Monday, December 29, 2008

End of the year review...

What went well? What worked? What didn’t? What the hell was I thinking?

This past year of races were pretty sweet. I hit all my goals and felt I was getting the returns on all my training. I focused early on my swimming and did on ave. about 4x more a week than last years training. I’m mostly happy about the number of times I got into the open water: 28

The high point of this years swim came the week of the Seafair Tri. I swam the Fat Salmon the day before - 1.2 miles in just under 40 minutes. Then the next day I did the swim leg of the Seafair Tri in 14:20, on a team with Eileen and Alley. EIleen did the bike and Alley finished out with the run. Those two races then a week later was the Escape from Federal Way Olympic Tri with the .9 mile swim. That was an amazing few weeks there of just putting on the hours, miles and wet suit, over and over again.

With the swim coming along well, mid summer I turned my focus over to track running, Something I’d never done before. I’ve run for about 8 years, but never hit the track. With the help of Joe Tysoe and crew from Emerald City Multi-sport, I turned out and pushed down some pretty set walls in my run training. I got to a point of averaging about 5:58 per mile pace on a 4.5-5 mile tempo run. For me that was about 45 seconds faster than I would of ever thought was possible.

The goal heading into the track training was to do my first Sub-20 5K at the Foot Zone in Redmond. I was primed and felt good the morning of and all things went as planned.

The pain of attempting to reach for what you want was pretty heavy on the mind that day before and during the race. I was talking with someone a few days before and she said about her first 70.3, ‘ I have to know the pain is going to come, I have to know how long I can handle it, how I’m going to react. I can’t starting hoping that it doesn’t come.’

Throughout the year I was putting time in on both George and Luke. I started training with George (last years race bike). I had this thought that I didn’t want to start training on Luke and never feel that huge difference between the two bikes. Especially if I was out of shape when first jumping on Luke ( New bike).

Hill training was a big part of my training, mostly because I actually enjoy climbing for some reason. Also, I wanted to compete in a time trial style bike race and managed to talk Eileen and Tony into joining me at the Cougar Mountain Hill Climb. Alley, Shell and Lil’K, were there for support and at one point drove next to me cheering me on. The support is usually what gets me, or us, through the tough parts of any event. It’s always fun during a race to see were they find to cheer you from.

My goals for the year were;

Olympic Distance tri - Federal Way Escape, 5th in age group 30th overall
Sub 20 for a 5K - 19:42
Top 50 in the Kirkland tri - 57th Overall - 50th Males
Improve Open water swim - Totally!

I Hit all my goals for the year and got a marathon added in to boot. The marathon could of been better, but I was happy and satisfied considering the achilles and I.T. problems I had in training.

What I learned?

This year I learned right from the beginning that you can’t limit yourself to what you think you can handle or achieve. That when it comes down to it you’re the only one standing in your way. I wanted to come out this year and just throw it down and feel like a triathlon racing for a place, rather than just trying to survive the day.

I love the race, personal race, that plays in my head during events. Tempting to raise the pace, giving feedback on sustainable efforts, screaming to run my own race. Comparing race effort with training effort and where the “redline” lies for the day.

The support that Alley gave me this year was amazing. Long hours away on the bike and run. Then coming to make sure I made it back to shore during key swim workouts. All the race support and making sure I’m out the door with everything, cheering and explaining to strangers why I kept yelling “mango!” : )

Before every race I still get nervous and wonder what the hell I’m doing. I failed PE once for sure, maybe even twice during high school and always think someone’s going to call me on that before a race, saying something like, ‘Sorry this is the wave for the real athletes’. I’ve just had this feeling like someone was going to realize, ‘hey you can’t start doing this now!’

This year went a long way to change that outlook, not in a cocky, boastful why. I feel confident to push my limits and get up the next day and push again if needed, or in the next leg.

On the first starts a new year and a new tri season. I can go in with plenty to work on from this year. As well as plenty of things that I learned about myself

- I can hold my own, I can compete, I can place, I can tri...

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