Monday, January 23, 2012

A Painful Reminder

Its hard to actually believe but it has been over 4 years since I've run an open 5k until this last weekend.  You'd think in that time span with all the hours and training and pr's set at other distances that I'd be in for a big 5k pr.  Not so much.  I went into this race with the comfortable expectation of running just under a 6 min pace.  My last 10k in November I'd held 6:17's on a tough hilly course so I figured that was a resonable goal. 

This would also be my first race of any kind since moving to Denver about a month ago.  I definitely struggled with the altitude the first few weeks but I been a lot more comfortable lately and didn't anticipate that I'd have any issues during the race.  The course was at Washington Park and was basically a loop and a half around the park.  Except for the geese that refused to move and allow me to follow my tangents (I'm blaming them for at least 5 sec on my time) it was a great course.  Flat and fast.  Temps were cold, sub 40 with a pretty strong wind. 

I started out 2nd row so (theoretically) I wouldn't be tempted to sprint to hard off the front.  That didn't pan out. 

This picture is somewhat unfortunate.  Really not sure what sort of issues the guy in front of me is having but I'm only looking at my watch.  I promise.  I'm going to be more aware of my start placement next time I think.

Really, really terrible start placement.  What the hell is the guy in front of me doing now?

Of course I didn't pace myself at all off the start.  Straight to the front where myself and 2 others quickly put a gap into the rest of the field.  Through the half mile I made the mistake of checking my Garmin for my mile pace.  4:50.  Totally the wrong thing to do.  I immediately started thinking about the fact that I've never been remotely close to a 5 min mile that that I can't hold this pace.  I let the leaders go and started to try to hold a pace I thought was more reasonable.

 As it turned out it probably didn't matter either way.  I was still in 3rd at around the 1.5 mark but everything went completely to hell at this point.  My legs felt fine but I felt like my lungs were going to explode.  Definitely tasting pennies.  Pace pretty much went to hell and I was passed by 3 runners.  I lost one more spot with about a quarter mile left but managed to hold off one other runner to finish 7th overall.  Or 2nd female overall as they had somehow registered me in the female division as someone kindly pointed out to me later in the day.  Guess I should have stuck around for awards.  Took about 10 min before I felt like I could breathe at all again and my chest was hurting so bad I didn't even take the opportunity to partake in the whiskey spiked hot chocolate.  What a waste.  Looks like I've still got a bit more time before I'm completely used to the altitude.

Looking back at this race there are 2 obvious lessions to be learned. 

#1) I seriously need a tan.

#2) I look far better in a tri suit.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Beginnings

Its been quite a long time since I've updated my blog.  Even longer since I've updated with any sort of regularity and a lot has changed in that time period.  Starting off with the obvious, at least for those that have read any blog entries in the past.  I'm using a new blog.  My old one was on the Weebly website and while I appreciated the fact that it (sorta) looked more like a website I was spending way too much time dealing with formating issues.  So I'm here and this should be the platform that I'll be using for the forseeable future.  Blogger is much simplier to manuever and hopefully this will lead to me actually using it more often.

Now the big stuff.  I left Texas and moved to Colorado.  Its only been a bit over a month up here and even though I've have yet to take advantage of any of the myrid of outdoor opportunities that exist up here due to my crazy work schedule just knowing that they are available to me without having to fly or drive for hours feels incredible.  This move has been a long time coming and is the first step in making sure that I get to live my life in such a way that I won't ever have to look back and regret that I didn't follow my dreams.  Its the first small step of many but in some ways its the hardest since it forced me out of my comfort zone.  Best decision I've made though and I can't wait for my crazy work hours to be over in a few months so I can really start enjoying all there is to offer up here.

Probably the most difficult part of moving is leaving behind friends.  This is especially tough when so much of my life revolves around triathlon and the day in day out training.  I have no problem logging the long hours by myself but it definitely helps to have a good group of friends in place to get in some of those hours with and motivate you through the inevitable tough spots.  Enter my new triathlon team.  While browsing the website in late December I had noticed a story about a new triathlon team being formed by Wattie Ink.  I had noticed Wattie (Sean Watkins) at several races as he sticks out a bit with his tats and style.  I immediately knew this was exactly the team that I wanted to be involved with.  Whatever team and product he put together was going to be at the front of the triathlon scene with an attitude and edge that other teams don't have. 

Finding out I had made the team was the highlight of January so far.  To be part of something great like this is incredibly motivating.  And I'll take all the motivation I can get when faced with my upcoming Ironman training schedule coupled with 60+ hour work weeks and a new baby.  Not only does the Wattie Ink Elite Team have the sickest kits and best sponsors of any team out there but the people on it make it absolutely incredible to be involved with.  Within 24 hours of the team roster breaking I had almost 50 new friends on facebook and twitter.  And those aren't just empty numbers.  Every day there is there is constant encouragement, information and in many cases smart ass comments from everyone that makes this team the best to be part of.  I can roll out of bed at 4:30 for a training session knowing that my teammates are doing the same.  And with 4 other team members in Colorado I look forward to hooking up to get my ass kicked in some training sessions as well.  I can't thank Sean and the team sponsors listed at the bottom of this page enough.  Without them none of this would be possible.  The first race and opportunity to represent the team and meet teammate in person can't come fast enough.  Until I realize how close April 1st is and how much training I need to get done that is.  Its head down for the next 10 weeks to get the work done and survive the crazy work schedule before #rockingtheW at Ironman Texas 70.3

I gotta mention Hibiscus IWear since they aren't listed in the official sponsors at the bottom of the page.  They just came on recently in support of the team and are going to ensure that we are wearing some of the sweetest shades on and off the race course for the upcoming season.  Check out their website,, for awesome sunglasses, goggle and helmets.