Friday, 15 October 2010

Outlaw Race Report (ish) 8th August 2010


(ok so its not what they shouted as I DNF’d my way outta this one, but it would be amusing at Ironman races if they had the facility to do so)

I approached this race, not really fussed, and hadnt given it much preparation.  The week after switzerland I managed a couple of rides, and very gentle swims.  On Monday I had has a steady state fuel analysis done with Metabolic Solutions that had shown I was severely fatigued. As opposed to in february when fit i was sourcing 40% of my energy from fat (at lactate threshold), I was only sourcing 5% energy from fat at the same intensity. NOT good for long distance racing.  On the Wednesday night swim, my arms felt dead in the water, but i still had some semblance of speed. In honesty, i doubted whether this was an entirely good idea??!

Anyway, race day was upon me and just thought I’d see how it went. I wanted a 1 hour swim, especially after my split in Switzerland but didnt have any other specific goals for the race. By now, deep down, I didn’t  really wanted to race. Anyway, a cold start, I got myself into the fast pen, (sub 1 hour swimmers) and off we went. I found myself powering off ahead of people my side of the pen, and I merged across to find some feet. All going well. The first 1.9km up the lake was a REAL struggle, there were so many weeds in the water, I kept getting huge clumps in my hands, and face, and kept losing the feet in front of me. I was getting seriously pissed off with the weed, and thought id be WAY off the hour. I took a peak at my watch as I rounded the end buoys and had what looked like 27 mins on the watch. I thought to myself at least its definitely only the same distance back down the lake - lets see what I can do. Whilst I didnt feel great, I wasnt deteriorating, as the people in front of me seemed to slow I bridged to the next swimmers ahead of me with relative ease. Out of the water and 54 something on the watch, MUST have been a short swim, but even so thats way under the hour. only goal of the day accomplished. Out onto the bike....

So again whilst I didnt feel exactly nippy (and wasn’t) my legs weren’t totally dead, but I didn’t seem to be able to lay down much speed at all, I just decided to see how it would go. I felt I was pushing a little hard on the first lap and reigned it back. 1.37 for the first loop, 1.40 for the second with loo stop and 1.38 for the third lap with loo stop. So pretty consistent riding. I pushed it all the way home from 95 miles. Felt good actually at parts, although I did get a sharp pain in my right knee that dissapated quickly after an adjustment of my pedal stroke (just a usual random ache I think)

Anyway, onto the run and I didnt seem to get my heart rate down. I wasnt having fun, I was very short of breath and generally felt exhausted. As usual I tried to ignore the aches and just get into the meditation of one foot in front of another and watch the miles ebb away.  This time I was really going to hold back, no pushing for times. After the first lap of the lake and the first out and back, i had started to feel a little better, walking some aid stations, I seemed to get my hr down, but then something strange happened - I suddenly decided/realised I didnt WANT to finish. Completely weird, normally I’m stubborn to the point of grinding things out for the sake of it. This is how it came about.

The inner dialogue re-appeared and the question was asked, why are you doing this? (pretty normal, im sure weve all asked ourselves during training or racing)

I however struggled to find an answer. Usually I look to within the confines of a race and try to remain focussed.  The answer usually is for the feeling of accomplishment you get from finishing etc etc.   That didnt cut it this time, I started to look outside the race and started to look at my past injury, and what I was doing. Was I out of my depth? I was 10 ish miles into the marathon and starting to feel good, but I know how quickly things can turn. I knew i wasnt injured at the time, but with the proven exhaustion id been suffering from, I knew i was on the edge of maintaining form.  I had felt terrible earlier, and knew and had been experiencing especially for the past 9 hours just how much a full ironman took out of me last time.

I began to look to my races and training comittments (namely transalpine at the start of september, the training weekend planned in switzerland next weekend) I knew if I ran the rest of this race then, other than being able to brag that I’d done two Ironman in 3 weeks, that i wouldnt be able to train effectively next week - and completion at transalpine would become even less of a likelihood than it already is.

I suppose ultimately I chose to fight another day. It was a solid training session, and a swim pb, one i should be proud of (even if it clearly must have been short!) Im sure it looks like I quit, but this race never meant enough for me to fight for.  Perhaps im getting smarter, or just lost my nerve....

Lets just hope I can convert the decision into results and get my untrained legs round Transalpine - which I’m glad to say they’ve now decreased the elevation (to 13,500) but increased the distance (to 305km!!!)

A steady block of running for 3 weeks now for me, then rest....then???

Below I’ve added some images from last years race - a taste of things to come! I can’t wait!

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