It’s been an exciting couple of weeks!
So, there have been several new developments in my athletic life and they occurred in such short succession that I’m just going to squish them into one blog post. I mean, multiple blog posts about only a two week period of my life? Ain’t nobody got time fo dat!
First up, the Crossfit Unparalleled adventure:
Okay, so, my weight training had become rather blah. I wasn’t showing as much improvement and I’ve been rather bored with the routine. I talked to Dai about this and had decided to go to a couple of strength classes at the rec centers to see if that gave my strength training the jolt that it needed. Before I could attend one of the rec center classes, I was invited to attend a Crossfit Unparalleled workout. I had a number of concerns about both the classes at the rec center and the Crossfit classes, primarily that I would somehow overdo it or injure myself in a way that would be detrimental to my ability to compete in triathlon. The awesometastic thing about Crossfit Unparalleled was that Dawn, the owner, took the time to discuss these concerns with me and assure me that they had my best interest in mind. So…
My very first Crossfit session and my first attempt at kettle bell swings! (Totally ackward pic, right!? haha) Can you say “sore glutes”?
Thus far, I LOVE IT! I also hate it a little bit but I think that you’re supposed to feel that way. 😉 Am I now a Crossfit promoter/supporter? Not exactly. I am a huge fan of Crossfit Unparalleled because I trust the coaches at this gym. They have been ever-present to make sure that I’m using proper form and the right amount of weight. They’ve held me back when I was going to push myself too hard and they are all very encouraging. I’m sure that there are many other gyms (both Crossfit and otherwise) with similar characteristics but now that I’ve participated in several Crossfit workouts, I can see a lot of potential for injury and burnout if there isn’t adequate oversight. I think that my participation in two weekly Crossfit Unparalleled sessions is going to be an invaluable addition to my training and I encourage anyone interested in similar training to ensure that they find a gym with the same high quality coaching and safety standards. I’m very excited to have joined this training community!
Next up, remember that whole Grassroots Sponsorship thingy? Well, I THOUGHT that I had been passed over by CycleOps, which was understandable given my limited triathlon experience. I’m VERY excited to report that I was mistaken. A week ago, today, I received notification that I have been accepted into the CycleOps Grassroots Sponsorship program! I’ve signed the contract and am just waiting for confirmation that I have completed the paperwork to their satisfaction but I will soon be representing their fantastic training and racing products! It’s only a grassroots sponsorship/scholarship but it’s an excellent start and I’m honored to have been selected. Woot! Thank you, CycleOps!
For those of you with some extra cash and a desire to get faster, check out the this power package deal that CycleOps is currently running!
And then there was the 14k… and I had no idea what kind of performance to expect from myself. In addition to being unsure of what kind of pace I could reasonably pull off, I wasn’t certain how the 20-30 mph wind gusts were going to play into my race. In an effort to be somewhat conservative, I set off to hold my first mile or so at a 7:30 pace. Apparently, that felt too conservative because my slowest miles were around a 7:24 pace. I was able to tuck in behind groups of people or tall men (thanks, guys!) to get a decent draft through much of the race. I felt a few women on my heels toward the last few miles so I forced myself into a harder gear, even though I wasn’t certain that I had it in me. That’s when I turned off the “think” and just did it. I held off a few chicas and I passed a few more, which was exhilarating! The last two miles were essentially straight into the wind and, wouldn’t you know it, all of my tall guys suddenly slowed down. I had to either work solo to hold the pace or sacrifice my speed to keep drafting. Since there were only 2ish miles left, I didn’t see any point in conserving energy so I just dug in and leaned into the wind. I saw Coach Dai Roberts right toward the end and he shouted some encouragement to see me through to the finish line. I was very happy with my race!!! Hours later, I was even happier to discover that I had placed in the top 3 in my age group! This is a rather large race and I wasn’t expecting to have even the slightest shot at AG placing! Last year, I finished 30-something in my age group, 156 female overall and had an average pace of 8:14. This year, I was top three in my age group, 22 female overall and I averaged a 7:15 pace. UNREAL! I’m looking forward to triathlon season even more, now, and I am so very grateful for all of the support, encouragement and wisdom that I have received from the Dai Roberts Group. My coach and his team have taken me further than I had ever dreamed possible… and we’re just getting started! Thanks, Dai Roberts Group!!!!!
It was a windy day… as is evidenced by the fact that I look a bit like Pippi Longstockings. Haha
It was excellent to have my HRR pal, Julie, join me for a good portion of the race! She didn’t think she was going to pull off 7:30s but she had to have been in the 7:20s the whole time. 😀 She definitely gave me an extra push for the majority of the miles! Thanks, Julie!
And on top of all of this, I got to spend a lot of time on Skype with my bestest friend this week! It was sooooo good to be able to talk to my husband and SEE him. Yay technology! I’m sad that he can’t be here in person for all of these events but I know he’s still with me in spirit. He’s also doing an amazing job of staying fit and healthy while he’s deployed and I’m both proud of him and inspired by his determination!
I love me some technology! Yay for Skype dates! Come home soon, Justin!