Sunday, April 20, 2014

Countdown to Wildflower!

It seems like I signed up for Wildflower a while back as a race in the very "distant" future. Yet, here it is, almost upon us!  Thinking about the fact that there are officially less than 2 weeks until May 3, race day for me, does not freak me out.  Seeing this is a lead-up to CdA, however, DOES make that event feel much closer which is a bit panic-inducing!

This is my fourth year going to Wildflower, and clearly I never learn that April, school-wise, is just kind of crazy, and I'm completely stressed out about a million different things.  Well, here I am again, stressed about school issues and also trying to focus on solid training swims, runs and rides.  At this point, I've learned that every month, every week, maybe even every day, presents a different challenge in terms of training.  I was a bit of a stress case in February with the running situation which had me sidelined; March was a pretty glorious month - I had a few great experiences with organized rides, a nice 'triathlon-season opener' at the Desert Triathlon, returned to running and also felt strong in the pool as began to get in more yardage.  

I have not felt that training in April has gone "as well", whatever that means.  My running game is back - not quite 100% but definitely 90% - as I've started to incorporate tempo runs, hill repeats and even have a few long (for me) runs under the belt.  So, that is a huge plus.  But, swimming has been a mixed bag, and biking, where I saw progress in February and March, has felt like a huge step backwards.  I really struggled with what should have been a pretty 'easy' longish ride last weekend, whichleft me feeling completely frustrated.  Not to mention that I wanted to throw my bike into the ocean or, better yet, run over it with the car.  Looking back, I think that there were some mechanical issues that may have caused a slower pace - my bike wasn't shifting well and there seemed to be other problems.  Not to look for a scapegoat, but all of those small issues may have contributed to my sense of frustration.

Fortunately, I felt much more focused this week and on top of my so-called game in the pool and also in the saddle.  Despite the strong urge to stay in bed to sleep a bit more both yesterday and today, I managed to motivate myself.  The source of said motivation:  FEAR.  Seriously, I told myself that with Wildflower 2 weeks away, I *had* to get in these workouts (which is somewhat true).  So, yesterday, I headed off for a solo ride and hit just over 50 miles with 4400 elevation gain (more or less).  I opted for the Lower Big Tujunga loop (should have gone Upper, but that's a ride for another day), which seems to be my pre-70.3 ride.  I've done this ride with variations for both Boulder 70.3 and last year for Vineman, and it's a good prep ride.  I should compare my stats from this year and last year.  Or maybe not - without looking at data, I felt that I was pretty strong out there yesterday and hit the ranger station on the 2 much earlier than I expected.  It wasn't a fast ride, but I did feel good during my 5-mile post-ride-run.  

Today was much the same - did not want to run, did not want to run...  But ended up with a 14.4 mile run, my longest run in a very long time and longer, obviously, than the 13.1 miles at Wildflower (hopefully only 13.1 - who knows with the course!).  I felt good for the first 6-7 miles, my legs could actually move, to my great surprise, but things were way harder the second half.  Still, I finished, pushing hard for those final miles.  And now, with those two bigger workouts under my belt, I think that I might, just maybe, be ready for Wildflower!  They were not exactly key to my fitness prep, but they did serve to bolster my confidence, which is always good.

As for Wildflower, who knows how that will go!  So much depends on the weather and race conditions at that race, as I've experienced personally, even at the Olympic distance.  My main goal for the event is not based on time but on the hope that it will give me a sense of where I am for CdA in June.  It IS exciting to take on a bigger challenge with the Long Course, and Wildflower will always have a nostalgic place in my heart as the first tri I ever did.  


mindful mule said...

Enjoy the wildflowers this weekend!

Kristina said...

Ha ha! I will try to focus on them and not on the heat!