About Me

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Austin, Texas, United States
I'll make you laugh, or break my neck trying. This is usually accomplished with daily bouts of swimming, biking and running. A former "chub-a-holic," I got fit and healthy the good old fashioned way and went from a mid-pack athlete to top age group runner and triathlete. I'm a Writer and USAT Level 1 Certified Triathlon Coach. I guess that makes me part Tina Fey and part Jillian Michaels. Visit my coaching site at www.fomotraining.com

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

And Away We Go!

"Holy Crapola-It's Race Week!!"

Oops, what Mrs. Barrett meant to say was, "Yahoo, I get to race this weekend!"

I'm getting geared up and pumped up for Oceanside 70.3 this Saturday! I'm not sure if I'm more excited to be doing this race or excited to see the incredibly stacked professional field that will be buzzing by me at warped speed. Hell, part of me wants to just bag the race and watch the excitement that is sure to unfold when the pros start running each other down! How cool that I get to run the same course as these amazing athletes--Potts, Reed, Carfrae, both Lovatos, DeBoom, McGlone, Jones, Major, Taylor...and so many more! WOW!!! I'm sure they aren't thinking the same thing when they have to weave in and out of slow-ass age groupers,  but just know that we are in awe of thy greatness and physique!!

So, I'm finally detoxed from my self-imposed, South by Southwest gluttonous weekend. It was four full days of seeing dozens of bands from morning until night time, eating bad food and drinking the occasional (frequent) vodka/cranberry at 2 o'clock (in the afternoon). SXSW is the week where thousands of tourists decide to move to Austin and thousands of locals want to get the hell outta dodge! My cousin came from Ohio to check it out and the two of us had a dandy time. Needless to say, the dust has settled and the cobwebs have been blown away thanks to a couple of bikram classes and a few good quick workouts to make sure the engine is still running properly.

Dare I say it? I'm feeling GOOD. Damn good, in fact. Like, cross your fingers, kinda good. My hip is behaving better than usual and my body doesn't feel as beat up as it normally does. Duh...I'm not training for an Ironman. Perhaps that's why. In a way, I feel undertrained because I'm used to more mileage, more pain, and more suffering. Part of me is doubting myself because I really haven't trained enough. But, I have. I'm just not killing myself. 

With that being said, Oceanside 70.3 is going to be a wonderful and gorgeous challenge. First of all, Hubster and Bro-in-Law are also doing the race and start eight minutes behind me. I fire it up at 7:29am and they lift off at 7:37am. If I have any incentive at all, it is not to let either of those yahoos pass me at any time :-) Oceanside is known for a chilly start and windy conditions throughout the day. Temps are supposed to be mild, which may work in my favor. 

Swim in Oceanside Bay of the Pacific Ocean. Shouldn't be too choppy, but current water temps are in the 59-60 degree range. If I was a guy, I'd be shrinking just thinking about it. I'm hoping for a 34-36 minute swim, which would be my average time. As always, you just never know what may happen in the swim. Never is an open water swim exactly the length it's advertised to be. In fact, one of the speakers at the USAT Coaches Conference challenged us to never even look at our watch in the swim because 95% of people who come out of the water get depressed immediately when they see their watch. For many, it ruins the race. Interesting challenge. Let's see if I can do it! Yeah, right.


This course has the potential of handing me my ass. There are three major climbs from miles 29-45. All reach about a 9% grade. The first one is the longest and steepest. The second one looks the worst, but it more of a steady climb until the end. The final climb is just there to piss me off. The good news is that I'll have 29 miles to warm up and wake up my leg. I've practiced this section on the Computrainer several times and am convinced that I will make these hills my beeotch. Thankfully, the rest of the course isn't so daunting, except for the ocean breeze that's been known to gust from all directions (think Galveston). I'd love to come in around 3.00 hrs on this, which would be around 18.5 mph on the bike. Let's hope those lovely downhills make up for the climbs. And, may the wind be at my back...

Like Jesse James doesn't deserve Sandra Bullock, I don't deserve this beautiful machine. 

