Monday, October 22, 2012

2012 Season Reflections

2012 Booty

Since my race report is going to be delayed thanks to Dr. Z taking his camera home with him this morning, I shall instead entertain you by doing some rambling navel-gazing about my 2012 season. I've inserted random pics from the year to make it a little less boring.

Night before the HITS Hunter Mountain Oly

First off, I never really had an off-season after 2011 thanks to doing the Cowtown Half Marathon in February.  However, I was still trying to get my run back from my IT band injury in 2010, so was happy to spend the winter running my brains out. It meant less time trapped on the trainer at least.

It was awesome - I finally met my lovely coach face-to-face, and I had a tough but good race. I didn't PR like I hoped, but I came damn close for a hillfest of a course that was .15 miles long by several people's Garmins.

Me before my first sprint tri, three weeks after deciding to get into triathlon and do IMLP 2012 in three years. I had no idea where this journey would take me.

After that, it was time to get back into swimming and biking. Life became All About Ironman. It was crazy. My training got up to 18-20 hours a week towards the end, which aside from being physically grueling  was a time-management nightmare with a full-time job. It was amazing though - my coach had more faith in me than I did and the brutal training regime taught me that I was far stronger than I ever realized. It was the most insane 4 months of my life.

Dede Greisbauer and I at the IMLP mini-camp
My life just revolved around Ironman - it had to. Even the one race I did during that time - the HITS Hunter Mountain Oly - was just a run-through for IMLP.

The morning of Ironman, I felt ready. Calm. It was crazy. I got FIVE HOURS OF SLEEP THE NIGHT BEFORE. I had just developed a lot more confidence in myself as an athlete. It was helped even more when I set a HIM PR at the Vermont Journey Half only five weeks later on almost no training.

The run of the Vermont Journey Half

Or so I thought.

When I went into the marathon yesterday I doubts. A lot of them. I have a lot of faith in my running, but my volume was abysmal. Thanks to my IT band flaring up a few weeks ago, my long run was FIFTEEN MILES. And yet, despite all that, I ran faster than I thought possible. On a day so windy the truck was getting blown all across the road on the way back. Clearly I still have issues believing in myself as an athlete.

So where does this all leave me? I'm not sure. It's easy to identify the "hard" skills that need work - I'm painfully obviously in need of more swim lessons and many nasty sessions in the saddle leaving me curled up in the fetal position in a pool of my own vomit next to the trainer. I need to keep my run volume decent through the off-season since I can't build up milage quickly. That's the easy stuff.

The Kinvaras I ate up this season.
I think even more important than all that is to have faith in my abilities. Training IS important, but I've also learned that I am good at executing on race day and I have to learn to have more confidence in myself that I can pull it out when it matters, because I can.

So next year's key word is going to be "Believe." Because I can do this. And I will do it.

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