Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Season Wrap-Up

Of course, I still have my first cross race coming up in 2 weeks, and I still have a marathon in November. But...

Triathlon season is officially over for the year, and what a way to end! In a way, I'm sad because I love racing and I'll miss it, but now that the weather is getting cooler, the idea of swimming is a little bit unappealing, and it'll be nice to not be waking up super early every other weekend to race.

So it's bittersweet.

I made the executive decision to take this week practically off: only master swim workouts, riding to class and work, and cyclocross practice. The hard stuff will start up again this weekend, so I'm basking in my win and my "down time" for a couple of days.

But, to sum up the season:

  1. Hammonton Sprint Triathlon (May): 1st in AG, 12th female
    My legs cramped badly on the bike so my time sucked, but it was the first race where I got out of the water competently- I think 7th out of the water
  2. SBR Sprint Triathlon at Harriman State Park: 1st in AG, 4th Female
    Racing against some pretty legit women, at least one of whom was a pro, and had a great time. Fast swim, good bike, and a really strong finish on the run, even with the trails.
  3. Sprintin' Clinton 5k: 1st in AG, 4th female
    20:59, a minute over what I wanted, but I was happy with it. I think next time I do a straight 5k, I'll be able to beat that time.
  4. NJ State Triathon, Olympic distance: 3rd in AG, 17th Female
    Terrible swim that put me in a terrible position for the rest of the race. But the bike was good! The run, not so much- 10k is still a weird distance for me, for some reason.
  5. Steelman Olympic Triathlon: 2nd in AG, 11th Female
    This one was my first rainy race- it felt good though. Decent swim, nothing to write home about, but a good bike and my first really solid and strong 10k run.
  6. Skylands Sprint Triathlon: 1st in AG, 4th Female
    My swim was great, especially compared to last year, and while my bike wasn't as fast as I would have liked, it went well. The run was good but I think I could have pushed harder from the outset.
  7. Belly of the Beast Half Ironman: 1st OVERALL
    Great swim, my best long swim to date, easily. 4th Female outta the water. Then, problematic bike with some serious stomach issues and a gearing conundrum that almost blew up my quads. But a stellar run that could have been faster had I realized I had that much steam left!
Exciting season overall. There were a couple of non-noteworthy cycling races in there, but nothing worth re-mentioning.

There were a few workouts worth noting:
  • Running on the beach in VA- there is nothing like running on sand and by the water to relax me while getting an amazing workout in!
  • Swimming with Dad at Spruce Run, including the hilarious time we got kicked out. Only he and I would do something like that, and then plot about how to do it again the next weekend.
  • Riding with the A++ men riders in VA, getting my ass dropped, and picking up some interval training with a crew of Colombian dudes.
  • Running with Pete and really speeding up my runs because of trying to keep up with him! Holmdel's cross country 5k loop was the most intense run I've ever done.
  • Realizing that audiobooks are amazing for long runs.
  • Swimming in the Atlantic with Dad trying to keep up on the surfboard
  • Trying to keep up with Vlad when swimming at Belmar after a beach run.
It was a good season!!

And now, I have new training friends and Pete is back in town, so let the Ironman build begin!

Without further ado... Things I Learned and Need to Work On!
  1. NUTRITION: I say it all the time, I know, but this time I really mean it. Less pizza, more salad; less cookies, more fruit; less junk food, more protein; and definitely a more attentive attitude towards what goes into my body.
  2. RACE NUTRITION: I have to start practicing eating and drinking while running and biking. I've never been one to drink or eat more than absolutely necessary while training because I enjoyed the prospect of coming home to a big meal. Now, it's time to get more serious and start getting used to the calories while training, so while I race, my stomach works better. Plus, it'll improve the quality of my regular training!
  3. WEIGHT: all summer, I've wanted to drop somewhere between 5-10lbs. I didn't try though, because I didn't want to sacrifice any training for it. But now I can have time to do it, and I have plans to actually start weighing myself with a scale that calculates BMI and stuff like that. I'll actually pay attention to it and try to get my body at the best possible weight to be an effective racer.
  4. SLEEP: I may not get a ton of it during the week, but if nothing else, I need to try to calm down and sleep before races. I credit my Belly of the Beast win to me having gotten a good night's sleep beforehand.
  5. WEIGHTS: I have a new plan that's more tailored to triathlon and I need to follow it instead of just "doing weights" for an hour.
  6. STRETCHING: foam rolling, stretching after rides and runs, all that stuff I hate wasting time on has to start happening a lot more. Especially with the new higher volumes.
  7. SWIM: my Master Swim class should help speed me up - I'm working on my stroke and actually doing real swim workouts, not just swimming for hours on end. And when it does warm up again next Spring, getting into open water immediately!
  8. BIKE: clearly, my bike needs work. This means longer OUTDOOR rides with more planning- i.e actually doing intervals on flats, pushing on hills, really getting a legit workout, not just logging the miles. And while working with the team would be good, there's a lot to be said for solo rides and riding with Jenna, who can help me get better for triathlon, not road racing.
    And the obvious: I need a tri bike.
  9. RUN: marathon, marathon, marathon! After Belly of the Beast, I'm feeling more confident, and I'm not just thinking about finishing, I'm thinking about finishing STRONG and doing well. If I miss qualifying for Boston, I'll be pissed. But I also need to keep some focus on speedwork: Pete and I are planning to pick a 5k so I can go for the sub20 in the coming 2 months. Since Ironman probably isn't something I want to do forever (only a couple years), I want to still be doing some short courses next summer, so I need to keep my speed to some extent.)
In the past year, I went from novice triathlete to competitive age-grouper without a plan and just by training as much as possible. Now, it's time to get smart, think about future goals, and seriously consider what I want out of triathlon. I know I always reference "going pro" in a joke-y way, but lately, I've been getting a lot more serious about it. Hence the more serious approach to training. I'm only 22 and I have a while before I even peak, so it's worth giving 110% and seeing what happens. So yeah. Goals have changed and the bar has been raised for this next year. Game on.

1 comment:

Molly said...

Sounds like it was one kickass season!!!

Yep, the race nutrition is big and practicing it every time out really helps you dial it in to perfection before race day. I'd be hosed for IM without all the little tweaks I've made along the way in testing (training).