I was disappointed in how my race went and kept thinking about the race and my training. I started a thread on Slowtwitch about breaking through this plateau I'm at and got some good advice. Friends sent some great emails and FB messages that also had some great advice, but more than that it showed that I have some great support. To everyone: I really appreciate it.
This is from an email a friend sent, and this paragraph really hit home:
Mentally, you do have some self doubt and I've seen it in your
comments. You also remember too much about past performance. You
need to have a short memory and move on - you are way too hard on
yourself. I saw it in your face after the swim, you were already
discouraged but 1) still had a PR swim and 2) it wasn't going to hurt you going
forward. The swim wasn't helping but you weren't necessarily behind at
that point. You are incredibly talented, you need to believe that and be
confident - that is a fact.
Although no one said it in these words, the underlying messages were: You're upset about a 10:11? Get over it.
And you know what? They're right.
I set a PR in the swim, a PR on the run and an overall PR. I've often said, "all you can do is keep making progress." That's exactly what I did. I made some progress. Not as much as I wanted, but progress is progress. And I think I learned a lot.
What now? Move on.
I've come to a few conclusions:
- I got greedy with my training and did [way] too much and couldn't fully recover by race day
- I need to have more confidence, especially in my ability to run well - this will help my cycling because I've gotten too conservative on the bike
- I need to stop dwelling on past mistakes, let downs, whatever...
- I need to have the confidence to rest/recover more
- I need to have the courage to completely blow up
- I need to train a little more like I used to
- It's time to bring back the intensity
- It's time to bring back "the easy weekend"
- It's time to bring back the fun
- Coke is magic
In my next post I'm going to share a basic monthly training structure I'm thinking about trying. It's a lot more like what I used to do, but incorporates some of the things I've learned the past couple of years. It's taking elements from my early days of training, my recent training, everything. I tried to take all the good stuff and leave the crap behind. I think it looks good on paper, but I'll have to give it a shot to see how it goes. What looks good on paper doesn't always work out in the real world.