01 June 2011

Quassay Jitters

Well, with Quassay just days away, I think it is officially time to start panicking. Do you ever feel prepared as you need to be?  I am excited to head out to Quassay and get my first race of the season under my belt and meet all of my Trakkers teammates for the very first time. I am disappointed that, despite not running for nearly two weeks now, my knee continues to be a nuisance. So, I have decided to race the Olympic instead of the HIM. I think I could probably go out there and do the HIM, but I am worried about my knee the rest of the season. I still have some pain on the left side of my patella on my right knee. Since beginning training for triathlons four seasons ago, this is my first injury. I now completely empathize with people that have some sort of chronic injury that keeps them from performing at their optimum level. Jitters are good though. At the very least, you put yourself out there and race as a litmus test to how you may expect to perform the rest of the season. I feel pretty confident. The one thing I can say about Coach Mary is that she knew exactly what to throw my way... and at the right time. I have really improved my swimming this off-season. I have to constantly remind myself that four short seasons ago, I could not do a hundred yards straight! If I meet people who are in need of motivation, I tell them that. Then I tell them that in three seasons I did my first Iron distance swim. This usually inspires people, or they look at me and wonder if I have a few screws missing. Clearly, we know the answer to that one.

Look, I am not going to lie and tell you that I am wicked fast in the water. My official "T-time" at the beginning of my training was 1:50/100. I'd say it is about 1:45 right now. Although, I know I can swim 1:35/100 (or faster), because I catch myself doing it on occasion. The trick is how the hell do I maintain my form and not become exhausted 1000 yards in?  Seriously... any help with this would be fantastic. I just wrote in my training log tonight and asked Coach Mary if she could check out my swim here soon. I was suppose to swim for her way back in December, or January, but alas... life happened and I simply could  not commit to a meeting. My hope is to continue to improve my stroke. I am swimming twice a week right now which does not feel like a lot, although when I am doing it, it feels like plenty! I am excited about the prospect of getting into the lake here soon. I usually swim in Canandaigua Lake—one of central New York's beautiful Finger Lakes. We have had an unusually cold and rainy spring this year. There is a triathlon next weekend on Keuka Lake. It is the first regional triathlon of the season. A lot of really great athletes come out and do this race to gauge where they are. I hope—for their sake—that the lake is not freezing. I have it on good counsel that Quassay is well south of central New York and that the swim will be awesome.

It seems like my bike fitness has improved during the offseason. The other thing I did was get on a new ride this season. My new Kestrel, along with my bike fit from Chad down at Geneva Bicycle Center has made an unbelievable difference. In fact, I had no idea just how uncomfortable I was on my last bike until I was completely dialed in on this ride. What a difference. The screenshot on the left is from a Zone 2 ride on Monday. I prefer biking with the wind. Why can't we just do that in triathlon? You know... just bike one way to T2, run to a finish, and take everyone back to the start with a kegerator on the back of a bus. Wait... what a brilliant idea!  "When I'm Race Director....."

Speaking of biking, that is the one thing that has gone completely right the last couple of weeks. I have been really good about getting out there and completing my rides. Last night, I did something that I have never done before. I went out for a little night ride. I put a running light around my waist, and I clipped two flashing red lights—one in front, and one behind me—on my kit before going out. It was a little nerve-racking at first. I quickly learned where to ride in my town that had good street light. I went out around 9:30 to ride for an hour. About a half hour into my ride, I see someone riding towards me with what can only be described as a light as bright as the sun. Okay, excuse the obvious hyperbole, but this light was so bright that I thought it was a motorcycle. All of a sudden, I see someone pass me on a mountain bike. Lo and behold, it's EJ from Team Crankskins.  He was kind enough to ride with me a while providing his "sun-like" radiance for me to motor in for a bit.

I completely tanked two swims last week. I was tired and dehydrated. It is a sad state when you feel like you were swimming better at the beginning of your training than you are five months into it. I think I have a little bit of post-semester funkiness on me right now. You see, after my semester was over and I pulled two evenings of all-nighters to get grades in, I clearly thought that I was ready to start my professional triathlon career full force. I am kidding of course, but I did think I would have a bit more free time. Not the case. Then, a couple of days later, out of the blue, I have a kick ass swim. I have discovered that hydration is still the key to a successful swim.

Alright, Quassay race report to come soon. Train Smart!


Christi said...

Good luck this weekend! I hope you have a great race and that the knee heals quickly!

Heather said...

Good luck. The only swim advice I ever give is...eat a cupcake. Fat floats. :)

I am sure you will do great!


Good luck this weekend.... Do you know Mandy Farrar from Caratunk? If not you should look up her race number and give her a shout. She's a hoot..

Mark said...

Fat floats! Love it!

Krista said...

Have fun this weekend! I'm sure you are going to do great :)

PS I love the pic at the top of your blog :)

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Rock it out there Mark!

Kiersten said...

Can't wait to meet you this weekend!

Caratunk Girl said...

Dude. You are going to do awesome.

I am freaking out. I am doing the HIM and it just dawned on my like yesterday that it is less than a week away (I have been so IMLP focused, I forgot about Quassy!) SO when you see me crying as I crawl up those hills on Sunday, give me a little oomph.

EasternClimber said...

Yo, just sayin' wassup.


One Love.


EasternClimber said...

Btw, there's a dude who comments on your blog that can run an ironman in 1 hour. How does that make you feel?

tribirdie said...

See you up there! You are going to have a great race! Good luck!