. If they're that much better then me, I can't do anything about it. After listening to Mary, I looked at the entry list. That was a mistake. All the women who beat me at Saint Anthony's will be there, as will some of the other heavy hitters of the F50-54 age group. So much for Top 10 this year. Can I still qualify for Team USA? Who knows.

This morning I went into major repacking frenzy after the first of one of my multiple freakouts today. I had packed up the bike yesterday, and packed my tri-bag. I usually take the tri-bag as carry-on luggage, and have a separate bag for anything else I need. So today I'm sitting in the kitchen eating breakfast and thinking about what I'll be taking with me. Bike bag, and suit case gets checked. Tri-bag and computer bag go on the plane with me. Damn! How the hell am I going to get all that crap on the rental bus? I've done it before but it's too much like work.

So I proceed to take everything out of the tri-bag, repack it in a smaller transition bag to see if it all fits. (No wetsuit saves a lot of space.) After I determine it will fit into that bag, I unpack it, and put the empty bag inside the bike case. Then I take everything upstairs and figure out if I can get all of it into the suitcase with my other stuff. I don't really like checking my gear, but figured I can replace everything but the orthotics if my luggage vanishes. The orthotics will go into carry-on. I manage to get everything into the regualr bag. Thank you EMS!!! They make awesome bags on wheels.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

How to let someone know you're a tri-geek without trying.

One thing about tri-geeks is that we love to talk about triathlon. Whether it's about our newest play things, or our latest race, we love to talk "shop". When we're at a pre-race pasta party, or race expo it's easy to find fellow geeks to talk with. When we're at a party where we're not wearing our latest race tee shirt, and we don't know a lot of people we may not get the chance to talk about our triathlon passion. (Okay, addiction is more to the point, but I'm trying to look upon what I do in a kinder, gentler manner.)

We can always go for the direct method. "Hi, I'm Polly, and I'm a tri-geek." We can also try the less direct route. "You played 18 holes of golf today? That's nice. I rode my bike 30 miles, and ran 3 miles right after." That might evoke the question, "Oh do you do triathlons?" or "Why in earth would you do that?" If you're talking to a golf geek you're more likely to get the latter question. Though golf geeks are just as bad as us when it comes to talking about new play things, and their latest round of golf.

I didn't have to resort to any of these methods tonight. I was relatively dressed up, and was wearing a gold necklace with a triathlon charm on it. One woman spots it, and points it out to her husband. "Honey check out her necklace. You'll find it of interest."

Me: "You do triathlons?"

He: "Yes, I've been doing them for 3 years, and you?"

Me: "Ummm, since 1983."

He: "Wow you've been doing them from the beginning...."

From there we compared what races we've done this season, what races we have coming up. We griped about how much we hate to run, etc. etc. His wife may have been sorry she pointed out the necklace. It turns out we've done a few of the same races this season, and that we'll be doing 2 more of the same races. When he mentioned his time in one of the races I decided not to tell him my time was about 7 minutes faster. No point in telling a guy in his early 30s that he got smoked by a 51 year woman. Though he did make a point of getting my last name before the evening was over, so I'm sure if he's like me, he'll go check out the results of the races we did.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Hot, Hot, Hot!!!!

This hot weather is really getting on my nerves big time. The one thing I'd love to do to beat the heat is swimming. However with this stupid cold I've been fighting, swimming has not been a good option for me. I got enough gunk in my head without adding chlorine laced water with whatever the kids are doing in the pool.

The town pool is pretty nice, and they have some lanes roped off for lap swimming. The other portion of the pool is a free for all, and by the time I get there after 5:00 PM, the water seems a little "funky". More then once I've come across band-aids, long strands of hair, leaves, and who knows what else. So I'll pass on swims at the town pool for awhile.

I did go out on my bike today. I only rode 8 miles with the group, and then turned off and came back home. It was tempting to go more, but after a few days off I thought it best to just do easy 15 to 20 miles. I'm not sure if it was the heat, lack of sleep, or lingering effects of the cold, but I didn't exactly blaze up the road today. 16 miles at a blistering 12.5 mph pace. I'm trying to walk the fine line between resting and recovery, versus over-resting, and coming up flat next week.

Yesterday I was getting bored and started getting into the anal tri-geek thing of checking out my competition for next week's nationals and the following week's Timberman. After about one or two names, I said to myself, "Screw it! It doesn't matter who is there. What ever happens, happens." I realize in a race the size of naionals I'm not going to be able to keep track of my competition the way I can in a small race. I know the names of the heavy hitters who smacked my butt the last couple of years and who are going to be there again this year. The other names on the list are random names that don't mean a thing. Some of them are probably a lot like me. They're The Big Fish in the Little Pond (TBFITLP) who are going to the big lake to try to outswim the sharks.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Maybe 5 races in 19 days wasn't such a hot idea.

11 days until Nationals and I got a freakin' cold, and feel like crap. This is the stupid cold that I was convinced I was getting the night before I went up and blew away my competition in the time trial, and set a new PR at that distance. This is the same cold that I thought was going to mess up my road race, and make it hard to climb with the mountain goats. I survived the attack of the lady mountain goat, and did my best Tour de France sprint imitation at the end.

Hopefully I can figure out how not to make myself crazy and get myself well in the next few days. I guess this the way to force me into a taper, but I'd rather taper on my terms. I have zero energy at this point. Two days of no exercise, and I'm getting antsy. It's too freakin' hot to do much of anything except swim. However swimming is the last thing I want to do with my congested head.