Monday, September 14, 2015

JJF Lake Davidson Triathlon

Davidson, NC

The Highlights
Swim: 8:38  (5th)
Bike: 38:21 (3rd)
Run: 20:45 (2nd)
Total Time: 1:10:54
Overall Placement: 2nd (249 total women)

The 2015 racing season hasn't quite gone according to plan, having missed a couple key races in preparation for Ironman Louisville due to my hip injury.  So in an effort to enjoy a little competition and partake in a great race series, I decided to register for the Lake Davidson sprint.  My workout the day before was a 4 hour bike and 4 mile run, which you might consider to be a bit long for a pre-race workout, but obviously the priority is Louisville in 4 weeks.  My legs were definitely feeling the fatigue, but some time in my Normatec boots certainly helped.  Race morning brought our first cool temperatures of fall and I was shivering before my warmup despite pants and a pullover.  

Race morning brought the surprising news that the much cooler air temperatures had cooled the water temperature to 78 degrees.  Not that I would wear a wetsuit for such a short swim, but I never even considered that it could be that cool.  There were only eight of us in the elite wave for the in-water start, but despite that, it proved to be a very physical start.  Not even two strokes in, I took and elbow to the face that gave me a bloody lip and a goggle full of water.  After the first turn buoy I found clean water (thanks to the fact that most everyone else is a faster swimmer!) and had an uneventful remainder of the swim.

After a fairly lengthy run into transition, I was out onto the bike.  It was a windy morning, but I never gave that much consideration until a gust of wind nearly caused me to crash on an early downhill.  After that I was a bit nervous and rode more conservatively the remainder of the course.  Looking at my data between this race and the sprint last month, my normalized power was 10W less and heart rate 15 beats lower, so I definitely could have pushed harder.  Leg fatigue played into that, especially on the hills, but more conservative riding definitely hurt the most.

I still haven't gotten to the point that I'm confident with my hip when it comes time to run.  My IT band was sore from the start, but fortunately seemed to settle down by the one mile mark.  Cooler temperatures and a flat to rolling terrain made for a rather quick run, with mile splits of 6:42, 6:46, and 6:59.

After finishing and watching friends finish, priority number one was warm dry clothes.  Then, we all hung around chatting about our upcoming 140.6 mile swim, bike, and run, and eventually gathered our awards for overall placements.  It's was a great day for all of my speedy triathlete friends!

Big thanks to the Jimmie Johnson Wellness Foundation for putting one two excellent races that are well run and organized, staffed with tons of volunteers, and offer great prizes.  And because I can't live in Charlotte and not be educated in the culture of NASCAR, congrats to Jimmie for a top-10 finish in Richmond on Saturday night followed by an age-group triathlon win on a few hours sleep!

Last, but not least, there are just 2 weeks left in my fundraising challenge for the Ironman Foundation!  Every dollar counts, and I'd love if you'd consider making a small donation.  It's 100% tax-deductible and goes directly into the Louisville community to support non-profit initiatives.  I'm just a few hundred dollar short of $3000, but there are some pretty incredible benefits if I can reach $5000.  Here's the link to make a much appreciated donation:

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Labor Day Weekend

A few months ago I would have told you that Labor Day weekend wasn't going to be any fun this year because I would be working.  Fortunately, work was very light and I enjoyed some fun in Charlotte with my parents.  The weekend began with a 5 hour bike on a 90 degree afternoon by myself- talk about a lesson in mental toughness.  After a much appreciated shower, we started the evening at Foxcroft Wine Co. for wine and munchies.  A glass of Riesling and truffle fries were the perfect recovery snack!

We dined al fresco at Napa on  Providence for dinner.  Their kale salad is one of my favorites, and the fillet of salmon I added paired perfectly with peaches, goat cheese, and pancetta croutons.

Since Whole Foods was a having a sale on fruit tarts, I picked one up for us to enjoy.  We had a slice each night and loved the fresh berries paired with the cream and tart shell.

Saturday I had anticipated spending the majority of the day operating, but was pleasantly surprised not to be needed.  Instead, I was able to partake in the family trip to Davidson.  Mom and I loved introducing Dad and Bailey to the Davidson Farmer's Market, Millstone Bakehouse and Provisions, lakefront homes, and Jetton Park.

Bailey was on her best behavior wandering through the farmer's market and basked in the glory of being told dozens of times that she was beautiful and a perfect dog.  Sure, stroke her ego and give her even more reason to believe she is the center of the universe!  She played cool by wearing her Nike sunglasses at the park.

Since we had a mid-morning breakfast of biscuits/scones and lattes, our late lunch was a bit more veggie-filled.  I love Luna's Living Kitchen for their creative approaches to raw and vegan cuisine.  Keeping with the theme of outdoor dining, we enjoyed our meal under an umbrella in Atherton Mill.  I had the veggie burger wrapped in a collard leaf with a side of waldorf salad.

Later that evening we opted for a quiet night on the patio.  Bailey spent time lounging in her personal bean bag recovering from her very busy day, and the humans sipped kombucha and wine.

We had an assortment of munchies as a late dinner, including veggies, cheddar cheese, bread from the farmer's market, pesto and hummus, popcorn, figs, and cotton candy grapes.  It was a perfectly lazy evening . . . until we saw a cockroach!

Sunday  morning I was yet again pleasantly surprised not to be needed at work and instead hit the roads for a long run.  On the schedule was a 2 hour run - by far my longest run since coming back from my stress fracture.  I ran the first half with Bailey and then looped back around to run with Dad for the second half.  The pace was conservative, cardio-wise I felt great, but by the final couple of miles I was definitely sore.  With just 4 weeks left until Ironman Louisville, it looks like two hours may just be the max I run prior to race day.

Meanwhile, back at home, Mom prepared a delicious breakfast of BLTs.  None of us eat meat very often, but the combination of applewood smoked bacon, heirloom tomatoes, baby lettuce, pesto, mayo, and Great Harvest bread was nothing short of incredible!

The remainder of Sunday included a chai latte from Central Coffee, shopping, housework (thanks, Dad!), wine and lunch at Vintner Wine Market, a matinee of A Walk in the Woods (fantastically funny!), and dinner at Cowfish.

Monday morning I said good-bye to Dad, Mom, and Bailey, and then proceeded to enjoy a rather Labor-less Labor Day (minus a two hour bike).  I'll certainly miss these wonderful Charlotte weekends, but look forward to discovering new favorites in Atlanta next year!