Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bear Lake Brawl

I participated in the Bear Lake Brawl triathlon this past weekend, located (as the name suggests) at Bear Lake on the Utah/Idaho border. It is gorgeous up there! With the sun shining the water is a deep stunning blue, and the nice soft sand almost makes you think you might be at a real beach. We stayed at a really great campground (complete with a doggie agility course!) and partook of the famous raspberry shakes that the area is known for. It was a good weekend.

My purpose for doing the race was to test my fitness coming back from injury and to blow out the cobwebs in preparation for the Austin 70.3 event in October. I was especially looking forward to running as I've been working very hard on improving my form and I wanted to see how it would come together at the end of a race. It was solid across the board---good swim, good bike, and a run split that tells me I'm doing the right things to make it better. I felt great the whole time which was a nice surprise considering that I really don't have that much training under my belt yet. Very encouraging!

Unfortunately in the days after the race there was a bit of controversy surrounding my time, particularly the swim split. Apparently some other participants found my time to be unbelievably fast and questioned whether I had done both laps of the swim leg. Of course I did do both laps, and if anyone had bothered to do a little research they would have easily found plenty of evidence indicating that a 21 minute swim is perfectly reasonable for me, if not even a little slow. It's all been resolved now and I was officially named the winner, but it still stings a little to have been accused of cheating. I did the race to celebrate coming back from injury and to test my fitness, not to become embroiled in a petty controversy. I feel sorry for the people who let their day be soured by my performance, and I hope that everyone can look back and laugh about the whole situation down the road.

Now it's back to a big block of training to become even more "unbelievably fast" for the rest of the season!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's September Already?!

Wow, time has really flown the past couple of months! That's a good thing when you're recovering from an injury. I'm back to doing swim-bike-run again, and even swam my first strokes of 2-arm butterfly the other day! My collarbone is recovering nicely and I'm getting my strength back. I've had to change plans a bit Ironman this year, there's just not enough time to fit in the training. So I've readjusted my focus to training for a winter marathon instead. This will help build a good running base to jump-start my season next year. I've made some important changes in my approach to running and feel like I'm already reaping the fact, I ran a near-PR half marathon the other weekend AND negative split it in the process! I'm pretty sure that's a first for me.

Swimming and biking are coming along nicely too. My first triathlon back since the injury will actually be this weekend at the Bear Lake Brawl in Garden City, UT. It will be my first time racing this event which is always fun...not to mention that the location is simply gorgeous! We're planning to make a weekend of it by heading to the Uintas post-race for some quality camping.

We had a visitor last weekend when my sister swung by on her way to Indiana. She was just here for one day but we packed it full with outdoor activities---hiking, running, and open water swimming. She'll be back through in a couple of weeks for a little longer visit this time. We were hoping to put together a triathlon relay but the race we were eying sold out---bummer! But I'm sure we can come up with something else fun to do.

I've been running in the early mornings three days a week with some of Albert's friends at Liberty Park...we're calling ourselves the Morning Marauders and have expanded from 2 to 6 people! The guys are really fun and it ends up being a nice soft recovery run for me. I think I've talked one of them into doing a half marathon this winter!