Monday, August 19, 2013

It's Race Week Again...with a vacation

It’s race week again.  The most glorious time of the year.  For some reason, it doesn’t feel like its race week.  There is a more calm subdued feeling within me than normal.  Typically during a race week, its like I’ve had 16 shots of espresso running through me and I can’t sit still and all I do is think about the race.  Not right now.  It’s not that I’m not excited about the race, because I am.  I think it’s just more that it’s coming after a week of vacation that I’m currently in right now, and it also means that it’s the end of my serious race season.  Yes, there will be other races from now until the end of the year, but this is the "A" race of the year so everything else will be for fun.

Because this is a destination race, me, the wife and Riley had to pack up the car over the weekend and head on up to Maine.  Well, it was more like me packing up the car while the wife told me how she would have done it and how I don’t know what I’m doing.  Either way, everything got in the car and we took the 5 hours drive Sunday morning and finally arrived at our rental town house mid afternoon Sunday.  I had planned to take a picture of how packed the car was, but totally forgot.  But packing up for a race is hard enough.  Now add all the stuff a 7 month old needs, and its lucky we ate before the drive since we couldn’t even fit a bag of bagels in the car.  A few hours later, my parents and sister showed up and let the games begin.

Part of getting up here so early is really good because I have the ability to preview as much as the course as possible.  I am literally staying on the race course, so having direct access to it is great.  I went out this morning and ran 7 miles of the run course, and more importantly the hardest 7 miles of it.  The middle 3 miles (its an out and back run, so just double that 3 miles) is really flat so I wasn’t concerned about it so much.  But I got to run the first and last 3.5 miles of the run and ran it a little faster than race pace but very controlled.  I got a chance to see whatever hills there are on the course and how long/hard they are.  Knowing this is such a huge advantage for me.  Driving the bike course is a little more difficult because of how long the distance is and how they are pretty local roads and no highways.  It’s not like I want to be driving 56 miles through local roads.  Do you know how long that is?   As the wife would say…FOREVA.

The bad part of getting up here so early is it affects full training.  Granted it is a “taper” week so its not so bad, but I can’t really bike all out since I don’t know the course and the roads aren’t closed for the race.  I’d have to be a little more cautious than I would if I was home.  I’m just concerned that my bike fitness will suffer a little bit by not having that one more day of pushing my legs.  I thought of taking a spin class with the wife but I don’t think I want to do that during race week.  I’ll just go out, jump on the bike and hit it.

Same thing with the swim.  The beach is great here and nice to sit out, but its crowded for me to swim and I don’t know how comfortable I am swimming so far out into the ocean.  Not to mention the fact that there were 2 reported Great White Sharks in the Maine are last week, so needless to same, I’m just a taaaaaaad freaked out right now.

But, this week is all about spending time with the family and Riley at the beach.  Thursday happens to be my birthday so it’ll be nice to celebrate up here.  Though I am trying not to drink and eat like crap all week so celebrating will have to wait until Sunday night. I’m sure as the week goes on, I’ll start to get the buzziness that I always get, but for now, it’s time to sit back and get a tan.

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