Wednesday, June 19, 2013

PR and Lake Padden

For those who don't know, PR stands for personal record.  I still use Strava as a training and motivational tool for my many of my workouts.  When planning a bike ride or run, I like to use certain loops and segments as fitness tests within the workout.  After downloading my watch data to Garmin Connect and Strava, I can analyze my effort on two platforms.  Both have unique positive characteristics.  For example, Connect has a calender of uploaded activities and planned workouts.  Strava has a network of running and biking segments where I can compare the day to my previous times and against others on a leader board.  Since I do most of my workouts solo, it brings out the competitor in me on days when I need that external motivation. 

Another aspect about Strava is the challenges section they offer.  I'll talk about the most recent which was called 10k Any Way.  The challenge was to run your fastest 10k (6.2 miles) and upload it to a leader board and see where you stack up.  The minimum distance was 10k but if you ran further, they would take your average time/kilometer.  In fact three ran fast enough half-marathons to get on the top 10.  In all 14,283 people from around the world ran at least 10k in one day.  I happened to be the 99th fastest of them.  This was me putting the hammer down and hoping for the best.  I planned to PR since it's been two years since my last stand alone 10k but landing in the top 100 was something I didn't expect.  It's the exact motivation I was hoping for, a week before this Saturday's triathlon.

Oh did I mention a triathlon?  That's right folks, my first of the season and right in my backyard.  Lake Padden, Bellingham, WA.  It's gonna be a blast because Amanda and Chad are coming up to race too.  I have to give big credit to Amanda for how I've come to this point.  We ran XC together in high school and when I got back from Europe, she was leading track workouts for West Sound Tri Club.  After just a few nights of being around triathletes, hearing their stories, I knew I had to give it a shot.  Thanks Amanda for the introduction!

This Saturday's morning race starts with a 800m swim, a 21 mile bike and 5.2 mile run.  The bike leg will be a challenge for people who have neglected hills because there are 2 climbs that are nothing to laugh at.  The run leg is two loops around the lake.  There is also a recreational race starting in the afternoon.  It's more or less half the distance.  Somehow I got wrangled into doing the run leg as part of a relay.  Our name is Team Second Wind, because all three of us are doing the competitive in the morning.  I'm curious how well I am going to run after giving it all in the morning.  Like Lance Romo, the race director, said to me this morning,"It is only one lap."  With some downtime and lots of recovery fruit, I'm sure I can hold my weight for another 18 minutes.
It should say Comp: 2 laps, Rec: 1 lap
With all that being said, I'm excited to kick off the season and some.  I've been feeling strong, even though finals and landscaping has really cut into my training time.  There is less than a month before Ocean Shores 70.3.  I get a little anxious thinking about my lack of consistency but I'm hoping the century training will let me ramp it up here for the next two weeks.  One week of tapering should be just about right to dial everything in.  On that note, I'm off to the pool.  Catch ya next week with a race report.