A Whole lot of Racing and Hard Work!

It has been a while since I updated this blog, so I am going to do a cram session.

Carmel Sprint Triathlon (2nd place overall):
I had a really bad head cold leading up to the race.  I am fairly certain that everyone at the race thought I was crazy for racing!  My voice was gone on race morning, but my legs showed up for the occasion.  I had gone to masters swim practice the day before, so I knew that my swim was going to suck.  I could not swim to save my life at practice and I showed up to the race with an equal swim performance.  But, once I got on the bike, my legs were at full power and I managed to run at my capability.  I think the course was a bit short on the run, but I still would have had a great run split, whether it was a 5k or 3 mile run.  This race was a great confidence booster leading into the New Orleans 70.3!

New Orleans 70.3 (2nd place 30-34 age group)
I will leave out the details of our trip to Nola, but I had a great time with two of my athletes!  I even managed to have some baked oysters! The trip was seamless, and my stress level was fairly low.  I love driving to races.  I feel so much more relaxed and prepared.  I don’t get to travel much, so I am not a very efficient packer!
The race went really well.  The swim was a wetsuit swim, and was M shaped.  I felt like I was swimming really well, but my time didn’t really show my hard work in the pool.  I seem to be a better pool swimmer, rather than open water.  I am going to add some open water races into my schedule this year.  Unfortunately, they don’t start until after my Ironman. 
I came out of the water 12th with a time of :36:07.  I am capable of a 33:00 swim, but I just haven’t had that day yet.  One day….one day:(  Heading out onto the bike, I just focused on hitting my goal wattage.  I have also failed to do that in a 70.3 race lately so I was very happy to stay within my range.  I still need to add about 10 watts to that average, but I was stoked too have maintained throughout the whole bike.  It was windy on the way out (about 30 miles), and I was so bummed that my average mph was going to be low, but once we turned around my average creeped up to about 21mph.  The course, although windy, was very flat.  Although I love flat courses, I am a smaller athlete and need the hills for my power to weight to help me distinguish myself on the bike. 
But, it sure paid off being light on the run, because I had the run of my life and ran a 1:32:44.  Yep, me…I ran off of the bike faster than I have ever ran before.  Honestly, I just felt great.  I had hit all of my nutrition goals on the bike, and it set me up for a solid run.  I smiled every time I crossed a timing mat, because I knew that my family and coach were cheering for me from their computers. 
I crossed the finish line 2nd in my age group, and with a great big smile on my face:)  I had finally put together a solid race that showcased my capability.  Thank God!  I was starting to wonder if all of this work was ever going to pay off!  With my 2nd place finish, I punched my ticket to Vegas 70.3 World Championship on September 8th. Man, they are getting stingy with slots, because there were only 2 in my age group.  Next year, the race will be rotating around the world, so that will throw a twist into the slot availability.  My guess is that most Americans won’t travel around the world to race a 70.3, but what do I know.

What’s  next?  Ironman Coeur D Alene!  I am officially 3 weeks out ya’ll!  I have managed to stay at my “race weight”, and I am raring to go.  I have worked my butt off in preparation for this race. I can’t wait to get out there and I am praying that my body cooperates and I can have the race I know that I have in me. I’ve been training fairly low on volume so I feel like a race horse, getting ready to be released from the gate.  Weeeeee!

I’ve also been entertaining myself with a strength training challenge.  I have been doing pull ups and push ups almost every day.  I have made my way up to 50 REAL pull ups and 100 push ups.  I do a whole lot of other core work, but these 2 exercises are my bread and butter.  My goal is to be able to do  5 sets of 10 pull ups.  I did 8 in a row yesterday, and I could probably squeak out 10 if I really had to.  Why am I doing this?  I think it is because I need a fitness goal that is not swim bike run related.  Strength training is something that I look forward to and I feel really good while I’m doing it and when I’m done! 
Here is an example of a full strength training day for me:
(note: I do not do legs during the race season, except for bridges and abductor/glute work)

Repeat 5 times through:
1 x 10 pull ups
1 x 15 oblique reaches on back extension machine
1 x 20 push ups
1 x 15 overhead tricep extensions (3 times through)
1 x 15 bicep curls (3 times through)
1 x 10 TRX V-Ups
1 x 60 second TRX Plank
TRX Side plank with 3lb dumbbell (dropping arm to floor and back up) x 10-15
Reverse Curls
Lumbar Roll Downs with all sorts of twists and leg lifts