This was one of “those” races. The one where you feel really good about how you are doing until the end, then when the wall hits and the pain sets in you start to question whether or not you should be doing these races at all. There is a lot of work that goes into these events, even short ones like a sprint, and to work hard, and diligently, 5-6 days a week to improve, to get faster, to lose weight, and to not see the results on race day can be very, very, VERY, frustrating and defeating.
You all know me to be very open and honest about how I am thinking, and feeling, while going through these trials, so I feel OK about sharing it on the page with little judgement being thrown at me (though I know I will get a few here and there). I am not sure what is going wrong to be honest, and I need to figure it out soon, because I am not sure how much more I can mentally handle. I was a guest on another podcast last week (should be available today actually … search for Tioga Wellness on iTunes or stream through their website HERE) and during the conversation I shared that the actual race is very anticlimactic for me, almost a pain in the ass. I like the training, because if I want to sleep until 7 or 8 then go train I am able to do that. The mere act of climbing out of bed at 4 AM to get to a race site, set up, and race, is kind of a pain for me, and becomes MORE of a pain when the results do not match the training.
I have been having these types of races for almost 2 years now. Not seeing improvement. Only getting slower, and slower. Most of this, I am sure, is due to my condition, my age, my past injuries, but the bottom line is that I am not the only one out there with these issues. I can’t be the only one. So what am I doing wrong that my training goes well but the racing doesn’t?
I felt really good during the swim. I stayed calm the entire time, even when I was over run by the wave behind me after the last turn and started getting jostled a bit. I never felt tired, and actually started pushing on the final leg. The time ended up being a bit faster than the last race in Crystal River, but a bit slower than the last race in 2014 on the same course. The swim is a leg I can see improvement in this season, even though I am slower than 2013. I finished this in 13:09, which includes a walk through sand and run to T1 of about 2/10 of a mile. When I looked at my watch at water’s edge it was in the 12:00 zone, which is not bad for where I was 6 months ago.
This bike course used to kill me. It is only a smidgen over ten miles (10.35) but has a few pretty steep inclines, so was both concerned about that but curious to see how I would do after all the hill training for the North Carolina ride I had done. The changed the course from last year, so when you exit T1 there is immediately a short climb, followed by a short downhill, than another leg burning short distance climb. My heart rate shot up immediately and actually thought about getting off the bike and letting it come down but kept going until it levels off. The middle section is mainly flat, and I knew that, so didn’t get too concerned. The end, where the Sprint goes to the left and the last few climbs happen, was … surprising. Surprising in that I got up them, working yes, but not like last year. They actually felt …. easier. This is the leg I was faster than last year, so improvement was made by all that hill work. I completed it in 49:39, and I know I can be even faster. I will focus on this one for sure.
The wheels came off. Normally I walk the first portion of any race out of T2. My legs take a while to come back to me, so I don’t even attempt to run until I am 1/2 mile in to the leg. I don’t know what was wrong with me this day. My legs never came to me. I tried to run but could only go a few seconds before having to stop. There was no pain. There was just no strength. This is something I am noticing even throughout the week. I always feel like I have dead legs. when I stand up from my desk, get out of my car, roll out of bed, my legs always feel fatigued. I finished this 3.1 mile run in 1:00:09. That is just pathetic, and the worst I have ever been. I cannot seem to find anyone, or any article, that can explain what this issue is and how to fix it. I have taken 2 weeks rest and it never got better. I don’t know what to do. Any ideas are welcome at this point.
My final was 2:12:55. Both my transitions were over 5:00, but some of that is due to the run distance to get to the area. It is also 6:00 slower than the final race on same course last year, but if my run had been the same as the last one I would have had a PB on the course, so once again, the run is the issue.
I was very frustrated while out there on the run, and I am being honest when I say I was seriously thinking about hanging it up. But I can’t. I wish I had the support I used to have, but I don’t, and I need to reconcile that in my head and figure it out.
Maybe I should try the next race (same course on August 8th) without a watch at all. Race the whole thing naked.
I wonder how that would affect my time?