Thursday, June 09, 2005

Tapering Stress

New blogging style--apologies for the one-word blog.

Taper week is supposed to be the week of relaxation. Not having tapered much to speak of for the last race (I treated it just like a regular workout week, though I counted my "speedwork" workouts on all 3 disciplines as my race day workout). This time around I'm actually tapering: going easier, working out less time. Rather than feeling relaxed and good, I'm practically climbing the walls. Lots of pent-up energy, but when I go to put in my short, relaxed workouts, I feel sluggish and slow. Great way to build the confidence, eh? Maybe it's just my race-week jitters. The week before the last race when I was working hard up to the last minute, I was stressed then thinking I'd have nothing left for the race itself. Now I fear I won't be appropriately geared up for it!

For the record, and so I know next time to either repeat or avoid at all costs this particular system, I've done the following this week:

TUESDAY: Bike/Run Brick: started out easy but couldn't help myself and banged out 8.89 miles on the bike and 3.2 miles on foot, all in 55:36, just about race pace from last time, if you add the little extra time for transitions and water drinking, stowing of gear, and the 1/2 extra mile on the bike + .2 extra miles on foot. Encouraging that I was able to keep with the same pace sans the pressure and adrenaline of racing.

WEDNESDAY: Skipped the LA TriClub workout and hit the pool--did technique drills for 50 meter repeats, then regular stroke to ingrain the movements. Did 550 yards easy at one point, stretching out the stroke. A guy in the building, Wayne (did I blog this already?) is a Master's swimmer world-record holder!, and offered to help with my stroke. I'm still very befuddled about how to do it right--I know I've got way too much tension right now, but I'm trying like hell to stretch it out!...anyway, that workout was my first struggle workout. The Tuesday push took a lot out of me, it turns out.

THURSDAY (today): easy 2-3 mile run, almost walking dead pace. Oddly, going easy was HARDER because I don't want to exhert ANY effort and then anything feels too hard. So then I start to think, geez, am I not even fit enough to do 2 miles? When really it's boredom.

Plan for Friday and Saturday: Friday, drive to Redondo by 6 AM (AAAAoooorrrrgh), do an open water workshop with Robert Keating at the race site (maybe this will be a tradition! The Friday open-water scouting mission!), then Saturday, an easy handful of miles on the bike. Nothing pushed, just easy 6-8 miles.

Then lots of rest on Saturday, and up early on Sunday again for the race. Wow.

I'm feeling nervous about this one: when I was waiting in line to register in San Dimas, I remember hearing a guy say, "this is my second tri and NOW I'm nervous because there's expectation." I know what he means...especially after a good performance last time, now I've got to prove it wasn't a fluke, or luck, or an easy racing pool. There are certainly some tough competitors out there--Eric Skelly and Todd, both all-around fast guys who smoked me numerous times in races at trilab. Peter won't be competing, though he's tough as nails too, a fast runner and sprinter on the bike, and a focused competitor. And who knows if there will be ringers coming out of the woodwork, like those insanely fit guys who competed in San Dimas, like Jorge who won my age category. All told, it's impossible to know how I'll stack up. I know my approximate times--probably in the vicinity of 14-18 minutes or so for the swim, about 21-23 minutes for the bike, and about 13-15 minutes for the run. So my finishing time should be anywhere from 48 to 56 minutes. A pretty big spread there, but I don't know the course, and of course, I don't know what the water will be like and if I'll stay on course.

All told though, I feel okay...ready. Next week I'm going to do something completely different--no biking, maybe some swimming, for sure some easy long running, and some WEIGHT TRAINING...I've got a session set up with a former Olympic trainer in Santa Fe and I'm going to go and get some tips. Haven't touched the weights in going on 6 months. So I'm out for the week. Then I'll be back in the saddle--maybe starting easier and including some weights again, shooting for perhaps the Lake Arrowhead tri in August and eventually the Long course race, either the LA tri or the Pacific Grove Tri on the weekend of Sept 10th and 11th. Those are the biggies. July is going to be a weird training month with family reunions and weddings and the like. But I'm going to power through and shoot for those Olympic distance races and possibly Arrowhead, which sounds lovely.

That's it.

1 comment:

Neutron said...

Phew! I am exhausted just reading this!

Good luck...