Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Change on the Horizon

I love the smell of triathlon in the morning.

The smell, you know, that I-eat-gators-for-breakfast smell, the whole place. Smelled like ... Victory.

But I was only spectating. Four of my tri club teammates were racing, two doing their first-ever triathlon.

In the first wave was one of the first-timers, a guy who I used to be faster than in swimming two months ago but he now can kick my butt in the pool. His 750m swim time, an incredible 12:24. Faster than my fastest 400m swim time in a tri. *Cry*

And fast on land too. So fast that every time I clicked my camera, he was already out of the frame. And the same for all but one of my teammates who I managed to get in the swim-to-bike transition. I don't know how the heck Dave gets any pictures of me racing!

But it sure was fun to be out there cheering for them (I'm the dork wearing the lei).

My fellow teammates all finished well with three of four placing in their age group categories. Being sorta one of the co-captains of the tri club, I felt like a proud mama.

Dave and I also went out for a bike ride last weekend, the first one together in *gasp* nearly two months. It was short (only 30 mi) but it felt so good to be spending quality time together on the roads, to feel the wind on my face, and to be back on Genie, my road bike, who has probably been wondering whether I still loved her having not ridden her much lately, my tri bike, Cali, too.

Man, how I miss riding and tri training. I thought I'd be happy to return to running marathons this year but the truth is I'm not. I want to be doing more with my tri club buddies and Dave, especially now that it's hot & humid again. Ick! Running long is really no fun when you're drenched after just one mile and would rather be doing something else.

So, I whined to my coach, who was also at the tri last weekend (with the biggest skateboard I've ever seen, nearly the size of a small surfboard!). And guess what?

He's going to let me finish my 50 states marathon quest this year but allow me to focus on tris after the Casper Marathon (WY) on June 6th. Woohoo!!!

But not half irons (1.2mi swim, 56mi bike, 13.1mi run), where I can rely on my endurance and a strong bike and run to pull me through. No, for me, that'd be too easy. Besides, my tri club buddies are focusing on short course tris, sprints and olys, so training for a half iron would still not allow me to do much with them.

So the decision: this summer I'll be gearing up for an Olympic tri. Big gulp!

My target race will the Health First Oly Tri (1.5k swim, ~43k mi bike, 10k run) on Oct 3, a race I've done twice before in 2006 & 2007 and have always stunk up the non-wetsuit legal swim and died a slow death on the hot run. To meet my goal of breaking 3 hours, I'll have to lop off 15+ minutes (!), which means a LOT more time spent swimming and doing shorter, faster bike and run workouts.

Who knows, I might even get faster running marathons (last year I ran a 3:38 in Fargo while focusing on tris). But the main thing is I'll have friends and Dave alongside me who will make training and racing a lot more fun. This is supposed to be a fun hobby, right?

As my brave new friend K told me recently, "The worst thing that could happen is that I'd throw up." And if I flop, well, I'll still have four marathons in the Fall as comfort food ;-)


Road Warrior said...

Marathons as comfort food? I don't think I want your diet.

Glad you're getting back on the bike. I really missed it, too.

Regina said...

I'm with Road Warrior. I'd rather have chocolate donuts as comfort food.

I guess your booty is feeling better if you are back on bike; this is a good thing.

Nice photos!

aron said...

yayyyy sounds like the new plan will be perfect :)

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

That health first oly tri looks great. May have to put that on the schedule for next year. So Shirley, how do you pick which marathon you are going to do next? What made you pick the Casper Marathon? Has there been a method to your madness with the one's you have already done in almost every state? Or just a matter of timing?
Glad you finally got a chance to hop on Genie and that you got to ride with your honey...good times!

X-Country2 said...

What an awesome event to have been a part of. Sounds like you have quite the plan in place. Good luck!

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Formulaic said...

Gotta love the attitude!

"Worse thing that could happen is you'll throw up!"

You forgot to mention, that after you throw-up...keep going!

ShirleyPerly said...

KC: initially, I just picked those that fit my schedule and had relatively easy courses (flat, paved courses, lower altitudes, expected temps 40-70 degs F). Now I can't be so picky. However, I will not run marathons on back to back days, i.e., Sat & Sun. That's just crazy ;-)

Midwestern Dot said...

I'm with Road Warrior as well...my comfort food is chocolate...clearly we are not on the same diet.
Welcome back to the tri world!

Vickie said...

You'll do fine Shirley! You might even get to really liking the short stuff. More time not training is what its all about!

Marlene said...

It's sooo hard to take good pics at a race! Congrats to your team.

Exciting stuff that you'll have a tri to look forward to. Clearly, multiple marathons is simply not enough for some people. ;)

Petraruns said...

You knew I'd be thrilled to read this, didn't you? I am so glad you've found a way to do the things that give you pleasure without giving up the things you've committed to.

Truly - it's made my day. So now you'll have to work that cute (and healed?) booty into some speedy shape - always hard for an endurance athlete so enough of a challenge for you to get your teeth into. Hugs!

DaveP said...

The secret to taking pictures at races is to practice. Luckly, my favorite subject runs a lot of races.

So this summer, I get to go short and hard vice last summer that was long and steady. Sounds good to me.

Stef said...

Woo Hoo! Love the sound of this!!

Meg said...

I'm so excited for you and your tri plans following the marathon. You just need to do what makes you the happiest! I love the pictures!

lindsay said...

LOL about road warriors comment. you do have a strange diet ;)

you are not a dork, for the record. your bikes are so cool! love the funky colors. spectating is HARD WORK. i've watched josh (fiance) in two 5k's now... it is hard to spot them and photograph them!

also, sadly i will not be traveling to WY for sure :( but the good news is i am leaving KY (yay) and starting a new job 6/7 back in SC. hence why i can't go to WY... :( :( maybe we can coordinate one of your fall "appetizers"? ;)

RoadBunner said...

Sounds like a great plan since you miss the tri stuff!

p.s. LOVE the photo of you and the hubster!

Sara Cox Landolt said...

Me too! Love that pre-race feeling, even as a spectator you can't miss it.

I agree taking a good race picture is tough! I'm always missing/cutting off body parts in the frame. It's a tough job being a friend/family members' race photographer.

You are not a dork & that lei is cool! & what gorgeous bikes!!

Congratulations on your new focus!
Enjoy it all!

lizzie lee said...

you're never a dork pretty mama... and nice horizon...you'll do as good as always, and I love the marathons as a comfort food... I wanna try the 50/50, age is not on my side, and my knee neither!!!!

Black Knight said...

The secret to taking pictures at races is to have a professional photographer as a friend but your photos are always wonderful! Congrats to your team.

Sunshine said...

Best wishes for chalking up Wyoming. Hope you have fun. Go Shirley!

Keri said...

Yay, glad you are able to get back to tri training!