Friday, December 31, 2010

IMWA: Lessons Learned

Alright, last post about the Ironman and then I'll shut the heck up. Here are my thoughts and lessons learned from this epic adventure.
  • I don't think I'd change a thing about the swim.
  • I should push harder on the bike. There's no reason I can't go faster. There are people out there finishing in 4.5 hours. There's no reason why I can't be that quick. Part of me thinks I spent so much time in "base" mode this year that I forgot how to "race." That's partially a good thing, because you're not actually supposed to "race" much of a 112-mile time trial... but I think next time, I need to target 160 bpm (or higher) instead of 150 (or lower). Just need to stop being lazy!
  • Somehow, I'm going to have to successfully train for a triathlon without injuring myself during a training run and screwing up that entire facet of the race. Maybe 2011'll be the year?
  • I don't think I'll ever actually feel comfortable riding on a disc wheel during a 112-mile time trial.
  • Slightly less swimming, much more running. More intervals on the bike.
  • I really liked all of my equipment choices. Everything clicked into place. If I had to change something, it'd be my shoes. I'd like to run in something lighter next time.
  • My race day nutrition choices worked out perfectly well too. PRO bar with breakfast. Perpetuem in the tank, Roctane, First Endurance gel and a traditional Power Bar in the bento box. Nothing but gel, flat coke, gatorade and water during the run.
  • I should get more massages more often.
  • As boring as that Paleo diet can be some times, I like the nutritional guidance it provides. I also like knowing that I'm not completely dependent on pasta for fuel.
  • Blogging about this whole process has been incredibly... therapeutic? And super interesting. It really helps me to spell out my thoughts, plans and sensations. And this'll be such a cool thing to show my kids some day.
  • Coaching myself was a challenge, but I don't know if I have the energy to do that again. 2011 might be the year I cave in and let someone else plan my training sessions for me.
The day after the race, Kristine and I attended the awards ceremony and celebration dinner. The race organizers put on a spectacular event and brought the top five finishers from every age group up on stage. They started with the youngsters and moved up and up. When they were calling guys up onto the stage who were almost forty years older than me - and who had bettered my time by an hour! - I just couldn't get over it. Here were guys more than twice my age, still spry and fit enough to pack in 140.6 and still have enough left over to hop up onto a podium the next day. Amazing.

I hope that's me some day. Seeing those guys get up there, seeing their times, their splits - it made me realize something: 10 hours and seven minutes is good (it's damn good!), but man, I can do better. If those guys can do better, then damn it all, so can I. So my final thought - the thought that's been at the top of my mind since that Monday night - is this:

I want to do another one!