Tuesday, June 15, 2010
So, the race in Alabama has come and gone and I leave yet another Xterra race quite disappointed. I learned a lot actually in this race and I take those lessons learned with me to Richmond and then back home to San Diego where I will get back to training basics.
First off it was HOT...like 98 and humid hot. Yuck! I had a decent first lap in the swim staying on the feet on Josiah and Melanie and then I just sucked on the second lap. First lesson, I had good fitness in the water for shorter distances but I need to work on longer intervals to make sure I can hold pace on a 1500. This has been a weakness of mine for a while and deep down I know I need to work on it but swimming long intervals is soooooo boring =)
On the bike I tried my best to ride hard and seemed to find my legs on the climb but the reality of the situation is I lack fitness to compete at this level. This isn't to say I am not honestly trying to go hard but in looking back at things it can't be denied that I had to take 8 months off from training (seriously nothing and getting fat) b/c of my knee injury and when I finally returned mid-january I started training but had to get in some intensity pretty quickly b/c races weren't far off. This smaller window left me without time to build my base fitness back up to the level it needs to be. I honestly though, "so what, I have been training for a long time now and I have a base." I think I underestimated this and I have even noticed that doing hard intervals really wipes me out and I struggle to even get through the workouts. This is because I don't have a strong foundation to build off of and my body just can't handle the loads yet. In Xterra it is all about surge, recover (but still at a high effort), surge again, repeat for the entire bike. I can handle some of the surges early but then I really struggle to recover and get back out of the red. Again, my lack of base aerobic fitness coming into play. We thought maybe I could race into shape but it is quite evident that this doesn't work for me =)
So, found my legs a bit at the top of the climb and then flatted after blood rock. I used one co2 but my sidewall was cut. Then a guy gave me some pitstop, which I couldn't get to work. I didn't have a tube with me so I marched back up to blood rock and a very nice guy gave me a tube. Got it on and was able to get a little air into the tire so I could get down to the road where I found more air. Then, honestly, I started to ride back to transition on the road...I was way over it at this point since I was there for like 20 min. About halfway back to transition I turned around and decided I HAD to finish the bike so I rode back up to the trailhead and cruised the remaining four miles. Mind you, I was really pissed but I tried to just enjoy the single-track and get some exercise. I got into transition and decide I would go jog the course (the top 3 were already done with the race at this point) since I haven't ever seen the run course. It gave me a chance to just jog, think about things, and clear my head. I ended up crossing the line and checked off another Xterra race.
I did a lot of thinking the rest of the day and talked with a lot of people about what was going on. My first reaction was "forget this, I am going home. No Richmond." I would be lying if I didn't still feel this way a bit but I am going to give it my best shot on Sunday and enjoy time with my family while I am here.
Jim and I learned a lot from this experience and when I get back home we are going to get back to basics and start building up my base fitness. I am not even going to think about racing until maybe Maui and, truthfully, if I am not prepared to race there I won't and I will just focus on being healthy and strong for next year. Lesley also helped a lot and made me realize that I am probably being too hard on myself...I just want to race and do well but I forget how long I was out and how much I lost in those 8 months. I thought I could bounce back quickly with some intense workouts but I have been proven wrong.
We are already in Richmond and Cody and I ran most of the run course today. It really is a cool venue for a race! This week I will get in some lighter training, give it a go on Sunday, and then I am head back home on Monday.