Saturday, August 01, 2009

Everyone has a bad day, even the ones who were already slow. A race report

I had a warning that things were not going to go well this weekend when I did a 1.8 mile run Thursday night that wore me out. My legs felt heavy, and I was puzzled, but didn't worry about it.
So the Socorro Chili Harvest Triathlon. This is a fabulous little sprint in Socorro, New Mexico. It is usually unpleasantly hot on the run. This year, it was very nice, cooler and breezy. It's well-supported, lots of great volunteers, food at the end, nice hardware and shwag. It's an athlete-friendly race that I highly recommend.

Let's take a look at my historical performance on this race, shall we?
2006: 1:38:10.8 Swim, 9:38; T1, 2:17; Bike, 47:32; T2, 1:08; Run, 37:38 No place.
2007: 1:36:12.5 Swim, 6:40; T1, 1:13; Bike, 53:20; T2, 1:02; Run, 34:00 3rd place(2007 was a different venue)
2008: 1:35:20.8 Swim, 9:27; T1, 2:13; Bike, 47:23; T2, 1:48; Run, 34:31 3rd place
2009: 1:45. Bike was somewhere around 53 mintues, I think. Run was around 36 minutes. I did not place.

Yes, that's right. I managed to add 10 minutes to my time this year. I felt horrible, and couldn't get moving, and finished far behind several people I've usually managed to beat.

After the swim, which is about 400 meters in a pool, I hit the bike, and my legs said, oh, no, you don't. They were heavy on the bike and refused to cooperate with my orders to pedal, damn you and by the time I got to the run, I had nothing left to give. I finished the race on sheer will power, dragging my big-assed self across the finish line and collapsing to the curb.

NOW, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, Misty, how can I be just like you, how can I make myself even slower, by at least ten minutes in a sprint?

I've talked to several people, including Andie, a personal trainer and coach, whose first question was, "how's your nutrition"? and several educated, experienced triathletes. Ummmmm....

So here's what you do:

1) Make sure you are calorie deprived in some sort of insane one-thousand-calorie-a-day diet in the three weeks prior to the race. Now, you MUST do this for two weeks to get the full, running-in-molasses affect. Recall that I did very well two weeks ago at a high-altitude sprint. The diet hadn't worked it soul-sucking magic yet. YES, I read the advice. but of course, like a lot of stupid people, I just knew it didn't apply to me...

2) Make sure you do #1 while you're also training for an Ironman, so that you completely deplete (and don't replenish) your muscle glycogen stores.

3) Fool yourself into thinking that you can severely deplete your body in this way and make up for it by eating a normal breakfast 3 hours prior to the race.

There you go. Follow that advice, and by race day, you'll be all ready to lose.

Geesh, I'm dumb.



  1. Anonymous6:02 AM

    It's true -- we all have bad days! But our bad days are what make us truly appreciate the phenomenal ones!

  2. If I had any right to ask you why the h#%@ you are on a 1000 calorie a day diet I would!

    But I don't!

    So I won't!

    (disapproving but I won't judge look on my face)

  3. It was nice meeting you. Tough day for you and I'm sure a tough pill to swallow but it's a learning process. You will be a better athlete in the future because of it. You're figuring it out and hopefully everything is ironed out before the IM. Good luck!

  4. Sorry you had a bad race, and it's good you are figuring out what went wrong.

    I had a bad race last weekend (just a splash & dash) and I'm fairly certain it was all about nutrition No-Nos too.

    And...consider at least got to do the race. I signed up, thinking it was next weekend. This weekend I'm in Canada. D'oh!

  5. I'm sorry you didn't do as well as you'd hoped! If it makes you feel any better, you did better than me! It was really nice meeting you!

  6. YEEEEEEEES!!! And therein lies the paradox--hypothyroid effs our metabolism, yet eating the amount that will not make us gain weight (or even, dare I say help us to LOSE a couple lbs?) will at the same time screw with our athletic performance. Nice, isn't it? :(

    Sorry you had such a craptastic race. I hope you are able to figure this out for yourself...and if you do? Kindly email me to let me know. Cause I sure haven't. :)

  7. OMG thank goodness you didn't DIE. What was th reasoning behind this 1000cal/day thing? Tell us you've changed your mind on that diet...please?

  8. Oh yeah. not eating enough..I have felt the effects of that. I'm sorry it was in your race that you had to have that happen.

    Funny how we know better and yet....


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 I'm no longer involved in multisport or endurance sports. I've started my own business, a psychotherapist specializing in anxiety d...