Training lately has had it’s challenges… The weather this summer has been crap. It’s been hot and humid (almost feels like I never left Chicago or Minneapolis). This in turn has prompted me to put off some of the longer training things till later in the day or early in the morning. I’ve been letting some of the little things really hold me back and feel like I’m not doing enough and truth is.. I haven’t.
Yesterday after the 3 mile Sea Beast Swim I was supposed to go running for a hour and thirty minutes but it was starting to get hot and muggy so I put it off till later. Well later came and went and it was still muggy and miserable. I told myself I’d do it in the morning, but completely forgot that I had my VO2 testing in the afternoon. So I couldn’t do it in the morning and screw over the test. So now I have to do it tonight. I should have done it last night knowing full well I didn’t have to be up early. So after today it’s back to putting in the work. I can’t expect to get better if I’m not making the sacrifices.
I’ve also been slacking a bit with the diet. I’m at 238 when I really need to be pushing down to 215. It’s been a mix of not eating enough on training days and eating too much on non-training days. I try to eat as much whole foods as possible but I need to be a bit more strict with it. Have to apply the knowledge I know and just get it done.
Well I’m halfway through my season of travelling for races and man it got here fast. Strangely enough this felt like my hometown race. My family from my mom’s side live in Minneapolis and while only a few of them made it out to the race. Everyone made it to the BBQ we had later that day, and that’s really what made this trip for me. I rarely get to race with my family watching so it was extra important that I had a smile on my face and that I got over that finish line not looking like death.
This race was unique for me and I had a lot of small challenges to overcome. First was the weather. It was rainy every day I was there except for the day after the race and then it was awesome. During the race it was muggy and humid, and the course had a lot of mud. The Twin Cities have been getting rained on so there were lots of flooded area’s around town and the ground was completely soaked. Second was that I rented a road bike. I didn’t have time to really get some saddle time before the race thanks to the rain. So during the race I couldn’t really feel my butt past mile 13 or 14. I also couldn’t really get into any aero position which means I was catching wind like a sail! The other stuff wasn’t as important because I was mainly there to just have fun.
No wetsuit this time While the water was warm I didn’t feel the need for a wetsuit and went about swimming without one. The water was warm so I took advantage of it. The start was a time trial start so they had us in pairs going into the water every 3-5 seconds rather than 1 big wave. The entry was a beach start which was cool because I didn’t have to wait behind everyone else wadding through the water. I got plenty of good leaps in and off I went. During the leaps I passed 4 people just inching out. I didn’t even get a swim buddy that I could draft off of in this race and there was a lot of jostling of elbows and kicks that where way off. I will say this swimming in fresh water for a change is nice. I don’t have salt crust on the face during the bike.
It’s been over a year since I had to ride a road bike during a triathlon so I knew it was going to be an experience. The course was very scenic and it went through parts of Minneapolis I didn’t know even existed. Seems the road crew didn’t either cause there were potholes, creases, and horrible divots through the entire ride. I couldn’t seem to pickup much speed either cause after mile 13 or so I could no longer feel but butt. The only reason it was still there was that every single bump I hit I could feel it. I couldn’t even get into the aero position for the ride which felt really weird to me. Of course spectators love to cross the street as bikes are going through and I almost hit a few of them but ended up in the oncoming lane of traffic to avoid them. I’m lucky I didn’t get in a serious accident with other athletes.
Well this was a 2 loop course around the lake I just swam in. It was filled with water from the rains and mud from the soaked grass. It was pretty humid and muggy out so it felt like I was running through a lake. Not to mention it was hot without the sun even being out. Thankfully I had a lot of fun and looking back it wasn’t all that bad. There was another guy going across the finish with me and we both looked at each other and said lets smile and sprint it through. So we did complete with smiles and a hi five afterwards.
Well I might do this race again next year or the Maple Grove Triathlon. It was nice to see family and had fun exploring the trails that Minneapolis has to offer. Till next year.
It really got here before I knew it, and I would by full of it if I didn’t say that I’m a bit terrified. Let’s be honest though, when you embark on the stuff you truly want to accomplish it is supposed to be terrifying. That’s what makes the accomplishment that much sweeter. I’m 2 weeks late in starting this blog post due to things coming up and trying to stick to training as much as possible.
The last 3 weeks have been a whirlwind of training, traveling, racing, and helping others reach their goals. I’m writing this as I get ready to head to Minnesota this week for a race out there. I have family out there so I’ll be able to stay with them and I’ll have a car as well to travel around. The upside to Minneapolis is that it’s super bike friendly so I plan to do a LOT of cycling. I’m excited for my family to be able to get out there and watch me race and I’m excited to see them. I grew up on the west coast for the most part and missed a lot of my family growing up and now as we’ve all gotten older we just don’t get time to spend together much.
