So, my “A race” for the first half of my season is a week away. How is that possible? Most triathletes across the country are just getting in their first outdoor ride of the season or are still trying to lose those last few pounds they picked up in the off season. Many of them will be preparing for a peak performance in July or August, and here I am, April 7th, four months of pretty solid training under my belt, gearing up to smash my second 70.3. Winter = perfect training time when you live in Florida.
I’ll put more of my thoughts into a goals post later this week (hopefully), but I’m really excited about the Gator Half. Well, I go back and forth between being really confident in my training (Girl, you’ve had some killer runs lately, you’re going to rock it!) to really doubting certain aspects (Have I swam (swum?) enough? Will 16km as my longest run be enough to get me through a half marathon?). Whatever happens this coming Sunday, I’ll take it as an opportunity to learn and grow in the sport, and of course to proudly represent SOAS!
So without further ado, here’s what I did two weeks out from my race:
Monday: Run, 4k
I actually did somewhere closer to 7km, but the first two and last one were warmup/cooldown. Felipe, Chris and I headed a little north of Kennedy to run over one of the bridges in Tampa. The plan was to run a 4K loop twice: Out, over the bridge, turn around, run back over the bridge, (4km) turn around, run over the bridge again, turn around, run back over the bridge (8km). Unfortunately after the first loop, Felipe had an asthma attack, so we decided to stop the workout and head home.
The water was quite warm, so we stuck to shorter stuff: 4 x (3 x 100 pull, 6 x 50 swim). We got in one extra round of the 100s, but then it was time to go.
Wednesday: Spin & Run
Watched yet another sports documentary while riding. This time, I watched in awe as Terry Fox ran across Canada with a prosthetic leg in 1980. Wow. Absolutely awe inspiring.
The spin felt pretty good; I’m getting better at forcing myself to get through these.
Then I went outside in the heat for a 4K around my neighborhood. Lesson: if you run the first km at 4:4X, you will not make it through your planned workout. I took it out WAY too fast and had to stop and walk for a little after 2k. I finished up the last 2km at about 5:05/km. Oof.
I was all by myself tonight, and I ended up swimming a long ladder: 600, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100.
I got to wear my new sparkly swimsuit, which was probably the highlight of the workout.
After work, I went over to Bayshore to go for a run. I planned to go between 10-12 and I was leaning towards 12. I felt pretty good on the first half, but my legs started to feel heavy on the way home. I ended up walking for a little, grabbing some water and then stopping at 11km. Not the run I was hoping for, but it was nice to be outside!
Chris, Heather and I headed out to Alafia to get in a 60km ride. We rode the first half together, Chris in the lead, holding at about 190 watts. We stopped at the halfway point and regrouped, preparing for 30km back, steady. I really wanted to see what I could do without drafting, so I went first, and Heather went right behind me. Chris followed at the end. I settled right into a groove, but there was a little bit of a headwind and I could tell I was working hard to maintain a good clip. We turned off the busy road and onto the quieter road of the ride and shortly after Chris passed me. I focused on riding my own ride rather than grabbing on to his back wheel and was glad I did. When we made it back to the car, I had averaged 33.3km/hour (about 20.5mph)- I was “steady” in the sense that I was pretty consistent with my pace, but it was far too fast a pace to hold for a HIM. Lesson learned.
Sunday: Mock Tri!
When I received an email blast from Outspokin mentioning a free mock triathlon at Ft. Desoto this weekend, I jumped on the opportunity. I could definitely benefit from going through the motions at least one time before Gator. Heather and Chris joined me, and I ran into another SOAS Ambassador, Lisa at the event too!
Lisa and I connected virtually thanks to SOAS, but it was so fun to meet her IRL! She’s doing Haines City next weekend, so this was also a good tune up for her! Good luck next weekend Lisa!
I cannot say enough great things about this event. The folks at Outspokin were super organized, super helpful, and made the practice tri worthwhile for newbies and experience triathletes alike. I really hope they’re able to do this again throughout the season- it was exactly what I needed! THANK YOU for putting this on Outspokin!
Anyhow, the course was identical to the sprint tri that they’re hosting there next weekend: half mile swim (I love when sprint tris have swims that are longer than 400 yards!), 10 mile bike (1 loop on the island), and a 3.5 mile run. I wasn’t too thrilled about the run, which included going up the Fort (using ramps) and back down (on stairs), as well as over a mile in the sand, but I sucked it up and knew it would be good training.
The water was about 72, so I wore my wetsuit since I know I’ll be wearing one at Gator. They started us in waves, by approximate speed. Everyone who swims under 1:40/100 yards was in the first wave, so that’s when I went. We had to swim against the current, which made the swim feel a bit slow, but overall, it was pretty good. I love open water, so it was fun to swim in the Gulf again- the first time since November! I actually was the first person out of the water (male or female)- but mostly because my course was way better than the guy who came in after me.
I wasn’t treating this as a race, so I jogged in to transition, casually took off my wetsuit and then grabbed my bike. A few more swimmers came in to transition not too far behind me. I mounted my bike and was the first person on the course, but not for long. I had just gotten out of the parking lot when a guy passed me. It was fun being in the overall lead while it lasted ;-) I was riding comfortably, once I FINALLY got my shoes on (I struggled to get my feet inside the shoes. Must practice!) and tried to keep a pretty low heart rate throughout the ride. Another guy passed me, and I maintained third OA at least through the first turnaround. I saw Heather right behind me, and then another woman behind her. A few more guys passed me, and then shortly before the last turnaround a woman flew past me. Man, she was blazing!
I got back to transition (I had a much easier time getting my feet out of the shoes), and again, casually put on my sneakers. When I started the run, the woman who flew past me on the bike was just starting as well, so I caught up to her and struck up a conversation about her Hokas. We chatted for a little- she’s doing Haines City next weekend- and then Heather caught up to us. Heather and I then picked up the pace and ran the rest of the 3.5 miles together. Not sure what we were averaging, since I intentionally left my watch in the car for the day, but I think about 5:00/km. I was a little tired by the end of the run, but I definitely hadn’t overexerted myself, which is exactly how I wanted to feel at the end.
It was so nice to be able to do a practice tri in preparation for my race. Thanks again Outspokin!