IM St. George was this past Saturday, and I didn't finish. I could have trotted home in a 3:40—4:00 marathon, but I think that would have thrashed me for the next four weeks. Here's the email I sent to Cliff debriefing the race:
OK, I'm pretty disappointed, but here's my post-mortem on the race.
Swim: bright point of the day, actually. I made the second group, which was one of my goals going in. Luke Bell was way out in front (49 minutes), then there was a small group of 8 that contained Hoffman, Macdonald, Kotsegarov, Lieto, etc...I was in the second group that came in at 54:30, about three minutes back. Certainly within striking distance, since Michael Weiss and I came out of the water together.
Bike: too patient, I think. Averaging 246 watts for 112 is just way too low, I think. The wind was fierce, and I really, really don't go uphill very well if I'm being careful. I just felt like I shouldn't push too hard and I ended up putting in a 5:15 split. Feeling like one of the stronger cyclists out there, I think that's a pretty abysmal time. I felt like I was missing a gear in back, because I'd ride at, like, 95 RPM and shift up, but then not be able to turn over that higher gear (around 80 RPM). I'm pissed I rode just so far off the pace. I couldn't really go with anyone that passed me, and I was annoyed that anyone passed me at all.
Run: ugh. Within seconds of starting the run I knew I just didn't have it. My legs felt fine (after the first few hundred meters), but I just didn't...believe. My lungs felt pretty good, but I just couldn't get my legs turning. Then the hills and the wind took the rest out of me. I could have staggered home in 4:00 or so, but I didn't want to destroy my legs for the next month and post a 10+hour IM. I felt fit, but the body just wasn't ready. I feel like a car in which the engine is strong and the frame is decrepit and weak.
I'm frustrated, but I only have myself to blame. I do all the big picture training (putting in hours, working the intervals, etc...) but I'm terrible about strength training and run form. Here are a few areas I have to improve in:
Strength: I never do strength training. Part of it is not knowing what to do (so much information, so much of it conflicting) and part of it is habit/time. I'm not used to doing strength training and so I don't make it a regular part of my schedule. The guy who was working on my Achilles did some resistance tests and said: "You have the hip strength of a 15 year old girl."
Form: my form is poor. Running cadence is usually around 85-87, which I understand is just too low to run efficiently. I don't know what drills to do to improve this.
Weight: I'm too big. I look at the guys I race against and there is a definite difference. I think I could probably lose about 8-10 pounds safely. I don't have good resources about figuring out body fat, so I neglect keeping track of that.
Belief: I don't have any faith in myself as a runner. I don't feel like a runner, I don't think like a runner. When I'm on the bike I think "OK, who'm I gonna get next?" On the run I think "How far back is the guy behind me. Sigh. How many spaces will I give up on this run?"
I would really, really like to address this. If possible I'd like to go to Boise and be competitive (June 12) and then get on the podium at Pac Crest (June 26).
Frustrated, but ready to get working.
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