On Monday I wrote about my clumsy trail running fall…. I am VERY happy to report that my knee is much better and I plan to race on Saturday! Thank you to all of you for your positive thoughts! The swelling has gone way down (thank you ice and acupuncture), the ‘stiff’ feeling is still there, but it’s minimal.. best of all, I’m not in any pain!
Just to be 100% sure I can race on Saturday, I went to my Orthopedic doctor yesterday. You can never be TOO safe when it comes to sports injuries. My doctor examined the knee and said all he could see was minor swelling and bruising, nothing serious (i.e. a patella injury or meniscus tear). Just to be sure, he took an xray, which showed that things look perfectly fine. PHEW! Going into the appointment, I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I was thrilled to say the least. He said to monitor the swelling and make sure it’s not getting any worse. He told me I could run last and make sure things felt normal. I ended up doing an easy 25 minute run last night and everything did feel normal (minus a little stiffness in the knee). Yay!! Also, no additional swelling post running, which is fantastic. This morning I did my scheduled run (50 minutes) and the knee felt great. The doctor reassured me that the stiff feeling is fine, and that it might take a little while for this to go away. I took an Epsom salt bath last night to help warm the knee and my legs… I think this helped too! One thing I should have known, is that ice can cause things to feel more stiff, since it restricts blood flow… oops!
Now that I know I can race on Saturday, I’m getting into race mode! This is going to by my first race of the season and I am pumped up! It’s my first year racing for the QT2 Age Group Elite Team, and I will be wearing my QT2 Tri Kit with pride. For some reason having this uniform makes me feel extra special, knowing that I earned it with all of my hard work over the years. I feel more prepared than ever before, thanks to my plans designed by my coach, and I am excited to see what Saturday brings.
I will be racing the Patriot Half Ironman in Freetown Mass. Here is a little blurb about the race from the website:
The Patriot Half will be held Saturday, June 14, 2014 at Cathedral Camp in East Freetown, MA. 2014 marks the 8th year of the Patriot which features a 1.2 mile swim in Long Pond, the largest fresh water body of water in Masssachusetts, a 2-loop bike course offering 56 miles of beautiful, flat roads with a few rolling hills and a 13.1 mile run along country roads, farms and lakes with aid stations at every mile… plus special attention to the details that set our events apart from the rest.
I’ve heard great things about this race and I look forward to enjoying the course! This year they are doing a staggered swim start, only a few athletes per age group at a time. I am VERY excited about this, since I tend to get into panic mode in a mass start swim. Best news ever.
Goals for Patriot Half Ironman
- Break 5 hours. I raced 5:08 at Timberman 70.3 last August, on a very hilly course. Given that Patriot is not as hilly, and I feel stronger in all three disciplines this year, I hope to beat my Timberman time. If I PR and break 5:08 I will be happy, if I break 5 hours, I will be VERY happy.
- Age Group Win. My goal is always to place in my age group, but if I could actually win my age group (30-34) it would be even sweeter!
- Stay on top of nutrition. I had a Race Fueling consult with my sports nutritionist this week, and I feel very comfortable with my nutrition plan. She told me that I am not drinking enough fluids, and this is something I need to increase. I will be focusing on drinking one 24 oz bottle of sports drink per hour on the bike, and 3-4 Power Bar Blasts every hour. When I get to the run portion, I will be drinking at every aid station and will have 1 Clif Shot Block every 2 miles plus some Salt Sticks.
- Pee on the bike. I’m totally serious, this is a goal. Having to pee on the bike is a great indication that I am drinking enough. If I don’t have to pee by the time I get to the run, I am behind on hydration and I need to catch up (not good). The trick will be actually peeing while on the bike… something I know a lot of Ironman athletes do, but I am totally afraid of trying, ha! In the past I have just gone to the porta potty at transition.
- Have fun! I am super competitive when I race, but I try to have fun too! I always make sure I am smiling while on the bike and the run, this helps to relax me (and makes for better photos, ha).
- Pace myself. This is something I tend to suck at. One thing have learned the hard way, is that it pays to hold back in the beginning of a race. I am not concerned about this on the swim, but more so for the bike and the run portions of the race. I want to find a steady, comfortable clip on the bike and stay there. I want to get off the bike with legs that are ready to run! On the run, my goal is to negative split the second half.
If you would like to track me on Saturday, you can sign up for text or email alerts:
- Visit the “SportsFlash” page from MyLaps
- Choose the channel you’d like to use to share your results; you will need to click the “Sign Up” button for the channel you want to use for sharing and then log in to that channel
- Select “Patriot Half” from the Select Event drop down
- Type in my last name: Lawhorn (Kristin) and then select my name from the “Select athlete” drop down.
- Click “Follow”!
How do you prepare for your first race of the season? What lessons have you learned from racing?