Oh, how I love thee...And, oh how you scare me these days. What is normally my "race maker" has turned into "The Big Unknown." My hip/leg has been feeling much better, but there is always a line and I may be crossing it. When it stops, it STOPS. It's not a pain that I can run through. If my leg stops working, I start walking. Ironically, I typically run my best off the bike, so this could be an advantage for me. I get 56 miles to warm that baby up (or tear it more). Plus, the course is pretty pancake flat, which is good since I haven't been working the hills. A dream scenario would be a 1:45 Half-Marathon or about an 8:00min pace. I've run that healthy. Let's see what I've got this weekend!

So, I'd love to land somewhere between 5:30-5:45. I think it's incredibly feasible, but the unknowns often beat the feasibilities into grotesque submission.

In addition to outcome-based goals, I've definitely outlined some overall race goals as well:

1.) Smile as much as possible, even if I want to cry.
2.) Thank the volunteers, race staff and Marines who will be working harder than me.
3.) Cheer on other athletes and EB teammates. Everyone needs encouragement.
4.) Stay calm on the swim. Try to draft. Usually, I end up in no man's land, but I'm going to attempt to hang with a pack.
5.) Don't give the hills on the bike too much effort. Save it for the flats and the run. 5 minutes saved on the bike could cost me 15 minutes on the run. I've learned that in a few races.
6.) Soak it in and always remember how lucky I am to be able to do this event! I'm racing in California on the Pacific Coast for heaven's sake!
7.) Hope that Matthew McConaghey decides to show up and go surfing that morning.
8.) For God's sake, don't let my husband pass me :-)  (Just kidding, babe. Kick some ass. I can always play the injury card).

Follow Along on Saturday!  
Bib # 2030
Hubster is #2247
Bro-in-Law is #2333

Also, subscribe to my Twitter feed at @dotthem for automatic updates thanks to Jane Bui!


Noell Blevins said...

you are so freakin funny!!!
First of all...girlfriend...YOUR STOVE!!!! I want that stove!!! Oh, and the bike rocks too!
2. If you see matthew, call me. Stop the race and call me. He is #1 on my freebie "list" wink wink
3. Enjoy yourself and take in the moment...and just ONE time think of me and how much I would love to be out there with you!!
4. Smile!
My old coach gave me some very sound advice a few years ago that really helped me on the run. This may not apply to you but I like to impart this wisdom. Think of your body as a building. Turn off the lights to rooms your not using to conserve energy. Relax your jaw, shoulders, hands while running...etc... you know...stuff like that. Not that you NEED the advice but it was very helpful to me!!!
Good luck and I will keep my eyes on you Sunday!

PS- if you see Reed pinch his cute little bootie for me!

PSS- Jesse James sucks!

Fe-lady said...

Have fun...it's a challenging course, but the run will be back to it's old course and I would have preferred it to the streets they routed us on while the boardwalk was being re-done a couple of years ago.
The really cool thing about this race are the CAF athletes...they take off in wave one. See if you can get there to watch these guys and gals take off in the water. Inspiring for sure!

Ana said...

Have a great day! You don't know me, but I read your blog. I'll be there volunteering in transition. I'm bodymarking, so if I do #2030 I'll introduce myself. It's supposed to be a gorgeous day, but cold in the morning. Bring thick fleecy things for the pre-start time.

Coach Liz said...

Trust me, 59 degree water is F-ing cold but once you get going it will be ok. I am not sure if they give you much time to get in and warm up but make sure to dunk your face plenty to get used to the feeling of having your breath taken away. I want pictures of you in that cute neoprene cap with the chin strap.

Be careful on the downhills on the bike course. I have heard of some wicked crashes from my Coach and friends who have done this race.

Have a great time!!!

Rural Girl said...

I like your advice on not looking at your watch after the swim. Doubt I'd ever be able to do it though!

amybee said...

GOOD Luck Carrie! Hope you have a great race.

My coach is racining Oceanside too.... (Dan Cohen).

I'll be watching for results.