Friday, March 22, 2013

Ironman Los Cabos... AfterThoughts...

So Ironman #13 is in the books. Didn't turn out like I'd hoped... It wasn't all bad and I'm trying to see the positives while also figuring out how to move forward. Here's how the day went down from my perspective!

The swim at Palmilla Beach is awesome. Super nice ocean venue, water was pretty calm/glassy as expected though we encountered a little chop on the home stretch. It was indeed a running beach start and those are just complete batshitcrazy chaos and I was nervous about it. Watch this video and you'll see why I never found Nalani's feet like I was hoping!! Turned out fine though... I had physical combat only for maybe a minute where it was ugly and then I was totally alone (swimming way wide on the right side) all the way to the first turn buoy where I melded into a decent sized group. Didn't see any other orange caps- all green as far as I could see which meant I was surrounded by men. At times I felt frustrated that I couldn't get around these guys- drafting felt too easy an effort but I tried like 3x to move off to the side and bridge up to another group... but each time I did that all I ended up doing was working harder but wasn't actually going faster. Eventually I conceded and just eased up, cruising mid-pack with this group. I came out of the water and saw 57' which was fine- I thought I was fit enough to swim faster but whatever...
It was a long uphill run in the sand and on steps to get to the T1 tent...
I saw only Nalani and Julie in the tent (hi friends!!) and figured I was 3rd out and felt content with that. Looking at the swim splits I'll go out on a limb and say the swim was a little long or slow for everyone.

The bike was quite a bit more challenging than any of us knew. To be honest, I freakin' LOVED it. I passed Julie ~15 minutes into the race and just like that I was leading the age group women at Ironman Los Cabos!
Nearly the entire 112 miles was either up or down. I used my full spectrum of gears 39/23 all the way to 53/11. For the most part I felt great! Followed my plan of taking in ~1800 cal (4 bottles of Infinit and 6 powergels- simple!), took water at most aid stations and drank some of it and poured some of it over myself... took e21 and vespa as planned... and rode alone most of the day. Every once in a while a man would pass but I will say what I LOVED most about this course is that it was pretty much impossible for draft packs to form. Hands down this was the most honest ironman bike course I've ever seen and it was SO REFRESHING to not get passed by a woman sitting on the back of a pack of 10 men sucking wheel. Several times through the bike I just had flashing thoughts like I FREAKIN' LOVE IRONMAN LOS CABOS!!!

I knew I was riding well. I'd started my watch and I knew the course wasn't going to be fast so I didn't stress about how long it was all taking. If it was taking me a long time it was taking everyone else a long time too and I was comfortable with that. I'd definitely say I enjoyed the airport section more than the corridor section, but primarily b/c I was trained to just hold steady Ironman power and the corridor section was way more over/under type efforts on the steeper hills. Even though the climb to the airport was long and slow, it was steady so it suited me better. And the headwind on the way back also suited me. I actually enjoyed the last section of headwind possibly the most of the whole race! I felt like I just got stronger as I went, I knew I'd had a solid ride even if my split looked slow for a normal 112 miles, and my energy/mental state was good so heading into T2 I thought *maybe* I'd actually be able to run?? I had hope anyway. :)

If I'm honest I'd say that deep down I knew I was not fully physically prepared for this marathon. I didn't elaborate on the state of my injury going into this race b/c I don't ever want to put out an excuse before the race even starts... like here's my excuse of why I'm not going to do well... I hate that! In good news both my hip and my foot were fine by the start of race week but for the 6 weeks prior I'd been managing them to the point where I had to cut back quite a bit on running overall (I replaced that training time with swim/bike and it showed!)... I was hoping maybe my overall fitness and a strong/positive mental state (and some sparkle magic!!) would carry me through the marathon but it did not. I got through ~9 miles avg ~9' pace which was my goal. Def didn't feel super but still had hopes I could will myself to keep it up.
Somewhere around mile 12 I had a complete seizure of my sartorius muscle (same damn one every time) and that was pretty much the end of it for me. I was stopped in my tracks for several minutes unable to even walk or make any forward progress... finally I started up again but knew that if I tried to really 'run' that it would seize up again... so I resorted to this horribly embarrassing walk/jog routine and it was all those damn leg muscles would allow me to do. I'd say mentally I kept 'fighting' til maybe mile 18 or so then I just gave in and pretty much stopped trying. (Not proud of this but it is what it is! Just being honest...) By then I'd been passed so much and felt like there was nothing left to try to salvage so my effort level went down. That said, I tried to run toward the end but had another complete seizure of the same sartorius at mile 25.9... so close to the finish line and this guy was screaming at me the finish is right there keep going!!! I just stared at him and growled YOU ARE NOT HELPING. When that thing seizes up I can't even stand up straight until it releases and I needed to just try to relax and bring the adrenaline down. So I walked across the finish line and for the first time ever didn't smile or put my hands up in the air. It did not feel like a victory at all.

