As I am sitting in the pool before I am about to do the swim portion of the Snake River Tri, a lap swimmer next to me sparks up a conversation. She asks what we are doing and I explain the unique format of this race. The fact that we swim on Friday night and bike/run on Saturday. She informs me that it doesn’t sound like a ‘real’ triathlon, ya know the kind where you do them all in a row.
She then asks about the distances and after I tell her about the 500 yard swim, 12 mile bike and 2 mile run, she is quick to say ‘Ohh, so this is a easy one’ and follows that up with ‘Have you ever done a hard one, like Troika or Ironman’. It was then, that I had to laugh and explain to her, just because this race is short, does not mean it is easy.
Tri-Fusion Registration Table w/ GU Energy Product for the racers.
I knew going into this race, it was going to be tough. All my training is for Ironman and the Snake River Tri is a sprint race, short and not so sweet.
The race began Friday night at the YMCA North in Spokane. The goal here is to swim 500 yards as fast as you can. There is no need to save the legs, no need to worry about transition or anything else. Just swim.
Based on training, I set a goal to be sub 6:30 for my swim. That was going to be a 24 second improvement over last year but I knew it was possible. After talking with Coach Kevin earlier in the week, the plan was to get rhythm in my stroke for the first 100, bring in some power the second 100, start bringing in some legs for the third 100, the forth hundred really start to kick and the final 100 is complete survival.
I followed the game plan to a tee. All my 50's were within 38-40 seconds and I was even able to pick up the pace on the final 100 or so. Overall it was a ‘good’ swim with a time of 6:30 ON THE DOT!!! I have a real problem of knowing myself a bit too well and knowing exactly what I can do (more on this later)…I Think it is time to quit setting time goals and just race the race. I am really trying to not get too caught up in it all but I do find it funny how well I know my ability.
Heading down to Lewiston...
With the swim out of the way and running on about 3.5-4 hours of sleep from the night before, we all headed down to Lewiston for the bike and run portions of the race. The weather was absolutely perfect, a far cry from the snow I remember from a few years back.
Going into this portion of the race, I knew my age-group was STACKED! I think I had the 9th fastest swim overall but felt with a solid race I could place in the Top 5. The only problem was 3 out of the 8 people (Ben, Nate and Derek) in from of me were in my age-group and are all extremely fast. It was going to take a miracle for me to catch them, let alone beat them, but I set out to push as hard as I could and hope for the best.
I took off out of transition with a goal to push hard the entire time...you have to remember this is an easy race...right? There was going to be no breaks, no points where I wish I would have pushed harder, it was all out all the time. I had a few carrots out in from of me and I was going to do my best to catch them.
Out on the course. The bike portion hurt…in a good way. It took me a while to get my legs under me but eventually they started to respond. There is a long slow climb out to the turn-around which resulted in a super fast ride back. I am pretty sure I averaged over 30+mph coming back to transition…It was AWESOME!!! I ended up biking 1:45 faster than last year’s race so I am definitely excited about that.
2 Miles...Just 2 miles! Sounds easy right, just ask the girl at the pool. Well 2 miles can be very painful. It was all I could do to keep moving forward. I wanted to get out of transition quick and see if I could chase anyone down. Fortunately I was able to catch one guy, unfortunately I was not able to catch the three guys in my age-group.
Heading out to the turn-around... Remember when I said I knew my abilities...Before the race, I asked Tiff how ‘awesome’ it would be to finish 4th in my Age-Group and 4th Overall. That is how stacked this race was. So what happened? I was able to hold off a fast charging Greg by 8 seconds, and yep, finished 4th in my Age-Group and 4th Overall.
Coming into the finish line with Greg right behing me. I may have bike a bit too hard (which was the goal) and it affected my run, I was still able to finish 1:49 faster than last year. Overall my run was slower by 35 seconds and after watching Dave Erickson’s video, I can see why. If this race was another 20 yards, I might have crawled to the finish line.
