I always get depressed after a big race. I didn't think it would happen this time, but I can feel it starting to wash over me like a drizzling rain. When it's drizzling, you don't really notice you're getting wet, not like when it's pouring down rain. There are a lot of reasons this happens. I used to blame it all on being upset with my performance. No matter how I did I wasn't happy. However, this time is different. I'm not terribly unhappy with my performance. That's not to say I haven't already analyzed the things I need to do differently next time, but I'm pleased with what I did yesterday.
When I went to NOLA, I expected to finish in 6:30. I hoped I would do better, I was going to be satisfied with anything better than 6:45, but I honestly expected to finish right at 6:30. This time I really wasn't sure what to expect. Hurting my knee earlier in the season caused me to be out of training for about a month, then I had so much going on with taking my daughter to college, going to do Hood to Coast, going to Rhode Island for my USAT clinic...and the list goes on. I can honestly say I've been able to get about 80% of my training in, but only for the last month. Let me be clear, a month is NOT long enough to effectively train for a half IronMan! But, I also believed I had a decent base I could fall back on. I wasn't ever worried about not finishing the race, but I wasn't sure 6:30 was realistic all things considered, especially looking at the course.
I haven't ever done a pre-race workout on the course. My workout plan calls for a 20 minute swim/20 minute bike/20 minute run workout at transition, but this is only my 2nd race where it really applied, and it was raining and practically storming at NOLA so all I did that was was run 20 minutes. Saturday I was with a friend who is training for her second IronMan (I need to come up with a name for her), as well as my coaches. I didn't want to swim but had to do it anyway. I didn't want to ride my bike but had to do it anyway. By the time we got to the run my knee was hurting for some strange reason so I didn't want to run...I did run, but ended up walking quite a bit because I didn't want to "really" hurt myself the day before the race.
After the pre-race workout, I really didn't know what to expect at the race. I wasn't swimming well and my knee wasn't feeling 100%.
Race morning I was strangely calm. I have pretty much stopped having pre-race jitters. Excitement, yes; jitters/nerves no. But...I did NOT want to start swimming. I didn't want to get in the water in the first place--it was COLD out there. I was afraid I would be last out of the water. This was a small race with only a few women (maybe 40 at most) and it's a tough course so the majority of people who show up aren't playing around.