I am seriously SORE from this weekend and I really had to suck it up throughout this race! In the past, I have almost never cramped during a race but this weekend gave me a grand introduction to how much longer it takes to recover from a race when you really hit the bottom of your reserves. . . and that is what it feels like it took for me to get through this one! I loved every second of it! ;-)
Mentally, I am still a little beat and I have been sitting through PowerPoint presentations all day my works mid-year sales meeting up in Tahoe so I am scrambled to say the least… Yes, it is hard to be at the Hyatt in an conference room overlooking Lake Tahoe and be this sore and stuck to a seat but I am hoping to get a hike in by Wednesday. For now, I just wanted to brain dump my “lessons learned” and work on my limiters for the next race @ SLO. I am more stoked than ever to be a part of the California Multisport races! Now on to limiting my limiters...and some learning
My biggest limiter / lesson learned all round was something that I have NEVER ran into before. Nutrition! I always read about this and have always adopted the Hammer Nutrition fueling strategy but this race I paid the price for not following it thought. Not that I didn’t prepare . . . I had a gel before the race and a gel flask on my bike and surf ski but ended up losing both gel flasks. Not only did I have to slow the pace but the cramps and going out too fast just made it harder to keep it going. Nutrition effects every part of the race!
I don’t want to say that I blew up but I just was short on the distance… The run looked a bit like this _/\_ and although I reached the top with plenty of gas and was ready to hit the downhill with some speed I ended up sputtering out near the end.
Pace - I could have started a bit slower
Hydration – I decided not to take water and should have had some gu and H20 on the run
No socks – This helps for transitions but with the run/bike/paddle transition I should have worn socks. I ended up getting blisters on the way down and although I could deal with the pain it may have lead to a slower time and cramps due to the above and technique change from blisters(different muscle groups).
My bike was solid for what I had going into it. I needed to recover from the run and did on the first half of the bike and it was probably still my best leg. The only one that the distance was not a factor and I felt like I could have pushed much more if I was not recovering/cramping. The biggest lesson learned on the bike was losing my gel flask after not having anything and going to hard on the run. I was doomed to cramp/slow and I had to keep that pace I could manage on the bike. Missing the turn on the loop back didn’t help but didn’t hurt that much either. I got my feet out on the way back and had a good transition after the bike.
Although run should not be included here it was a significant part of the paddle due to the mile out and back from transition and it would grind my run to a walk. I walked a lot of this! Another limiter to my run and race in general is my lack of running volume. Running once/twice a week or a total of less than 10miles a week is hurting in more ways than one.
Paddle was OK but due to the waves and lack of skill in rough water I could not hold a solid technique for the majority of the paddle. This was not only slower but also inefficient because of using the wrong muscles and making me even more fatigued. On the paddle I just had to use what I was left with. I fell out about 4-5 times from cramping in my calves, hamstrings, hip flexors and back.
I need more rough water paddling and technique work on a boat that I can rock in any condition(and be powerfully relaxed). After looking more into surfski.info I have decided to do some additional video analysis and get some help with technique in open waves on the ski. My overall volume is still pretty low in paddling also with only about one paddle a week of less than 5 miles so adding more sessions/distance per week will help me paddle stronger