Thursday, June 14, 2007

Back in the saddle

I took my bike in for a tune up recently and they gave me a new seat post... one that's almost to big for me. I tried it out at the transition practice and I don't think I was moving my hips so maybe it'll be ok. Tonight was the first time I got to try it and I think the extra height gave me a bit of an edge.

I was trying to not to push it to hard since my legs were still a little stiff from last night's run but there were people in front of me riding slowly up hills! Anyone who's ever ridden with me knows I can't let that go. So here I am at the bottom of that incline by Oak Bay golf course and I saw some guy 3/4 of the way up STANDING on his peddles! I started to wonder if I could make it to the top before he did. Only one way to find out... I clicked into a harder gear, dropped into aero and punched it. We tied and I was glad when I passed him that he didn't know how far back I was when we started "racing". I probably come off as a cocky bastard (and maybe I am) but I don't actually want to make people feel bad. I'm just always looking for a challenge that will make me dig deeper and go faster.

The best ride I've had this year was at the Shawnigan Sprint because I got to race a friend of mine who's got similar ability on the bike. He's faster going up hills, I'm faster going down. We passed each other a few times and I had to work really hard to earn my 30 second lead at the end. I should do more time trials.

Anyways, the focus for the evening was really to get a good spin to flush out my quads. All the same, I was loving attacking the hills. Coming back, I shot up King George in my 4th gear (3 up from easiest) and was pleased to see that my climbing is getting better. That's been a bit of an Achilles-heal for me so hopefully it won't hurt me too bad in the race on Sunday. I can't wait to get back to Shawnigan in the upcoming weeks... I miss riding up the Malahat!

All in all, I'm getting excited about the next few races. I've been really discouraged about the back pain on the bike and the leg pain on the run. It all seems to be coming together this week and I've got renewed enthusiasm about the 10 weeks I have left until Ironman.

It is only with the heart that one sees rightly;
what is essential is invisible to the eye.

~Antoine de Sainte-Exupery

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Burn baby, burn

This hasn't been the warmest of summers but at least it stopped raining!

3 days until the 1/2 Iron and I'm loving the taper week. After constant (knee, back, hip, shoulder) issues, everything is starting to come together and I've had a couple of really encouraging workouts in the last few days. I was only supposed to run for 35 minutes last night but I couldn't bring myself to stop.

I haven't been running much due to my knee so I pushed myself to do pickups every time I had the energy. 1/2 of the way through the run, I started to get thirsty. Hamsterly Beach came and went so fast that I forgot to stop at the fountain. Well, that and there was a group of triathletes there so I couldn't wuss out and stop running!!! Besides, I only had 3.5k between me and Chris' car, where my eload was waiting for me. It was funny. The more I thought about it the more excited I got.

I remember someone telling me to have a treat in your special needs bag that you could look forward to. That way you could quit thinking about the finish line (that might be hours away) and focus on some tasty morsel that is waiting for you in the more immediate future. Yes, long distance racing is all about patient endurance but you still need little bits of encouragement along the way. My bottle of eload gave me the focus to push through and force myself to suffer a bit more. (Yes, I know it's a taper week! Decrease the volume but keep the intensity up...right?)

The lake was so warm, it was almost a waste of time to go for a post-run-wade... but I did it anyway. I'm not too big on ritual for most of my day to day activities but I'm fanatical about my recovery procedures. A guy who gets injured as frequently as I do has to be if he wants to stay in this sport.

The race is long and in the end it's only with yourself.

~ Mary Schmich