Sunday, September 02, 2007

Race Week: Lake Geneva Triathlon

Meanwhile, if I can tear myself away from the frenzy of Ironman for two seconds (is it normal to be this excited for a race you're not even doing????), I do, it turns out, have my very own race to finally be excited for. It's been a long time since I've headed a post "Race Week", and I'm really fired up for this one.

I'm doing the Lake Geneva Triathlon, Sprint distance - which, sort of a surprise to me, is not your typical Spint distance of a .25 mile swim - that's instead the SuperSprint. Huh. So, I have on tap a .5 mile swim, 17 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run.

I'm feeling extremely good going into this race - maybe as well as I've ever felt going into a race, and certainly a short distance race, since I've never worked so hard or dedicated so much time exclusively for a short distance race. That process in itself has been really good for me - I've had fun exploring speed training, spending time in higher heart rate zones, and generally having more intense workouts. It's been a complete removal from the hours and hours and hours of slow and steady Ironman training. It's fun to feel like the game always has things to teach you, if you're always willing to learn. I've enjoyed being its student, as always, but especially this summer. And even when the injury derailed the rest of my entire summer, I was learning then, too. All good things in the grand scheme.

Goals? Well first and foremost - and this one is pretty well already accomplished - just to appreciate the day, to enjoy its existence. That sounds corny, but I really was heart broken this year to not be experiencing that early morning quiet setting up transition, that rush as you burst out of the water, that burn in your legs a few hours later as you work towards the finish line. I'm more excited than anything else to just be a part of it all.

Beyond that: I've really stopped defining my goals with time limits or agendas in mind. I think it's good to have those kinds of goals - and I've wondered if somehow I'm copping out somehow not committing myself to this time or that time, but how fast I cross the line just isn't really that important to me, maybe because I learned so much at Ironman about "best laid plans" - you just don't know what race day has in store. But, I do want to feel like I'm doing my best. Not in some arbitrary way that just makes me feel good about myself, but that I'm sincerely performing to the best of my abilities. And in that way, I suppose, it's useful to use the clock as at least a rough guide. I think my best at half a mile might be around 14 minutes or so. I have had serious improvement in the pool, and I do want to feel that in the water - that I'm swimming hard and fast, and am able to reflect my training improvements in a race (that is, after all, the damn point, no?) In addition to that, my goals in the water are to sight well - that's something I've been working on (I'm tired of zig-zagging around) - and to experiment a little bit with swimming with faster groups, maybe charging up from one position to another if it presents itself. Those are things I've never been good at, and I'd like to get better at. The bike will take care of itself - I suppose an average of 20-22mph or something in there. As I mentioned earlier, I do have secret ambitions to run a 3.1 mile run leg of a Sprint triathlon with a sub 7:00/mile pace - or a total time of 21:42. I'm right on the edge of that in training, and I've been improving (I've also been improving with overall speed on the bike, which is nice). I haven't had occasion to put it all together, which is what races are for. So, after a .5 mile swim and 17 miles on the bike, I don't know just what I'll be capable of on the run. If I'm doing my best and it's giving me a 7:15 or 7:30/mile pace or whatever, then I'll take it and keep working to see if I can get faster. But know that I'll be pushing for that sub 7:00, in hopes I can do it.

It's also really nice, I realize now, to be racing Ironman weekend. That just feels good to me.

So. Great to be talking about race day. Can't wait to see what happens out there.


Pharmie said...

Good luck!!!! Can't wait for the report.

Brazo said...

Hey xt4 -- sounds like you've done the work -- now time to have some fun. Kick some ass out there -- enjoy.


Erin said...

Best of luck! If your attitude has anything to say about it, I'm sure you're going to have a great day. Can't wait for the race report!

Triteacher said...

Run like you mean it, x. Those 7s are yours!

TZilla said...

Yah baby, yee haw!