Friday, August 24, 2012

Hammer Time..or Not

If you've ever raced with me, or watched me race, you probably know that more often than not I like go out hard and see how long I can hold on.  In sprint and Oly tri's I've even used the term dropping the hammer as my motivation to myself on the bike.  I've got 2 years (plus this season so far under my belt) and should know better than that.  Really the results should speak for themselves.  My best running races are the ones that I've determined my pace, had a written pace sheet, and nailed it - allowing me to actually finish a bit better than my goal times.  My best tri's have been those that I tend to pace myself at as well - take for example Nation's 2011 and Augusta 2011.  I paced myself on the bike at Nation's and PR'd the run.  At Augusta I rode hard for the entire 56 miles, didn't follow a nutrition plan, and bonked hard on the run.  Have I learned my lesson - well cognitively yes, but have I truly put it into action this year?  Yes and no.  At the beginning of the season I paced and PR'd my HIM time by more than 19 minutes.  I paced pretty well at Collegiate's, and well I blew up at General Smallwood in an effort the "win" the bike race - no one else there was in a bike race, what was I doing,  I don't know, being an idiot really.

I'm a little bit competitive and to be honest this isn't good for pacing.  It leaves me wanting to drop people from the start and I usually pay for it by the end of the run.  That's exactly what will not happen in Louisville.  As competitive as I want to be I have to race my race at my pace.  Whether that leaves me in first or last in my age group, Sunday will be my race.  My body is feeling strong, rested, and ready to go so I'm confident it won't be last, but I have no control over the training and tapering of the other 80+ women in my age group.

Knowing myself and my body will be incredibly important for success on Sunday.  When to hold back, when to push, and when to keep calm and keep moving forward.  I'll listen to my body on the bike, following a nutrition plan I know works, to set myself up for a successful run, where I'll keep a steady and strong pace.  IM is a long day and at some point Plan A might not work out, so I'll go to Plan B, and if Plan B doesn't work I'll keep moving forward.  So often energy for racing and pacing is related to matches or bank accounts.  I've made all the deposits and I've got a box full of matches, the key is not to spend it all at once or light them all at once, but use it steadily throughout the day.

"Pace is essential in running and in life.  We have to know when to pick it up and when to conserve.  It is the most strategic component of running a good race, and as such it requires the greatest amount of maturity.  It is a worthwhile study and one that never ends, because our abilities and our goals are always in a state of flux.  But if you know your ideal pace, you know yourself..." - Mile Markers by Kristin Armstong.

1 comment:

  1. You know what you have to do! Don't let anyone bait you into going harder than YOUR pace. GOOD LUCK!!!