Monday, September 12, 2011
10 Things I Learned from My 70.3 and This Season
I have learned a lot about my abilities as an athlete and a lot about myself this season. I had a great season! It finished far better than I could have imagined! My triathlon season is over with 1 half iron, 3 sprint triathlons, 1 olympic distance, and a couple OWS races but these are the top 10 things I have learned.
10- I LOVE the sport of triathlon- I have found my new athletic love. I enjoy the competition I enjoy the goals I enjoy the drive and I enjoy the finish! I also have found that I love how accessible the pros are in this sport. I met Cait Snow at Timberman and walked right by Chrissie Wellington setting up her transition. It is amazing how much they are just like other racers on race day and how much they appreciate age groupers.
9- Trying out your gear is key and knowing chafe spots! After spending more than one race nursing back some nasty cherries under my arms from chafe spots I now live by the train in your gear. You can't keep them from happening all the time but it sure helps- I also now put everstride under my biceps and anywhere else I tend to chafe.
8- Wet suit strippers are awesome! As I said in my Timberman Race Report they are the best. No more evident than my sprint this weekend where I wore my wetsuit but had to get myself out of it :( I missed my wet suit strippers.
7- SOCKS (and cut toe nails)!!! I learned my lesson at my first Olympic distance tri that it is worth the couple seconds to put on your socks for longer distance runs. I still have a scar on each ankle from the holes I wore into my feet. I also learned this past weekend the power of trimmed toenails. Even tho it was a short run and I didn't wear socks, I still ended up bloody thanks to a long toenail. PEDICURES are key!
6- I enjoy endurance racing. Honestly I am starting to think fast twitch muscles are just not my thing! I think I need to train more to learn the differences between going all out at a sprint and the speed and endurance for a half iron. But for now I just enjoy the longer stuff.
5- I need to work on my run speed. I am by no means a fast runner. My PR for a 5k is just under 28. I need to work on getting a faster turnover and then work on maintaining that for my runs. I plan to work this one in the off season!
4- I need to work on my bike speed. I am not a fast cyclist. The goal of this season was to make it so that I could do the distance of a half iron. I was no where near the time cut offs but I want to get faster. I am a fast swimmer- I come out of the water at the top of my age group without really having to work it. I want to work the other two parts of the race to bring them up to my swim.
3- I CAN DO IT! and I DID IT! I set my mind early this season for a goal that I didn't know if it was possible. I worked hard to train for it and I DID IT! I learned a hell of a lot about what I CAN DO! I am pretty determined and I will push myself to do it. And know this now DON'T TELL ME I CAN'T! That is what my road ID says and it is what has driven me through a lot of things in life!
2- Fuel/Food. I am apparently a freak of athletic nature. I can and enjoy working out with a full stomach. The only times I have ever had issues with racing nutrition wise- are when I didn't eat ENOUGH! I have never had a race where I said man I shouldn't have fueled that much. I thought that might happen at the half iron especially when my coach warned me about fueling with solid food but I NEED that heavy stomach feeling. I get sick without it! I guess I am just a freak in that way- sok apparently my Dad is the same way.
1- Weight/Body Image. Those of you that know me, know I am not a little girl. I am 5'10" and somewhere in the area of 170lbs. I know I do not look like the women on the cover of triathlete magazine. I also have come to realize that athletes come in many different shapes and sizes. My nutritionist actually made it akin to the dogs of the world they are all different sizes and shapes but they are all dogs. I have noticed that triathletes- mainly females- come in many different sizes even pros. Most are very well built bean poles but some are not. Even the great Macca says he can't race well when he is thin- he actually strikes a balance with his weight to get the best performance.
All that being said I know I may not look like what you think can finish a 70.3 but I know I DID IT and NO ONE can take that away from me! So I may not be a fitness model anytime soon but I think I am okay with that. I would rather have 70.3 Finisher on my resume!!