Monday, October 20, 2008

Race Post Mortem

My coach (www.joghard.blogspot.com) doesn’t like spending a lot of time obsessing over what happened during a race. My obsessive compulsive nature always pushes me to rehash my races and delve into every aspect and detail. I’d say I can do this more easily because triathlons are my hobby, but the fact of the matter is, I’m the same way about my work. I find that it’s probably healthier for me to be this way with triathlons, however, as the end result is greater fitness.

So, there are a number of things that are of interest to me in looking back at the race. The first thing is that I am very happy with my swim, but know that I am capable of continuing to get better. One can never be sure about swim race times, but Dave Clark, who finished second in my age group did the swim in 27 minutes. He’s done the 5430 long course with me and consistently swims 10 minutes faster. At Halfmax he had one of the best swim times and I was only 6 ½ minutes slower! My swim effort was quite solid, and I finished the swim feeling good, so I know that with continued hard work I can continue to improve. I know that I can continue to learn to swim harder and continue to dial in my effort.

The bike was notable in terms of good pacing. There’s no question that I paced myself well, insofar as only a few people passed me after the first 10 miles or so, and I passed a number of people towards the end of the bike. That said, my quads were obviously not ready for the hills and so I need to be better prepared for my next race (California 70.3), which has some significant hills in the middle of the race. In the first 18 miles I did a good job keeping close to my goal wattage efforts. While I don’t know what my wattage was for the rest of the race, the fact that I passed people and that I felt my pacing to be similar tells me as much as the power meter. Of interest, most of the people who finished behind me had slower bike times.

Starting the run with quads that felt like they were going to seize up was an incredible learning experience. While the “fear” of my quads going into spasm may have kept me from going faster, it also forced me to stay within myself and really look at my whole body as I ran. I kept checking my stride, my form, my legs, and tried to adjust them to keep from getting into trouble. I’m pretty sure that my pace for the first 5 miles was pretty reasonable, probably under 8 minute/mile pace. Almost no one passed me, and I passed a number of people. Since my breathing corresponded to my effort, I’m pretty sure that my effort was on target. Interestingly, when Rich passed me with a mile to go and I sped up, my legs felt surprisingly good, but it was way too much exertion for my body to handle. I’m pretty sure that the energy I needed to expend due to my quads ultimately kept me from going faster. In a way, I really learned a lot. Again, looking at the race results, most everyone after me had slower run times. I know that I’m capable of running faster (based on my training). I think what I’m proudest of is that despite the pain in my quads and the “fear” of them locking up, I kept going and actually had a decent run.

Finally, as I look at the other times, I was only 15 minutes out of 5th place in my age group. In terms of my future goals, this gives me a lot of confidence. I know that the time is there for me to make up with further training and improvements.

So, I now get a week of no training or exercise whatsoever. My coach says that this is as much necessary for my mental state as my physical and he’s absolutely right.

That said, after being away from the office for a week, my work day today was pretty brutal, although not nearly as tough as the race:). It’s
therapeutic to “obsess” a bit on my race:)

1 comment:

Raishel said...

Who knew OCD could ever be therapeutic LOL!