I haven't written in a long time. Life happens and I can only deal with a couple of things at once. Interestingly enough it all works out in the end if you have consistency of purpose. There are definitely going to be trials and tribulations.
Leading up to and completing Louisville was more than I anticipated or was prepared to deal with, I think . I believe now that I tried to skip a few steps... for those of you that REALLY know me, you really don't find this too hard to believe. I have been lead to this conclusion by a loving wife and patient coach. To assume that I could achieve Kona on my first go around is pretty typical of me. Louisville showed me that there are going to be issues and you have to be prepped and prepared to adapt and overcome. I think I am a step closer, another race wiser. Instead of a blow by blow of the race I thought that I would give it a gloss over and hit on what I learned.
Lessons learned: 1) I need to be FASTER 2) I need to sustain that speed 3) Speed at the cost of form is not true speed 4) I am not pulling the muscle as much as I am cramping.
I will elaborate a bit on those lessons. 1) I need to be faster. I believe that 7:30 are not out of bounds for me. But as of right now my form for 7:30's are less than optimal. During the beginning of the run leg of Naples I was running with an Army Team Triathlete. We were banging out sub 7's actually. I was feeling great after the swim and the run and I was gonna have one heck of a time. Then we headed up a hill and bang there goes the calf. Knots up like a sprung slinky. This is where that overcoming obstacles thing comes into play. Previously I always thought that I was pulling the calf muscle, but I was about to see the light. I slowed then stopped and tried some stretching, I don't quit, I hate quitting, but I am not above walking. So I started again, SLOWLY. The excuses started to fill my head, what I was going to say, why it happened, but they are just that excuses. Then my angel appeared in the form of another competitor. As I was doing the whole, " What happened this time.." in my head up trots a guy and says," Are you in the lead?"
To be truthful I really had not thought about it much so I replied," I think so."
I got a,"Hang tough." as he took over the lead.
"Hum", I thought, I may really be in first place and I gave it up without a fight?!?!?! If this is the case, I think I will try to hang onto this guy. Keep him within striking distance until I can figure out something with the leg to get some more speed out of it. If I can match him without difficulty, then I can beat him.
So I played with the foot plant to see how it felt in different positions. After a bit, the pain went away. So I not only matched him, but I started to press him a bit. I could easily run an 8 to 8:30 without pain. If I would strike mid sole there wasn't any pain and I could maintain the pace comfortably. I really wished that I had tried this in Louisville. I could have had a better time, but there I just gave up.
I know had the confidence I needed to continue to press harder and harder. Long story short, on the return trip I did the hill with only minor difficulty, with 2 miles to go, I could tell the pace was getting to him, because he was looking over his shoulder. That is really a gratifying feeling. I was less than 10 yards when he looked back at me for the last time :)
I was now looking to the next guy. I was closing on him. We were 2 blocks out from the finish when he showed me that he too had another gear left. He left me rather easily :)
So now in retrospect is this what they mean by pain? Is that what they meant by pushing through? I don't know, but I can not wait to try it again :))
Thanks to Kristine Miller and the Miller Crew: Aidan, Zoe, and Eliana, Prsfit, Polar and all the tri freaks, runners and crazy people I know :)
PSS For those of you that did not know. My time for the OD was 2:28. 1st Place Clydesdale over 40, 1st Place Clydesdale Overall, 2nd Place Age Group over 40, 14th Overall