There isn’t much to “report” about this race, but it was another successful race on the books. I wanted to win my age group in this race so I could qualify for age group nationals for next summer in Milwaukee, and I did. I wouldn’t say that my race strategy was great, since racing like the hounds of hell are chasing you isn’t going to turn out your best race performance generally, but whatever. It’s a sprint, right? So I sprinted…
Good *new* things that happened in this race/training for the race:
- I swam an open water leg of a triathlon without a wetsuit (I did the 5k swim last weekend without one too, but so did everyone else). I can’t tell if the wetsuit makes me faster or not. The swim was fairly terrible since I couldn’t see any of the buoys as we headed straight out into the sunrise. I am certain my zigzagging all over the lake was not helping my swim split time. However, I did remember my ear plugs, so I wasn’t dizzy this time. What do you all think about wetsuits? Do they make you fast enough in the water to offset the time it takes to get it off?
- I did the bike and run without socks. I don’t like a lot of crap to put on or take off, so I have been experimenting with no socks. This was my first sockless race, and I think it’s a good strategy going forward. How many people go sockless? Yea or nay?
- My run split was my fastest 5K EVER. YAY! For me, I will add again that I have been trying my best to incorporate the advice from the guys at Running Lab, which was to shorten my stride and increase my cadence. I am certainly not at the suggested 180 steps per minute, but I imagine I started at somewhere like 80 and have increased it to well over 100 (maybe 120?) in the past few weeks. Previously (with video evidence to prove it!) I was reaching with my foot and heel striking , and the advice I received in order to achieve more of a midfoot strike was to run as though I am running in place (you might have to actually run in place to get the feeling for this-I did!). Thus, my body position is more upright and my feet are (sort of – at least in my mind) landing underneath me. I should probably video my running again just to see.
- As a result of these changes, and with my move to sea level vs. 6600 feet, I dropped my mile splits from 9:00/mi to 8:22/mi last weekend. My mantra during the run leg was “Foot speed, foot speed” over and over– I was kind of shot after the bike, so it was tricky to keep the legs cranking on the run (I now know how much time I will need to spend on my bike trainer this winter…a ton!)
- Right hip and lower back pain continues to plague me and be a mystery. I KNOW I need to strengthen my hip and I need to be doing those kinds of exercises every day…competing with yoga, stretching, core work, rolling, etc (like I have this kind of time?), and once I get on a schedule when the kids go back to school and the House Purchase from Hell saga ends, I will. I plan to experiment with both technique and training ideas after my last tri of the season (in a couple of weeks) and will be your guinea pig if any of you are looking to improve your run or decrease your injuries/pain in these same areas. Running is definitely my weak link- I want to be sub-8:00/miles by next summer. In a 10k. Yup, dream big!
Anyhoo, this race result kind of set up my dream plans for next summer. Of course, I had dream plans for this summer which didn’t really pan out due to life’s natural interruptions, but being able to compete at nationals in Milwaukee next summer will be very cool. Plus, the AG win puts me one step closer to a commitment to the DREAM BIKE from Mr. Prepared…I even got to drool over a few in Ann Arbor last weekend. I’m a lucky girl.