Friday, October 28, 2011

Racing Fever

Hi Friends,

I hope everyone had a great week!

I have racing fever! Who am I? One of my goals for 2011 was to run a 5k and a 10k. I did a 5k in March, I have done 3 tris, and I am doing 2 10ks! Holy moly!

My tri on October 16th was fantastic! It was this race: in San Diego. This was the first triathlon I signed up for...back in January! This was the one that started it all...the race that got me training in March, signing up for two more races over the summer, whipped my butt into shape, and helped me to loose over 20 pounds. It really amazes me that I have done THREE triathlons!  This has been a life changing experience. The work outs are fun, the camaraderie of the people I train with is lovely, the strength and fitness I have gained are amazing...and race day is just so darned exciting. I am addicted to racing...that is a fact. I think I will do at least 2-3 tris a year for the foreseeable future. I am considering doing an Olympic distance race next year...which is a 1 mile swim, 50k bike ride, and 10k run. I am really pretty confident I can do it. We will see!

Anyway, I never wrote about my second race in July. It was a shorter race so it was difficult to compare my times with the race I did in May. While the July race was fun, I got a cold the week before. It made race day really tough and I did not feel like I was at my best. My back hurt, my muscles were stiff from no activity, my lungs were not working very well...and I was drained of energy. It was still fun and I am glad I did it. Because I did not feel great in July, I really poured myself into training for the October tri. I mean really! I really kept up with my workouts and pushed myself for speed. I did all of my swims in open water (rather than the pool), I did longer bike rides, and I ran more.

Of the three races, I was certainly most excited for this one in October. I felt prepared, I knew what to expect, and I wanted to kill it! Well...I did! I beat my racing time from the race in May (the same distance) by over 20 minutes!!!!! The first race was 1:53 and this one was 1:32! The whole race was a thrill. I had lots of friends in the race and just felt amped and well...ready for it.

The swim started in the water which was weird and annoying because you got kind of bunched up with the people from your group. But as soon as I got past the traffic jam...I was off! And wow did I swim fast. I lapped people two waves ahead of problem. My first swim time for the same distance was 26 minutes or so. This time it was 17 minutes! That is improvement right there folks.

Then came the bike ride. Given I have a clunker of a bike, I don't go totally fast, but I beat my time by a few minutes. I really pushed myself on the bike...and just pedaled as fast and as hard as I could. The bike ride was around Mission Bay which is very pretty so it made the ride go by fast.

Now, it was time for the run. I jumped off my bike and my legs did not hurt at all! I remember the first race I felt my legs were going to give out from under me at this transition...not this time. I just started running...and ran really fast! In fact, I ran so fast, I finished the 5k in 26 minutes. Folks, this is huge. I usually run a 9:45 mile. 5k is 3.2 miles... you do the math! During my first race, my run time was over 32 minutes. Umm...again...improvement much!??? I just kept thinking "you are stronger than you think you  are" and pushed through. It was amazing. I felt so darned proud of myself.

This race was wonderful. I had so much fun I didn't take any pictures! Oopsie! All I can say is, anyone can do a sprint triathlon and should. It's a great way to get in shape, test your physical and mental strength, and well it's just an absolute blast.

My next race is a 10k at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on Sunday, November 6th. I am not overly nervous for this race although it's been about 6 months since I last ran 6 miles. I can easily run 5, and know I have the endurance for it. I mean...what's a 10k when you have done a triathlon? :) I had planned to get a few longer runs in this week...but guess what? I am sick! Is this a trend? A curse? I hope this isn't a new kind of "racing fever"!!!! Getting sick before a race sucks. It does not help mentally. Although it's really too late to build speed or strength in my training so close to race day, I just wanted to get in the runs to mentally prepare. I also wanted to stretch and warm my muscles at yoga, which I have not been able to do since I am sneezing like a banshee. I knew this 10k would not be my fastest, I just wanted to bite the bullet and start running more, so I signed up for the race....why not? It worked with the triathlons. And, clearly since I just did the triathlon, I haven't had a ton of time to train for speed. But....anyway, I am sure it will still be fun, I just hope I don't continue to get sick ahead of other races. It's no fun! Here is the race next weekend:

My next 10k is December 10th, so I will have more time to train for that one. And it will be fun to see how my time improves from next week to the 10th. It will also be great to be running through the holidays, and hopefully I won't have the weight gain so many people experience at this time of year. Here is the race in December:

To be honest, aside from my fantastic Triathlon on the 16th...the past two weeks have been total crap. I had two automobile snafus, work hasn't really been great, I had two fairly awful outings, I haven't been able to sleep, my television broke (and I paid someone from AT&T $55 to tell me what I already knew) and to top it all off...I am sick with a crappy cold!!!!!!!!!! Bleck, bleck and more bleck. It's amazing how much you miss your health when you don't have it....

Anyway, I hope you all have some fun Halloween plans for the weekend. My plans include making a few batches of homemade soups, sitting on the couch with some books and the magazine pile I need to catch up on, and watching movies on my brand new TV (that I really didn't want in the first place....ha! At least I can make a joke about it).

Happy Halloween, Love Bugs!