Ok, excuses out of the way....
This season went pretty well from a goals perspective - although I had near misses for both 70.3 world championships and Olympic world championships. At Boulder 70.3, I was one slot out of the money (podium) so I didn't stick around to hear the roll-down. It rolled down to at least 5th (I was 6th) - so I probably should have stuck around just to find out if I was going to Mt. Tremblant. I know a number of folks that went and it sounded (and looked like from the TV coverage) like an amazing venue.
At USAT Nationals I was out of the guaranteed slots for worlds, but I can't complain. I raced my tail off, missing my stand-alone 10K PR by one second. And even if I corrected the tactical mistakes on the swim and bike, I'd only move up a few slots. That was a fast crew and it was a real pleasure to race against such a talented field (made deeper by the fact that worlds are in Chicago, and everyone wants to race those domestically). Still waiting to hear if it will roll down to me - so there's still a chance. Not that far off.
I stood there in the water, not feeling the love; wanting to be back in bed and just doing a long ride or something later in the day. But mentally I've been there before, both at the start and during a race and have developed a pretty good ability to just get on with it. Often I've been genuinely surprised at past races where I felt like crap all the way up to the finish line and actually put up great numbers. Not so with this year's Harvest 70.3.
The swim actually went pretty well. I wasn't feeling great mentally, but kept in the game and made some decent tactical moves that had me out of the water in decent position. But from the moment I turned my first pedal stroke, it just wasn't there. Where normally my RPE should feel like a 7/10, I felt like I was 8/10 - which doesn't seem like a lot, but it is over a bumpy, hilly and windy 56 miles.
I rebooted my brain getting off the bike, thinking; ok - here's where the race will come together. Nope. The run in a 70.3 is never pleasant, but I felt downright crappy in the first few miles. Generally that feeling doesn't start hitting until mile 8 (of 13) and by that time the 'smell of the barn' allows you to mentally crank it up a notch. It's hard to feel that way though at mile 2.
So - overall my swim and bike numbers were good. Not outstanding, but respectable. My run was horrific. Like a slow moving train wreck. Yeah - I PR'd my last year time, and yeah - I still eked out a podium spot (3rd) - but just left that race thinking 'wha happened?'. I've poured over my numbers, nutrition and training log after the race. Nothing really jumps out. Just probably one of those days. Maybe a bit too much fatigue. Maybe too quick a jump from Olympic distance training to long course with a slide in volume. Who knows, who cares. It's behind me and it happens. And the rest of the season went awesome - so there.
|And no race is a total disaster if it finishes with an ice cold ride on the slip and slide :-)|
USAT National Championships
USAT Nationals (which had come about a month before Harvest 'Doom' were especially fun. Got to spend the week with my wife (who was also racing) as well as great friends (Sharon, Jean, Terry and Carrie). Weather the whole week, including race day was perfect. Great course, solid field, decent performances all around. We just had a blast - from the moment we got there until the day we had to leave.
IM Lake Tahoe - or lack there-of
|Happier times in the days preceding the cancellation of the race.|
|How do you know an Ironman is in town? All the razors are sold out :-)|
|The next morning was great though running into a big part of the crew for an impromptu group breakfast!|
|Amy rocking her first 1/2 marathon - way to go!!|
|Amy had a monster cheering section!!|
People don't often realize how much cheering crowds are appreciated!
|Mountain biking will always have a special place in my soul.|
|Turned around at the top of a climb and thought three words that often come to my mind:|
"So damn lucky"
|Tequila - the natural IB profen |
and the base for an adult beverage sufficiently earned for the day.