I seem to be mastering the art of racing on a whim. The whole train train train prep work and build up lead up to just ONE race doesn't work for me anymore. As a swimmer I've done that my entire life. 4 months of work here, 9 months there, with little rest and a focus on the end of the season "big meet" and taper time. Countless races in between but we were always smashed. All for the hope that one day [or four] would turn out to be our best.
This winter I trained for Panama. I won't call it hard training. But I made a effort towards a goal and a race and had a plan. Plan gets thrown out when heat hills and wind destroy me.
A week after the race I got back on my [road] bike. I rode hard and I rode a bunch. The following week I raced a criterium. My first of the season and ponied up and rode with the big girls of cat 1-3. Stayed in the mix, won a prime, brought back some breaks. Avoided a major crash where girl was upside down flying through air right next to me. Feet above my head. I held my line and kept moving. Yikes that was close. Ended up first for the cat 3s and 7th OA. Cool. I remember how to race cookie monster.
After the race I had the worst ass cramps I've ever experienced. Actually they were the worst muscle cramps, period. I mean serious cessation of every muscle in both ass cheeks. Couldn't bend over. Couldn't even touch my knees. I stayed up in Ontario to watch our men race a couple races and tried to massage it out. Yes I was that girl digging my hand into my butt cheeks. Ouch.
Rode GWL that week for my first ride back on Kermit with Jake and took it easy as to not disturb and have a relapse. Rode fiesta with Noko on that Friday hoping for the same. Got a much needed 90min massage to get all that Panama crap out of my legs and calves.
Decided to sign up for the Desert International Tri. Didn't run, not even once, in between Panama on Feb 12 and race day on March 4. Whim racing?! I got this.
Swim: 1st AG 1st Amateur 17:07
First off I started this race on a bad foot. 2 min before I realized I didn't take my obligatory vanilla GU 15 min before like I ALWAYS do! F'it. Doesn't matter. Race. Okay go. Ran directly in water as instructed to do since it is a SWIM not a run. See a girl run down the beach at cut in the water like 30 yards down. So now I'm swimming pissed off. Sprint to catch her and immediately pass her and there may have been some contact. Now I'm just swimming with anger. See another girl cut the course. The 1st buoy is FAR away. And directly into the sun. Oh well. Turn at buoy and head back in. Passing peeps as usual as I was in the 4th wave. Ps water was cold.
Bike 1:01:28 1st AG, 2nd Amateur 4OA
Not a bad day. Got on the bike. Felt good. Sat in. Drank some water and wanted to eat [since I hadn't yet] but held back till 20 min in. Was alone on the bike until, well, I wasn't. It was a very packed course. Major packs. I'd go only to be passed by a group. I'd drop back. Try and get into a legal position. Only to catch back up to group. I finally resorted that this is going to be it and I should just stop fighting. Riding angry after an angry swim isn't any fun! The course is a 2 loop square course with 4 corners. At one point people were 3 wide going into a corner. Uh, are we racing a crit?! No, and omg I do not trust triathlete handling skills. I blazed to the front and took the corner like I wanted to. Alone. Towards the end, one girl went off the front. The other girl who was actually working like me said "looks like someone finally decided to stick her nose in the wind!" as we both laughed it off and hammered back into T2.
Not sure if I took a conservative approach or if I rode to hard. Legs didn't really know what was going on. Okay, we'll see how this run thing goes. Whim racing!
Run: 45:04 6th AG 40th OA
Got on the dirt path, took a swig of water and some salt tabs and had no idea what pace my legs were holding. Looked at garmin. 7:30, okay I can do this. [as I'm laughing at myself because I have no idea if I'm going to blow up or not]. Hear the race director telling me the lead racer is just behind me. And it's a girl. "Heather Jackson?" I ask and of course she comes storming by me. Like I'm on a Sunday jog. Except I don't jog on Sundays. It was ridiculous. I look down and I'm going 7:15. Okay that's not okay. She was a good motivator, but not that good. I still have over 4 miles left.
Keith then passed and I yelled at him that a girl was kicking his ass. Tool more salt. Ran more. Finished first loop. Felt okay. Kept on truckin. Finished. Run was like 5.8 miles or something.
2nd AG. 2:06.50 felt solid.
Last year was a lot of the same. This year I'm not sure where I want to go with my racing. I like being able to jump into a race with some sort if confidence. Which takes some sort of fitness. I'm not usually one to half ass something, but it's been going okay. I have some ideas but I just need to sign up and get the plan. Or not.
San Diego Intl is already paid for so end of June is the next official non whim race, although I've never properly trained for that race in all my years of racing it, so no guarantees there. And who knows when the hubby gets back. And then, all bets are off. Looking forward to a couple of local crits coming up, but since I never know my schedule until a week ahead of time or less, those are very whim-esk.
Writing this on a very long car ride from Santa Barbara to Mammoth. Whim Vacation continues!!
Pictures: camping before the race. [worked till 5:30 sat night, drove out with Steve, set up camp, woke up to race at event site!]
Post Race Festivities [wrona invited us to his hotel for pool time recovery. Amazing time with fun peeps]
Sunrise before the race in the desert
Crit racing! Working hard on the front.