So there you go. Many (probably everyone except my coach and me) might say I biked too hard... My take is that I just didn't have the specific muscular endurance I needed to run a decent marathon. I think I could have biked 10' slower and I still would not have had a great marathon on Sunday. My stomach was fine the whole time... I took in gels and coke and gatorade and water and e21 and vespa totally to plan so it was not an energy issue- it was 100% muscular. Unfortunately I am not a natural runner- though I do believe that I can run a ton better but in order to that I have to run often and a lot. When I'm running often and a lot, my run gets better! When my run training is limited, it goes to shit! #rocketscience

Of course I was disappointed at the finish, though some of that feeling was muted when I found out that Patrick killed it all day, finishing in 10 hours flat with an Ironman marathon PR and placing 3rd in his age group with a spot to Kona! Super proud of him and happy about his hard work paying off! Armando pulled off a great performance relative to the training he was able to put in this cycle (10:40)... so he was very pleased. Nalani had the fastest amateur female swim split on the day (again!) and gritted her teeth through the marathon for 6th in her age group after the hills on the bike course nearly did her in... And Lou had a swim PR and a solid bike... still figuring out nutrition on that marathon but after he puked for a few miles he finished strong and motivated- top 25% of his age group. :)

Nearly a week later I'd say my head is in a pretty good spot. Coach has been supportive and said he has a plan for me going forward (he now understands the gravity of the situation when it comes to me and running!!) so I'll be spending a lot of quality time with my trigger point set trying to make sure I avoid the injury issues that plagued me this training cycle so I can train consistently in the coming months. I'm not giving up. One of these times I am going to figure out that damn Ironman marathon that has eluded me thus far! GAH!

15 comments:

JB said...

Sorry that it did not go to plan and I hope you get the injury resolved quickly! Great to meet you out there :)

JB said...

Sorry that it did not go to plan and I hope you get the injury resolved quickly! Great to meet you out there :)

Shevaun said...

Nice race report. Thanks for sharing the ups and downs. You can tell from the pics you have been swimming alot, your shoulders are very muscular.

Damie said...

Funny how I have been waiting to read your RR, and then I think, why do I feel entitled to her RR? But, I am glad I get to read it! So, sartorius muscle, eh? I wonder why...do you know/had it looked at? So it is the FABER muscle, and I wonder if we can't figure out if something is triggering it or what to do about it. Can't wait till your next race. Love ya and proud of ya!

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

I tracked you all day and was so happy to see you doing so well. I am the same with injury and running, I don;t run well if I don't put the time in. The most important thing is that you seem OK with the result. If the head is good, the body (with health and proper training) will follow!

mtanner said...

I love the kit! It is Sweet! Good job. Onward!! Thanks for being the real deal. xo

cherelli said...

great work on the swim and bike! at least you have those tucked away for when your run comes back...I hope you are now enjoying your little holiday!

Iron Krista, "The Dog Mom" said...

you're awesome. that's all ;)

Roz said...

I went back and looked at the results and with a 4 hour marathon or sub 4 puts you at the top of the AG. Crap, totally doable and was within reach. I have complete confidence you'll get this marathon monkey off your back and put together the solid kick ass race you are capable of.

Even if your next IM goal is to focus on nailing the marathon and nothing else matters, I think you'll still have a top AG performance because your swim and bike are SO STRONG. Even a mediocre day for you in those two legs could be competitive enough.

I hope the professionals have helpful solutions for the muscle/injury issue.

I like mtanner's comment and your pix look great.

Matt said...

Bummer on the sartorius, but great race! Your one tough mamma!

sunnyrunning.com said...

That sucks, but glad you were able to do what you could and have a plan moving forward. (And, people yelling when you're hurt is soooo unhelpful.)

rr said...

Great report - wish I could loan you my sartoris for a race (I don't know what a sartoris is) because it sounds like everything else is going so well! Way to love and lead the swim/bike! You look super fit, and the kit is killer.

RR

Kiet said...

Nice report, no sugarcoating and honest, and the fire is still there, trust me, I know. Still wanna skype soon and get even dirtier details.

thepumpkinsdiary said...

Sorry your race didn't go as planned! Is it something from running or cycling that's aggravating your sartoris? Regardless, I know you'll get it figured out and I know you're ready to smash an IM run soon!!! Way to kill the swim and bike!!

Dana said...

Found your blog searching for IMLC. Great RR. Sounds like you had an awesome day even with the rotten run--you knew what it was and what you had to do to get to the finish. I like the comment about how everyone -except you and your coach- would say you biked too hard. You can your coach are the ones that matter most! I'm hoping you have this figured out now! My question is (and I'm hoping you'll get this comment and reply to me via email)...how do you feel about the bike course changing to make it "faster"? (I just finished IMLT and would be ticked if they changed the course!!)