November 1st, 2023

Race Week: Newport Dunes

Last race of the short 2023 season.

This Sunday I race Newport Dunes. I added this race to help keep me on track with training until next year when I begin the long effort to get ready for Coeur d'Alene.

The race is a sprint but it's actually a bit shorter than most sprint races. I'm excited for this race because my training the last couple of weeks has felt really good. I'm no where near where I'd like to be–because I'm always unreasonable with myself–but after the Mission Bay sprint, I learned a few things.

I'm hoping to take the first 100 meters out a little smoother this race. I'm quite certain I could've been faster at Mission Bay had I not blown up the first 150 meters. My heart rate was through the roof. Since the swim is only 400 meters, I can't go too easy. I just want to be aware of how much I'm pushing myself after the beach start.

The ride is a couple miles shorter than Mission Bay. There is, however a small hill. I'm curious how that will play into things since I've not done any climbing in my training. Typically I like hills so I don't think it will be a problem.

Lastly, the run says 3 miles and not the usual 5k (3.1 miles). I'll probably try and keep my pace the same as before, around 8:30/mi.

I'm grateful for this time. I've been thinking a lot about how much I've enjoyed the training and the racing. To think, just a few months ago I was struggling to stay motivated and positive about myself. With the past year, losing so many I love, it's been healthy to re-calibrate and find joy in focused physical activity.

I'd like to make the most of this time I have. Walking out of the pool today I passed a couple older gentlemen. One was probably in his 70s and the other maybe early 80s. Obviously I don't know their health history but watching them walking very slowly with limited mobility really struck me. I want to hold on to my abilities for as long as possible. That doesn't happen unless I do the work now.

So as I go into this race, again, I'm grateful to have the physical ability to compete in this sport. Where it leads me, I don't yet know, or care except that when I'm 80, I'm still on a bike crushing watts.