Sunday, May 3, 2009

Racing is the best training.

Wildflower Tri, Napa Valley Vintage Tri, The 199mi Relay from Calistoga to Santa Cruz, Wine Country Century, Tour de Cure and you can't forget about Windsor Middle School's Spartan Stampede. Those were just some of things going on this weekend. May arrives, and regardless of the weather, it's go time, ready or not. My heart was happy when I heard Jen Hampson utter these words over the phone this evening: "I'm hurting big time." Jen conquered the swim, went hard on the bike, and pushed through a tough run at the Wildflower triathlon today. Awesome. We learn by racing. Well, that's how I've learned over the years; experiment with pacing on the bike, suffer miserably for hours on the run, and you too will learn the hard way. Triathlon is an art-form. Like most things, you gotta do it for about 10years before you see your potential. Jen rocked it and did, in fact, achieve her time goal of sub-3:30.

Amanda (blog photographer) kicked me in the head at 5am on Saturday morning to remind me that we had a date to spectate at the Napa Valley Vintage Triathlon. This EnviroSports race has grown in popularity since its inception just a few years back. It was too cool an opportunity to pass up--I had 3 of my athletes racing in the same race; no way I could miss it. We arrived just in time to see Doug Wilson, Matt Gallo, and Rod Matteri make their way to the swim start. Friends and competitors, all three showed great sportsmanship out there on the course. Each came in off the bike as wet as when they started but with much colder hands. The run was tough with some hills sprinkled in to keep everyone honest. One by one, they finished smiling and ready for some dry clothes. Mentally stronger for having participated, they all put a big deposit into their training/racing accounts for the year. Lighter, faster, stronger.

On the way back home we drove through The Relay, the 199mi relay running event from Calistoga, in Napa, all the way down to Santa Cruz. Congratulations to Shelly Lydon's team for getting the job done, in skirts it was rumored. Shelly's sister, Kim, just ran The Big Sur International Marathon last weekend. Well done Lydons!

Whew, what a weekend. Friday was my school's annual running event, Spartan Stampede. I ran around all day doing my best to encourage a total of 1000 kids to run hard over the 3-kilometer course. This was our 4th Stampede and I found it just as amazing as the first one. The kids really deliver. It dumped on some of our classes throughout the day. The rain seemed to push the kids to work all the harder. These kids will be out there at Wildflower and the Napa Vintage Tri very soon. Don't believe it? One of my students, a 6th grader named Jack, just did his first century (100miles) today. His dad Greg is an Ironman triathlete. Rod Matteri (who was supposed to be recovering) was out there in a support capacity. Awesome stuff to be a part of. My cup overfloweth. Here's to some warmer, dryer weather people. Happy May to you.