Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Attitude is Everything - New Orleans 70.3

"Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain"

This past weekend I raced at New Orleans 70.3. The highlights were:

  • Seeing my good friend Heidi and her husband Scott
  • Catching up with Barb my Tuscon training partner
  • Seeing the sun, as opposed to the large amounts of rain bestowed on Pittsburgh lately
  • Feeling the excitement and anticipation of racing once again
  • Being out there doing what I love for 69.1 miles
For those of you that didn't know, the 70.3 became a 69.1 due to the swim cancellation race morning because of high winds on Lake Pontchartrain. It was unfortunate, but it would be terrible to loose someone out there under those conditions.

I was excited going into this race. I was ready to test myself and see where things were at this time of year. My coaches words pre-race were simple "put some numbers on the board, and have fun!" So, on Sunday morning, despite our 2 second time trial start, I did just that.

Things that I noticed out on the course were apparent. Without the chance to ride outside much this spring (twice in PA), I was very skiddish on the bike. My handling skills just weren't there. I was slowing down in places I wouldn't normally have batted an eye late in the season. Of course, you had your typical male 40-44 triathletes who insisted on passing when there was only half a lane marked off by cones on one side while we were already two-three across. You had your 180 degree turns (3 to be exact), you had your potholes, raised concrete and sewer covers, cracked pavement and metal grates..you know.. all the things we know and love as cyclists :) I pushed as hard as I could without killing myself out there, but never really felt completely on my game.

When I came into T2 I was moderately pleased, but mostly 110% happy to be off my bike without breaking anything. I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief and thankfulness!

When it was on to the run I started off feeling really great for the first few miles, but as things progressed I just couldn't seem to hold on to my edge. The numbers were looking good, but by mile 8 I was struggling a bit to stay around 7 minutes and I kept telling myself "come on Kim - push!! This is a race!" but nothing seemed to be giving me enough giddy-up. My mind wanted to go, but my body just wasn't participating!!

Finally, I started seeing signs that at some point I would finish and I put my head down and gutted it out the last few miles to stay under 8 minutes. It wasn't easy by any stretch, but I did it anyway.

All in all, I did put some numbers on the board, but that afternoon I started really feeling tired and my left lymph node went from a little painful to swollen and really throbbing. My only thought is that maybe traveling the week before put a strain on my immune system and I might have been fighting something during the race.

What I'm learning is that I can't do everything well. These girls work just as hard as I do and they come into race day prepared and as ready as ever to dominate no matter what the conditions are that day. I'm not disappointed in my performance, but I'm not satisfied either. This race was a great reality check that there is much work to be done if I want to compete. Doing well in the 30-34 means you basically had better be prepared to win the race overall. I may not have been ready to do that in April, but maybe later in the year I will be. In the mean time, I'm learning more and more a lesson that keeps residing with me...you just can't do it all well. You can do it, but you can't be good at everything at the same time. It's just now how these things work.

New Orleans made me smile with great experiences with friends, but it also made me really hungry to get back at it.. and hard. I know I have a better race in me than what happened on Sunday, so I'll just have to spend some time with my Coach figuring out where to go from here.

The good news is - a new run PR was also had by three minutes - 1:32~ I'm going to break that 1:30 barrier yet! You wait!

Here are some pictures from the last few weeks and from the trip!

Speaking at the Pittsburgh Triathlon Club Clinic on "Improving Your Power to Weight Ratio-Healthy Weight Loss for Athletes"
Yes, that is a guy with no face behind me! Maybe that's why I'm making that face!

Traveling in a limo to the Atlanta Hawks / Miami Heat game with my co-workers on Monday night!
We got to see some up close LaBron James! The Heat ended up winning but it was a good game for sure!
At registration Heidi and I bumped into Barb and had a guy who "said" he was a former photographer take our pic in the hallway. He said he would only take one picture of us doing something normal. The other picture had to be well.. anything but that... hence...
This picture!

It was great seeing the girls and spending some time with Heidi and Scott. They were so incredibly sweet and gracious! We had a fun dinner on Saturday night and I'll be sure to share some pics of that as well!

Thanks to everyone for their support and encouragement!!! You guys are awesome!

It was a great season opener and now it's time to get down to business!! A huge thanks to my sponsors and Ballou Skies Crew as well. I couldn't do this without their support and it makes it all worth it to know that every time I'm out there, we are doing something that can change the lives of these young men. It makes every race so much more meaningful and not as much about the end result as the journey we are taking as athletes and people!

More to come!!


Teresa said...

What a great weekend!!! You have the right perspective and we all know what you are capable of...as soon as the sickies are gone!!

Congrats on the new run PR!

Alison said...

Congrats! Sounds like a successful race regardless of the time outcome. It's great to just get out and race again now that summer's just around the corner...

Kiet said...

Patience chica, still early in the season and if Cozumel is any evidence, you're gonna rock the 30-34 age group.

Pretend this is real said...

Congrats on the run PR! Pretty impressive in that wind & heat! I was looking for you & Heidi around mile 10.5 on the run where I'd set up with some friends but it was too hard to catch everyone as they went by. Hopefully you saw us and got a good laugh. I'm sure you'll rock your next race. Good luck!

Heidi Austin said...

love the muscle pic! turned out awesome- that crazy guy was right! hahahah great job again- i had so much fun. i hope i didn't wear you down too much! have a great week

ADC said...

You did awesome - congrats on your race. But you are right - we cannot do all amd do it well so some things have to give unfortunately.

Christi said...

Great job! I am sure you will improve in no time.

Barb said...

Great job and GREAT seeing you this weekend!! Very solid run split, you will definitely break 1:30 :)

Beth said...

Great job Kim. Despite not feeling your best you still had a big run PR!! Can't ask for more than that! :) Great lining up with you on the start line again. We've lined up with each other quite a few times in this life... ;)

TRIFishy said...


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m said...

Congrats on the run PR! Glad you made it through the bike course in one piece!

Austin said...

Thanks for staying with us - and great racing...
Flex sends his regards.

Chloe said...

Congrats on the great race! You KILLED the run. I hope one of these days I could even be 1/2 as fast as you on the run!!