Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ramblings: Steelhead-Surfing-Vegas

Well, it's been a month since Vineman so that can only mean one thing: time for the next 70.3! On Friday we depart for Chicago then will be driving over to Benton Harbor for Steelhead 70.3 on Sunday. I've never been to this part of the U.S. so I'm excited for another adventure. That said, I'll be honest, there was no part of me yearning for a trip to Michigan (no offense MI); this particular race just had the right timing and is domestic so I'm not totally breaking the bank :) I do keep hearing the general area is great though -- fruit belt or something like that? -- and the course seems fairly mellow as long as crazy weather doesn't screw with the swim (again), so we should be in for fast & fun times. Plus, Monday we'll head over to Chicago to be tourists for a day and enjoy some post-race indulgences before heading back home. (Good pizza place recommendations anyone?)

Training had been going well. I'm more in maintenance mode and volume hasn't been insane. I've had some great days and some "eh" days. At times, I expect more out of my body at times than it's willing to give, so that's been a bit frustrating (everyone is nodding their heads in agreement, right?). When I get frustrated I then have to get real and remember that the past four weeks have included two taxing races, way more travel than I'm used to, work "chaos," etc. I don't feel that I'm wearing my body down too much, just trying to do enough without overdoing it. I have those chill days every now and then too... like this past Sunday I bagged a full bike ride to instead surf with my little family (they begged - how could I say no?). I can't even remember the last time I paddled out with my all three of them, mom, dad and sis! It was a perfect day of catching more waves than I can remember... not to mention those occasional ones where I'd catch the same wave as mom, dad and/or sis? Priceless.

I was actually impressed with my surfing skills after a bit of a hiatus from the board. Maybe it's all the swimming as of late! I'll tell ya, the one area of training where I've been hammering it and with which I'm happier than ever is my swimming. I've been putting in more days in the pool and working on my weaknesses. My biggest weaknesses is my kick. I lost my fins, so that's made a difference on those kick sets (I never used fins a lot before, but I did use them on kick sets). I can already see improvements in just using my own god-given flippers to kick away. Of course, I've been working on technique, speed and other areas and it's safe to say I've dropped a good amount of seconds off my 100 pace... or at least, I don't feel like death when trying to hit certain times.

I hear the swim at Steelhead goes with the current, whichever way that ends up being on race day. Maybe that will help my quest in shaving minutes off my half-iron swim time :)

In other news, I had one of my athletes snag a spot to Vegas at Philippines 70.3. Sounds like that race was brutal, especially on the run with the heat and humidity!

Speaking of Vegas, I just wrote a preview for LAVA Magazine on the top 24 athletes to watch at Vegas this year. I compiled a lot of freakin stats on people. I used quite a bit of that for the article, but I still have this enormous list of info on people... I might turn some of it into some blogs. It's interesting to track the season's of the pros and see what they've been doing. Gotta say journalism + triathlon is fun.

That's all for now... time for a quick taper swim/run. It's overcast for the first time in days here in SoCal, and for once I'm actually welcoming the lack of sun and cool air. It's been h-o-t and I'm sick of all the sun exposure I'm getting. #socalproblems

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