Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Getting Back On The Train

Well, I fell off the choo choo for awhile, but... I'm back.

Last week was just a crazy time. It took my Mother and I FOREVER to get back from St. Croix on Tuesday. Let's just say the clock said 2:40am when I woke up to get our bags ready to leave, and 9:20 when I got home that evening. If I wasn't sick before, I was after that trip. My sinus went from bad to worse and I was just feeling soooo run down!

I made it to work on Wed. (barely), and seriously felt like I might crawl under the desk and sleep. Luckily, everyone had been waiting feverishly until I got back to ask me questions, schedule conference calls and resume work that needed to be resolved ASAP. Therefore, it um.. hit the fan as they say!

Training was just out of the question. I could barely work, let alone train! My new coach actually asked what was wrong because I was so quiet and despondent! I guess I must come off as pretty talkative on a normal basis :)

We hoped that maybe by the weekend I would start feeling better and be able to get a few things in, but I wasn't holding my breath.

Thursday and Friday were the most beautiful days, then Saturday came and 40 degrees, wind and a chance of rain! It was freeezzzing! In insane triathlete fashion I decided to go out on the bike for just an "easy" ride with friends. I had only planned on doing about two hours, but once we got out there, we were basically in for three!

Luckily, it didn't make me much worse, and those gloves definitely needed to be washed after. I thought about taking a picture of my snot-ridden clothes, and then decided it was gross and that was just going too far!

Saturday I traveled home for the Holiday and to catch up on some much needed R & R. It finally kicked in and this week I am BACK to the LAND OF THE LIVING!

I've thought a lot about St. Croix in the last week, and I'm ready to put it behind me. For those of you that are still learning and would rather learn from other's mistakes rather then have to make them on your own, I have a few thoughts on what happened in that race.

1. Think about the factors you are placing IN FRONT of the race that could impact your performance. For example, I thought of my trip to Aruba as probably helping my efforts in St. Croix, being that it was vvverryy hot and humid like SC, and might give me a chance to acclimate better than cold PA. However, time away from your normal schedule AND time on a plane/traveling ALWAYS takes more out of you than you think. I was off my early to bed routine, and wanted to have fun and just consider it "the taper" rather than really stick to my routine (which was almost impossible due to our company's way of doing things). If I had it to do over, those two trips were just too close.

2. Two weeks before, you should start taking Echinacea, extra vitamin C, drinking more water and just getting as much sleep as humanly possible. It seems EVERYONE gets a touch of something during the taper. However, I am convinced you can keep it at bay if you really take care of yourself. I DID NOT do this and I regretted it.

3. Know your course. I did know St. Croix was hilly, but I guess I had forgotten just how hilly until I was there. I did lift legs, I did do SOME hill work on the bike, but honestly, I was on the trainer so much doing higher cadence that doing some really low cadence work slipped my mind. Those hills really had my legs taking a beating, and it felt like it when I got off the bike.

4. NUTRITION NUTRITION NUTRITION. I know what I need to drink during a race and frankly, it's almost impossible with my sweat rate on a hot race. Throwing bottles is one thing, but there was a split second decision made at the last aid station when I got a half full bottle that I was NOT going to loose these girls around me and just keep going. Looking back, I should have stopped the bike, clipped out, turned around and yelled to the volunteers "I need more Fluid!". It might have taken 20-30 seconds to get a full bottle or TWO. I needed more fluid, I knew it and even felt a little sick to my stomach knowing that I probably didn't make the right decision when I pulled away from the aid station. In 94 degrees, with a 32oz sweat rate per hour, you cannot mess around. Dehydration = DNF or at the very least walking / off the charts heart rate. That was me, and it was not pretty.

So, I think if you learn a few things in every race, that is good. Even better is to learn from someone who has done it and can help prevent YOU from having to do it!

I hope that helps! Your comments after the race and on my pictures were really nice and very appreciated. Thank for being there for me and always encouraging me to live my dreams!

Onward and upward! A week to Columbia Olympic Distance Tri and then next month it's on to Buffalo Springs Lake Texas to try this 70.3 thing again!

In other news, Ballou Skies is having a charity walk in Pittsburgh, so if you live here, come by and support us!

Hopefully, you get Triathlete magazine, we have an Ad in their as well too! Do you guys want me to run a little Peanut Butter Contest? Who like Peanut Butter? Who's with me!!

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