Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I Had a Dream

Last week, I had a dream. A dream that unsettled me significantly.

My sister beat me in the Danskin.

Granted, this was the sister in the Navy, and not the sister that still lives at home. So, as part of the Navy she does PT several times a week. But this is her first triathlon, and I as the "seasoned" triathlete (I've done 5....hardly seasoned) should be able to finish before her. She has good endurance, but she's not all that fast.

So, I've kicked my training into high gear. Saturday I rode in the Armadillo Hill Country classic. I could say I rode the 105-mile course, but that would be a big lie. I did do the 28-mile course, and I was happy with how good I felt at the end of it. Memorial Day I'll be doing the Capital of Texas Triathlon (which is twice as long as the Danskin), and that will be a good measure of where I'm at two weeks before the actual event. I plan to finish that event in less than 4 hours. That would be a significant improvement over the last Olympic distance triathlon I did.

I've only ever done two lengths of these races -- Sprint and Olympic. There are also Ironmans and Half-Ironmans, but I'm not that crazy (yet). Sprint distance is broken down as an 800 meter swim, a 20K bike, and a 5K run. The Olympic distance is twice that. The one Olympic distance triathlon I did was several years ago now. It was in March in a nice deep (read, cold) lake. I was advised that I didn't need a wetsuit, but the water on race day was 62 degrees (70 degree water is the rule cutoff for not being allowed to wear a wetsuit). And if you're me, 62 degree water is cold. For those of you familiar with Barton Springs here in Austin, that holds steady at 68 degrees. Anyway, the swim was really tough, and took me nearly an hour because I couldn't get warmed up. As a result of spending almost twice as long on the swim, I had no energy for the rest of the race. I finished second-to-last at an abysmal 4:45. But I did finish. There were lots of DNFs in that race. People who got 50 meters into the swim and quit. I didn't do it pretty, but there it is.

I don't expect the water temperature to be a problem in this year's race. So, I hope I can make back a lot of the time I lost in the last one. And minimize the effect of that one longer race on my psyche.

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