Monday, September 9, 2013

Quick thoughts from airport

Will probably wait to write full race report till I'm through with this week of teaching. Normal life has been on hold! But I am just now looking at my race results, with detailed splits and rankings.

I didn't pace well on HR/effort - I couldn't afford to. A good stretch of the swim was so rough that I was truly swimming as hard as I could just to move forward - normally I swim at a lovely easy pace in this sort of race, one that I can maintain forever (I like the bilateral breathing because it reminds you of the way swimming is like a waltz - I sight every 6 or every 12 strokes, depending on conditions, after breathing on the left side). But it was so choppy that it wasn't just that you couldn't breathe on the right without taking in water and air in unwanted combinations - I had to move into absolute utmost power swiping, breathing every two and coming up and sort of plunging back into the water on pretty much every stroke. I can feel a lot of muscles in my shoulders and chest that I don't usually use swimming much, but the more worrisome part was the "burning of matches" - the grim mood in which I spent a good part of the swim wasn't to do with the physical sensation (I find that kind of swimming exhilarating, and if it had been a standalone race I would have had a huge grin on my face, so I am lucky that way - many others were panicking and clinging to kayaks, even very strong swimmers), it was due to the knowledge that this swim was taking much, much more out of me than I had imagined. Fortunately all was well, but my HR really never went back down afterwards.

But the rankings on each leg are another way of thinking about pacing, and there I really do think that I trained as well as I could. (My limiter is the tendency to respiratory ailments - after having had countless interruptions to training and racing over the years, including not being able to race IMCDA due to bad bronchitis, I cut back on anything that I thought was risky [pool chemicals are a trigger for instance] and focused on cycling.) If you are very fast in one sport and not in the others, then this does not apply, but one way of thinking about pacing is to say that you want to gain rather than lose places as the day proceeds. You may not have paced well, but you have paced more wisely than others! And the numbers really paint a good picture - of course really I am a stronger runner than swimmer or cyclist, but it's still good, I am happy looking at it.

swim: 123/2412/601
bike: 119/2383/586
run: 118/2306/559

[ED. Post corrected for typos - clearly I am more tired than I realize, usually I don't proofread and it comes out fine!]

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