Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Excuses, Excuses

The Hawaii 70.3 was the worst performance of any race that I can remember. I'm not just talking about age-group rankings (although this was pretty much bottom-of-the-barrel), I mean my actual time vs. what I should have done. I'm usually pretty good at predicting my finishing times but I was way off with this race.

I can come up with three main reasons:

1. I was undertrained. I'm actually OK with this, because I knew I was undertrained  and in fact I PLANNED on being undertrained. I spent 2008 training for Coeur d'Alene, 2009 training for Wisconsin, and 2010 was supposed to be a relaxing year. Even after I won the lottery slot, I didn't want to burn myself out by starting hard training too early. Hawaii 70.3 was supposed to be the kick-off for the October race, and so I only did base-training up until now.

2. I may have been undernourished. If I didn't do enough training, that still doesn't explain why my bike was bad from the start. The bike course was easier than many of the Saturday rides we've been doing, so if anything I should have started out strong and then conked out in the middle. I do know that in the days leading up to the race I was very concerned about making sure my stomach was settled and I think I may have under-ate. I can't say I felt tired during the race, but something was obviously wrong.

3. Mentally, I was racing the full Ironman. The weight of October's race was bearing down on me all week. Maybe I was just overly attuned to it, but I was hearing people discuss the World Championships everywhere. And although I absolutely believe I deserve my lottery slot, I was feeling a bit intimidated listening to everyone talk about where they "earned" their qualifying slots.

During the swim, I wasn't thinking "OK, you're almost finished." I was thinking "In October, you'll be halfway done." I wasn't thinking about how much energy I would need to climb the big hill on the bike, I was thinking about how much farther I will have already ridden by the time I started the hill. On the run, I wasn't counting the miles down from 13.1, I was counting down from 26.2.

There were many times when I was thinking to myself that I didn't want to race in October. I didn't want to give up my summer for training. I'm a pretty pragmatic person so even then I was aware that in another week I'd feel differently, but out there on the course I was actually upset that I won the lottery slot and would have to do the full race.

I can't say that this was a good practice race for October because it was more of a confidence-smasher than a booster (mostly due to the above factors unrelated to the race itself.). But I am glad that I now have a good sense of the lay-of-the-land and got a taste of some of the conditions we might face in October.

The adventure begins.


Blogger Brent Buckner said...

Good to reflect and then move on!

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wedgie, you're going to rock the World Championships. And you deserve to be there!

11:46 PM  

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