Monday, September 6, 2010

You Don't Know Everything

2005, 245th of 2076 starters in the highest DNF percentage in any Ironman anywhere, ever. 49th of 384 who started in my age group. Some guys registered and didn't show up on race day - about 34 to be exact. I did alright considering the 95 F and stupid hot humidity/heat index. I did a great deal correct in my preparation for this race. I would change several things looking back.

The run went fairly well (especially compared to the race as a whole.)

Massive chaffing and the urge (yet inability) to urinate was a sign that I was suffering in the heat too.

The race (for me) was lost long before race day. Weeks before, I was severely limited in my cycling training time. Never... is it a good time to limit your training hours before an Ironman. What was interesting (and something I'll never forget) is how person after person were just drilling the bike ride. On the day, I figured that they were just having a great day or pushing too hard. After, I know they were pushing too hard. Nothing about Ironman is fast. Every one of those people went to the hospital and didn't finish the 1st 13 miles of the run. I used a Polar heart rate monitor and slowed when the heart rate didn't jive with the RPE I was experiencing. It probably saved my race. 36 guys were between Kona and me, but the worst part about the race was that I wasn't ready physically. Mentally, you bet. I used every trick in the book that I knew. (A reason I don't endorse people racing Ironman without several years of triathlon experience.)

My slowest Ironman swim of all races I've ever done. 1:00:38. I had dry heaves in the first 400 meters. Not sure (to this day) what that was about. I probably wasn't trained to race; more like participate. Yet, on race day, I showed up to race.

Recently, several friends of mine (not coached by me) and one of my athletes have decided that they know more than their coach. Racing only weeks or days from completing an Ironman. Running "every day" when running 3 days was near impossible. Lastly, letting family over commit you when recovery is in order.

There is a line from the movie Beverly Hills Cop which has always stuck with me. Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) gets chewed out by his boss (one of the experienced detectives) who says, "You're a good cop, but you don't know every f*cking thing." Many of us are very good athletes, hard workers or really smart. If you are lucky - you have two of those. If you are great... you have three. Even the great ones needed help. Dave Scott, Mark Allen, Lance Armstrong.

I start back with my coach this week. I'm keeping that in mind. Work is assigned. I do it. I ask for information purposes. Anything NOT in my plan - I don't do it or ask permission to do it. Even experienced athletes need to go back to the feeling of being new to the sport. The combination could yield strong results.

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