Okay so I raced Sunday. That was fun. But it turns out I have a 70.3 in 4 weeks from this Sunday. Hmmm ...
So I took Monday off because I was exhausted. I slept 12 hours Sunday including a nap after the race and then regular sleep. I did not get up and swim Monday morning. Since then I'll admit I've mentally not quite been in the game. Tuesday I did my workout ... but I didn't really push it. Wednesday I went to swimming and did the workout except when I was goofing off. There was definitely too much goofing off and avoiding the descending kicking sets. Oh well moving on. Today is mile repeats which I will do in a little bit ... in the heat and that's on purpose but ... yuck.
I had a good race Sunday and I'm happy with my performance. One thing I definitely noticed is that I probably haven't raced as much as I should have this year. Last year (wait, was that just last year seems longer?) my brother and I raced once a month and while that was exhausting I can now see that it had a benefit in that some of the race things (like transitions) became really automatic. So that was a good lesson.
Next observation, my legs were feeling the fatigue at the end of this Olympic bike leg and that surprised me a bit. I was definitely trying to keep the pressure on during this shorter distance race but still with all the really long bikes I've been doing it did surprise me a bit. That being said I've learned that tired legs at the end of the bike don't necessarily equal tired legs on the run - crazy I know but somehow true.
Another observation: I am pleasantly surprised with my run split from Sunday. I had left my watch on the bike and so I wasn't really sure how fast I was going and I was anticipating a frustrating result. I felt slow and I definitely walked up the bridge and a few other times during the run. I know about myself as a runner that when I know my pace I can push myself a little harder. I know people who are the opposite that they go faster without a watch. But if I have a watch I will say okay stay at xx pace and it helps keep me accountable to myself and my training. It doesn't always work (example Mpls triathlon) but for the most part. But after feeling so slow on the run I was really happy to see a split as close to 60 minutes as I was especially in that heat. So, I think the speed training is paying off.
Goals for the upcoming weeks
I've learned about myself that I can't rush the mental recovery bit after a race. I just do what I can and go through the motions and eventually it all comes back together. With four weeks to go hopefully it's all coming back together today or tomorrow :-)
I have been slacking on the strength training. I knew that but it was really thrown in my face when 2 weeks ago the coach put us through a strength - core workout that basically left me weeping in fatigue not to mention sore for days. That was an eye-opener so this is an area that I'm going to focus on in the next few weeks.
My house has been very busy lately with school, after-school activities, never-ending construction and meal planning has been very last minute. So, clean eating is an area of emphasis for the next few weeks as well. If you know my husband he loves, loves, loves to eat out. So my lack of planning has meant a lot of eating out and there might be a few extra pounds filling out my tri-suit. The very last thing I want to do is carry any extra pounds around in my tri-suit for 70.3 miles.
Back to those tired legs I mentioned. When I first started triathlon surviving the swim was the goal and that's always an important goal. But my outlook on it has shifted. I believe that for me I need swim fitness beyond what's needed to just finish the swim. I want to come out of the swim feeling fresh. That doesn't mean I want to take it easy on the swim. I do want a good split out of the swim. But I have come to believe that my swim training directly relates not only to performance in the swim but also on the bike and even on the run.
I don't think I'm explaining this well but I now believe that if you finish one of the legs of the race overly fatigued that you really can't recover from that deficit within the race. At the same time, I've learned that tired legs on the bike doesn't always mean slow in the run leg if you can keep your head in the game which is to say that there is no reason to be overly conservative on the bike.
In the race this past Sunday I was able to finish the swim with a smile and run up to transition and push from the start on the bike. That's the first time I've felt that strong and I really think it's from more swimming and guided swim practice. So getting to each and every masters practice Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the OWS on Saturday is a goal for the next few weeks.
That's a lot of goals so now it's time to get to work.