Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lake Stevens 70.3

Note: I just read through the report I wrote yesterday below and thought...WOW...sounds kind of negative. In some ways it is, in some ways it isn't. I think mostly it shows how mentally "hard" it can be to race as a professional. Making the jump from amateur racing isn't always fun and it's so easy to be hard on yourself and feel like you suck. I don't suck, I know that. 4 years ago I was learning how to ride a bike. I have a wonderful family, two jobs I love and am lucky to have, amazing sponsors and supporters and a lot of future opportunity to grow. And yes, I know I'm probably a bit sluggish/unrecovered from Ironman France 3 weeks (though Meredith Kessler seemed to have no problem being awesome following her recent win in IMCDA with a stunning win at Vineman 70.3 this weekend). 
I could just change the whole thing to make it look glowing and say, "6th! That's good! Not bad, I'm on my way!" 
BUT, after rereading it, I decided not to change it. It's the real stuff....

hmmmm....these are never fun to write. The race reports where nothing terrible went wrong but for one reason or a million, you just didn't "have it" that day. The most important thing I learned from this race is that I need to do back to the drawing board and come up with a solid plan. For a variety of personal reasons, Pete, my former coach, hasn't been coaching me since late March. This means I've been self-coached. I was going to keep this to myself until I know where I'm going next, but I think it's an important "detail" of my story the past few months. I've been winging it and racing off my base fitness from the winter using more of a taper-race-recover cycle,  it's time for me to sit down and come up with a solid plan (and not change it every 2 weeks) for the rest of the season. I need a solid training block, and this may involve training through some races, or just not racing.

Lake Stevens 70.3 was not a disaster....I was objectively "right there" and just 3 minutes separated 3rd through 6th place...But I was 6th and unable to close the 20 second gap to 5th...So that extra 2, 3...5 percent you need to race at the top? I need to go find that!

Now that I've gone through the important stuff, just a quick swim, bike, rundown.
Swim: 28:00
I swam okay but was unable to stay with the front girls. I ended up swimming alone for about 2/3, but still reasonably "in the mix". My swim was decent.


Bike: 56 miles 2:48 (ooph)...
I expected the bike course to be a lot easier than it was. When all is said and done, Garmin has 3,000 (my 500) to 4,000 (my 910XT) feet of climbing. The course is a lot of punchy, relentless rollers and then some longer winding climbs and descents. Punctuated with heavy rain and cold temps and riding a disc wheel and you've got my personal version of hell. BUT, all the other girls seemed to do just fine (though only Mirinda rode under 2:40) - anyway, as much as I can say "its not my kind of course/day", the fact is that when you race as a professional, you need to MAKE more kinds of courses and days "your day". There is no choice or excuse. Okay fine, ONE excuse, just one- because it was really bugging me... With all the wetness, my rear brake kept clamping my disc wheel and not releasing which was super fun. My parents met a spectator who I guess followed me for a bit and he reported to them that I was having a problem with my brakes- so at least they had an explanation of why I was seemingly going backwards....In reality, the brake situation was a part of it, but definitely not the whole story. I was more in "survival mode" just freezing my butt off, getting passed, and wishing to be done and not crash (A friend behind me said he passed at least 10-12 crashes and my friend keith had a crash as well). Anyway, I rode, and finally, I got off. 


Run: 13.1 miles 1:26
I got off the bike with Gillian, who happens to be a fantastic runner. We ran the first 5 or so miles together and she eventually got a small gap on me. I kept telling myself I would close that gap and I just never did. Even though I had a solid run split, I know I am capable of running much faster if I train consistently and go into a race fresh. I didn't have "it" and although I passed a couple girls, I wasn't able to catch back up to Gillian and missed 5th place by less than 20 seconds.

Thanks to Ryan www.ryanweegerphotography.com for the photos...

I wish I could say I'm happy with this race, but I'm not. I am happy though, that I know that I need to stop winging it and get a proper plan in place.

