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Saturday, June 27, 2009

2009 Ford Ironman Coeur d'Alene Race Report - Epilogue

Favorite race day quote (from a woman behind me upon entering an aid station on the run):

"Gatorade! Gels! Oh my god, if I have another gel I'm gonna puke."

Everyone I talk to keeps telling me that I should be proud and happy to have finished. But honestly, there was never a time that I didn't think that I would be able to finish. Even if I had to walk the entire marathon, I was going to finish. I wasn't nervous. I'd been training for 10 months. To me, finishing was an expectation, not a goal - even for my first Ironman. I mean, if I was a weekend warrior or lost 100 lbs in training for this thing and had never done a triathlon before, just finishing is a HUGE accomplishment.

Someone recently pointed out to me that as athletes, we're our own worst critic and I'm sure that's the case here. For me, the hardest part of Ironman was the training. The race itself wasn't THAT difficult. I had some time goal expectations and I missed them all for various reasons. To me, that was the most disappointing thing and why it's hard for me to be happy.

One thing I've noticed is that over the past 2.5 racing seasons, while my run has gotten MUCH better, my cycling has gotten slower. After a lengthy conversation with my coach, we think it's because I've been focusing on the endurance events (halves and Ironman) and not the speed events (sprints and Olypmics). My plan for next year was to only focus on the speed events and this idea was confirmed by our conversation after my coach said the year after his first Ironman, he stuck with the speed events and in his next Ironman in the following year, he was faster.

As far as this guy is concerned, his racing season is over - I need a break. My goal for next year is very simple: get fast.


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