The load of the past four weeks is starting to seep in. Finishing up another 4 week block and things were also pretty busy at work, with now organizing 3 group runs during the week (actually running in 2 of them), and the Monday brick runs with Thom over at MetroFitness. I’ve been sleeping ok, got the needed haircut the other day, shaved down since we’ve had the AC on now as the humid spring heat wave continues down here, and I was itching to just let it rip. I wanted to get out there in a race environment with some 2 weeks before the Racefest Half Marathon and see how things are going. I entered the Cool Breeze Sprint Tri since it would enable me to not only get a triathlon in, but also one in which I would be at a high intensity throughout the event.  I wanted to test and see how my speed on the run would be after a quick swim and bike. The event was on a Sunday which is great, a small crowd of around 200, and only about 20 minutes away in Huntersville. 250 yard swim, 12.5 mile bike, 3.1 mile run.  I actually was under good eustress since I had a 18 hr training week, and Saturday was a 9 mile run with my run group in the rain, then a full day on the feet at work.

We got up early, got there with plenty of time to check in, setup, and say hello to a few people. It was mild, but a slight chill, still in the 50′s and overcast. Not windy though and I was fine with that. I had my tubulars on the Black Widow and wanted to see how she would ride out in the air finally. I haven’t “swam” since October, so was looking forward to that. I seeded myself around 60 which gave me a nice cushion to catch people during the event. I loosened up and after giving Gina kiss, lined up in my Team USA skinsuit ready to roll. The race started as each person left in about 15 second intervals. I took 3 deep breaths as I set to jump in the warm pool waters.  With Rage Against the Machine playing in the background, I listened for my countdown. Ok bro, blitz this. 5,4,3,2,1, GO!

Smooth and quickly I got into a nice stroke rhythm. After lap 3 of 10, the nervous system knew what to do. Push, pull, breath, etc. Hit the wall, repeat. As I neared the last lap, I set the mind for transition. Out of the pool 3:30 later into the air and shuffle to the Black Widow. No rush, well, not rush rush, but got everything set, climbed aboard, and off I went. A nice course, semi-rolling, but the turn of the pedals and shift in gears felt good. I caught a good bunch, got passed a few, but with my heart rate in zone 4 and breathing good, I was fine with my pace. I only took one sip of my drink and just kept rhythm. Promising ride, almost a joyride, and in I came to transition around 35 minutes later. Short stepping my way back to transition, I slipped on my GoRun Sketchers, and boom out the door I went. Big wave to Gina who had a great view of everything with the small crowds, and off I went to rip. Here was the test. Legs good, cadence good, and by mile 1 I was in my main zone. An out and back so I didn’t even bother who was around. Laser like, focused (which also was a good test), I just dialed it in. Mile 2 went by in 5:20. Now it was hammer time. I just blitzed it and finished my run in 16:46.  Total time was 57:39, good for 14th overall and 4th in my age group. I hugged and kissed Gina at the finish and quickly went for a 10 minute jog cool down. Man! the best part about these types of events is you can’t really go slow. A perfect test internally and externally! We walked around a bit, stretched, iced with 2 diet coke cans on my quads,  a quick rehydrate with H20 Overdrive, and opted for a quick exit since we had plans to go to…. IHOP!!! Oh yeah, we had a great pancake breakfast there, then started on Gina’s garden which she hit all day and it looks awesome. We got herbs and shade plants growing now on the patio. I got called into work for a few hours and by the time I got home I was toast. Crispy too but nothing an ice down, shower, and a good dinner with Gina couldn’t ease. Oh, and a nice Rita’s for dessert too!!!! By 9:30, we were done.

Now I continue as in a few weeks I will celebrate my 39th birthday. I plan to use the Racefest Half Marathon to celebrate that one, and have my schedule somewhat set thanks to being named to the first AAA Carolinas Triathlon Team. That was great as a group of 25 individuals get to represent AAA for the 2012 race season. I continue to post tidbits on Twitter and look forward to the final week of Lent to lighten things up!!

April 14: Racefest Half Marathon

April 28: University City Duathlon

May 19: Over the Mountain Triathlon

June: Half Ironman TBD

August: Hood to Coast Relay

September 10: Duke Liver Half Ironman

October 7: Take Flight Triathlon

November: NYC Marathon


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