Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tweaks

One week from right now, I will have completed my first showing at the Age Group National Champs. At the moment, however, it's all about the pre-race jitters. I am constantly thinking about this race.

Two weeks ago, I tweaked my ankle. I'm not exactly sure what's up with it. I rolled it during a hill workout, and two days later it started hurting on my track workout. It's generally fine to walk on, only when there's significant impact does it get sore. I've been ginger with it since then, and it's improved, but it's not 100% back. I'm a little suspicious that it might be another shin splint, just much lower. I'm not worried about running on it next weekend. I will run on it, but it's definitely impacted my training the last two weeks.

Then we've got the bike. After my last race, I decided I needed to get a proper tri bike. Conveniently, my coach has been looking to sell her old tri bike. Best practice, of course, is not to change horses two weeks before the race. But then again, I'm not gonna get any faster over the next two weeks, but on this bike, I will go faster. There are lots of details that come with changing the bike: getting it fitted, replacing the saddle (ouch!), replacing the aero pads when I separated them from the velcro, trading out the aerobars for adjustable ones, returning the new aero pads since they don't fit the new aero bars, installing a new water bottle system, realizing the new water bottle cage will not fit on the new bike, replacing the power meter cable so I can change the wheel diameter in the device so I can have accurate speeds on the bike, renting race wheels (hooray, birthday presents). Each on their own is a small tweak, but taken all together, they begin to feel like there's no way I'll be ready to race on this entirely different machine.

Finally, there's the race goal. I had been hoping to come top 25. For one thing, last year, there were 55 women in my age group, so coming top half doesn't seem unreasonable. Also, Nationals qualifies you for Worlds. There are 18 spots for each age group, rolling down to the 25th place finisher. Worlds are in Auckland next year. So if I got offered a spot, I would go.

This year, however, there are 97 women in my age group (so far). Where did all these ladies come from? Upon registration, you are asked to submit an estimated finish time. Of the 71 athletes who submitted them, I would come 51 if I hit my target. I was feeling good with my performance at Griskus, but it's occurred to me that perhaps New England is not the hotbed of triathlete competition I had thought it was. So, I started googling people who I might have raced before. The first one comes up with a news article "Local Triathlete Heads to Kona." Ok, maybe that was a fluke. The next one was a 3rd place finish at Duxbury last year. Sweet, I won that race, so I'm feeling good. Oh, wait, that was 3rd place female, not age group. She beat me by several minutes.

Thinking about the competition out there sorta makes me queasy. So new goal: PR. My current PR is 2:43:05, set at Cranberry almost exactly a year ago. I've improved my run substantially since then, and the Cranberry ride is long. If everything went to plan, I think I should have a 2:35 in me. I'm putting Auckland out of my head and focusing on having best race I can and letting the fastest in the country push me.

3 comments:

Shannon August 15, 2011 at 4:57 PM  

all you can do is race your best :) which i'm confident you will do!! hope the ankle is feeling better for go-time! and wow, exciting with the bike, sounds awesome :)

Dave August 16, 2011 at 1:11 AM  

Can't wait to see the results, Laura!

(Also, I think you might've made a typo on the times in the last paragraph, unless you are really hoping to take 1:08 off your current PR.)

Good luck!

Laura August 16, 2011 at 12:37 PM  

Good catch, Dave. And thanks for the vote of confidence, Shannon.

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