I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve been getting less sleep and it’s mostly due to the Olympics! This is the first Olympics that I’ve watched were I consider myself an “athlete” and it makes it much more fun to watch the swimming, cycling, running and triathlon events (I was a gymnast in 2nd and 3rd grade so I also can relate to Gabrielle Douglas of course…) ! This past week and a half has been very busy for me as I prepared for and attended two bachelorette parties as well as started planning for the wedding I have this coming weekend in which I am the Maid of Honor. Despite a busy schedule, I still managed to squeeze in some quality Olympic time, usually at the expense of sleep!
Swimming has been pretty fun to watch. At first I was rooting for Lochte since he was kind of the underdog and he is certainly not bad to look at. However, once reports of his bad attitude (and possible promiscuity?) surfaced and he beat Phelps in the 400 IM, I started rooting for Phelps again. Plus, I really wanted Phelps to make world history with his most decorated athlete of all time title. In addition to the will-Phelps-do-it-or-is-has-he-lost-his-mojo drama, there has been some good showing from the females (Yay for a Gold and world record in 4 x 100 freestyle relay!). However, I must say that the female’s speed suits are VERY unflattering and I easily get distracted by the suits that cut way too far in on the chest and make them all look like they have serious back fat. Could we at least get some cute suits?!
I admit – I actually didn’t watch the cycling events. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the pedals are still sitting on the desk in the back room and my poor bike hasn’t been take out since the Ironman. Or maybe it’s because Mike watched every single day of the Tour De France (click the link for a funny blog written by Mike about why I should be excited about the Tour) so I’m burnt out on watching skinny dudes ride in pelotons.
The women’s triathlon was entertaining! Although I already had heard about the photo finish while I was away in Santa Barbara this weekend, Mike taped it for me so we watched it last night. It was really exciting to watch the sport that is so dear to my heart. Four years ago when I watched the Olympics, the only thing I knew about triathlon was that it involved swimming, biking and running but I had no idea which order or which length. The only thing that was kind of frustrating for me to watch in the Olympic triathlon is the drafting. I get that the drafting is better for TV (which is a large reason why Olympic triathlons have several loops and allow drafting to make it TV and spectator friendly), but I really think it is a disadvantage for the strong swimmers and cyclists. Although you have to be adept enough at the swim to stay in the first or second pack, it really doesn’t matter how hard you swim since you want to be cycling with a peloton. And then once you’re in the peloton, you don’t want to leave it. So really, it’s who can get through T2 fastest and then who is the best runner. I know there is a lot more strategy involved in Olympic distance triathlons but from an Ironman athlete’s perspective, I prefer non-drafting races. You are on your own and it’s all about how fast you can swim/bike/run, not how good you are at positioning yourself in the peloton. I felt like the triathlete from Great Britain whose sole job was to get her teammate to the finish kind of got jipped since she could have swam and biked faster and gotten a lead on the run and had a chance at it, but instead she had to hang back and make sure her teammate got to the front. But that’s just my opinion!
Athletics has just started and I have yet to watch the women’s marathon, however I did catch part of the qualifying race for the men’s 400m and saw this incredible feat:
Despite my desire to watch every race in the Olympics, much of my time this weekend was spent celebrating the pending nuptials of two dear friends. Friday through Sunday morning I was in Santa Barbara drinking wine, eating delicious food and dancing and Sunday late morning through afternoon I was relaxing at a day spa with yet another gorgeous bride. I was able to get one workout in this weekend – a 12 mile run down the coast of Huntington Beach (the US Open of surfing is in town and was set up at the pier) which was the FIRST long run I’ve had since the Ironman where I felt pretty good! I ran the first 8 miles pretty easy and then picked it up for a tempo run for the last 4 miles. I was able to hold solid mid to low 8 min/miles for the entire 4 miles and took that as an encouraging sign that my body is finally starting to recover. Although my sub 1:45 half marathon goal most likely won’t be realizing at AFC, a PR could still be a possibility. I rested quite a bit last week (only ran 2x in total plus spin and a strength class) and I think that’s what my body needed. After two more days of rest over the weekend, I’m excited to get back into training this week!
Are you losing sleep over the Olympics? Do you prefer to watch triathlon as an Olympic sport or Ironman? What is your favorite Olympic event?