Monday, May 26, 2008

Full Effort = Full Victory

Much to my coach’s discontent, I have never done a great job of labeling races as A, B, or C priority. Every race is important to me, and I try to give each race my full effort, and of course I want the results to match. However, when you race almost every weekend, there are certainly races that require a different focus… This weekend was one of those races.

I raced last Sunday, and followed that up with a solid training week and Black Dog TT Wednesday night. I was on the start list for Saturday’s Apple Duathlon, however remained uncommitted to attend until Kerry and I decided at the last minute to make a fun challenge out of it. We decided to go head to head and started together in the Elite wave. Kerry is much stronger than I am in training, but does not have the race day gear that I seem to find. He’s definitely out there for fun, and the ‘Hurt Box’ type suffering is not his calling…(so yes, I got him by a few minutes).

I have never done this race before: (1) because I’m generally scared of Duathlons, and (2) because it stings together 4 weeks of racing. Running is my weak link, so I figured racing a Du was a great way to challenge myself. I reviewed prior results to get a feel for times, and came up with Time Goals. This is not typical for me with short mulitsport events, as I just typically just go as hard as I can, skip the watch, and simply race other people. I knew this race would have a solid field, and mentally I did not want to think about anyone else…This race was about me and my time goals.

First run was on pace, and I came into T1 in 6th place, but moved myself to 3rd within the fist ½ mile of the bike. I could see the two leaders ahead, but they were moving fast. The last 8 miles of the bike course was into a 20mph wind, which required a lot of self motivation to stay strong and focused. I recalled Bree’s quote form her blog last week, “The Body achieves what the mind believes”, and I overcame my temptation to hide in the ditch out of the wind. Thanks Bree for the great inspiration!

Coming out of T2, I could see 2nd place about 50yds ahead, and could not see 4th place. I worked hard to hold a solid pace, and focused on putting all my effort into MY run. For me, this race was about my time goals, and digging deep to race at FULL EFFORT. I felt strong and steady and was trilled to see my splits at the end. I made my running goals, and just missed my bike goal by 30 sec…Which was OK considering the wind we faced today. I was very pleased with my race, picked up a nice $300 check (3rd) and now I’m stronger for the races ahead. Full Effort=Full Victory!! A huge congrats go out to all the competitors especially the women’s overall winner. Marlo bounced back from injury to a ‘Marloesque’ race on Saturday morning. She is such a star, and it’s wonderful to see her perform closer to her potential. For the past few years, Marlo has raised the bar and it’s a great challenge trying to keep up.

We opted to skip the plethora of long group rides Sunday morning, in exchange for sleeping in, hanging out around the house, and riding when WE decided. We finally saddled up and hit the roads for a 65 mile ride around noon. Winds were still relentless but we wisely chose our route ensuring a beautiful tailwind on the final leg home. We did the Triangle ride (those from the area know the route) and the Hypotenuse of our triangle was pretty much a straight head wind. I would choose to climb mountains any day over riding into a tough wind, but this is what we get here in Mpls. It’s typically so defeating for me, but luckily today, Kerry and I worked together in classic team TT format. I took more than my share of quality pulls, knowing that I need to get used to dealing with tough winds if I hope to survive in Kona this fall. Our ride was a test of metal fortitude, and WE Passed! The power of teamwork!

I hope everyone has a Wonderful Memorial day—I’m off to the trails for a 10 mile run!


PS-In regards to the pro-card comments… thanks! That deserves its own post (stay tuned), but luckily I’m not really thinking about that until after KONA. When I qualified last fall, I did not want to relinquish my first opportunity to race on the Big Island. Right now, I’m just trying to improve, stay healthy and enjoy every minute. So far, so good!