The race I went to yesterday got cancelled and I had about .8 of a mile left to go. I’d say I was disappointed but not really. Medals have long ceased to matter to me and I know I would have easily finished. Also, this finish was going to just be the start for me.
The spring is filled with our events and it’s been a really successful and fun race season. That being said, I didn’t plan my weeks to both train and get everything done and like some guy said. “That which isn’t planned, isn’t done.” I said that. Just now.
The cool part about this is that I went into the weekend looking to today. To this week and to how I can improve. I didn’t stress over how unprepared I was to race and just went out and pushed as long as I could. And guess what, I again learned something about racing (read life).
In running/triathlon, people are obsessed with their Garmin’s. Their data. Their watts and their paces. I think those have a place. Unfortunately people don’t know enough about their bodies and where their lines in the sand are.
Days like yesterday prove that a couple years (decades) of activity prepares us for a lot. That consistency matters. That again the mental side weighs heavier than the physical. Yes you must do sports specific work and yes you can’t do 99% out the gate for a 5-6 hour race and expect your day to go well, but if you take opportunities to push and learn more about your body, you’ll know more than bike speed averages and run paces.
What I realized again yesterday is that when I race by feel I get almost the exact same outcomes as when I race by data. That especially in long course racing, knowing my body and being patient matters. Racing with data has a place but if you don’t know where your lines are you are holding yourself back.
The bigger lesson from the weekend is that I need to plan my training better. For all the attaboys I just gave myself, the reality is I went in woefully unprepared. This makes me want to do better. I know I’ve developed poor eating habits and that I need to conjure up my training partners to get back to more consistent work. As an old fart, I need strength work as much as miles.
So I’ll start that. Just as soon as I can walk.