Sunday, March 22, 2009

finally, a breakthrough

So I'm obviously more of a triathlete/cyclist than a runner. Running has always been really hard for me. Doctors and my PT have told me that I'm just not built for it (really short stocky legs) and I'll never be very good at it. I can accept that I'll never be like ... great at running but thought I could be at least "respectable"

I've always really struggled with longer distance running. Anything over like 5k and my speed totally drops off.

I ran Mercer Island this morning, a tough half marathon, and decided I was going to "jog" it since I raced my bike yesterday. My previous best was 1:47:33 or around an 8:13/mile pace so I just wanted to go a little faster than that. I started off at what felt like a comfortable pace. At mile 5, I asked a guy next to me what our time was, 36:40, way faster than I expected ... probably a little too fast but it didn't feel hard. I crossed the 10k line just under 46:00 which is actually a 10k PR for me. Around mile 10 I started to feel a cramp in my left hamstring but I ran through it even though it slowed me down a little bit. at 12 miles I gave it what little kick I had left in my legs. As I crested the last hill just before the finish I saw 1:39:xx on the clock and was like "holy crap!" and sprinted across for a chip time of 1:39:24 or a ~7:35/mile pace.

A funny aside, my old running coach was watching at the finish and was so shocked to see me she said "Jessica! What are you doing?!?" I was like "running faster than we thought I could I guess!"

In other news, I'm pretty sure I earned enough points to upgrade to Cat 3 in cycling! I want to wait until Lucy gets enough points to upgrade with me. It shouldn't take her too long though, if our calculations are correct, she's only 2 points away!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Okay, so I was never really OUT of the saddle but I have started racing again. I joined a cycling team (Cucina Fresca for anyone who cares) and have started racing road. Okay, so I haven't done a real road race yet but I have done a couple of time trials.

I did the Frostbite TT on Sunday, February 22 and the Icebreaker TT on Sunday, March 1. Both races went really well for my (sort of) roadie debut.


There's not much to say here. This was a 9 mile out-and-back on a totally flat course. The road was wet and dirty so by the end of the race I was also wet and dirty.

I started out hard and just kept repeating my mantra "leave it all out on the course, you don't have to run after this."

I finished in around 22:00 (~24.5 mph) which was good enough for 2nd place (behind the inhuman rhae shaw) in the Cat 4 women. My teammate's wife was kind enough to take some pictures.


I made a small mistake at this race. The day before the race, I went on my first ride on a tandem. My teammate Z and I rode 56-ish miles (him on the front and me on the back) the morning before and then I ran 4 or so miles on Saturday evening. I knew I was kind of blowing my race but it was TOTALLY WORTH IT!

Sunday morning I could still feel the burn in my legs, oh well.

Icebreaker was a 10 mile rolling out and back course that is slightly downhill on the way out and ... of course ... slightly uphill on the way back. I felt kind of like crap the whole time, like my legs weren't really there but I still pushed it as hard as I could. In hindsight, I probably was pushing a bigger gear than I should have as I kept it in the 53x12 for most of the race and my cadence was probably closer to 75-85 as opposed to 90+ which is where it should be.

Either way, I finished in 25:07 (damn, wanted to break 25:00) for an average speed of just under 24 mph. This was again good enough for 2nd (behind rhae again) in the Cat 4's.

This weekend I have two road races, both out on the peninsula. This will be the real test. I have been feeling strong but I'm not strong enough to TT off the front for a win (especially if rhae is in the pack). I'm going to just do my best and try not to live up to the triathlete reputation of not being able to ride in a straight line.