Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Recover,Train, Race, Repeat...

Racing, racing, racing my way back into shape, is my motto for October!

Three half distance races in 4 weeks! Pocono's 70.3, Rev 3 Anderson and Rev 3 Florida.

After my nice little 2-3 week vacation after IM NYC I was left not only feeling unfit, but still with a few nagging issues.  My achilles had been acting up since IMLP and IMNYC had not helped the problem. I also seemed to have done something to really aggravate my sacral muscles.  Probably too much time spent sitting behind the computer..lol.  I was carrying a few extra pounds due to my coach giving me the green light to eat as much ice cream and pretty much anything I wanted!

Running was brought down to the bare minimum with quite a few water running days in there.  Training times were slow and my runs were all trail runs. The goal for me was just to be happy to get through them without my achilles getting worse.  My awesome ART practitioner Liz Perez strongly suggested no racing and limited training for me for a while but we both knew I was going to stick to the plan. So with one real week of running under my belt and some descent but painful bikes (none spent in the aerobars) I headed for the Pocono's 70.3.

It was cold, and the morning of the race I texted Coach Kropelnicki saying my achilles was really hurting. The cold seems to tighten it up really badly. He assured me, just as he had done before IM NYC, that I would be ok. The achilles would warm up and by the run I would be fine! He once again was right.  I was able to run, I was able to bike and I had a good swim thanks to a REALLY short course giving me my second fastest 70.3 swim split ever of 24min. I think I recorded a little faster in Panama 70.3 this year with a 22 with the help of a super strong current!  The bike was really hard for me and the run I had one speed...slow! But I was happy to be out racing, especially so close to home,  so I just rolled with the 10th place result!

I recovered, I trained, I tapered and this weekend 10 days later I headed down to Rev 3 Anderson.  I was very excited as I have missed the Rev crew and the feel good atmosphere of these races.
I welcomed the first class event that Rev 3 puts on!

I like catching up with everyone and seeing all the familiar faces around. Anderson was charming and the Southerner's were "darling"! I was excited to race! I had realistic expectations. My goals were A) See a small improvement in fitness B) Get through the run without achilles issues C) Have fun!

I am happy to report that all of these happened.

The swim was in a calm lake. It was a wetsuit swim and my sprinting efforts in the pool seemed to have been paying off and I managed to stay with the lead group for about 300m. Then the uber swimmers swam off and left me stuck in no mans land.

 I was completely on my own finishing up 2 -3 min behind the lead pack and 2-3 minutes in front of the slower girls.  Unfortunately this time difference is huge...when your lead pack is in a group and its so hard to try catch them. Especially when they are all strong bikers too. So I put my head down and and tried to stay mentally focused. The roads were quiet and at one point I was so focused on my power that when a car passed I forgot to check for a marker and I thought I had missed a turn. Now I had driven the course the day before but if you miss a turn out there on these farm lands you are done! I soft peddled for what seemed like 5 minute losing power and wandering if I should turn around. Just then to my relief the video guys pulled up to me on the bike. They laughed as I immedietly sat up and said "Did I miss the turn?".

When you are out alone for 2 hours on quiet country roads it really starts to feel like a training day. It's just you against your power meter. Thankfully I had a few pro's husbands out there so I always knew the girls were coming and Erin Spitler's husband Rob was so kind as to give me a split that I was catching up to the girl in front of me. First two minutes, then 1 minute and then I could see her . By the end of the bike I had caught her and we ran into transition together.  I was happy as this was a more solid bike with higher power numbers than in the Pocono's.

The run was hilly and coach Jesse wanted me to push harder than the previous race. But I started to feel my chest close and my heart rate was going crazy. It was recording numbers in the 180's and 190's and while my garmin had to be wrong  I was forced to back it down. My 6.30 pace slowed to 7 minute pace and after 3 miles I was feeling under control again.

 I had to settle for a run that was consistent but average. It was really nice to have some pro girls around to keep me pushing on the run. I just wish I could have found an extra gear. But with no running speed work in probably 5 months...that's all I had. I was happy with the small improvement from two weeks ago and I look forward to hopefully being able to push even a little harder in 2 weeks at the Rev 3 Florida!

So for now, back to recover, train and for this next race a very short taper.
A couple thanks go to Rev 3 for a fantastic race from beginning to end!

The lovely Erin Spitler! A big thanks to her husband Rob for these awesome shots!

 Big thanks to Dr Laurie Glasser for getting me a few sessions with her EPAT machine.  A revolutionary new machine that heals based on pulse activation therapy. This machine is the bomb. If you want to see quick results this is the way to go. It take 6-10 minutes...shockwaves/pulses are sent to the worst part of the injury and it causes inflammation, circulation and an expedited recovery process in as little as one treatment. After each of the weekly treatments I had I would feel no pain for the next few days. If I was able to rest this achilles issue would have probably been healed alot quicker.  I am so impressed with this new technology! For more info about this machine go to www.curamedix.com or if in NJ make an appointment to see the wonderful Dr Glasser at ORTHOPAEDIC INSTITUTE OF NJ!