Knowing the race is less than one week away, I question, I am nervous, and I am excited. I question if I have trained enough (never seem to). or if I’m even ready (is anyone?). In looking at my Facebook memories from the last two years, I said and thought the same. This year feels different though. Last year, I was shocked when I crossed the finish-line in under 2 hours while shaving over 17 minutes from the previous year. Was that a fluke or can I pull this off again, finishing in under 2 hours. The answer? Depending on the weather (predicted 90 degrees), I do feel pretty sure that I can compete and finish in under two hours again. I’ve trained differently, focused on different aspects than in the previous two years.
This year, I focused more on the bike. I purchased a new road bike and spent the past couple of months learning it and training on it. I joined a spin class in the winter, continued riding starting in the spring with the LifeTime Cycle Group (I moved from C2 from last year to C this year), and I worked at adding some speed training on the bike. This past weekend was my last long training ride before the triathlon. Our group went for 28 miles in under 2 hours (with stops for roads and cars). I am feeling more comfortable on the bike (still feel like I look like a drunken cyclist when the wind hits me) and thanks to my fellow cyclists, I’ve learned more about shifting gears, when to shift, and how to shift to use my bike most efficiently. The group leader wrote on the groups Facebook wall, “Lisa you are doing so well and improving every time I ride with you. You are going to have a great race next week.” I have improved on the bike and for the most part can keep up fairly well with the C group now.
What I’ve learned is that one cannot improve on each part of the triathlon in one season. I would have gone a bit crazy trying to do that. If there is an area you want to work on, focus on that. Last year, an area for me was to improve in the transition area as well as in the run. Just by making some clothing changes and training differently for runs, I did cut time in both areas. This year it was the bike portion. There are always new tips and new gear to try. Try them, but not in the couple of weeks leading up to the triathlon. Use that time to train in what you will wear and use (including nutrition). We will see in a week if the bike training effort was worth it and am excited to cross that finish line.