Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A "Look Back" at Oilman 2013

I used to work in oil and gas.  When we had large projects that finally came to completion, we always had a "look back" meeting in the week or two following the project.  This gave us an opportunity to evaluate what went well and what we could do differently the next time around.

I decided that at some point, I will want to train for another 70.3 and that a "look back" might be helpful!  So here it goes...


I sometimes questioned why I was swimming 3,000 or 3,500 yards when I ultimately only had to swim about 2,100 in the actual race.  Or why I was riding my bike for almost 4 hours, when I hoped to be off the bike in under 3:30.  But, OutRival Racing has training many athletes for this distance and I had to trust that my coaches knew what they were doing.  It worked! I think I trained hard, but didn't overtrain.  I made it to the start healthy and confident in my ability to cover the distance!

While I think I could tweak this a little, nutrition went well on race day.  I followed what I practiced during training (Perform, water, Hammer Gel and Honey Stinger Waffles) and it seemed to have worked well for me.  If and when I do train for an Ironman distance race, I would like to try Infinite just to see if it works for me.

I managed to not get too carried away in the swim, bike or run and start out going too fast.  In a sprint distance, I feel like it's okay to really push hard on the bike and then go for it on the run.  When you know you're going to be out on the course for 7 hours, that's definitely not the way to go.

I'll admit, I had some doubts along the way regarding my ability to conquer this distance.  However, I remember reading something that a coach from another group posted (thanks Adrienne!) - focus on what can go right, instead of what could go wrong.  I made a list of what a perfect race day would look like for the swim, bike and run.  Also, knowing that the open water swim was a challenge for me, I came up with little mantras with a word for each stroke and breath - "I'm an - awesome - swimmer" or "I'm incredibly calm" or "I am freaking strong".  And, I mentioned before that I wrote the word "Strong" on one hand and had DH write "Calm" on the other.  I also wrote "Keep Moving Forward" on my aero bottle.  I know it sounds hokey, but it helped! 


While I wouldn't change the volume of training I did, I would change one itty bitty thing...I'd ride the course more!  I really think that not getting in more time on the hills hurt my bike time.  I suck at the uphill.  Seriously.  My goal is to get out on the hillier roads more often and to learn to get up those hills faster!

Bike Maintenance
Even though I didn't have any equipment malfunctions on the bike, in the back of my mind I was worried about this.  I need to take a bike maintenance clinic (or two), so that I know the basics.  Sure, I could struggle my way through a tire change, but it probably cost me 30 minutes.  Heaven forbid anything more serious go wrong!

I am one of those people who likes to stay busy.  I have trouble sitting still.  In the future, I intend to make more of an attempt to rest after those really long workouts.  You know, sit on the couch and watch football instead of insist on cleaning something around the house.  It's all about balance!

Honestly, there wasn't much I would change at all.  I had fun (even with the hills), I finished slightly better than I hoped, and I really enjoyed the journey.  The training did make for some crazy-busy weeks, but it was completely worth it!

Do you take a "look back"at your races?  Are there usually significant changes, or not so much?


Donna said...

Great job! I really like your point about . Making a list of what a perfect race day would look like for the swim, bike and run. That's a great idea -- because all too often we're thinking about a million different ways to mitigate what could go wrong! I'm in for Galveston 70.3 -- my biggest challenge now is to believe I can be a runner, even at the lowest level. Congrats on your finish!

Bryan Kraham said...

I like to write a post race recap, it is the best way for me to remember the little things that occurred during the race. I do not usually look back at the entire training as a whole though. I am registered for Ironman Lake Placid so I may have to "look forward"

Like you, I am going to have to find some hills, some really big hills.