road to Annie Oakley

I guess I made up my mind to do the Annie Oakley Sprint Triathlon about a week and a half ago, giving myself roughly two and a half weeks to prepare. Yikes! I am certainly not in top training shape, after being down with an injury for 11 weeks, but there are only so many locals tris. And I had really been looking forward to this one, so after my first successful run, I said what the hell.

It’s Saturday. THIS Saturday. As in four wake-ups from today. What am I thinking?!?!?!

In preparation, I hounded some of my friends about doing it with me and gave myself a tough training schedule for all of about a week. This week I’m “tapering,” even though I don’t have much to taper from. Some googling brought me to a lot of links that basically all gave  this information. Even though part of me wants to push hard this week, I’m not up for exhausting my body and potentially re-injuring myself. Following are some highlights of my prep thusfar:

1. Rode the bike course for the race with Howell and a few fellow Star Runners.  And it was TOUGH. Like, I got off my bike on the last uphill tough. We had planned to do two loops for 22 miles, but we stuck with the single loop. H and I also had lots of technical difficulties on the way, mostly caused by my platform pedals and his new roof rack. I swear I’m moving to clip-ins soon; I’m just scared.

And speaking of scared, I had a little freak-out on the ride, caused by none other than a dreaded downhill. Towards the end of the course, you make a turn and all of a sudden, the road just drops out from under you. I rode my break too hard and almost had four people crash into the back of me.

2. Tried a Honey Stinger gel for the first time before a swim, just to remind myself what gels and such taste and feel like.

Oh my gross. The taste is basically the same as squeezing pure, hot honey with an added zing into your mouth. I am not a fan.

3. I did a brick (back-to-back workout) in Heber Springs this past weekend while we were staying with a friend at his lake house.

Howell and I set out together and it was quite beautiful and serene on a lovely morning in the middle of nowhere. Until Howell shouted at me to turn back because a dog was chasing him.

I returned to the start of the ride to work on hill repeats and challenge some of my downhill anxiety.

Then I set out on a slow three mile run to climb some of those same hills. I walked a good bit uphill so as not to challenge my fibula too much. Probably decent practice for the trail run portion of Annie Oakley. I did a little exploring off-road, too.

Ran on a path around this small lake.

Happened across this impressive fish carcass. Something fierce must’ve picked it clean.

Hopefully the brick has me better prepared for Saturday. We’ll see!

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