My training for the most part has been on track however I don’t feel like I’m where I should be. Part of that is because of my break for the month of June. I think my run for the most part suffered the biggest set back and I need to get it back. However when I look at the numbers though it’s my aerobic endurance that is gone. Training for short course racing is all about speed and power over the short course instead of a steady pace. So what does that mean for me? More longer runs and bikes at a steady Z2 pace to get that endurance built up again. What does it mean for my short course races coming up? Well it means that I’m going to look at them as training and keep myself at a solid pace.
Also got to see my friend Rhonda complete her 2nd triathlon the weekend of my ITU Race. She has come a long way and it’s pretty cool to see the effect that I have had on her. From believing that she could do her first triathlon before October to now looking at training for her 3rd triathlon in September. I’ve found it’s very rewarding personally to watch people accomplish what they once thought they couldn’t.
This was the first triathlon I’ve done outside of California. I knew ahead of time it was going to be hot and humid. It didn’t disappointment in that regard either. I don’t even want to look at the official time because of how bad my run was so I’m not. But let’s just say this race was full of surprises from the time I stepped foot outside my hotel to walk to transition.
Race morning went off without a hitch. Woke up got ready and packed my stuff into my transition bag. Now my wave didn’t start till 8:55AM and transition closed at 6AM. So I didn’t bother eating anything now I just finished getting ready and went to transition to get my stuff all setup. First step outside and it’s pouring rain. I don’t mean San Diego rain where it’s small drops and more of a haze of small drops either. I am talking true mid-western drops. In the back of my mind I already knew what was coming.. the rest of my day was going to be rough. So by the time I ended up in transition I was soaked. So wet course, 3 hours to kill, and the heat/humidity was picking up.
The water wasn’t as cold as it was made out to be but then again I swim in the Pacific Ocean. The water didn’t taste bad either… ha ha ha. The horn went off and almost immediately I was passing people and found some nice feet to draft off of. The pace wasn’t fast (for me) and I certainly wasn’t struggling to keep up with him so since this wasn’t a race I was going to place at I just took the swim easy does it and instead I focused on my stroke. Make sure my breathing was done right with my head down. I used it as a training swim… literally. I think I did the catch up drill at one point. I had one other person drafting off me as I felt their hands on my feet a times but it didn’t bother me since I was drafting off someone else. Since it was in the harbor they had this ramp we climbed up on to get out of the water. The guy in front of me could hardly stand upright so I held him up as we got going to transition and he thanked me for it as some other people were laughing. The guy behind me also thanked me for the draft…lol Got to love race day. Little did I know it would be a half mile run through T1!
I felt at home on my tri bike again and we flew through that fast and flat course. I was concerned at this point cause the sun was out in full force. I had some salt sticks along with some NUUN for hydration through the bike. As we approached the river to my delight we went onto lower Wacker Dr. which is completely covered so no sun.. YAY! Of course at this point my GPS on my Garmin didn’t work so I had no concept of speed, just power. I kept my power between 170-220 for most of it with a cadence of 90+. We had 4 loops of the bike course, and man I could have done that bike course ALL DAY LONG. I mean I have never been so happy on the bike just flying with what I thought was very little effort. Sadly though at the last lap all I could think about was the heat at humidity of the run and how am I going to stay hydrated. I had 1 bottle of NUUN left from the bike and some more salt sticks, figured the rest would be from water along the run course.
At this point it was basically 10:30 and the sun was out in full force and the moisture was in the air. My first mile felt pretty good I had a good pace going for my Z2 and then around mile 1.5-1.75 I started to get a bit dizzy and hot so I slowed it down and drank some water and threw some water over me from the aid station. Sadly that’s all they had so no sponges this time around like Oceanside (might have to bring some for Minneapolis). Then it just got progressively worse for me. I just couldn’t muster the energy to move past a walk without my HR jumping and getting a bit more dizzy. I suffered through the next 2 laps which at this point my teammate Forrest caught up with me and he was having some GI issue’s so we finished off the race together which was a good moral booster for me. There was no leg cramping like I had at Bass Lake which I felt was a win.
So even though this was my fastest Olympic distance yet and my 3rd ever it taught me a lot about myself. I raced out of my element and out of my state. I knew it was going to be hard going into the race after having to basically take an entire month off of training due to fatigue and over training. I came to push my limits and I feel I did, it could have been worse. As the day went on I feel they really needed another possible aid station or modify the course so that it could have ran on the sidewalk under the shade of some large tree’s. Might come back next year and do the Chicago Triathlon.