Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Oh, how the tables can turn...

We woke up yesterday to sunny skies and warm temperatures...this was a beautiful sight to us since the weather has been so depressing the last couple of days.
Feeling rejuvinated from the good weather I took off on my ride/run workout fairly early. Yesterday was a day with some intesity. I started my training with a road ride out toward Ebbets Pass and put in some solid interval work on the hills. I did 4 rounds of 2 min hard, 2min recovery, 1 min hard, 2min recovery and then I followed this workout up with a 5k run with only 5 minutes of harder effort to make sure my body is ready to deal with the pain at nationals. I am happy with my results b/c I was able to get my heart rate very high on the bike, which at altitude can be challenging. What my high heart rate told me is that I went into the workout rested, which was the goal. So, what does this mean for me as we near race day...rest, rest, rest and hopefully I can pull off a good race.

--Heading out for my ride

After my morning session and some food Jess, sophie and I headed out to Lake Utica for an open water swim and to get Sophie some exercise. I had heard that this lake is beautiful and worth the trip and, I have to say, it is! It was a spectacular day out there with only a few kayakers in sight. It felt like we had the entire place to ourselves, which amazes me.

--Sophie is curious where I am going

--She just couldn't let me go out on my own. I did have to swim back to the shore and Jess put her on the leash until I got back...what can we say, she's a water dog!

I did some pick up's in the water with some race pace efforts. Swimming at altitude is brutal...it feels like oxygen is nonexistent. The bottom line is that if you go too hard in the swim you will blow up big time and be unable to recover for the rest of the swim. I will be spending the next several days finding that point at which I "blow up" so that on race day I can try to sit just under that point of no return. Unfortunately, I am just not that fit in the water so it makes swimming at altitude that much more difficult. I have spent much more time preparing for the bike and run over the last couple months so I don't expect to be flying in the water. So, I just have to be realistic when we sart the swim at nationals, which means staying controlled at the start (don't go out with the leaders like I always try to do) and fall into a hard tempo (below the "blow up" point) early. Then, most importantly, know that the swim will be very hard and simply accept it for what is, just get it out of the way, and head out onto the bike ready to go as hard as I can.

--A little play time after my swim

After our time at the lake we drove down to Arnold to have dinner with Jim and Sue, some long-time family friends. We had a blast! They are such wonderful people and we truly enjoyed catching up with them. The meal was incredible...GREAT job Sue and the house looks beautiful!

Today is a day of rest. The sun is out, the temps should be perfect and we have absolutely nothing to do...what a great feeling! I will probably hop in the water for an easy swim to loosen up and then we will let sophie swim her heart out. We have one more night here and then we are off to Tahoe...we are looking forward to getting up there.

--now, that's focus and determination! If I can race with the same intensity that sophie has for chasing the ball I'll be all set =)

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