Here are some random thoughts on the race:
First of all, I want to be very clear on something. There is NO WAY I could have finished this race as "well" as I did without the coaching of e3Multisport. Any complaining I do about not doing as well as I wanted is not a reflection of the coaching I received...it's a reflection of me and how I do life in general. Anyone who has been reading my blog for long, or anyone who knows me very well at all, knows I have a terrible case of the "woulda'-coulda'-shoulda's". I have bigger eyes in the back of my head than I do in the front. I can pick the past apart with a fine tooth comb and forget today's workout before I even start it. I'm also a fairly decent revisionist historian (just ask my husband). I will look back on something and forget key aspects of a workout or a race which made it turn out a certain way. To combat these tendencies I know I have I am trying to stay more focused. (That's a bit like trying to watch hummingbird wings in my case.) In workouts I'm trying to stay focused on the task at hand and not think about anything else ("What am I going to cook for dinner?.....oh, stink, is this 250 or 300 ((yards in the pool))" or, "boy I don't know if I can climb that giant hill I'm going to be at 30 miles from now, I better slow down to conserve energy".....sadly, yes, both have happened-more than once!).
In the race I think I did a good job of staying focused until the last lap of the run. I realized a couple of days after the race...I didn't have ANY electrolytes on the bike. For fuel I used a drink called Genr8 which I think worked well...but it doesn't have any electrolytes in it at all. I knew this and packed some Nuun water on my Fuel Belt for the run---planning to drink at least one bottle (10 ounces with one tablet) as soon as the run started. However, I didn't do that. I thought about it probably around mile four or five, but then just sipped on it. I wasn't focused enough on proper hydration needs. I drank water, but I'm pretty sure I didn't get enough electrolytes. Now...I'd really like to think if I had added in some SaltStick caps I would have improved my performance (can you hear the "woulda-coulda-shoulda" coming out?), but who knows. The time I got was what I did on that day with that set of circumstances. However, the good part of "W-C-S" is that I do try to learn from every experience. What thing can help me do better next time. (Honestly, it "always" boils down to training harder--whether it's physical, mental or "preparational" training, it's all training!)
Fueling: For anyone who cares about this kind of thing....I ate normally in the days leading up to the race, I hadn't been training hard so I felt like eating a normal diet would adequately replenish my glycogen stores--no need to "carb load". I'll be writing more about this in the future since I'm currently following Bob Seebohar's teachings on metobolic efficiency. I haven't been doing it long enough to give an informed personal opinion on it, but from the things I've been learning in my Personal Training Certification course, it all makes perfect sense--our bodies will do what we train them to do. If we train our bodies to expect carbs for energy every 30 minutes, that's what it will "need"...if we train it to use our fat for energy, that's what it will do! Anyway...for breakfast I ate a package of instant oatmeal (maple and brown sugar flavored) with coco added to it. I drank about 10 ounces of grape flavored Genr8 as I set up my bike in transition (so about 2 hours before the start--way to early to have any effect at all). On the bike I had 2 bottles of grape flavored Genr8 (2 scoops to about 24 ounces of water in both bottles). One bottle's worth was in my aero drink bottle...I sipped on it the whole time I was on the bike. When it was empty, I filled it up with the other bottle I had prepared. I didn't drink all of the second bottle. I didn't drink any water on the bike. There are 280 calories per 2 scoops. (The bottle I drank before the race was part of what I had mixed up earlier that didn't fit in my bike bottles...so I had a total of 560 calories available, but I didn't drink about a fourth of that, and had some of it before the race started so I'm guessing I had about 400 calories on the bike total??) I felt great the whole time...I did have to pee when I got off the bike pretty bad. On the run I had a Fuel belt (I'll talk about this in a minute) with 2 10 ounce bottles of water and 1 Nuun tablet each. Like I said earlier I didn't drink all of it. I also had a smaller bottle (I think it's 5 ounces) of vanilla flavored First Endurance EFS Liquid Shot mixed with some water. It was less than a full "single shot", probably 200-300 calories (and, I just realized, that has electrolytes in it, too). I had a lot of water because I drank my little bottle and then refilled as needed. So...all in all about 600-700 calories total for 6 hours of effort-more than necessary I'm sure, but no stomach issues at all, and no bonking....so I think that part worked well. Again...I think I needed electrolytes on the bike.
My Fuel Belt....it's a love/hate relationship. I like carrying my own aid. I like having it when I want it and being able to control what I'm taking in. However, I don't like wearing the belt. I knew I didn't want to use Gu gels this time (for a host of reasons). I wanted to use either Genr8 or EFS Licquid shot because that's what I trained with and they were both working well for me. I didn't want to carry a hand bottle so the belt was the best option for me. I am going to start training differently in regards to fueling (less carbs, asking my body to utilize more fat) so I'm thinking I'll be able to change up enough to ditch the belt....although I'll then go back to a hand bottle so I can have water whenever I want it.
Post race....I had a GREAT massage after the race. As I was waiting for my turn I got very stiff (since I was sitting in a chair talking to some other racers)...but when I got up from that table I felt like I could run again!! (Okay, I'm sure if I tried I would have realized it wasn't true...but I felt great!) I think I will always avail myself of the post race massage from now on-no matter how long the wait time is. I think it helped me not be as sore after the marathon or this race.
Sunscreen.....I sprayed my legs down, but didn't spray my shoulders. It was really cold and I didn't want to take off my shirt...stupid move. I burned and peeled. I will make sure to use it next time.
Wearing my watch...I decided beforehand I didn't want to wear my watch because I wanted to give my best effort the whole time. I wish I would have worn my watch so I could have seen what my splits were. I'm just NOT someone who can go without analyzing data. It shouldn't matter, but it does. That's just me and I'm okay with it. I would have liked to know how fast I got up to on the bike, and when I was riding faster on average (to see if I had more of a tailwind assistance than I thought I did!). I will just have to figure out a way to not allow my watch to mock me (sometimes it feels like the watch is laughing at my slowness!)...because all that does is slow me down!
I'm going to write up a whole separate post on my tri suit--I loved it that much! :D
Do you have any questions I haven't answered?? Thinking about doing a longer distance tri than what you've done before (whether that's your first sprint, an Oly, or half distance) and have some specific concerns?? I might not have answers, but I sure can find out if I don't. Ask away!!
Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!!