Saturday, April 12, 2008

where's the motivation?

I seem to be lacking motivation for training this week. At first, I thought it was post-event let down from doing the sprint and 10K back-to-back, and I figured I was entitled to some recovery time. But it's been a week now, and I've not done much. Swim practice on Monday was devoted to flip turns, or in my case, trying to learn how to do them. Let's just say, I spent the entire hour in the remedial lane. Tuesday was strength training and indoor cycling, and I managed a short swim on Wednesday. I alternated 100 yard intervals with flip turn attempts, and a few times I felt like I almost did one. Thursday was more cycling. I skipped 30 minutes of strength training so I could shop for a digital camera. I'd considered swimming on Friday, but slept in instead. Today I volunteered for a duathlon. I'd planned to run afterwards at the same site, but it rained and I opted to come home for warm, dry clothes. Then my sister called me, the knob fell off my kitchen door, the litter box needed cleaning, I decided to go online for awhile -- it's not likely I'll get that run in today, as I feel my energy level sliding past zero. Maybe tomorrow ... ?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The 10K

I did the Monument Avenue 10K with my younger sister JJ and my daughter. Despite the on-off rain, we enjoyed the event. My time was 4 minutes slower than last year, but I still finished in the top 20% of my age group, so I'm trying not be too disappointed with the result. I was faster than I'd been in my solo practice runs, no doubt due to the "run faster, faster" exhortations with which my two companions propelled me across the finish line. My sister can walk faster than I can "run." At her own pace, she would have had a much better time, but she never let herself get too far ahead of me. My daughter left us at the halfway point, but waited at the 6-mile marker so we could all cross the finish line together. I'm hoping the photo will be spectacular.

One Done

On March 28 I did the Smithfield Sprint -- my first triathlon for 2008 and the first event in my quest for a Setup Events age group award. Nearly 500 competitors were registered, 3 in my age group. Since the swim was in a pool, and swimmers were spaced 15 seconds apart, it took nearly 3 hours to get everyone thru that phase. The elite athletes completed the whole tri before I even got in the pool! I entertained myself watching the other swimmers and spectators, at least to the extent I could see them. I'd had to leave my eyeglasses in the transition area so I'd have them for the bike, and transition closed at 9:45 a.m. I do have swim goggles with corrective lenses, which aren't my exact prescription but are close enough for distance viewing. Think generic reading glasses you can buy at the drug store. However, someone wearing goggles for several hours while staying outside the pool tends to attract some puzzled looks from other bystanders, so I only occasionally put them on while I waited.

Then it was my turn. The water was warm and the lanes were wide. The person behind me touched my feet several times, but she refused my offers to go ahead when we reached the ends of the lanes. And once as I approached the wall to turn, I saw another person swimming directly underneath me. He was soon gone, but at that instant, I felt like a fish in an aquarium. There was no ladder nearby at the end of the swim but I managed to heave myself out of the pool with some measure of grace and ehaded toward the transition area to get my bike.

I'm always slow in T1 because my goggles steam up and I can't see very well where I'm going. I don't want to fall down or run into anyone. I've tried leaving my glasses poolside, but ithere often is no good place to put them and it takes too long to find them. Plus they steam up, too. T1 took longer than usual because it was chilly and windy, and extra clothes were required. I'd seen one guy on his bike in just his swim trunks, but everyone else I saw was more warmly dressed.

The 10-miles bike course was fairly flat with only a few curves and small hills. Thanks to four months of indoor cycling and "power repeats" I managed to get up the hills without downshifting to "granny gear." The course didn't seem as intimidating as it had the night before when I'd driven it in my car, thinking "why is it I do this?" And if there had been less wind, the ride would have been quite pleasant. My time for the bike was 44:43, an average of 13-14 mph. I would have like to have been faster, but since this was my first ride sans trainer since last fall, and I dismounted without falling, I felt okay about it. I'm close to phobic about falling because I've taken some nasty spills.

The weather had improved somewhat by the time I got to the run segment at 1 p.m. My legs didn't feel like total bricks and I maintained my usual average pace of 13 minutes per mile for the 5K. I even did a negative split.

My total time was 1:42:48, which put me third in my age group. The first place finisher's time was 1:21:34, and second place was 1:39:48. I had faster bike and run times than no. 2, but she was faster in transition. We all got the same prizes, though -- a small thermos. It was a good way to start the season.