Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Oceanside 70.3 Race Report

To start off, I'm already planning on going back to Oceanside next year. The course was beautiful and well-supported; Oceanside is a great host city... But most of all, we really want to drive the dogs out there so they can experience the beach. I'm pretty sure my non-swimming (yet not afraid of trying) husky is going to be quite the scene.

Look how cute they ride in the car together.
This was my first race coaching myself. I gave myself a few cutoffs for fucking up my training enough to need a coach, but I just kept rolling and making progress. I had a date in mid-February that I would make a decision about coaching myself through Oceanside, or needing to hire someone else. Then how well I raced at Oceanside would be my last chance to change course and hire someone before Ironman Canada. Luckily, I have a husband/therapist who keeps me from self-sabotaging, and regularly asks me tough, direct questions about what I'm doing with my life. About a month ago, we went through a line of questioning regarding what I would need to do in Oceanside to feel confident coaching myself moving forward. That's when I realized that the decision had already been made.

One of the many great things about Ryan is that he understands that my decision making process is completely opposite than his logical, strategic system. But he trusts me to do what's right for me, as long as I'm confident. Every important decision I've ever made is based completely on my intuition and my "feel." Coaching myself so far this year has allowed me to break through old patterns that no longer serve me, to look at my training from new angles, and to be even more tuned in to my body. I've made a lot of physical progress, but I've also had to make a lot of mental progress. I have to trust myself. I have to be completely aware of my mind and body at all times, without judgment. Aside from anything physical, growing in that area has, and will continue, to make me an infinitely better athlete.

So I'm all in for this year. I'm committed and I'm ready to get back to the World Championship, on the island that I love so much I tattooed it on my body.

My race plan had a completely different structure than it has in the past. Instead of mapping out my splits in terms of power and pace, breaking down my nutrition into hourly calories, fluid ounces, and electrolytes, my new race plan style consists mostly of mantras, gratitude, and mental themes. Sure, there are some course details to keep in mind and some basic ideas about speed and time goals. Don't get me wrong, I only feel comfortable making my race plan this way because I have a wealth of knowledge regarding my power and pace, and some handy experience with hyponatremia that led me to find out EXACTLY what I lose per hour in fluid ounces, and each individual electrolyte. What I have learned throughout these experiences though, is that if I'm completely tuned in, I know exactly what my body needs, and what it can sustain, moment to moment.

Here's an excerpt from my race plan:

"I am in this with my body. I learn best through trusting my body and letting it guide me, instead of trying to get in it's way or deny what it's trying to tell me. My body is strong and resilient, and I want to be completely tuned in to it's strength."

Swim: 33:04

I was excited about the ocean swim. I've had some good ocean swims in past races, including my only sub-hour Ironman swim. I decided ahead of time that I wasn't going to be cold. I'm gaining confidence in the fact that I have control over the way I respond to every situation, and that expectations are met at whatever level you set them to be met. "Cold" is subjective, so I simply didn't expect to be cold.   

As soon as it was my turn to step up to the start line, I got that giddy race feeling and giggled like a little kid the whole way into the water.

I think I could have done a better job swimming through/under the waves on the way out. I caught myself a few times getting held up and basically swimming in place, not making any forward progress. Once we hit the first turn buoy, I got into a solid rhythm and felt strong, but I think I costed myself some time on the way out. I typically swim right around 30 minutes for a 1.2 mile swim, so I was a little disappointed to see 33 on my watch. But I never let myself feel negatively about a swim in the moment because there's still so much racing to do. Sometimes I don't even check my time.

Bike: 2:57:31

The winter in Colorado this year has been extra wintery, so I didn't have many outdoor rides under my belt going into this. Even as I type this, we're supposed to get another snow storm tomorrow.  I recognized that that was one of my shortcomings in training leading up to this race. I did, however, put in a lot of hard efforts on the trainer. My peak power is higher than it has been, so I definitely wasn't worried about hills. And that's pretty much how it panned out. I felt like I could fly up hills but didn't have much ability to sustain power. That will come. I'm planning on all but living on my bike in the mountains leading up to IM Canada. So that being said, my time was "meh."

I don't have the same problem as I do after the swim, trying to avoid letting my time get in my head, because I'm just too excited to get the F off my bike and run. 

Run: 1:37:29

I know I'm not alone in this thought, but if I have a good run, I'm generally happy with my race, no matter what else happened. Running is my favorite in the exact same way that smiling is Buddy the Elf's favorite. My primary goal for this run was to get into the zone, and be completely immersed in the moment. I'm certainly not recommending this pacing strategy, but it was important for me to not be worried about the future. Meaning, I wasn't going to anticipate any pain or slowing down at the end. I was just going to go hard.

I averaged under 7:30/mile, and my splits were pretty consistent throughout the entire half marathon. I'm really happy with how well I ran, but it only proves to me that I have a lot more speed to unlock.

Overall, I'm leaving Oceanside even more assured that I'm on the right track. I know exactly what I have to do to give myself the best chance of standing on top of the podium in Whistler. And I wish this damn recovery week would end so I could get to it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

New Bio, who dis?

As I've witnessed myself shift and change, I've been experimenting with some new coaching strategies. Most of my athletes know that ...