Let the Season Begin!

Two thoughts come to mind:

1. Finally, the season is here!
2. Holy Crap, already??

My days before triathlon were like any other "normal" person. The months didn't really have any specific meaning. Sure there where holidays and birthdays to celebrate but other than that, work is work regardless of the month of the year. Triathlon has brought back that exciting "expectation" for me; something I haven't felt in a long time. Now each month is broken down for the "triathlon season" and every time I turn the page on the calendar it has a purpose now. Putting in the work, Staying healthy, Peaking for my "A" races, Qualifying for Ironman 70.3 Championships and representing my Sponsors and the Wattie Ink Elite Team. During the 7 years I took off when I wasn't training and competing I was happy but I was missing something and I could never really figure it out. Once I started back up again, I found out what I was missing. Passion. Sure I have my faith, family, friends and career - but I think everybody still needs that passion in their life for something to be fulfilled. I have re-discovered it again and with my first race of the season lined up for this weekend at the Desert International Triathlon, let the fun begin!

Since November I have put in some pretty solid training weeks (95% aerobic) and was able to knock off a 1:14 1/2 marathon, stay healthy (for the most part) and really build my engine for the season. James and I have been working well with each other and as far as March seemed in November, I can't believe it's already here. I was telling James that every triathlon I did last year I was uncertain of my fitness. It was so inconsistent last year (especially the swim) that every time I got on the starting line it felt like I was just rolling the dice and "hoping" for a good day. This year and even this weekend is a different story. I've put in the work, I'm confident and excited to get on the line to race. I know I still have A LOT of work to do to be where I want to be, but I am content with my fitness to this point. I guess the only question mark will be my rib. I swear this thing will not heal and I long for the day where I'll be able to sleep on my left side again! I'll back up a bit to last weekend...

Introducing the Slice to IMCA course
 Saturday morning I had the opportunity to go to the Ironman 70.3 Oceanside course and ride/run over it with a friend of mine, Mike Hebebrand who had qualified for Kona a few years ago on the course. He knew the course well and I learned a lot. The bike course was definitely not what I was expecting. Although I didn't get to go over the whole thing I was able to see the first 30 miles of the course which is typically the fast part, depending on the wind and boy was it windy that day. There were times I was pressing really hard on race pace efforts and barely topping 20mph and then others where I was riding at 75% and going 30. There were a lot of terrain changes, rollers, and even narrow spots which might get tricky since I'm the 3rd to last wave to go off. I guess that's what I'm most concerned about. With my late wave start I'm going to have A LOT of traffic to weave in and out of. The course already makes it difficult to get in any type of rhythm on the bike and added traffic will make this even more challenging. The good news about all of this? Everyone in my age group has to go through the same thing! Once we got back from a solid 52 mile ride, Mike took off to the store and I laced up to go over the run course. It's basically an out and back loop that you do two times. Even with the wind, it was a super fast course. Just a few tiny rollers, but overall -flat and fast giving me no doubt that I should be able to roll on that course. I punched out a solid 1 hour, 8 mile run and called it a day. The only bad thing was my rib was hurting quite a bit on the run, which I thought was going away. I wore my heart rate monitor on the bike, so I think that had something to do with it, since it rests pretty close to it. Hopefully it won't give me any issues this weekend and more importantly for IMCA.

Ready to Rock the W tattoos this weekend
I'm starting to get really excited about racing and completing my first 1/2 Ironman and this weekend's race is going to be a great tune-up for it.The Desert Triathlon is an International distance, which usually means the swim is shorter than your typical Olympic distance (in this case 3/4 mile) which will play to my strengths since I still get the 24 mile bike and 6 mile run. It's all about practice for IMCA this week. Getting my nutrition spot on leading up to the race, getting in the cold open water and testing my swim fitness, practicing transitions and ride/run hard. I really want to put a world of hurt on myself this weekend. It's going to be great just to compete and be pressed and make any necessary adjustments. Other than that, I topped off the weekend Sunday with a 15 mile run which put me at 45 miles for the week. Something I haven't done in a LONG time. It capped off a good week of training that put me right around 15 hours for the week. It would have been a bigger week but I actually missed two swims. One of them I had no choice because of work obligations but the second one I had no excuse. I just didn't plan properly and fit it into my schedule. I definitely want to communicate on this blog that I don't have it all figured out and that I do miss training from time to time. It doesn't happen often, but when it does - I usually learn from it and try and prevent it from happening again. Trust me, I paid the price on Saturday. I felt like crap! Whenever I take a day off, I always come back the next day feeling out of shape and flat. More motivation to not let it happen to often!

Whole patio to ourselves!
After the run and church we headed down to Stone Brewery to celebrate our birthdays with friends and family. News Flash, YES, it's ok to go to church and drink beer! That's a whole other story...It was great to see everyone. Since we moved up to Temecula from San Diego, we don't get to see our San Diego friends (and family for that matter) often but when we do, it's as if we didn't skip a beat. Beautiful weather and we had the whole upper patio to ourselves. My beer lineup that night:

1. Stone Levitation
2. Pliney the Elder
3. Stone Ruination
4. Stone Old Guardian Barelywine
and a 1/2 glass of my bro's Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale...tasty

A few more pics from the weekend:

Hanging w/the kiddos

Good times with my Brothers and Brothas
Son staying busy
My sis and I enjoying a beer earlier in the week
Birthday night, Scarlett dressed up and wanted to dance w/me :)
Opened up their gift
Swimming towels! She wanted us to wear them
She was warning mom that she needs a towel to enter the pool area.
Til next week, see you later!


Damie said...

Wow! You are so ready...look at you and the course recon! Your mind is there! I am a huge believer in a lot of aerobic work. Can't wait to see it pay off for you....and it will, if that 1:14 is an indicator of anything :)

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