I’m beginning to realize that this season may be more about me gaining confidence in myself than anything else. Preparing for my first 70.3 last year, my biggest concern was getting physically able to complete the distance. I now know that I can complete it but figuring out just how well and where my limits are this year is now my challenge.
After NOLA, I had 6 weeks to prepare for Raleigh, and Coach Chuck ( http://peakracingteam.com/chuck-sims/ ) decided to change up a few things to help improve the run. I have flaws (yeah, I know, you never knew), and one of those flaws is the stupidity to continue to push when my body is screaming at me that it needs rest even when my coach says to rest or gives me optional workouts. Needless to say, the continued push started to catch up with me around May 9th (about 3 weeks before Raleigh). At the end of a long day of riding in the Gaps, I felt pretty beat. Coach C said we were doing a drop down week that coming week, and then hitting it hard one more week before Raleigh. I should have taken advantage of the drop down week and skipped (oh yes, I am admitting sometimes skipping a workout is necessary….finding my limits) a workout or two, so I could go hard the next week, but my stubbornness didn’t allow that. The drop down week ended up not allowing for the recovery my body was screaming for, and the ensuing hard week was miserable culminating with a double brick scheduled on Saturday with Coach C of a 25 mile ride, 3 mile run, 25 mile ride, 4 mile run. I showed up at Silk Sheets feeling like I’d been hit by a mac truck that week, and apparently I looked just as bad by the end of the workout which I shortened. Afterwards, I told him I was beat, and my Training Peaks may be red all week. He said to just do what I felt like and to recover….for once, I heeded his advice. I honestly didn’t think I’d recover in time to do much of anything at Raleigh how I felt.
With a week of more red than I think my Training Peaks account has seen as a total over a few months, I showed up to Raleigh unsure of how the race was going to go. I told Coach Tony on Saturday that if someone told me I couldn’t race the next day I wouldn’t be upset. I enjoy races, and I look forward to them. I don’t usually get nervous, and I wasn’t nervous about the race. I just wasn’t excited in any way, shape, or form to be there. I just didn’t care. I was hoping I had recovered, but I wasn’t sure since I missed so many workouts. I was hoping I could pull off 6:15 or better, but if I didn’t it wouldn’t be the end of the world. The time in my mind was more about me not wanting to be on that freaking course any longer than that on Sunday. It had nothing to do with PR’s or any logic to that number. It was simply a number pulled out of a hat that was mentally as long as I felt I could stand to race Sunday.
Saturday morning, Angela and I attended a breakfast with Base Perfomance ( http://www.baseperformance.com/ ). Angela is sponsored by them, and she was able to bring a guest, so I went with her. It was a fun start to the day meeting the owner Matt and learning a bit more about the company and products. I had Base Salts and was using them for the first time during a race(more about that later) for this race, but I hadn’t tried any of their other products. After learning a bit more about the Base Amino and hearing some reviews though, I think I’m going to give them a try soon.
After breakfast, we took our bikes out to T1 to drop off. It was about a 40 minute drive both directions, so it ate into the day more than I thought it would with a lunch stop along the way at Chipolte. After a bit more running around, we ate dinner at Mellow Mushroom with the Peak Racing Team (http://peakracingteam.com/ ) before heading to our room to prepare our bags for the next day and go to bed.
Up at 3AM, I prepared my nutrition, packed it in my bags, and was off to head to T2 where I needed to drop off my run bag and catch the shuttle for my 40 minute ride to T1. For some reason, we couldn’t lay out our stuff in T2 by where we’d rack our bikes, but instead we had to leave it all in our bags on the ground. Seemed odd, but you have got to roll with it, so we did. With nothing left to do at T2, Angela and I loaded the shuttle bus and headed to T1.
Arriving at T1, I got body marked, and we both made a quick porta potty stop before heading into transition. We were again told that we had to leave everything in our bike gear bags here as well, so I basically dropped my bag in front of my bike, poured my hydration in my Speedfil, and headed out to go chill. That was the last time I saw Angela before the race.
I found the Peak Racing Team, and we headed to the shoreline to watch the sunrise and hang out as we waited for the race start.
Up next, the race……