Saturday, April 26, 2014

And the 2014 Season Begins...

Every season brings on basically the same thoughts and emotions. You'd think I'd get used to the performance anxiety I feel (careful, I'm talking about racing here) every time I look at my new year race schedule. As a retuning member and lead of the One Multisport Elite Team, there is pressure to perform.  Will I be good enough? Will I be able to compete and have fun? It happens every year. 

The year kicked off positively with my 11th consecutive Rock and Roll AZ full marathon on January 19th. After returning to the ranks last year on the sub 3 hour club, my plan was to do it again on this familiar course. I've said it before and I'll say it again...sub 3 hour marathons hurt for 3 hours! Especially the last hour. 

I went out a little faster than planned but felt very good clipping away at 6:38-6:41 min miles.  At the 13.1 point I was right where I wanted to be at 1:27.  I know the man maker really starts at mile 22 when the left hand turn takes you onto Van Buren to become Mill Ave. There is the only substantial hill at that point that leaves the most fit walking. With my reserves in he bank, I felt confident I was going to make my goal. However, at mile 20 my left hamstring cramped. It worked out without much time lost and the right hamstring seized up at mile 22 right before the turn home to Tempe. I was concerned but doing the math in my head, I felt safe. The final result was a PR of 2:58:44 a 7 second improvement from my record of 7 years ago in 2007! Welcome to my 50s! A big thank you to my coach, Nick White with Carmichael Training Systems getting my marathon plan dialed in as well as my triathlon season the rest of the year!

There was a long gap before the first significant triathlon race this year. With IMAZ coming in November, I am making a conscience effort to race less and train more. 

The Leadman Tri on April 13th was that first local race of distance and I wanted to I well. The distances mirror the 70.3 ironman but with a longer swim (2.5k a longer bike (109.5k) and a shorter trail run (13k). I have to admit I'm always am looking at my competition. This, my second season in 50-54, every year brings new competitors and old (no pun intended) favorites. Besides phenom Geoff Cleveland, new guys who aged up like Salvador Lancaster from SoCal and Paul Hert from Washington State have the big 5-0 bdays this year! Another great triathlete and top USAT All-American who came to town was Rusty Robertson. 

Dang! No cake walk! The swim was forgettable but not a catastrophe. 42:33 for which my Garmin says was 1.8 miles. No extra credit for extra distance in triathlon. Sighting drills for Town Lake are a must! The bike was a 4 loop urban course. My goal to keep same was to see how close to 45 min I could stay for each loop. No problem for loops 1 and 2. Loop 3 saw the most traffic with the Marquee International and Sprint races well on their way. The wind began to pick as well. I came into transition for a 3:08:37. The 3rd best bike split in AG. I just upgraded my Valdora Phx2 frame the week of the race. I am so pleased with it and so honored to represent Valdora Tri Bikes again for my 3rd year! Once on the run, I knew I could hopefully get a feel for where I stood in the race. I knew Geoff was WAY ahead with 31:56 (not a typo) swim split! Last year he had 9 minutes on my and beat me to the tape by 30 seconds! This year, he was able to run and no 8 mile run of mine was going to catch him! On the pedestrian bridge at the beginning of mile 2, I saw a Mark Allen Elite Race Team kit that I thought belongs to Jonathan Coffen. It wasn't him, it was Rusty Robertson. Age 52 on his calf. I clipped ahead and passed him before we crossed that bridge. That was the motivation I needed to push forward and run scared to try to podium. I didn't know where Salvador or Paul were at at all.  I saw Geoff on the other side of the canal and he had a good 7-9 minutes on me. I came into the final stretch of the run  and was pleased with my AG best run split of the day 1:02:27.  Final time and belt buckle award time was 4:56:14.  

Second in AG for the day.  

Thee are many goals for this my first full year at 50. One is to build strength and power to sustain me during these long endurance races. I am having a lot of fun adding Crossfit to my weekly core schedule. I go 2-3 times a week at noon to Power in Motion Crossfit for an endurance based workout that includes strength training and an endurance WOD. I am looking forward to see great results from this and am so pleased to have Josh Otero and PIM as a ONE Elite sponsor this year!  

Next stop is a week from today at Ironman 70.3 St. George ! Race report to follow. 

Special thanks to my 2014 sponsors, One Multisport and ONE Elite which include Destination Kona, Foosia Asia Fresh Power in Motion Crossfit, Complete Skincare and Body Restoration Fix Performance as well as my sponsors: Valdora Tri Bikes, Spira Footwear and Fitsok  

Train safe everyone and happy racing