Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kinetic Sprint Race Recap

Before the race I was ready to compete and push myself to see how well I could start the season off.  I had set some goals for myself for the swim, bike, and run.  I had rehearsed transitions in my head, but hadn't done one since Sept. 12, 2010.  Seeing all the athletes, the course set and marked, the tents, the volunteers and the staff was great!  Finally time to race again!

THE SWIM - 750m - Time 15:37
I was in the 3rd wave to start, 6 minutes into the race.  This was my first time doing a beach start - pretty fun especially when you do still slightly have a quick burst of speed from your soccer days.  Despite being the first one into the water and to start swimming I was quickly passed by many a swimmer!  I was able to get into a good and comfortable rhythm within the first couple hundred yards.  The water was a little chilly and it was my first time wearing a wetsuit for the swim.  I felt good during the swim, I would have like to push myself a little harder and come in under 15:00.

T1 - Time 3:39
The biggest learning point of this race!  What not to do in T1 during a sprint triathlon!  Next time I won't waste time putting biking gloves on or running socks that are difficult to get on.  I'll tape my gels to my bike frame and figure out a better way to deal with the hair!  All in all the transition was a bit of a run from the beach and up hill.  I was disappointed with this time as I know I can do better and this is a silly place to give up minutes in a race.

The Bike - 18 Miles - 56:26
Biggest success of this race!  Averaged 19.1 mph on the bike.  Last year the bike was an event that I was only decent at, at best.  I have put in some work on the bike and continue to put in work getting my mileage and speed up in preparation for Augusta 70.3.  The course was somewhat hilly with open roads.  I took a gel about 12 miles in.  I had the 2nd best time on the bike in my age group, looking to continue this throughout the season!

T2 - 1:29
Good news is this was my fastest T2 time yet.  Pretty much average time for this race, would like to continue to knock some seconds off of this transition as I prepare to move up an age group next year.

Run - 5k - 26:10
At first look, horrible for me, but compared to other racers times not bad at all.  The first mile of the course is up hill! Quite difficult when coming off a hard bike.  3 water stops on the course were nice, though paper cups are more conducive to drinking on the run than Styrofoam! I was 3rd in my age group on the run.  I would have like to see the time in the 24s.  I am looking to improve this and get it into the 23s in future races this season.  Helps me know where to focus in on training!

This was a good race and nice to be able to drive down the morning off and not need a hotel room.  The post race festivities were decent.  Not much going on other than chit chatting and food!  Every racer got a personal sized Papa John's Pizza, there were also Mike & Ike's, Oreo's, Trail mix, Chex mix, bananas, oranges, watermelon, soda and water.  Definitely didn't need to look to hard to refuel.  The awards ceremony was nice.  Winners were call down and given there prize and got their picture taken.

I finished 3rd in the Women's 20-24 age group with a total time of 1:43:19.  I was pleased with the podium finish and the learning points taken away from this race.  Overall a great race to start the season with and much to look forward to at future 2011 races!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Competitive Fire Within

My competitive fire may have been something I was born with, if not it's been around since I was a little tike!  When I was younger I was wanted to win - no matter what it was.  A family board game, soccer game, karate tournament, band, spelling bee, geography bee, juggling contest, running race - basically anything and everything.  One of my earliest memories of truly having a competitive fire within was while playing backyard soccer with my brother and parents.  My team (probably Mom and Holli) were losing to the boys (Brother and Dad)!  How could this be, I wasn't going to let it happen, and so I walked away from the game to go do something else!  Was I quitting - debatable but a competitive fire was born or awakened!

I like to be the best I can be at what I do, always have and always will ( I hope).  Being the best I can be means winning and performing better tomorrow than I did today.  Growing up playing soccer my coach told me I had a refuse to lose attitude - put me in a losing situation in training and I will do everything in my power to not lose in the end.  In karate tournaments I won medals - in each event - sparring, forms, board breaking, even loudest Ki-Yai.  I was always looking for ways to get on and play for better soccer teams - extra training, camps, drills in the yard, fitness, anything that would get me on ODP, Varisty, and a State Championship team.  Winning became habit, but at times and with some teams losing became a habit - I would become emotionally annoyed, frustrated and angry when that was the case.  Losing happens, we learn from it, we improve, others experience the thrill of victory and we grow from the experience but when losing becomes a habit is a dangerous bridge to cross.  If you become so comfortable losing and you justify it then what motivation do you have to train harder and develop a plan to improve for the next time?

