Hill 1, Katz 1

Maybe it’s all the soccer that’s getting to me, but I’m calling this one a tie.

Mama Katz & I woke much earlier than we would have liked this morning, traipsed ourselves out to Buffalo Springs Lake and drove directly to The Hill.  I was the pee-your-pants/on-the-verge-of-puking kind of nervous but I knew this was not an optional exercise.  No way could I just avoid “the scene of the crime,” as Coach Lisa called it, until Sunday and then just take my chances on race day.  I had to face down the fear and “make it my bitch” – as my friend Anne said.

So, I got in the chair, took some deep breaths, put a white knuckle death grip on the brake and started down the hill.  I felt (mostly) in control the whole way down and ended safely at the bottom without puking, peeing my pants or crashing.  On all those accounts – WIN!

However, my top speed on the way down?  A nerve-shattering 2.8 mph.  No, not a typo.  I did not intend to type 28 mph.  I really did top out at a whopping 2.8 mph, though I really cruised down at a solid 0.0 mph most of the way.  Again, that’s not a typo.  I literally went so slow, no speed registered on my speedometer.  On that account – FAIL.  Well, I guess not really a fail, but most certainly not the best case scenario.

Hence, I say tie.  I didn’t die, but I didn’t dominate either.

I told Anne after the fact that I may not have made that hill my bitch, but I refuse to let the hill make me its bitch either.  I know there’s a happy medium between out of control 30+ mph and painfully slow 0 mph – I just need to learn.  I’m heading out there again tomorrow with the CAF group and hope one of the guys can help me put a strategy together that will be good for my racing, my safety and my peace of mind all at the same time.

Speaking of the CAF group (oops, that’s Challenged Athletes Foundation for those not in the acronym know), I have to give a major Team Katz shout out to Jill Prichard for organizing & funding this pre-race camp and to Ironmen extraordinaire Carlos Moleda & Patrick Doak for instructing/teaching/mentoring/sharing these three days leading up to the race.

This is an amazing opportunity for up-and-comers like me to learn from some of the best, most experienced handcycle triathletes in the business.  These guys are animals and Carlos even holds the Ironman handcycle course record at 10+ hours.  That’s just retarded fast.  To put it in perspective, my goal in Kona will be to have completed the swim & bike in just under 10.5 hours – Carlos finished *the entire race* in less time.

And, these guys are so crazy smart and are filled with an incredible amount of knowledge.  The fact that they’re so willing to share and teach those of us just beginning our journeys is remarkable.  I’m grateful and appreciative and just try to soak up as much as I can.  Thanks CAF!

Today we spent some time talking, sharing and learning during the morning session and then we hit the pool in the afternoon.  I’ve had some concerns about the adjustment to the new swim brace, but I’m happy to report things felt pretty “on” today.  I stopped thinking about it so much and just swam.  Damn, imagine my surprise (note: sarcasm) that things went better when I got out of my own way and left my brain on the pool deck.

Saturday morning we’re doing a practice swim in the lake, so I definitely feel like I’ll be square once I get that open water swim under my belt before race day.

Overall – I’m still feeling rested and strong.  Trying to stay hydrated and make sure I’m eating well – as always, easier said than done.

As previously mentioned, the group goes out for some bike & run time tomorrow afternoon.  I haven’t been on the bike in a few days (give or take a few days), so I’m actually looking forward to that!  Now, definitely bedtime here.

Peace out.

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One Response to “Hill 1, Katz 1”

  1. Mike Savicki Says:

    The race doesn’t go to the person who goes the fastest, it goes to the person who slows down the least. Good luck!

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