Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lessons learned..

OK 48 hours to reflect on IMWA. I trained my heart out for 17 weeks for this race. I did the "advanced program" and have never put so many running hours into my training before. I PR'd a half IM a month before the race, my head was in the right space to get a PR. I was convinced I would. IMWA is considered one of the fastest race courses in the world. Many get PRs on this course...I saw no reason why I would not make the podium. I felt great the days leading up to and on race day. So what the hell happened? I ask myself..I spent yesterday beating myself up..today is more introspective:

1) I should have brought and worn my Garmin that I have used on every single bike and run workout I did leading up to the race. Could have monitored myself better on the bike and run..Stoopid mistake..

2) I think the whole first out of the water in your age group! really f^&(*d me up. I thought then I was some kind of rock star, that IM rules did not apply and I could just go as hard as I could on that first lap of the bike. I did do well, but at the expense of the rest of the race..This is a rookie mistake..I knew better at the time and knew better before. NEVER spend all your energy on the bike -you will end up WALKING the marathon..

3) I cannot control what I cannot control..heat being one of those factors..I do not race well in heat. Over 100 degrees and my body freaked out. Take Rage, Buffalo Springs as cases in point. I sucked and hated my performance in those races too. The fact I could not control the weather is a metaphor for life. You cannot control alot in life and you just deal with it..

4) I have always thought that when you feel like dog-doo doo in an IM, you just fix the problem and you can feel better in no time. This race it literally took me 5 hours to feel better. Guess it does not always work that way..

5) I have always thought secretly that folks who wanted to quit in IM were just sissies and not in the right mental frame. Well, I was wrong-DEAD wrong. Those 16 pros that DQd this race must have felt that way too! I have never been so close to quitting an IM. I have NEVER felt like quitting like this before (well except at Rage in the Sage half IM). So I am humbled and had to use all the mental tricks I have read about and never had to use before.

6) If I had not had such a shitty race, I would have not gotten to finish with H. That almost makes it worth it. Sure was fun coming in together!

7) Had I only even matched my best IM to date, I would have finished on the podium. But of course maybe those other gals were suffering too and would have kicked my ass anyway..

8) It is only a triathlon. Not life or death.

9) Maybe I overtrained. Maybe I undertrained for the heat conditions. Over 100 degree heat is not something I have been training in for sure. Maybe my body peaked a month ago. Who knows?

10) I got my PR 5 years ago when I was that much younger. Maybe this is all I can really do at this age..

11) Lastly, I know there are millions of people who would love to finish even one Ironman with the time I had. I guess I set the bar too high. I do have limits..

So off we go and this will fade into the sunset as we embark on our trip across Australia. I am still disappointed but I will go on and still race but only half IMs or less. Maybe take up competitve swimming? Seems that is the only thing I am getting better at..


btwcoach said...

You always were a great swimmer!!!
Love you and am very proud of you!!!
You are my hero!!!!!!!!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Very poignant...I'm sure it'll be veru useful for you in the prep for your NEXT IM.

And H is STILL great!!!

Vickie said...

Debi, while it seems you are disappointed in how the race turned out--after all the time you spent training I'm sure you expected a better outcome--but the outcome remains the same: you finished a very difficult race, no one is judging you, and you seemed to have found the redeeming points of the day. Part of it, I'm sure, is that your expectations were not met on what you assumed would be an "easy" day. But your post is appropriately labeled: lessons learned. (Not that I'm judging you!) (I'm sure as a Virgo, you are hard on yourself and expected more perfection in your day.)

becoloradogirl said...

Something to add to your list - keep in mind your finish to this race in the eyes of your kids and your grandkids (and someday something even MY grandkids). To brag that 'grandma debi' and 'grandpa hartley' finished an ironman TOGETHER is plenty for us! Not one person I've told has asked me the TIME in which you finished the race. You are teaching all of us a lesson of what is possible with hard work and perserverence. Don't be hard on yourself - take that medal and brag about that finish! Love you!

Spokane Al said...

Congratulations Deb, on one tough race. You definitely fought through some demons to come out the other side successfully.

P.S. I enjoyed your succinct comment, "Me and flies." Between the mosquitoes at IM Cozumel and the flies at your event, I think I have added two more races to my never to consider list.

LBTEPA said...

You sound so disappointed. (((hugs)))

Anonymous said...

Mom..I have to agree with Becca..not one person ever asks me your time! They are floored that you have the drive to do it. Remember that someday your grandkids will brag about how their grandparents did something that most people will never even dream of attempting. You are an inspiration...I run because you told me I could and I believed you. I finally understand why "PR's" are so important...but this time remember that you didn't quit even when you really wanted to and you have an amazing husband who stayed with you and finished with you. I love you so much...be proud..I am.

greyhound said...


Thanks. I needed that.

Tea said...

Deb...it was a tough race. Analyze then let it go. Not every race is a PR...even the ones we really hope. Too many outside variables exist that are beyond our control. Even finishing this race is an amazing accomplishment.

We can't control everything but we can control our reaction to it.

I think you are simply amazing!

21stCenturyMom said...

I spend a couple of weeks being disappointed at my 15 hour finish at B2B (because I wanted 14) but I got over it and now I'm really proud that I did that race and finished.

Finishing with the heat and the bugs and the heat and the heat is huge. You'll get to the point where you appreciate that soon - I know you will.

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