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“Dispatch” is an online column from Triathlete Editor-at-Large Holly Bennett that features pro updates, industry news, happenings afield and otherwise random reports related to multi-sport. Look for “Dispatch” every Thursday on Triathlete.com.
Do what you can, when you can, with what you have. I saw those words of wisdom posted on the Erin Go Braugh 7.77k race website when I logged on (Friday night) to find the Saturday morning race start time and location. The words made perfect sense to me. I was gearing up for race number three in my year-long Baker’s Dozen project, and I was not feeling particularly fast or fit. My focus over the prior few weeks had been on moving (to a new apartment) rather than moving my body. I knew I didn’t have much performance-wise to take to the start line. But what I did have was a fair splash of green (a tech-fabric fashion statement courtesy of SOAS Racing) to get me in the groove for the St. Patrick’s Day themed race–so off to the start line I went!
Choose your battles wisely. That’s my own bit of post-race advice after proudly running a new PR. I was hardly a speed demon out there; I simply targeted a totally random race distance, one I’d never done before and may never repeat. In fact, I’m fairly certain that every athlete ran a personal best 7.77k, an early season ego boost we can all enjoy. Pick your races wisely and you’ll post PR’s all season long!
There’s nothing wrong with natural progression. I’m normally an impulsive person when it comes to athletics. I’ll do a race simply because the opportunity arises, because it sounds slightly-crazy-slash-appealing, because I have something cute to wear or even to make good on a bet–regardless of whether I’ve actually logged any meaningful training miles. And while I’m a fan of that sort of spontaneity, I also know it does not always align with an appropriate level of fitness. But somewhat surprisingly, my Baker’s Dozen race-a-month plan has fallen into place in perfectly progressive fashion. Not only have I run a wee bit faster pace in each race thus far (even in the 7.77k–I’m not sure how, but it happened), there’s a pattern to my racing plans that actually makes sense. Races one, two and three have been short local runs. Next up I’ll tackle two swim/run combo opportunities as part of two events I’m covering in Asia: the Laguna Lang Co Triathlon and Challenge Taiwan. Then I’ll head home to Boulder, dust the cobwebs off my bike and get my first full triathlon fixes of the season: the Boulder Sprint and Ironman 70.3 Boulder. And in August I’ll head north of the border to tackle the inaugural Challenge Penticton. That’s my plan–one punctuated with common sense. It’s rarely my style to be so evenly paced and pragmatic, but given my results to date I think I might just be onto something smart!