This isn’t the race report, you’ll find that here instead… this is the regular review of the week just gone, and the plan for the week (and block) to come.
I don’t have much to say about the race week really, it’s always a stressful time, especially when you are carrying a potential injury into the race. I was glad that I consulted a physio – having that third-party objective opinion really helped. His view was that my tendon wasn’t badly damaged, wasn’t about to rupture or anything, and that gave me the confidence to make the start line at least.
The race went better than it might have done. I had a great (for me) swim, and an on-target bike ride, which should have set me up to meet my #1 goal of a sub-11 finish. Well, I always knew this goal might be tough on this course. My 11:08:18 wasn’t too far off the mark, but my run let me down. To be fair, there weren’t many people *significantly* faster than me, only 5 people ran under 4 hours. My #2 goal was to do well in my age group, 1st place in 45-49 surpassed that goal and 4th overall is amazing. My #3 goal was to be strong throughout and enjoy the race – this was achieved though I could have been happier with my run.
Could I go faster? Yes, I have no doubt. I think I have only started improving my swim, and given the poor conditions for this 1:07, I would make sub-1:05 my next goal. I think I could take up to 15mins off my bike time, especially on a different course, or on a calmer day – I have to be sure about pacing myself properly though. General consensus is that an IM marathon will be open marathon + 10% (optimistic), or commonly 45min (possibly more realistic), so my expectation of a sub-4 hour run is not outwith the bounds of reality. All told, I think I could aim at a 10:45 realistically – still a long way off a Kona qualifier!
So, what went wrong? Not much, but something did on the run. Whether it was the lack of running in the previous 3 weeks, threat of an injury, pushing too hard on the bike, nutrition / hydration, or just the tough run course, I don’t really know. I’m fairly sure the nutrition and hydration was ok. I was peeing on the bike frequently, and twice during the run. I’m sure that the pre-race run issues didn’t help, but I had a similar problem last year at the Bridgetown long course, where I ran significantly slower than I thought I would, given my level of fitness. There, I think I pushed the bike a bit. Here, I wouldn’t say that I had, but it would have been very interesting if I could see my heart rate or power output against optimal race levels – would it show that I put out too much work during the ride? Should I start planning how to train and race using gadgets rather than relying on ‘feel’, or should I get better at ‘feel’? If I’m not already good at it – the argument presumes that this is the issue, and I’m not 100% sure of that.
What’s next? Well, I plan to take 2 weeks or so to recover, hope to fit a swim in in the next day or two. My legs feel like they are recovering well enough, gammy second toe on my left foot notwithstanding. I’ll plan to try a bike ride at the weekend, but running might take a week or two to come back. If I feel good after two weeks, I’ll plan to sign up for the Bridgetown Long Distance. Still unsure about trying for a marathon BQ before September though. Longer term, I still want to run under 1:28 for a half-marathon for a certain all-time PB, I’m tempted to stick to half-ironman distance next year, though equally tempted to make another attempt on sub-11 IM!
So, that’s that then. Possibly my final post? I started the blog to document the training I was doing to complete Epic Dartmouth iron distance, and that’s done.