Have you every gotten stuck in a situation because it was comfortable?  What did you do to get out of the rut?

So what does all this have to do with now you ask?  My competitive fire came out strong today at the Kinetic Sprint Triathlon and it was fed!  Throughout undergrad I didn't like being uber competitive with my roommates or teammates and now I am no longer competitive with others when it comes to grades - I just do what I can while maintaining my sanity and hopefully so do they.  My roommate has joked with my that I am one of the most competitive people in class - but I never really saw it - now I must say he is right and read me like an open book.

I was pumped for the race - at the peak of the inverted U for arousal!  Ready to see what I could do this 2011 Tri season, test out the new wet-suit, and have fun, while performing my best and bringing the glory to HIS name.  The race started out with a prayer by an FCA-E teammate = awesome!  I was ready to push myself in each discipline - a test of my strength, endurance, perseverance and faith.  I pushed hard through the entire race and finished with a great time.  I stated my goal of finishing on the podium previously because I knew I was capable of it if I performed my best.  A full race re-cap will come later this week but all I can say is that it was awesome.  When I began to feel tired I repeated one of my favorite lines from the Competitor's Creed, "My soreness if a sacrifice to my Savior."  I chased other athlete's down, enduring until the end.  I finished 3rd, fed my competitive fire, and drive to train harder.

What do you do to get pumped for competition?  How do you refocus during the competition?

The competitive fire was lit inside me long ago but has been reignited in the spirit of triathlon and knowing the results of my efforts must result in His glory.  It has driven me to train hard before and is now driving me to train even harder.  To work on and improve in my areas of weakness and to learn from mistakes I made at this race so I don't make them again this season (taking time to put bike gloves on for 18 miles, eh?)  To better myself in each performance - podium or no podium (but we always want the podium to be involved!).  Details of the Kinetic Sprint will come in a post later this week once I have the specific time breakdowns.  I know although I had a great performance there are areas of improvement to work on.  

The competitive fire within makes the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat that much sweeter!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lost in the Moment

Have you taken notice to you mind set when you have your best performances?  When I was playing soccer I took notice to my best performances when I was "in the zone" and what strategies I could use to help get me "in the zone" faster or stay "in the zone" for a full 90 minutes.  I have come to notice that my best running, cycling and swimming performances also occur when I am "in the zone".  "The zone" to me occurs when I am lost in the moment - not thinking about how far I've gone, how far I've yet to go or what I am going to do after my workout or race.

Getting into "the zone" is not always the easiest thing but allowing my mind to be lost in the moment really helps me get there.  When swimming I sometimes become so lost in the moment I get stuck perpetually swimming laps 15 and 16 over and over again because I keep losing count.  The sooner I get lost in the moment and my surroundings while running the better run I will have and usually stay at a constant pace.  My best bike rides have been when I've been with a partner and stopped thinking about how far I have to go or how long it's going to take.  It's the journey not the destination that matters!

How do you let yourself get lost in the moment while training?

Triathlon season officially starts on Sunday!  I kick off the season with the Kinetic Sprint Tri in Spotsylvania, VA!  I am going to push it and see where I can start the season off and look to build on my performance throughout the season.  This will be the first time I have to wake up early and drive to the race site.  I was blessed with hotel rooms and a local race last year allowing me to get a good night's sleep.  The race has a liberal start time of 9am so luckily I won't be up too too early!  I have a new wetsuit and tri shorts/top for the race that I am pretty excited about.  Reports have said the water temperature should be in the mid-60's.  I hope that doesn't feel freezing!

Have you swam in 60 degree water?  How did it go?

I have trained, I have rested, I have tapered.  I am prepared.  All I can give is all I have and ask for the strength and endurance to handle anything that comes my way on race day!

Will you be at the Kinetic Sprint Tri or did you kick off Tri season elsewhere (or planning to kick it off elsewhere)?

Culpeper Sprint 2010 VTS

Good luck this weekend to everyone racing and training!  Get lost in the moment!