This is I!!!
I really enjoy this race, even if it is painful, and want to send out a special thank you to Lewis and Clark State College for putting on a great event.
A couple of weeks ago, my sister visited from Virginia. It is always nice to see her but I would be lying if I wasn't more excited to see my niece. Last time I saw Elli was around Christmas and she was just a couple of months old. Now she is almost 6 months old and a bundle of energy...literally she just doesn't stop moving unless she is sleeping or feeding.
She laughs with you and it is pretty cool to see how she interacts with the world. I was able to spend some time getting to know her. Living a few thousand miles away, it makes it difficult to watch her grow in person so it was awesome to just hang out...
Here are a few of my favorite pictures from their trip here.
We also celebrated Easter with my parents famous Easter Egg Hunt. Now you may think my parents are crazy (I sure do) but the kids LOVE it. This year there were 12 dozen regular eggs, all which had been dyed and drawn on, I think 150 plastic eggs full of candy and coins, and 100 confetti eggs which is basically a emptied out egg shell filled with confetti...or as I call them, an absolute mess:) Yep, is over 400 eggs for the kiddos to find.
It was fun to see all the kids running and finding the eggs. It is pretty funny to watch them spot an egg 30 feet away and run past 4 just to get that one. Overall it was a great Easter and nice to see all the family.
And they are OFF!!!
Emma was all too excited to run around and find eggs. She might have found the most...Shocker I know :)
You must listen to this song as you read along, Let's Ride, by Bone Thugs and Notorious BIG as it is stuck in my head while I am writing this. The link may not play the whole song...but I hope so.
So Monday, I finally busted out The Goose for the first time in a couple months. As the weather has been so nice, I have been trying to spend as much time out on the road getting ready for Ironman.
The plan was to meet up and just go for a fun mountain bike ride. Nothing crazy, just get out and enjoy getting off the road and onto the trails. Jessi and Roger were game, so after getting the Goose all ready, we hit the trails.
Just as we were leaving, Jessi informs Roger and I that if we are able to climb "The Hill" that she will no longer speak to either of us...whatev ;)
So off we go to conquer "The Hill".
I have tried this hill a few times in the past, without any luck. I have been on the bike once or twice since then and was definitely more comfortable but by no means was I confident I would make it up this pain in the arse hill.
As we approached the hill, a small tree had fallen across the trail. Now some people would have turned around and just road somewhere else...not us. We called on our inner Superman strength and drug the tree out of the way.
See...A small tree!!! Next, it was time to ride...UP THE HILL!
Let's Ride, Let's Ride, Let's Ride!
I took all different approaches to get up this damn hill. I tried the slow and steady peddling. I tried going faster and seeing if that would help. But I came to realize there really isn't one single strategy that works. You just have to peddle peddle peddle and a bit of luck on your side. I think I finally made it up after my 5th try and then on my 8th or 9th. This is a leg whooping hill and even after you get past this you still have a pretty tough climb to finish it off.
I have to give mad props to Jessi who refused to give up and kept trying and trying. She was getting SO close and I no doubt in my mind, she will conquer this hill VERY soon.
Not to pass up some more nice weather, Jessi and I headed back out on the road for another great ride on Tuesday. The sun was shining and really it was a perfect day for a ride.
Jessi was still smiling even after she just finished some tough intervals.
I finished up Tuesday with my first solid run since getting back at it. I can't say it always feels good to push yourself hard but it sure felt good to run hard and know that sitting on the couch for the last two weeks didn't take all my fitness away.
Now if you were jealous about all the outdoor rides...HOLD THE PHONE. Just as I spoke of the great weather I found myself back on the trainer this evening...and it SUCKED!!! Over the winter, you just know you are going to suffer through some trainer rides but I am like a shark with blood in the water and once I get a taste of riding outside, there is nothing worse then setting up the trainer and forcing yourself to ride. But in all reality it is just another day in the journey towards June 27th.