Monday, March 15, 2010


I was driving to the pool the other morning for a swim and run workout with lots of butterflies in my stomach. I felt restless, unfocused, scared and nervous. Why????? I got into the pool and began my warm up before having to do a 400 TT. Maybe seeing "time trial" in my training plan sparked these feelings. However, I needed to focus, have a good warm up and get ready for the effort. Plus, it was just a 400 yard hard swim in the pool---it was really no big deal. I kept warming up and figured this was a good time to practice focusing through these feelings because they were a lot like the anxiousness I get before a race.
Speaking of which, in less than two weeks (probably contributing to a bit of nervousness) I will be lining up to jump into Oceanside Harbor at 6:43am for a race. The first of the year. Always a bit daunting. I have been training hard but the first race of the year is always a bit of a crap shoot. Usually, by the end of the season I am in a good rhythm of training, racing and being able to get into the racing mindset. I am a little rusty now. However, I am excited and ready to see what I am starting with this year. It is a stacked field but honestly, I don't really care who is there. I just want to focus on executing my best race on March 27, 2010.
So, back to my workout the other day. I did a solid 400 free, nothing super, but definitely not horrible. I know I am in good condition but coming out of a cold climate with lots of indoor training is challenging. Luckily, I am out in Napa, CA until the race. My first ride on the road was a bit unsettling. The trainer is great and all but nothing can mimic the road. Cycling into the wind, balancing the bike, feeling the resistance on the road; these conditions can not be recreated inside. I am so happy to get some in some outdoor training in before jumping on my bike for a 56 mile ride during a race. I have been running in the sun, getting a teeny bit burned and focusing on good recovery between workouts. It has been wonderful. Yesterday I did a 7 mile climb that was beautiful. I went up Atlas Peak Road. I got to a sign that said "Narrow winding road for the next 5 miles" and I thought "I have ONLY gone 2 miles---yikes." However, I just kept turning the pedals and I made it to the end. Here is what I found at the end:
I stood there, took a picture and turned around. I don't know what I expected but it seemed a bit anti-climatic. The last couple miles of the climb were on a very narrow, windy road. And, I swear I saw a very large animal walking up on a hillside that was brown with a long narrow tail (can you say mountain lion???). I admit, it could have been a cow or dog but at that point my mind starting wondering what would happen if I got attacked, would anyone hear me scream or would I just get mauled and being laying there in the middle of the road with no cell phone service??? Luckily, I noticed a cluster of houses and some of them even had cows and dogs outside so I reasoned that if there were lots of mountain attacks going on there would not be animals outside unattended. Plus, on my descent, there were lots of bikers coming up so I figured if I did get attacked someone would have found me eventually. I finished the ride, did a short transition run and then got myself fed and met my former college roommate and her husband in downtown Napa for the Mustard Festival. It was just a bunch of food, wine, some beer, and mustard and pretzels. There was some pretty tasty stuff. I grazed on lots of yummy samples, enjoyed catching up with Jill and Jon and ended the day with my feet up and a full belly. Today was yoga and lots of rest. I am sure the remainder of the week will be challenging but the weather looks great and I am prepared to focus and get ready to race in 12 days. Here we go!!!

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