Saturday, April 16, 2011

Finally it was a good one!

Today I raced the half ironman at lake mead.  The race is called Rage and for me this was a training race for my full ironman in Texas next month.  I had a plan going into this race and it was executed almost perfectly.  It is pretty rare in racing triathlons that things go perfect but it does happen once in a while.  Because this was a training race I did not want to kill myself.  I needed to push my effort but not so hard that my training this upcoming week would suffer.  I have a lot of training over the next few weeks and have got to be on top of my game. 
The water at lake mead was VERY cold.  I am not sure why all of the sudden I have issues with really cold water but it seems the last two races that I have done in water temps in the low 50's have been really difficult.  I have raced cold water races and never had issues but these last two have challenged me in a whole new way.  When I got in the water I had to slow my pace to control my breathing.  I am pretty sure the water temperature was a factor in my labored breathing.  Staying calm and keeping an easy pace when this happens is essential so that is what I did.  Let's face it triathlons are not won by the swim anyway!  Coming out of the water to transition I was shivering.  Taking off my wetsuit was a challenge.......transition in general when you are shivering is a challenge.  For the first 15 miles on the bike my teeth were chattering.  I couldn't push my effort at all I was so cold.  The thing that sucks is that when you are that cold your body uses alot of energy just trying to keep you warm.  So I wasn't going fast on the bike but my body was working hard.  I finally warmed up and started feeling good on the bike.  My plan for this race was to cruise through the swim and bike not pushing too hard and try and have a really good run.  Because of the cold water this was exactly what I did!  My bike time was slow for me but average for most.  I got off the bike and began the 13.1 mile run.  Right from the start I felt strong on the run passing two girls.  This is going pretty good I thought.  The run was NOT flat by any means.  Slight/moderate hills, long inclines, rocky terrain made it a challenge.  I was still feeling strong at mile 5 and sticking to a good pace and my plan.  My plan on the run was to walk all aid stations and try and keep around an 8:30 min/mile pace.  So far so good and I even passed a few more people.  This is great because usually on the run I don't get the opportunity to pass many people!  Back to mile 5 and feeling good....until I hear a girl breathing hard and getting closer behind me, then ahead of me!  Shoot she was moving fast.  Now I pick up my pace.  My mind is telling me don't let her out of your sight.  So I kept her in my sight even at some points getting pretty close to her.  She was an amazing runner and pushed me harder than I would have gone.  In the end she finished ahead of me but I finished with one of my best run times an 8:10 pace!  I saw her at the end and thanked her because I am sure I would not have ran that fast!  There were some really fast girls racing today.  I was happy to finish 1st in my age group and I think 5th overall for females. 
I had a few clients racing today too.  Greg finished his first half ironman today.  He pushed through the cold, heat, hills, a flat tire, and he finished.  Nancy is a trainer at LVAC  and she is an amazing athlete.  Her website is www.corehore.com.  She won the overall female place for the olympic distance.
Whenever you decide to challenge yourself like we did today you never know how the day will go.  I have had great days and horrible ones (in fact you can read about my last race a few posts back) .  Each time I learn from my experience and my clients experience.  Congratulations to everyone who raced today! 

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