Through the good days and the bad, thank you to my family and all of my supporters for helping me through the ups and downs of my journey. This race was especially special because my Dad & Stepmom were here and made the trip more than worthwhile...The post-race adventures have been top and I'll post on that once they're over!


Thank you to Zoot for taking on the local girl and supplying the best gear & shoes out there. I'm in love with my Prophet wetsuit and I finally broke an hour in the swim!!! Cannondale- my Slice is the perfect ride decked in SRAM, & Race Day Wheels  . Thanks to Nytro for keeping it all in working, blinging' order and Studeo DNA for my bike fit & so much more. 
*Thank you to  Dan SelstadRehab United, & MRM for helping me build my chassis, recover quickly and stay healthy-.I use so many MRM products, but I couldn't function without my Hydration Factor & Reload. Rehab United- functional strength 2x/ week, ART with Selstad every other week...the secret sauce! Thank you also to TriBike Transport for making my travelling FAR easier and taking the stress out of travelling with a bike. 
*Many gracias also to ISM saddlesBetty Designs, & Beaker Concepts  for making sure I'm comfortable, stylish & fast. I never race without my Adamo racing 2, my betty designs wrist band or my Beaker Concepts Blaze. 
And last but very much not least, thank you to my family, my training partners, and James  for always believing in me and being there for me. I hope (& promise!) that the best is yet to come! 

12 comments:

Beth said...

I'm sure there will be lots of ups and downs in this journey...and I know another up is just around the corner for you!

MissFancyPants said...

The mental game is the worst - when negativity creeps up it's so hard pushing it away - there are great things ahead for you Beth!!

Matt said...

I had a similar day, time to bounce back and use the drive to crush the next race! Great seeing you.

lifewithnolimits said...

You absolutely kept it real and it takes a lot of courage to do that. Coming from an age grouper, I appreciate your honesty. It sometimes takes things like this in life, and sport, to regroup and strategize a new plan. You will no doubt do that. From one psychologist to another, having that knowledge of the mental aspect of performance can always work to your advantage...that's your wild card :)

JC said...

I like how you keep it real and don't sugar coat it. From what I heard about the bike - I think you all are SUPERSTARS! Your run is always sick FAST! Gillian and I work at the same place. Small world! Rest up and enjoy the fam time you are an AMAZING athlete.

Christie said...

I saw you on the run course and you looked kick ass fast! I have been a frequent reader for quite some time and I think it is amazing how you balance work and still rock triathlon. :)

SixTwoThree said...

This is one of the things that I love about you/your blog. It's authentic. I'm laughing a little at the top shot. Even though it wasn't your best day, poor Ryan could barely get you in the shot because you were so fast.

Alison said...

Ah, my garmin also said over 3000 feet of climbing! And it definitely was chilly on the bike... I pretended it was February and surprisingly warm, which seemed to help a bit. Cheers.

Wassdoc said...

Nice honest blog! Definitely part of your journey. That said, this was 3 weeks after ironman! Meredith Kessler has a lot more experience and total training than you do. I think that 6th is absolutely remarkable! I can only imagine where you'll be a year from now. That said, keep remembering it's about the journey. Yours has been an incredible one.

dr.t said...

Beth, I can tell you as a California transplant to Seattle (for 13 years),the chilly, damp conditions are difficult to overcome for a low body mass, low body fat athlete like yourself. The temps here do not "warm up" until 4-6PM, not 9-10am as in CA. And the humidity remains high through the morning causing more chill and clamminess. I was a spectator last weekend and the conditions affected even Carefrae, as she should be riding in the high 2:20's on that course. The amateur who came in second lives and trains here (and is also incredibly talented). Way to hang tough in miserable and dangerous conditions.

Roz said...

I admire keeping it real and it's a good race report because you learned something. I agree a coach is the way to go. I don't have your talent but in my own small world it has been so helpful and i never want to go back. That being said, if you had a coach earlier, you may not have made the whimsical trip to IM France (which is awesome!). So, chalk it up to a lesson learned and moving on. You have a really good spirit and a lot of talent and I believe you will accomplish your dreams.

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