You know that feeling you get when you suddenly have a lot of time on your hands and you have an important event coming up soon? The glances at the clock, the tapping of the foot, the restlessness, the boredom, the impatience. That pretty much sums up most of this last week/weekend. I'm ready for Kansas. I'm ready for my first half-Ironman. I'm ready to keep training. The last few days I've backed off on my training volume to nurse a sore Achilles and taper for Kansas and it's been driving me mad. It's sad that I don't know what to do with myself when I'm not training. Most of my friends assume I'm training all weekend so the calls to go do stuff are pretty limited. I'm also trying to save money so I've been trying to not eat out or blow money on stuff I don't really need. My level of boredom stooped to a new low and I went to a movie on Friday night. I'm not a movie guy so the fact I went to the theater is a pretty good indication I'm bored. I'm guessing the week ahead isn't going to be much different. I'm heading out for Lawrence on Friday. I'm hoping work goes smoothly and I can head out without too many issues looming. It never seems to work that way, but I'm keeping my hopes up.
Amidst the training break, I did manage to get in my first aquabike race this morning. It was a perfect distraction from the taper madness and allowed me to test out my open water swim and bike nutrition again. The race started at 7:30AM so it was a pretty early wake-up call to get out to El Reno by 6AM to set up transition before it closed. My triathlon experience is very limited (I've still only done 1 triathlon) so I wanted to get out there early enough to make sure I had enough time to get everything set up and feel good about my race. The weather turned out awesome for this morning's race too. Light winds, temps in the 70s at the start, and sunshine. The water in the lake was just barely wetsuit legal so I opted to wear mine because it looks like Kansas will be right on the cusp of being legal too. There weren't any wave starts for this race because only about 200 people competed, but the swim was surprisingly physical. I got hit a lot more than I did in Austin for my first triathlon and felt like my first loop was pretty lackluster. When I hit the beach to run for my 2nd loop I noticed I had gotten out of the first 750 meters in under 15 minutes. I was shocked. That's really fast for me. The 2nd loop was much easier on the swim stroke and I settled into a nice rhythm. I only got hit once or twice and easily brushed aside the contact without upsetting my rhythm. I ended up coming out of the water in 28:48! I'm highly suspicious of this time though. I don't think I should be swimming 1500 meters in under 30 minutes. I'm guessing the course was short. I'll only believe that swim time if I somehow replicate that next weekend in Kansas. If I come out in under 40 minutes I'll know I've made a ton of improvement in my swim.
The bike leg for me wasn't anything special. I've had an abnormal amount of soreness in my legs after my Wednesday weight session followed by an hour ride. I've learned my lesson there. I'm not doing that again. I'm still sore believe it or not. I'm hoping that I'll get this soreness flushed out this week. It's like I ran a marathon or something. Crazy sore. Due to the soreness, it really took me a while to open my legs up and and I still don't feel that I rode as strong as I should have given the fact I didn't have a run on the horizon. I finished the bike leg in about 1 hour and 14 minutes for about a 20mph average. Fair, but I think I could have done better on fresh legs. Regardless, I came in for my dismount and my coach told me I was the 3rd aquabiker to come in which was pretty cool. I ended up winning my age group and came in 3rd overall. All the really stud triathletes were actually competing in the triathlon so my competition wasn't too thick. It's still nice to walk away with some hardware. Given my finishing time of 1:46, I guesstimate my time for the Olympic distance triathlon would have been about 2:36 or so based on a 50 minute 10K. On a good day, my run would be stronger, but my legs wouldn't have let me do that today. The only reason I tell you this time is because it really shows my progress in triathlon. Last year I logged a time of 2:55 at the CapTex Triathlon in Austin, Texas. Once again it's great to see the work paying off in races. I feel like I'll keep improving too. I'm hungry to get better. I'm still a newbie at all of this and I think the only way to go is up.
So, now it's the countdown to my 2nd triathlon. Six days from now I'll be toeing the line for the Kansas 70.3 race on Sunday morning at 7:14 AM. Here is my info for those of you who want to track my progress next weekend:
Bib : 955
Swim wave #13 - 7:14 AM Start
www.ironman.com - There should be a red box in the middle of the page for Kansas 70.3 and a link for Athlete Tracker. Click the link and then enter my bib number or last name to see how I'm doing.
I'll be traveling solo for this race so I'd appreciate all the good race vibes you can send my way next weekend. It'll be my first big race without anyone with me so I'll draw on the fact knowing that my family and friends will be thinking of me during that time. I'll also wear my bracelet in honor of Mitch Whitaker to remind me to overcome the pain and embrace the moment : Keep Fighting. Dream Big. Work Hard. Make It Happen.