After getting a hard kick in the shorts at New Orleans this past April, I decided to consult with a couple of people that I really trust in the sport to get a bit of feedback. The long story short was that I was racing too hard for the amount of training that I had been doing. I was trying to race head to head with girls that were a lot more fit and I was having epic blow ups in my races. I can really throw down but I have to be fit enough to back it up…and I wasn’t fit. I raced Knoxville conservatively so that my undertrained body wouldn’t have another meltdown or blowup. Looking back and considering my fitness 5 weeks ago, I had a great race in Knoxville.
I came into Lubbock with 5 solid weeks of excellent training under my belt. It was the first block of uninterrupted training since my two week block in Clermont with my friend Kim this past February. I had a plan and I followed it to the “T”. In that short five weeks, I increased my threshold and strength by 2 percent (significant considering my body weight). I knew I was on the right track.
I arrived in Texas confident that I would have a faster day than I did the previous year as I was fitter and stronger. One of the things that occurred to me was how much better the air quality was in Lubbock after being in Boulder. I was able to breath deep without a cough…Go figure! I felt really good about that!
I planned my taper with the upcoming Boulder 5150 and Boulder 70.3 in mind. I didn’t really want to start my taper until the Wednesday before we left, as I didn’t want to lose fitness between races. This taper plan works when I don’t have as many consecutive weeks of uninterrupted training. (I usually start my taper a week before when I have a nice block of training.) I was willing to gamble that I might be tired on race day, as I wanted to feel ready for my Boulder races.
With a little bit of fatigue in the body, I found out I just couldn’t fake it. My swim was pretty terrible. I felt like I was in S-L-O-W motion the entire time. I was at least a minute off from my time last year and I am actually swimming a lot better now.
I hopped on my sweet little 650c Kestrel hoping that it would deliver a fast ride. I was absolutely conservative, especially during the first miles out of the park. I realized fairly quickly that I didn’t have much power on the hills. I rode about 12-20 meters behind Rachel Paxton, trying to pace off of her for as long as possible. When Jess Jacobs passed me, I arrogantly thought that I could pace off of her for a while. However, without having power on the hills, I was no match. I settled back into my rhythm. Rachel rode away from me for a short while too. However, I caught back up, and passed her in the final 10 miles of the ride.
The entire time, I drank, and drank, and drank. I knew that if I let my body get even slightly dehydrated that I would have a meltdown on the run. I came into T2, sucked down a gel and more water starting my run. It didn’t feel spectacular, but it wasn’t awful either. I was just running…just running. I managed to catch Christine Anderson at mile 5 to nab 4th place.
I felt pretty good about my effort, especially with the little bit of fatigue in my legs. I was able to hold it together and have a decent day out there. However, after the results were posted, I couldn’t help but think to myself that I wish I had been a little more rested, and I wish I had done things a little differently in my lead up. But hey…that’s why we call it racing.
Post race kiss, congratulating the big WINNER! :)
Thank you to my amazing sponsors including SPLISH, Kestrel, First Endurance, Rev3, TYR, BRC, Vision, Zipp, Brooks Running, Jack and Adam’s, Recovery Pump, CycleOps, Louis Garneau, as well as my other great partners.
Many thanks to Alan Couzens for pointing out the science side of my training, and for explaining the many wonders of Training Peaks (and pointing out what seems obvious now). And thank you to Dave Scott for helping me build a solid program around my goals.
Next up is the Boulder 5150 on July 8th. After that I plan on racing the Boulder 70.3. However with the horrible fires that are affecting Boulder right now and the smoke that goes along with it, we may get out of town until it all clears.
Thanks for reading!