Its race week for me, and in just a couple days we'll be packing up and heading south to Memphis for my first real race this year. Typically I have done some other type of race event prior to lining up in Memphis just to get the kinks out. This spring has been super busy with kids in soccer and gymnastics that it became a challenge to find an event that worked in my life. I managed a local 5k, and a bike crit. The 5k was marked short and I ran a good race for what they had marked,.... but the bike crit was a blast. It was an all out ride for 40 min riding in a circle. I felt strong and kept up with some really fast girls, felt good cornering in a pack going crazy fast, but a sprint to the finish is key in a crit something I'm not used to doing in triathlon. They don't give you a time in crits, and a 5k that was off leaves you wondering a little where your fitness is!
On the far right getting out sprinted
I've had some great workouts and some total flops this spring, but that's normal. The total flops with trashed legs means at least I know I did some hard work somewhere....but why is it that the blow ups tend to stick in your mind more than the ones your rocked. I'm guilty of this and certainly I have many conversations with my athletes convincing them they haven't gone backwards in their training. A break through workout doesn't get erased the next week if you blow up. Admittedly I have to remind myself of this at times and my coach Thomo is great at this. Just because I might have fallen flat on my face in a workout dead tired doesn't mean the faster intervals a week ago have faded away.
I've done Memphis a million and 1 times and other than Wildflower it is just about my favorite race. Not sure why.... the lake is nothing spectacular and actually a little gross, the bike is flat and I love hills, and the run is usually hot and tough for those of us from the northern tundra to experience 85+ deg. in May. But for some reason I love it. Maybe its the road trip south to really warm weather when its still chilly here, or maybe its seeing Elvis in transition, or maybe its that the course is typically always the same and it is very familiar.
So this week I am resting up a little, dusting off the race wheels, taking the race number off the aero helmet that is still on from the last race which was.(...what was it? oh Chicago Tri!)... lacing up the EZ laces on my racing flats, digging out a race suit, and road tripping south to Memphis. And, yes I am psyched up to race finally!
So the question is are you ever really Race Ready. You can nail workouts, or pre-race events and test sets. You analyze graphs and charts and graphs to see your fitness progress power and pace averages go up etc, but does that ever tell you if your truly ready to race. Do those things tell you your head is in the right place and that you are focused, and that you've hydrated and eaten the right stuff to recover and allow for the training to adapt...and that you've tapered properly. Not always. You have to trust your fitness, your training, your experience...believe that you are ready and ....get after it.
1 of my clients did just that this week. Some ups and downs in training, and a big goal to qualify for Boston for the first time after several tries....and he did it with 5 min to spare!!! He was race ready!