Monday, June 8, 2009

Long time no see

Well, it's been a while since I put up a post, so here goes.

The notable things that have happened to me in the past 3 weeks are a (nother) severely sprained ankle and my first DNF in a race since freshman year of College. The ankle necessitated the DNF.

I also had my first time trial in several years last Wednesday at the Lowe's Motor Speedway. A local production group puts on a series of 10 mile TTs there over the course of the summer and it's a fun way to get a workout/race in while seeing some cool stuff. You park, quite literally, next to the garages where the Nascar teams do all their prep work and stuff for the cars; there were even some cars parked in the garage. You actually race ON the track; admittedly it's on the inner, level portion as oppoesed to the outer banked portion (that is ridiculously steep!). This was the second TT of the series and I plan on doing the rest of them because it's cheap, fun, and a solid way to test your fitness gains over time. I did my race (10 miles, 7 laps) in 22:15, which is a 26.97 mph average. I won my age group but that doesn't count for much because anyone who is a serious cyclist is going to be 'categoried' and I don't plan on renewing my USCF license anytime soon since I only have a tri bike and not a road bike (one that works, anyway). I can improve on that time a great deal since the day before I had a hard 60 mile ride and I also rode an easy (but still taxing) 40 miles the Monday beforehand so I know with fresh legs I can venture into the 21:xx range.

I also sprained my ankle while walking on a hiking trail during our annual AmeriCorps retreat last Sunday. Unfortunately I think my ankle was still weak after spraining it in early March so it wasn't ready for that kind of rolling action (I took a slight misstep and boom, dead ankle). I plan on taking a solid 2 weeks off from running (1 week already in the bank) and when I start running again to incorporate more strengthening exercises (to improve my balance/stability all over, not just in my ankles) because I think that will help with injury prevention in the future.

I had been signed up for the Festival of Flowers triathlon (1.5k, 24mi, 10k) for a long time and even though I didn't think I was going to be able to do the run portion of the race I still wanted to go down and see my grandmother and get in good efforts on the swim and bike (and get my race t shirt, duh). The swim was ok; my time is listed as 27:41 but I think it should be 23:41 as my wave started 4 minutes after the first and the digital clock always shows total race time...but who knows, I could have just had a bad swim. I'm definitely capable of ~24-25 minute swims in international distance. The bike was a good course, rolling but fast and I managed just over a :59. My legs didn't feel great though so I know that I've still got work to do on the bike if I want to continue to improve. I didn't even really try to run. I put on my shoes in transition and jogged 10 yards and said 'no thanks.'

My tentative plan for the coming months is to race Assault on Cherokee in late August (int'l distance) and forego Age Group Triathlon Nationals (too expensive and too far away for something I'm not going to place in...) then do South Carolina Half in early October. I'm also contemplating running (not racing) the Thunder Road Marathon in early December, just so I can say I've run a marathon. I'll have to see about that one though...

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