Monday, June 30, 2014


Wow this past weekend was full of racing! Busy for me both personally and professionally but of course was all a ton of fun and TeamBSC had some great results. Here's a bit of the breakdown (and some insight into how weekends go for Triathlon Coaches)...

Saturday a bunch of us locally did the 2nd of 5 ocean swim races up on the North Shore. This one was at Waimea Bay. It wasn't quite as pretty of a morning as we had a few weeks ago... It rained all night which left the water a bit murkier than normal but it was all good.
I've encouraged a lot of my local athletes to do these swim races because they are great opportunities to practice getting comfortable swimming hard in open water. We are so lucky to have these opportunities to race! Here's a cool video I found online recapping the race in less than 3'. Funny I was watching this morning and right around the 60" point of the video I saw a gal in a bikini and thought to myself Hey I was swimming with that gal! Then sure enough there I was right behind her in the video (in the blue suit). I also recognized the stroke of my training partner Mark (~35" into the video) he's wearing the white cap. His stroke is easy to spot b/c of his high turnover rate and how much his elbows bend as he pulls...

Not much to say about this race... I felt like I was swimming pretty well but they started the women 5' behind the men so we spent pretty much the whole swim navigating around them trying to not get kicked in the face as they would stop to do breaststroke. I let the frustration of that get to me more than I should have and by the end of this swim was in a mindset of whatever this moderate effort is good enough. I've pretty much conceded to getting 2nd in my age group at these swims b/c Miki is just a ton faster than I am and I never get to the beach before her. That's kind of a defeatist attitude I suppose but I also see it as realism... Though maybe it's so realistic because it's what I believe to be true before the race even starts? Something to work on I suppose! In good news though our little Kaneohe morning swim crew all ended up with wooden bowls for top 3 on our age groups! Mark is not a triathlete therefore he does not know how to properly hold a bowl above his head.
Anyway, ~10 TeamBSC folks were out there racing and everyone swam better/faster than they did last year so that was cool. Afterward we hung out at the beach for a bit with the BBQ and that's when the text came in from my Ultra-Runner athlete, Sam... results from his brutal 50 miler in South Dakota... 4thOA in what he described as the hardest run of his life. He's fairly new to distance running in general but already this year has run 2x50 milers and 1x100 miler... and it's not like these events take place on normal terrain. He's truly BatShitCrazy but he enjoys that stuff and it's been cool to have an opportunity to help guide him along his journey!
The Ironman racing for the weekend was kicked off on Saturday night... 12 hour time change between Hawaii and Austria meant I got to see Heidi's swim split before heading to bed.
In all honesty I was a bit worried for Heidi because she'd had such a stressful last few weeks going into this Ironman... she retired after 21 years in the Marine Corp which one would think might lighten up her load but the retirement process in the military is kind of a big deal and it happened just 2 weeks before the race so the stress of that was tough on her... Then of course international travel + that law about how if anything can go wrong it will was in full effect for her during race week... So I was nervous b/c I knew her training had been good (she is a very hard worker!!) and I really wanted her to reap the benefit of that at this race. Heidi is not new to the Ironman game- she's been doing this sport about as long as I have and she's got about the same number of Ironman finishes to her name... so seeing this picture that her husband posted on Facebook pretty much brought me to tears. This is Heidi's reaction when she finally realized- that at age 44- she had just set a new Ironman PR. Honestly, this is why I coach.
While Heidi was finishing that race on the other side of the world, I was out on the other side of our island with 4 of my local athletes doing a little sprint triathlon. I think I mentioned in an earlier blog that since I have no big fish to fry for the rest of this year, I'm going to fry a whole bunch of little fish... Marilyn is also encouraging me to learn how to suffer while racing and short little races like this are good opportunities for that type of practice.
So my goal for this race was simply to GUN IT the whole time, and when it started to feel hard I wanted to not back away from it. Goal accomplished! The competition was not too deep at this little race, but I have a little rant about how triathletes need to learn how to swim dammit (the juxtaposition of this race vs the swim race the day before was not lost on me... where on Saturday 23 girls beat me out of the water but at this race only 3 men did) Really though, the first buoy was ~200M off shore... we started 3' behind the men and I'd caught a few before we got to it. Then at the first buoy there were several hanging onto it and resting. Sorry to whoever the guy was but I totally grabbed his back and used him to yank myself around the buoy... but really, if you can't swim 500M without stopping and resting that just means that you have not trained swimming at all... The problem is so easily fixable with just a bit of work. Anyway.

My plan was to ride fast/hard and I did that. My plan was to run as fast/hard as I could and I did that too. It was very uncomfortable and I had to do a bunch of negotiating with my brain about not backing off the effort. It helped seeing that Sergio was leading the men's race (he is unbeaten in sprint distance triathlon on Oahu this year- 3 for 3 OA wins for him!) and since I was leading the women's race I just thought it would be pretty cool to have a TeamBSC sweep of the OA. So while the women behind me were closing the gap on me during that run, the lead I'd built off he bike was substantial enough for me to drag myself across the finish line first and that made the suffering pretty worthwhile.
My other 3 athletes there also came away with age group awards (Vicki 1st 40-44, Beate 1st 55-59, Steve 3rd 55-59). They are all new to me/TeamBSC and I have to say, I'm enjoying teaching in sort of a back to the basics type of way that these athletes need.

Before and after that race I was texting back and forth with significant others of my athletes who were in Idaho racing Ironman Coeur d' Alene. They were facing some pretty challenging swim/bike conditions there with the wind... So once I got home I spent the rest of the afternoon on the Ironman Live Leaderboard tracking splits and placings... Several of them were racing pretty close to each other all day long so that would have definitely been more fun to watch in person! Lots of individual successes there along the way yesterday- No finish time PRs for them but that's standard if you've raced a very 'fast' course in the past then go race a course like CdA with conditions like they had... That said, congrats to all on their strong finishes (once again we've kept our 100% finisher rate streak alive!) and especially to Krista for her rock solid IM Marathon PR (3:52!). I'm sure she'll write a great blog at some point detailing her day. Krista also coached her first Ironman athlete through this one (and she did get a 20' PR GO SIPPY!) and at the end of the day everyone was happy. :)
So how was that for a weekend of racing?!? Phew. #teambsc

1 comment:

Run Gunn Run said...

Congrats Michelle! What a weekend for #teamBSC So exciting for everyone!!!