One part of my life that I was not lazy about was my training. Yup, its triathlon season again and I'm glad its here. I'm training on my own this year. It can be difficult to motivate myself some days and I don't really have much of a training plan. I just try to get in a good amount of running, cycling, and swimming every week. I usually adjust my workouts each day according to how I feel. If I feel good, I'll do a little more and push a little harder. If I feel bad, I'll cut the workout I had thought about doing by as much as 50%, change to another discipline, or even just decide to take the day off. So far its been working out pretty well. I've remained injury free since March and I'm faster in running and swimming this year than last. I'll be focusing on cycling a lot more this month because its my greatest weakness right now.
Last Monday I did my first triathlon race of the season, CapTexTri. Last year this was also the first triathlon race that I ever did, so it was a nice way to celebrate my "triathlete anniversary". The race went pretty well, as I expected it too. I did the sprint distance (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run), the same distance I did last year. I chose to do the sprint instead of the olympic distance because I didn't feel my training had quite prepared me well enough for that distance and I had a few different injuries and illnesses that had affected my training in the last few weeks. I also won my age division last year and I was hoping to defend my title and repeat that performance.
After the race started, I was confused during the swim portion of the race because I thought I had become a much better swimmer, but I found myself unable to catch many people in my swim wave. Last year I was first out of the water and during the race I thought I was around 10th place (I was actually 6th I later discovered). That hurt my confidence right from the beginning. The bike portion was okay, but I knew I should be going faster. I just haven't been developing the right muscle groups enough. I got passed by fewer than 10 people on the bike. Coming off the bike into transition I was neck and neck with another guy in my age group. As we started the run, he bolted out and was running hard. I was having difficulty shifting gears and I tried to minimize the gap between us. After the first mile my legs finally came around and I settled into a good pace. I eventually overtook that guy in another half mile (I talked to him afterwards and learned that he cramped up). I felt really good on the run, almost to the point where I felt like I wanted to do another lap and make the run a 10K instead of a 5K. I picked up the pace as the finish came in sight and sprinted in the final chute, and some guy next to me followed up and we pushed each other in. Less than a minute after finishing I threw up (gee, that's twice this year out of three races I've done), but I felt great.
My total time was 1:14:48, almost 5 minutes faster than my time last year of 1:19:27. So I was very pleased about that, although I was hoping to break 1:10 this race. I have a lot of room to grow on the bike and if I can do that, then it shouldn't be too difficult to do. The disappointment came when I looked through the results and found that I placed 4th in my age group, just one place short of a podium finish and an award. That kind of sucks because part of the reason I did the sprint distance was I wanted to get another trophy this year. It just goes to show how much more competitive my age group was this year. My time last year would have earned me a sobbering 13th place this year.
Here's a link to the results of my age group: Race Results
Here's some pictures from this race and others I've done so far this year: Facebook Album
Well that's all I have to share for now. Staring tomorrow I'm going to get my butt back in gear and being productive with my time, which will include more posts here. I have a couple of book reviews to share as well so look forward to that.