Thursday, July 14, 2016

Lessons Learned

Last Sunday, I toed the line at my 11th consecutive Vineman 70.3 race.  Wondering how that's possible that a sport has captured me for so long as well as looking back on old pics and thinking...MAN, I've come a loooooong way!

W35-39 podium
The short story is that I ended up 2nd in the AG (by an agonizing 71 seconds) and 6th amateur female.  This race continues to be extremely competitive and always brings out the best athletes from around the country. Which is need to lien up against the best to see what you're made of.  It's no wonder either, the setting is ideal and the wine tasting post race is 2nd to none.

Russian River Goodness
The longer version starts here.  Mark has and continues to make fun of me and pretty much ALL triathletes for our complete lack of skills on the bike...lack of flying dismounts (I actually do this), running with bike shoes on, not able to get going on a hill (what, doesn't everybody scoot and then try to pedal?!).  You name it, and he calls us all muppets.  I'm not outing the poor guy, he'll gladly make fun of you to your face if you show up and do one of these things...he expects more from me for sure and feels it's a vital part of triathlon that is grossly overlooked.  Noted coach, noted. I've never felt more sure that I need to work on some things than after this race.  Losing by 71 seconds is a tough pill to swallow.  Not that Robin (the winner) wasn't awesome...she is, but I made some errors Sunday that I am disappointed in and they ended up being costly.   I think in Ironman racing, it's so long, that we tend to overlook the smaller details that could end up saving us time, brushing them off as not necessary in triathlon...when am I going to have to get going up a hill? Vineman?
Post race FUN with friends

To be clear...2nd isn't bad, I'm not ungrateful for the good things, but I expect the BEST from myself and this is the first time in a long time that I felt I made easily avoidable mistakes and for that, I'm disappointed in myself.  As I voiced my disappointment on Tuesday to a friend, I was asked "did you have a good time?".  The answer is YES, I did.  I got to race with friends, and then go out in wine country, and have a great meal with friends. And even in disappointment comes good learnings, so that is a good time too!

Positive take away's from the race:
I was faster than LY, yeah!  Only a minute, but hey, faster is faster, right?!!

Bike JAM Session
The bike...I have been working on trying to have a higher HR on the bike and to really push as last season was kind of meh for me bike wise and I used to be SUCH a biker.  So to really get after the bike was the goal on Sunday and I did that.  It felt great to try to just JAM around the vines.  However jamming, led me to not be loving eating whole food as much as usual...those salty balls a re a bit hard to chew when breathing and snotting all over the place!  Maybe chomps for halfs from now on?

I was destroyed on Monday...almost like I'd done a full I was happy with that knowing that that feeling only comes when we push hard.

Things I need to continue to work on:
LEAN...say it now. Pic by @MarioFraioli
Run form...lean forward coach said...and I just could not lean forward.  I couldn't force the hurt. Don't get me wrong, it hurt...but I just couldn't go beyond that into the next zone. My HR on the run matched that on the bike...not exactly what we're shooting for! I consistently run much faster in training and my IM pace seems to be my 70.3 pace too...not cool dudes.  I hope to really work on this for Ohio 70.3 next month.

Two girls looking to re-fuel!
Speed jersey woes...I didn't wear the speed jersey under my wetsuit as I've not done it (nothing new on race day) so i put it on in that what everyone does?  It is so worth it from a sun protection perspective, but i hate feeling like I lose 10 seconds to do this...see above ;)  I then also took it off in T2 costing another few clicks of the second hand.  It's starting to add up!  In Ohio, I either need to go without or try to wear it under my swimskin...Opinions on this are welcome!!

So now we move it right along and as Mark said to me on Sunday when I asked what the gap was to 3rd..."we're not even looking at that, we are only looking at what's ahead" (FYI, I totally didn't appreciate this at the's a much better metaphor than it is in real time). It's time to look ahead to Ohio 70.3 and the final push to Kona!

Hope your training is KICKING BOOTY and thanks for following along!