I cannot quite wrap my head around what has happened to me over the past week, but it has been peppered with ups and downs. All the training has been solid, but it has been coupled with wicked GI issues. I got sick to my stomache three different times within an eight day period and had to take as many full days off. Interestingly enough I had excellent training on the odd days.
Some folks around me have been getting the funk as well so perhaps Boulder county is dealing with the "summer camp shakes." (Thats what we called the contagious funk that always circled throughout the summer camp I worked for in my teens and early twenties).
I raced last weekend.
I got my arse handed to do me a bit, but I definitely went as hard as I could.
Essentially the race consisted of a mediocre swim, a decent ride and a decent run. I'm not sure why I lost so much time in the swim, but I did. I started the ride with Michael Hagen (great Master athlete for ARMY) and we surged back and forth the whole way. It was great to have someone force me to keep it pinned the entire way. I had a feeling he would/could run away from me so I kept trying to hit him on the bike over and over again.
If it did tire him, it didn't tire him enough! I cruised the run at a good tempo and finished up a few minutes behind the overall leader. Once all the other waves came in I finished up in 15th place. 2nd-2oth were all within about 2 minutes of each other and sure would have been fun if we had all raced head to head.
Sometimes people are surprised when I don't knock out uber fast times in short course racing. A lot of folks assume that because I can cover big miles in modest times then I must be able to race short miles in fast times.
Trust me, there are plenty of people who are that way. Just not me.
Generally, my races are going to give you a good idea of my fitness. My ability to execute longer races better than some fitter athletes might be the case from time to time, but you should not assume that I am "faster" than them.
Most Athletes, from BOPers to top Pros, show their fitness in the first three hours of an IM instead of doing it all day. That's all.
Faith in what you do.
Faith in what you do when there is a lot of noise around you.
A lot of you are training right now. A lot of you are constantly being told what to do and what not to do by every chap with an email address and an opinion.
Here is an observation I shared with some friends today:
Every year (for me) is different. Sometimes I am actively trying to incorporate new training plans/ideas; while other times I know I NEED a different training plan. Some things work. Some things don't.
I know there is a risk that what I do might not be right, but I am willing to take those risks because I have faith in the plan I create.
Each year I:
Gather a team I trust. I generate questions and appreciate their input and criticisms. I thank them for their time.
Then I commit to what I know in my heart is going to work for me.
As the noise around me grows, I quiet myself and focus on what I believe in.