While I had put a lot of care and thought into racing Lake Pflug last weekend, I put exactly the opposite of that care and thought into the first splash and dash of the year. It sorta went like this:
Quix: “Hey, we wanted to do a splash and dash this month. Wanna do the one that would make sense to do, or the one two days after PF?”
Zliten: “I dunno, the one that makes sense to do is, like, soon.” (At that point, the next Tuesday)
Quix: “Yeah, and this one’s closer. We can get there right after work, no big d.”
Zliten: “And we get to check out the gym with the lake in the back.”
Quix: “Plus it’s cheap and requires this USAT license we’ve paid for.”
Zliten: “Which also means more races register for our rankings. POINTS!!!”
Quix: “Ok, lets race just over 48 hours after our tri. What could go wrong?” *hits registration button*
Then, there was the triathlon magic of Lake Pf. Ahhhh… unicorns. Tasty, tasty unicorns.
I found myself feeling freaking awesome the next day even though I raced hard and champagne’d hard, so I hit up the gym for a weights sesh and a short swim. My goal with the weights were mostly bodyweight, ez toning type exercises and some abs. Well, I gravitated to the 20 lb dumbells and even bumped up my pulldown weight by 10 before I remembered that I was going to NOT do that. Bah. I went ahead and blasted my abs anyway and took it a little easier on my legs and had a fail of a swim (forgot goggles, forgot backup goggles, ended up with backupbackup goggles from 2010 which held exactly ZERO water out of my eyes).
I didn’t sleep well Saturday night, didn’t sleep terribly well Sunday night, and Monday, I had to get up real early to be at work early to be off early. So lots of sleep, check. Rested body, check. Sarcasm in tow, check.
We got there with about 45 mins to start, and in that time we had to check in, get bodymarked, walk our stuff half a k around a lake and down a crazy steep rocky path, set out our transitions on said steep rocky path, got our shoes on, ran once around the lake as a warmup (1k), realized we need to use the restrooms, came back, reset up transition, and got in the water to get about 3 strokes of freestyle before they called us back to have the pre-race meeting and then the men were off (bye Zliten!!!) and we followed 3 minutes after.
This was a mass wave start of about 80 people and let me tell you – I still don’t like ’em. I know I’ll be started with thousands of my closest friends when I undertake the ironman so I know I need to warm up to it… but… I was spoiled my first year of tris having itty bitty wave starts and it seems like they’ve just gotten worse from there. I figured in 750 meters, I’d have plenty of time to find my lane. Not so much. I would get into a groove, catch up with other swimmers, and I swear everyone was plotting against me as they would box me in and I’d drop back and around (I’m just terrified of breaking a rib from a wayward hand or foot or something). What I need to do is practice sprints again so I can just swim through them like I do when I pass a runner – I’m just used to going my constant, same, comfortable swim pace.
Even through that drama, it was a beautiful swim in a beautiful lake. I really, really, really wish it was open to the public since it’s open water and gorgeous less than a mile from my work, but looks like there will be more splash and dashes in my future (they do one a month). And I MAY just go sneak in after the race and get another lap or 4 of their 750m course. 🙂
Transition was set on a steep hill so I fumbled a bit getting my shoes on without tripping on rocks or falling over. After I did that, I grabbed my sunglasses, my garmin, and my visor and rolled out.
Swim + transition: 19:09. Navigating the rocky hill was not easy, plus I started about 30-60 sec back in the middle of the pack. I’m thinking my actual swim time may have been around 17? Considering I was just feeling warmed up and really really wanted to go for another loop (and think I could have taken the second one faster), I think a ~35 minute olympic swim time (and about 40-ish half iron swim) seems reasonable, which sounds good to me.
On completely rested legs and body I could maybe have tried for sub-9s, but in my condition I was sticking as close to it as possible. I just practiced that mental toughness, trying not to give an inch when I wanted to slow down. It was 3k, and a 3 loop course. Usually I like loops, but at times, it was a little disheartening. Going past the fancy restaurant with yummy smelling food 3 times. Going through the (slight) uphill gravel pit 3 times. On the flipside, knowing where I could bank some time each lap was helpful.
First 1k: 6:18. Second 1k: 6:26. Third 1k: 6:18. Nothing this run if not consistent. The course was a little long, and my garmin read 2.03 miles in 19 flat (~9:24 avg pace). Total time: 38:12. 46/77 women (and I’m pretty proud of this, these were some fast womens, this wasn’t your normal race crowd of all shapes and sizes). Race 12 for the year in the books! 12 down, 12 to go! We’re halfway there!
While I won’t say I have completely conquered keeping my head in the run, I’ve made great strides in it, with 3 major successes in less than a week. Going fast is exhausting work!
Getting in what I can this week before we leave for a camping trip (this was not a banner workout week but I think I’ll survive). During said camping trip, hiking and open water swim goodness.
My next race is July 15, so I’ve got a good month of training until then. It’s also a solid B race – I didn’t do it last year, it will be hot as balls, and I have no expectations. And since it’s couples tri, Zliten and I get to start in the same wave and we’ve decided we will race it together. I need to sign us up for another July race, but it will probably be another splash and dash or 5k, still TBD.
Volume increase time. July and August are our big training months, so it’s time to get the endurance train out of the station. The base, it’s time to build it up to the sky.
First though – enjoying the wilderness and disconnectedness of camping. I bought us healthy food for the trip, but I also brought potato chips and smores. It’s a balance.
Next week: it’s on.