Thursday, June 26, 2008

Some post-race thoughts...

If you've read my race report, then you can see there is a lot to think about and review with the race. I write race reports to help go over everything in my mind again, and review my decisions and actions during the race, in order to identify weaknesses or issues.

One of the biggest things I thought about in the race was whether I was getting soft or not. I hadn't been able to catch the many of the leaders like I had hoped during the second lap of the bike, and was frustrated. I figured I was having a bad ride, and not racing well.

In my previous post, I mentioned my goals for the bike were 261 watts NP, (which would be a .76 IF). I thought I was having a fine ride early, but late I felt like I was watching it slip away. It wasn't until after the race, when I looked at the power file, when I realized I actually rode pretty well. I just got beat by guys who were better that day.

I actually ended up with a NP of 273 watts, and IF of .793. That is one of the great things about a power meter. I thought I rode poorly, and yet the power data tells a different story. In fact, after talking about it with Joe, he was really pleased with how I rode. He said, "If you would have told me you'll have a .793 IF, I would have said, 'We'll take it!'" Without the power data, I would have been wondering how I could have ridden so poorly, and what went wrong, when really I was fine.

If you're interested in viewing the power file in WKO+ software, you can download it here:
Power File for the bike - WKO+

As for the run, clearly it needed more work. The injuries I dealt with did not allow me to gain the fitness required to run well off the bike. But, that's not an excuse, it's a part of the game. You have to be ready on race day, injuries or not.

If you're interesting in viewing the run file in WKO+ software, you can download it here:
Run file for the marathon - WKO+

After the race Joe and I had a phone conversation, where he asked me if there was anything I would have done differently in the race. I initially told him no, but after doing the race report and really going thru things, I found a few things.

1. I would not have used the Camelback. It was a good idea to try, but my nutrition plan still needs some tweaking. Mostly, I need to carry less calories and even rely on the on-course nutrition at aid stations more. This will keep my nutrition plan simple and basic, hard to mess up.

2. I should have started the race with Evans and Rhodes, and tried to stay with them through the swim. Though some may argue that would have been a bad idea, it may not have. Rhodes lead Tom the whole way, swimming steady, while our pack had surges and changes going on. If I would have gotten dropped, I could have just waited for the second pack. And even sometimes, knowing you have had an AMAZING swim, can lead to other amazing performances.

Knowing now how good I felt, I will not let that happen ever again. I will always get with the fastest swimmer(s) and make my goal to be on their feet. If I want to make the next jump, I've got to be up there and be in the mix from the beginning. I'm a little disappointed I gave-up the idea of staying with them from the beginning, as that should never happen.

So what is next for me? Good question. I was offered a slot to Kona, but I turned it down. It was entirely a business decision. Looking at the costs, it was going to be a minimum of $1500 to toe the line in Kona, before counting car rental, accommodations, and food. Seeing where my fitness is right now, there is just too much work to be done to be ready for the type of performance in Kona which would allow me to pay so much for doing a race. If the season had gone really well, and I was very strong right now, I could do it. But it's clear I'm not strong enough at this juncture, so no Kona for me.

Instead, I will be racing Ironman Arizona in November. I'm actually looking forward to it! It's in Joe's backyard, Orlanda can come, JT will return, Marcus wants to do it again, and maybe even his brother Morgan will come too! Of course, that's a long ways off, but I'm already looking forward to it. There's a lot more time until this race than Kona, meaning I have a better chance to reach peak fitness.

Between now and then, I'm still working on the race schedule, but I'm considering a return to Tahoe for XTERRA Nationals! We will see what happens. I'm also in discussions with Joe about some changes to the training regimen, such as a return to the Sunday MILFside runs. Stay tuned.

That's all for now.



Mark said...

Jim: Thanks for putting yourself out there with these race reports! It's very interesting to know how the "race" goes down.

I was wondering how the Camelback would work out, as it seems so practical. What I have done to know how many ounces of fluid I take in an hour via Camelback was measure my mouth capacity. LOL. This sounds incredibly dorky, but I took a bunch of mouthfuls and spat it into a measuring cup, then averaged them to figure out my that a typical mouthful is 2oz. Then I know I need to take in 12 mouthfuls an hour to get my caloric needs. I agree, this is quite gay, but just a tip for you in case you wanna roll with the camelback again ;)

Good job man, and sounds like a smart decision not to do Kona.

Kick ass in November!

beth said...

sounds like you did some solid reflecting...just wanted to say- great job in Coeur d'alene. excited to watch the build up to IMAZ