Thursday, June 26, 2014

Come with me now - Tri season is in full swing!

This year’s start to the season began with Rev3 back in Knoxville for an Oly.  Fortune smiled and I was entertained by teammate Holly Fraccaro on the ride.
With 5 triathlons under my belt in 2013, I am approaching this year in a much more relaxed fashion … perhaps too relaxed.  I forgot my helmet and had to stop at Dick’s to get a new one before Sunday.  As I write, I’m cringing to think my coach will ultimately read this….@tribirdie
Friday we rolled into town early enough to reconnect with our Rev3 team and help with the Glow Run.  Zoe Dix, the spunky and delightful daughter of Jamie Dix, was kind enough to let us be her entourage as she ran
the mile Glow Run.  

Dix Family- Post Successes
Glow run Antics

Obligatory run warm up...or something

Friday night found us out on Gay Street in downtown Knox where a table full of Team Rev3 kept me in stitches until it was time to retire. Thank you again Jeff Vanis for picking up my jacket!
Saturday I rolled out of bed pretty late, hit the Kids Tri in time to see some pretty terrific and inspiring family memories being made – experiences to be remembered by both parents and kids.  Jamie’s son did the tri and was the picture of persistence right down to the finish chute where a big hug from mom waited.  After the Kids Tri wrapped up a couple of us hit a local bike shop for some tweaks and then on to the SBR sponsored practice swim. 
GOberg at Bearden Bike in Knox
Post bike run through Saturday
who's that in Shimmer Suit ?!
WOW  - what a difference this year, from  58.5 degrees in the water to pushing 70, still wetsuit legal but not breathtakingly cold.  With almost a sense of giddiness I jumped in for a quick swim to the first bridge to get a handle on the currents and feel of the water this year.  Gentle reminders are the best -- open water swimming requires more of my brain than the pool.  Post swim a couple of us took a quick spin on the bike to shake out the legs and run through gears.  I figured the 1 mile “race” the night before gave my legs a good feel for the run.   Transition was in a slightly different place this year.  Last year it was in the parking garage and while that was excellent for last year’s bad weather, I prefer the openness and sunlight of a parking lot.  I got transition all set up except for a few add-ons Sunday morning.  
 Mellow Mushroom was the spot of choice for dinner and with the late arrival of Dave Callahan there were laughs to spare.  We all went to bed with the geriatrics…

All in all Sunday was pretty uneventful.  And with a face like Oilar's and a big hug to see you off how could you not have a solid showing !? 
I found the swim cooler than I anticipated and the current was not my friend.  I swam better in 2013 but I continue to work on sighting in the open water.   Transition to the bike this year was phenomenally better, not only is the distance shorter in the open parking lot, my feet weren’t frozen so I didn’t feel like I was running on chipped glass.  Shout out to teamie Lana Burl for saving my A$$  with Powerblends.  Not only did I forget my helmet but I also forgot my nutrition.  I was pretty excited this year for a dry ride to see how successfully I could ride the course and I’m guessing by the guy that yelled at me on the run for passing him on the downhills (he outweighed me by a solid 20lbs) that I did alright.  Starting late in the game this season my speed wasn’t where I wanted it to be but my nutrition was spot on.  Since I know I can hit the speed by the end of the season with focused training, I’m happy to start to feel like I have the nutrition piece in hand.  Bike to run was again uneventful and I as usual I should have been more aggressive in the run, keeping too much in the tank kept me from under a 9 min mile which despite the Achilles issues this year should have been doable. 
I improved my time year over year so I’ll take that in hand and look to continue to push the edges, with a strategies around staying in that uncomfortable Z4 and realizing that relaxing and letting it ebb and flow like the tide is what racing  is all about.

Packing up for the ride home

I have an ever evolving view of triathlon, what it means in my life and who graces my life as a result. That's you Wolf family!

The continuous focus on discipline and incremental success drives me to greater places more reflective of my true self.
As a long time member of the sailing community I have high expectations of an athletic community.  I am continually rewarded by my Rev3 Team mates and Race Directors at the caliber of competitors and race production quality!  What a fantastically fun weekend!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wind it up

The 2014 tri season has been a study in patience and persistence with miniscule movement forward only to be pushed back like a running back going in for a touchdown.  After consistent pain in the lower leg/toes and Achilles region of my legs I went to the orthopedic doctor.  The good news is there is no bone or ligament damage just weak muscles.  Twelve weeks of solid physical therapy with Justin at Trinity Wellness Center and I am on the right path.  However, as a runner first and foremost being told that was off the table until strength and stability joined the party was tough mentally. 

And WOW … who knew PT was so tough.  At the suggestion of Justin, I went the Graston route and while it may not be for everyone it has worked wonders for me.  He said I’d eventually ask for it… and while I was writhing in pain on the table and threatening retribution I was thinking not in this lifetime buddy.  He was right – I don’t think it will ever feel “good” but it certainly accelerates the stretching I do on my own.  He also built out a set of exercises and stretches that compliments my current tri training schedule.  It is complete with specific timing to maximize my time strength training since tri training is a full schedule on its own.  It is now a regular part of my triathlon training and I don’t see it going anywhere.  I would be remiss if I didn’t note that my coach is 100% behind holistic training and the philosophy that a balanced athlete is a strong athlete. Without her support and flexibility, this Spring would have been a whole lot harder.

I ran my first half marathon of the season in April and it’s a stretch to call it a run.  My coach and I decided that a 3 mile run set with a 1 mile walk in between would keep me in the best health seeing as how my longest run had been 9 miles.  It was tough to stick to it on the front end but I am determined not to backslide as result of something I can control or arrogance.  Knowing when adrenaline is a friend or foe is critical.  I am running the Midtown-Raleigh 10k in two weeks to see what I can shoot for the remainder of 2014.  

With a full slate of races scheduled the sooner my legs are happy the stronger and faster I'll be.

Happy training!