The Ashland Lions Olympic triathlon is a long-running (this was the 26th year), local race held in and around Ashland and Hopkinton, MA. Part of the bike covers the marathon start. It’s run by FIRM racing, a smaller outfit that does a variety of endurance events in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. They run the popular Appleman tri in July.
I hadn’t actually heard of this race until I literally ran into during a training ride in the area a few years ago. There aren’t many Olympic distance events in general (compared to sprints and 70.3s) and to find one almost literally in my back yard seemed like an invitation.
It took a few years longer than I thought, but I finally toed the starting line this past weekend.
So how did it go? Let’s find out.
The anticipation had been building for a couple weeks. We showed them YouTube videos, read them the synopsis (we’ve found this really helps cut down on “whispered” questions during performances), had long dinner conversations about Oz, showed them more YouTube videos (we were a little worried about some parts for Ally so we used exposure therapy – it worked) and of course had the official cast recording playing 24/7. At least with these songs, I can easily sidestep the urge to explain how bad a president Hoover was to them.
Seeing a four year old break down Popular with dance moves is actually kind of impressive. Even if she is missing the point of the lyrics.
Saturday, the day had finally arrived and it all culminated in Ally appearing in our room at 5 a.m., all ready to go.
We (Michelle) have created musical fanatics. Yes, we are recording the Tony’s tonight for them. Yes, I will be watching the US/Mexico game in the basement.
Here’s how the rest of an “awesome” (Cece quote) Saturday went…..
After a long training block, the Ashland Olympic triathlon is on Sunday. Taper week is almost done. I’m feeling okay. No big injuries. Wet suit still makes me look ridiculous. Weather is looking clear, but pretty hot. Could have done without 90+ degrees, but I’d still prefer that to wind and rain.
The only thing left to do is stay hydrated, get some sleep and make sure my race bag is packed. That is no small issue, either. Three sports means three times the fun, but also three times the opportunity to forget something critical and have to walk around on race morning looking to beg, borrow or steal goggles.
It’s race week and if you’re an athlete, you know what that means. Call it what you want: tapering, peaking. Most everyone agrees it works, is necessary and can improve your race day performance, but how exactly do you do it? Every coach and every athlete seems to have their own opinion.
And maybe it is personal. What works for one, might not work for another.
Unlike a lot of training, it is more art than science. This can freak people out that are used to following a plan and a routine.
Here are the how’s and why’s for the strategies I follow during race week.
It’s Tuesday. That’s the day I re-fill my pill box for the week. Sometimes, given all the bottles I need to juggle to the counter, this makes me laugh. Sometimes, it’s the opposite.
The silver lining to spending a week in the hospital and donating countless vials of blood for testing is that you get a very accurate picture of what your body does and does not need.
Last week, with the bike in the shop, was a big run week. So big, I ran myself into the ground a bit. I was still recovering from that mishap for part of this week and didn’t totally feel back to normal until Friday. That didn’t totally stop the training but it did add three rest days as I tried to get my body to reset back to normal.
I wasn’t far off or risking my health, just felt more fatigue than usual. While my only bit of running was a brick off a bike ride and I did no swimming, I did get in 4 bike rides and two of those were on this weekend’s course, so it felt like a productive week. At this point I’d rather rest more and go in slightly undertrained than go into the race feeling slight overtrained.
Less than one week now until the Ashland Olympic triathlon….some notes on the rest of the week.
The calendar yesterday was a big, yawning white space. We only had one event, a drop-off birthday party late in the day for Cecilia. The rest of the day was free and clear. No events, no traveling, no agendas. Even the household chore list was sparse. These are the day I’ve come to appreciate more in the last few years. Days filled with space. Ordinary days with the time to do ordinary things.