Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mooseman Race Report: A Little Rusty

I've been dragging my feet about writing this race report, cause I just didn't know what to say. The race was really tough, mentally more than physically, and I haven't really figured out what went wrong.

I read several tri blogs, and I was reading this race report from the Boise 70.3, and it made me feel a bit better. I have a lot of respect for Ray, the author, and his experience is a good reminder that some races just don't as planned, even for rockstars like Ray.

So what happened? Well, I think it was a combination of things: cold water, lack of taper, and just mentally out of it.

The water was a chilly 58 degrees, and I just didn't feel like I was moving. No gliding, my muscles just didn't feel like they warmed up. I've since done another open water swim, and it reminded me that swimming open water feels slower than pool swimming. Because you can't see the bottom, you don't get the visual feedback on your speed. Swim was still about 3 minutes off where it should have been.

Out on the bike, I continued to be cold, and I just didn't feel like I had anything to give, like wringing a dry towel, nothing coming out. Every time I asked my legs for a little more, they were already maxed out. I think this had to do with the fact that I did a tough kettlebell set a few days before, and my legs hadn't recovered.

I usually think of the swim as setting a good precedence for the race. I can start strong and feel good coming out of the water. Without that, my mindset on the bike was grim. I kept thinking about pulling out of the race. My body wasn't responding the way I wanted it to, and I wasn't sure if that was a time when I should be "listening to my body" or pushing through. In the end I decided that I only get 6 races this season, it would be a shame to not finish one.

In the end, I came 6th in my age group out of 30+ competitors. All things considered, that's not so bad. It's not good enough to qualify for nationals (which had been my benchmark), but not bad for a day when things didn't go to plan.

Probably the highlight of the weekend then, was the following day, when I got to be the biker leading around the first place female runner on the half ironman course. It was inspiring. She held a solid 6:15 pace for the whole half marathon with a 100+ cadence the whole time.

After the race, I was riding my bike back to the cabin and passing people still coming in off the bike course. I got many waves and smiles, as people thought that I had actually won the race. Not this time, folks.


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