Thursday, April 19, 2012

Gearing up for National Championships

Finish Line for Saturday
Collegiate National Championships are less than 48 hours away.  I've spent this week recovering from the 2 races last weekend, staying fresh and sharp, and fixing technique errors.  Thanks to some awesome friends that spent time in the lake, pool, analyzing running technique and setting up some new tri shoes and cleats for me I'm feeling ready to race on Saturday.   The main reason I race Belews Lake last Saturday was for the pure experience of getting that 1st triathlon of the season under the belt.  Figuring out race day - from breakfast to transition set up to on the course nutrition I felt I needed to go through it for real before Collegiate Nationals.  I'm glad I experienced a bad swim, not optimal nutrition, and race day pace all before the race on Saturday.  Here's a look at how I spent my recovery/prep week.

The Run - I did about 1/2 of the distance of my normal running workouts.  I hit my best mile splits during my speed workout this week and my best splits during my hill workout.  I swaped out my pink Kinvara's for a new pair of white and purple.  I had been in denial because I love the pink shoes so much, but they were done-zo major.  I'm feeling confident in my running.  The course in Tuscaloosa will test athlete's early on with a large hill within the first 2 miles.  I will drive the course tomorrow and see how the hill measures up and if I should change my race plan accordingly.

The Bike - With 2 race day efforts last weekend I wanted to take it easy on the bike.  Last Saturday my legs felt tired when I got on the bike and I did not want that feeling this Saturday.  I did one trainer session thanks to stormy and rainy Georgia weather on Wednesday and did an easy 10 miles on the Silver Comet on Thursday to test out the new shoe and cleat set up.  I incorporated a few pickups to get the legs moving hard and a few superspins.  I'm ready for a moving dismount on Saturday but I don't think I'm quite ready for a flying mount yet but it's coming.  Thanks to a 2 loop bike course in Tuscaloosa it will be convenient to drive the bike course as well tomorrow.  I'll scout any major hills, turns, downhills, narrow roads, etc.  This race course will be COMPLETELY closed to traffic - this should allow for a lot of passing and jockeying for position on the bike without worrying about cars coming up behind you.

The Swim - I think I made more gains in the swim this week than I have in the 3 months.  On Monday my friend Mary (post collegiate swimmer)  spent time with me in the pool correcting my body positioning and technique.  I had never really had proper positioning and technique explained to me.  We went through drills to reinforce certain aspects and I tried out fins and paddles for the first time.  Pretty awesome.  On Tuesday, PTS Coach, Jeff, spent time with me in the lake working on sighting, turning, and technique.  Just being in the open water and having to sight and make it around turn bouys helped me get some confidence back in the swim.  On Wednesday I went to the pool and a set I like to do every week - the improvements in times on the different intervals were unreal.  Don't plow through the water - duh.  I knew I was fit enough to swim better - I just didn't know how.  Now I know how and if maintaining how and improving how means 2 pool sessions per day I'll start putting in 2 pool sessions per day - at least until work starts up.  I felt myself rotating, propelling from the core, and being long in the water.  All this and my times improved and I was not even winded at the end of my intervals.  Perhaps one of the best things that came from all the work in the pool was being told "You are a strong enough swimmer that you should be starting at the front of the pack.  Get in their and go after it."  After all this is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill, fifteen percent concentrated power of will, five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain...

Collegiate National Championships will be my first experience racing against a field primarily consisting of people in or almost in my age group.  The best athletes who are <28y.o. and current full time students are eligible to race.  There is a large team competition, which unfortunately GWU does not have a team in since the Tri Club just started this semester.  There will also be a mixed team relay on Saturday afternoon after both the Women's and Men's race.  This is a large event put on by USAT and since I haven't been to AG National Championships yet I am looking forward to my first USAT Championship race, the experience, competition, and camaraderie that comes along with it.  Some of the best young triathlete's will be racing here.  Current pro's who have previously raced here include Caitlin Snow and Kaitlin Shiver.  More details tomorrow on the race expo and how to follow along with the race on Saturday.

I don't stop when I'm tired, I stop when I'm done.
When all the weak is gone, all that's left is STRONG.


  1. Have a great race! You've done so much work to prepare, you'll rock it.

  2. Be the dagger! Rock on! You go girl! Love ya, and help from above is always with you!