Well, Hy-Vee happened this last weekend. Spoiler alert. It was one of my worst races in...ever?
I was pretty down after the race on Sunday, but after thinking about how the last month has gone, it all makes sense really. The last time I blew it this badly was 4 years ago as an undergrad 4th year at UVA (thats a senior to the rest of you non-wahoos out there).
Coming into August I had a few motivations:
1) I was kinda sick of getting 4th
2) My advisors were gone, things at school were in their pre-fall semester lull
3) Research was going well
4) Plenty of time, nice weather
Ok, so I trained a LOT. More than a lot, I trained hard, a lot. For about 2 weeks I was just crushing it. I even had probably one of my best track workouts ever holding 5:30 pace or below for 7miles on the track. But, then the third week was just too much. I should have backed off but instead I stuck to my plan and really dug myself in a hole. I rested for Maine thinking I would have plenty of time to get it together, but I was not rested for Maine. I was sleeping a lot and the night before ate way too much pizza to be even mildly considered recovered. The race in Maine was weak--the real trouble was that I couldnt get my heart rate up on the bike and especially the run--I think thats just a sign of fatigue. Ok, so I thought I would just drop it hard and rest all week for Hy-Vee. I did 20min swims on MWF (thats it) and only a little more on TR. I felt rested, but flat. And then the race.
I started out the swim hard, on Hunter Kempers feet until the first buoy. I crushed myself to stay on him, and it worked, he put a gap; it was open water, and it was nice. BUT, then we cut in, I got pummeled by a few guys, drank some water, and just blew up. That was it. I came way down in pace for the rest of the swim and for the rest of the day I dont think I got my heart rate above 140. It was honestly sad. I rode at a pace I felt I could have held for about 100miles on an average saturday. And I ran a 36min 10k, yikes. I just couldnt get my pace up because I couldnt get my heart rate up. I was hardly breathing hard on the run, which is a bad sign. My best 10ks are the ones where I nearly pass out from breathing so hard.
Summary: Overtrained, didnt recover like usual for Maine, tired and flat there, rested too much, body shut down for Hy-Vee, even worse than Maine, re-think my life.
I suppose I learned something from the past month, but I sorta feel like I am just reinventing the wheel. Fortunately, I rarely mess it up so badly, but yes I am sure I would benefit greatly from a coach, or someone who would prevent me from blowing it like this.
My parents came out to watch:
And I suppose the weekend wasnt a total bust; I got some pictures with some of the youngsters from the kids race including Megan here who crushed it on Saturday. (I need a haricut!)
Honestly, I am pretty lucky that all I had was a horrible race; it could have been a much worse day for example if I were living in Syria. At the end of the day, life goes on, I dont need this to pay my rent; I will get it right next time. I know I improved this year, and I know my swimming is there. I wanted so badly to make the front group on the swim and if I hadnt blown my training, I think I might have been able to. One of these times I will get it right...
In the mean time, cheers to chocolate milk.
Song of the week (updating Sept 5):