Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ironman 70.3 Eagleman: Learning the hard way

Unfortunately, the past weekend did not go so well for me. I had a strong swim, a strong bike (despite what the results say I biked a 2:27:01 - explained below) and then fell apart on the run. Rather than dissect the race in detail I have listed all the things that I learned below:

1. It is not a wise decision to race an Olympic distance in another time zone, 7 days prior to a key race. I did LOVE the OC triathlon last weekend, but the legs had not fully recovered for Eagleman. However, I'm sure I got a good training stimulus so all was not lost!

2. I should not drive 11 hours straight 2 days before a half-ironman event. It is one thing to be the passenger when you go for a long drive - you can put your feet up, sleep, etc., but quite another to be the driver...During the drive I got calf cramps, hamstring cramps, witnessed a jack knifed car two ahead of me on the highway and then there was the fact that I was afraid to hydrate because I didn't want to pee every 5 minutes!

3. While racing, the next time I catch up to a group of girls on the bike, I have to find the energy to pass all of them to avoid getting a drafting penalty. Yup, the extra 4 minutes tacked onto my bike split was because I was called for drafting. From my point of view: I caught up to a group of girls on the bike, and then went to pass them, but biked too hard to pass the first two and then didn't have the legs to pass the rest. I thought that I was still the legal distance from the girl in front of me so I tucked in. Wrong thing to do. Ref gave me a red card :( At least I've learned!! I did try to make the most of it and stay positive about the situation, but I was deflated. I spent the rest of the race about 30s to a minute back of the pack, keeping them in my sights but not taking any chances.

4. Sleep is important! The week before my race I neglected the most important part of a taper: SLEEP. I took the red eye home from LA on Sunday night, then had long days where I didn't get home till after 8pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then a short sleep on Thursday so I could wake up early on Friday to start my drive. THAT was a recipe for disaster in itself. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

Now, it wasn't ALL negative and there were definitely some highlights of the race: 1. I nailed my NUTRITION plan for the first time ever! Thanks to eLoad, zone caps and eGels I was well fuelled on race day and well hydrated - no cramping!

2. I posted my highest ever normalized power on the bike! Thanks to a combination of a good position and an awesome ride.

3. I didn't have burning feet and have to heel strike at all on the run. A constant source of frustration in all my long runs prior to this year.

4. I had SUPER FAST transitions!

5. Most importantly, it was another chance to do what I love most! I race because I love it, not because I love to win. If I can win then it's an added bonus.

I would like to again thank all of my supporters. Firstly, the family I stayed with in Cambridge was amazing - I was so comfy and they were so kind! And of course, my parents, who were able to make it down for the race. Especially my sponsors: Turner-Tomenson Wealth Management and Raymond James Financial continue to make my life as a Pro triathlete possible, Scott Judges at Fitt1st, Bill Wells (Chiro) at Urban Athlete, Brad Wilson (RMT), all my equipment sponsors: Quintana Roo, ISM Saddles, Gray wheels, Rudy Project, Karhu Running Shoes, eLoad sports nutrition, IBB Cyclery in Utah, The Bike Zone in Toronto, Swiftwick socks, Suunto (love my multisport GPS watch!), Perfect Fuel Chocolate (best recovery food, ever!), Funkita/Funky Trunks swim wear, SRM for my power, Champion System for the most amazingly comfortable race kit, X-1 Audio for allowing me to train to music!!! Oh, and again, THANK YOU SO MUCH Peter Karmaszin for letting me borrow your front wheel for the race! I do now have my new front GRAY wheel to debut the next time I race :)

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