Thursday, August 16, 2012

I don't want to be anything other than what I've been trying to be lately - North Park Sprint Triathlon

Triathlon is so many things to me, it's now my career, my lifestyle, my friends, my fun.  You would think I would be tired of it.  Nope, I could talk about it every single day (and I do) for a majority of the day.  I eat, breath and sleep it sometimes! 

When I was little, well heck, when I was in high school or even college I never thought I would be signing up to get my pro card in triathlon.  What a ludicrous, crazy thought!  I certainly didn't ever think I would be a coach but it fits my personality and goals right now during this part of my life perfectly. 

Even with the ups and downs of racing sometimes I always come back to the fact that I truly believe I am right where I am supposed to be right at this moment in time, 32 years old (for one more month :) living this not so normal, but totally normal to me, life.  

I heard this song today by Gavin Degraw called "I Don't Wanna Be" and it reminded me of that once again...

I don't wanna be anything other than what I've been trying to be latelyAll I have to do is think of me and I have peace of mindI'm tired of looking around rooms wondering what I gotta door who I'm supposed to be.....I don't wanna be anything other than me.

My coach is pushing me in some pretty interesting directions here after Lake Placid.  After getting the go-ahead on Cedar Point I have now raced TWO sprint triathlons back to back weekends.  In terms of my own physiology, doing sprint triathlons pretty much feels like I want to puke and then lay down and die for a majority of the race.  I am reminded though as a coach and and athlete that sometimes to get better we must do things that our body doesn't enjoy or doesn't have a natural propensity to do.  If you want to ride a long slow bike split for Ironman (and who does - no one!), ride long and slow all the time.  What we know is that I already have the engine to do basically two Ironman's back to back, what we're going to need work on is my power output and ability to push so I can get faster over the duration of the half or full distances.  
HENCE, doing things that make me want to puke.  Great.  Lovely.  The Canoe Creek Triathlon the week before went pretty well but after looking at the numbers I knew I didn't push myself hard enough.  Trust me, it STILL hurt.. badly, but not badly enough I decided.  My power still looked like I was doing a half ironman... not cool Kim, not cool.   

North Park Triathlon was a great way to see friends, spend time with new and prospective athletes and really get a chance to push myself to another level.  I knew my good friend Beth would be racing so I figured this could only help as she does well at pushing herself as hard as humanly possible so I thought maybe it would inspire me to do the same!
My Father was also in town so that made for a fun and interesting week while I was training full force, working and hanging out with him!  Why not add a race to the mix.. sure!  We headed off to North Park my favorite training grounds to do a 700meter pool swim, 12 mile bike and a 3.1 mile trail run through the woods.  
I decided not to wear a skin suit and knew I would have to really push on the swim if I was going to even see Beth for the rest of the race.  Hurting during the swim - mission accomplished!! I don't know my time since it was added in with our T1 time (that would be called local small town racing!), but I knew I was in decent shape when I could see Beth running and so was I only 15 seconds or so back!! FINALLY, I wasn't last in a swim!!  Mark down this day, it may never happen again! 

FYP Athlete Brad and I after Canoe Creek Triathlon last weekend.  He had a great race and I'm just so proud of him for literally starting his life over and becoming such a strong and confident athlete in the sport.  He was one of my first and has never stop believing in his dreams!  Such an inspiration to me!!

After a fast T1 (with shoes again on the bike I might add - yeah!), I headed out right behind her and after fumbling a bit with my shoes I was finally off and rolling.  I pushed as hard as I could humanly push on that bike.  My tongue was hanging out, split was pouring out the side of my mouth, I was having trouble drinking and breathing at the same time.. you know.. all good signs you are going hard enough!  We had to do this little loop almost 5 times (4.5) so I did get a chance to see Kyle and my family quite a bit and had lots of cheers which was very cool!!   I wasn't making up a bit of ground on Beth and I knew that was all that was in the tank that day.  The power numbers were looking much better than last week so I just tried to stay focused on not letting my average drop! 

Finally, it was out of the shoes and time to throw on the running shoes to run.  I was almost two minutes down after the bike which on a trail run and a 5k was going to be almost impossible to make up.  I settled in to stay safe, go as hard as I could and try to stay with / beat the guy in front of me who seemed to not want to let me pass for the life of me on this little trail.  I'd try, he'd speed up.  Oh the men and their egos.  After what seemed like an eternity of going up and down hill I finally made a move with about half a mile to go and passed him.  He stayed RIGHT on my heels though so I had a bad feeling that a sprint finish was going to be the final word.  When we finally cleared the trees and started heading toward the finish I could feel him behind me and I tried to surge.. nothing.  O well!  I don't train much for this stuff these days!  I don't even think my legs knew what was going on for most of that race.  

 Beth ended up 8th overall with the men and I ended up 10th behind my new 28 year old friend in a blue 2XU suit.  I'll see him out there next year!!  He better be ready :)  Hahaha!  It was such a great day and wonderful to see so many of our local tri community out and competing hard.  We all have a great respect for each other and no matter the age, there are a lot of hard core athletes in this Pittsburgh community and it is really something!! 
 Beth took home the win with me, Heather and Mimi in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th!  Hats off ladies!!  You all did so well!!  
 Afterward I got to do a lot of socializing (which I love) and I saw plenty of my YMCA friends since that is who put on this race.  Cathy is just one of those people that always puts things in perspective for me.  She and I get ready together sometimes in the morning (back when I did the day-job thing!) and we would chat.  Previously she was a smoking, non-exercising, not such a great healthy eater in her old life.  These days she's working out, sometimes twice a day, eating healthier (after working with yours truly) and quit smoking!  It's so great to see her losing weight and she's been doing some 5k's trying to improve her time.  Talk about turning your life around.  It just goes to show you..

You’re never too old, never too bad, never too late and never too sick to start from the scratch once again. Bikram Choudhury

Yep, I agree.  Thanks for everyone who came out and volunteered for this race, cheered and helped to make it possible.  Thanks to my coach Jesse from QT2 who forces me out of my aerobic comfort zone and who helps me see improvement on a weekly basis!!  Finally, thanks to all my sponsors, Top Gear Bicycle, Powerbar, BlueSeventy, Newton and to my charity partner Ballou Skies.  You all are a part of my team and I am thankful to be a part of yours.  I could never do this without you!!

Don't forget!!  I'd like to raise $1000 by Cedar Point (Sept 9th) for Ballou Skies.  I have $100 to start with in the kitty!  Please help if you can by DONATING HERE and putting my name in the form!  Thank you in advance for your help in reaching this important goal!!!


Christi said...

Hi Kim!!! You are such an inspiration! Thanks for always inspiring me.

FYI, coming to Pittsburgh over Xmas time. I hope we can meet up for coffee or something!

Kiet said...

You're only 32? I was a bit stuck on that for a while, oh to be 32 again, guess I'm still stuck on it. Charisa did the same a couple years back, only raced short stuff and all out effort to help her long distance and well, going from 10:08 IM time to 9:27 is damn good!

Libby said...

awesome race girl! I feel your pain on the short stuff. I can't get out of 70.3 watts or run pace at all when I go back to sprints or oly's- and it hurts worse?! what gives! excited for you to head to cedar point! Just know you will have a great race.