Monday, April 24, 2017

Two weeks out plus some updates!

I fully intended to do a race report on Icebreaker this year, but I didn't.  It was something else...the weather was around 40-45 and pouring down rain.  I can honestly say I have never ridden in the rain prior to this, and there was standing water on the course and some slick turns, but it was actually kind of fun.  I walked away with a course PR, and took second in my age group.  Still need to learn to suffer more in general, but I was happy.  I also didn't taper for this, and I had a long trainer ride waiting for me when I got home.  This race is still a must do every year, it's a great way to blow the cobwebs off and get in a race when you're just getting antsy to race after the cold winter off season!

I just got back from Salt Lake Tri Club Camp.  It is really designed for people racing IM StG 70.3 as it is two weeks prior to the race and on the course.  However, many of my house mates and other teammates came down just for the heck of it even though they aren't racing it.  It was just plain fun!

I drove into town and felt immediate anxiety driving the part of the bike course just to get to the house we were staying in.  I was at the house a few hours before my roomies for the weekend got there and it started to mess with me a bit.  For those of you that don't know, my worst experience ever was the last time I did StG.  It was an utter disaster, so going back to this race has brought on race anxiety like I haven't had before.  I knew one of the biggest advantages to me of coming down this weekend would be to ride the course again and gain some confidence as well as build positive associations with the course to over ride the negative ones.  I was able to do both!

Friday morning we were supposed to go swim at Sand Hollow.  Since this was one of two OWS there, I opted to do a pool work out I wasn't able to fit in earlier in the week.  I loved the Washington Community Center!  It's a nice facility and they seem to have been able to manage to let lap swimmers and the pool noodle water aerobics  coexist in peace.  This doesn't happen anywhere up here, but don't get me started!  I swam 3000 yards and felt great.  Then we had a break prior to riding Snow Canyon, we rode just a 21 mile loop that included the Canyon then we had a group run of the course.  Ben didn't want me running the whole thing, just an up and back of 8 miles, but it was enough of the course for me.  He then texted me that I had nailed the run!  Sweet!  I had to say, it felt really good overall and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Day 2 of camp was an OWS at Sand Hollow and a transition clinic.  I LOVED being back at Sand Hollow and back in open water.  The water was around 61 degrees, and though it was pretty cold the first 50 yards or so, it didn't last.  I loved it!  This is one of my favorite places to swim period, so I was in complete heaven for this part of the camp.  We then set off on a ride of most of the course.  Due to some road closures, we weren't able to ride the part through Hurricane, but still got 41 of the 56 in.  Man, I forgot how hilly this course is.  I ended up riding most of it with a new friend Brian who is new to our club and the sport.  It was great to have a friend and someone to chat with during this ride.  My legs were already fatigued from the day before, so I knew this ride would be hard.  Riding with someone makes it better!  He was talking all crazy like doing the "double loop" and doing Snow Canyon twice, as some were to make up for the lost mileage we missed by not doing Hurricane.  I knew immediately I wouldn't be up for it.  Climbing Snow was much harder the second day, but I did it without needing to stop or walk.  I dialed in nutrition and it worked well.  I have switched to custom Infinit and love it!  However, I found that the flavor is MUCH stronger in a concentrated bottle!  I can't say how much I love having just one bottle to use. The Infinit doesn't have as much sodium as I would like so I add a couple tiny scoops of Base Salt to the bottle, and it is still all one place. That and water and I am good to go.  No more million moving pieces to long course nutrition!I took in a mouthful of the mix every 15 minutes then washed it down with water in my torpedo bottle up front.  So easy!

That night I think our house we were staying at became the designated party house.  We had 15-20 people there and I was up way later than I have been in years.  It was just fun.  I love my tri club team mates!  I have to miss a lot of team stuff due to living an hour away from where most of the group functions and group work outs take place, so it was nice to have time with them this weekend!  I was exhausted coming home and still am today, but it was so worth it!

I am feeling good two weeks out from StG.  There is still some work to do, but after being on the course this weekend, I am feeling much better about it.  I have spent some time thinking, which is never a good thing, and am actively working on being more positive about life, racing, and myself in general.  After being called out on this lately by more than one person (Ken, Ben, Justin, and Nate, thanks for the reality check!).  It's not like me to be negative in general, but I think the anxiety and stress about this race has brought it out of me more than normal.  I am reminded that I don't HAVE to do any of this, I GET to.  It is a great opportunity and the negative self talk doesn't reflect who I am, who I want to be, and what I want to get out of it all.  I am grateful for people willing to call me out on it when I need it!

So, onward and upward!  This is going to be a fun couple of weeks!

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