For not training at all, I still got a PR!
Since this was my 5th year doing this race I have some fun data to compare with.
From here lets first focus on the bike and bike pace. I was expecting a big boost here this year with the new bike, and I’m impressed with the numbers I pulled off – even being out of shape and only riding it a few times before race day. My goal on this year’s bike was to find my current threshold and stay there as long as I could. Right about at Cele Road I started to feel like I was going to throw up, and then I just kept it at that intensity for the rest of the ride.
The new bike handles hills much better than I would have expected. My new aero helmet felt good, but I’m going to have to get used to the weight difference, especially the way it pulls my chin up. I was passing more people than were passing me and felt strong the whole ride. For this race, I am very happy with 19.27 miles an hour.
Let’s back up to the swim. I have not been swimming much at all this year. No structured swimming, and only the swim challenge endurance events have been motivating me to get in the lake a few times a month. I will take this faster swim as a sign that just swimming more makes you better. There is decent improvement 11 seconds per 100 meters over the first year.
The run was where I fell apart here, but I expected that. My goal was to do the first half mile at any pace, no goals, then try to descend from 10:30 pace every half mile to 9 minute mile pace at the end. Mile 1 was 10:24, right about on target. Mile 2 was 10:32, about 40 seconds slower than I was looking at. Mile 3, I was able to get back where I wanted with 9 minute mile pace. I attribute this to focusing on the way my body was feeling and pushing myself to a limit I was not yet prepared to push to in the earlier miles. I started talking to myself and telling myself to stay at a certain cadence. The course, as always, was just a little bit short. Again, I haven’t been running much, maybe once a week since the marathon. I haven’t ran in the heat at all this year.
If I would have had some better run fitness, I would have liked to have had my best run pace ever this race, instead of my second worst. If I had been able to cut 1 minute off my run I would have gone from 31/42 to 26/42 in my age group. To place in the top 50% I would have had to cut 7 minutes off. I think that’s possible with training, someday, if I am able to put time and effort into training for sprints.
Overall, during the race, I was able to stay in the moment for most of the race, I did my best to not daydream or focus on future events, but to stay aware of what my muscles were doing and how my breathing was affecting my performance. I am very happy with this race and its good to know that taking time off from post marathon until this race did not have terrible fitness consequences.