Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sometimes The Bar Eats You

© 2013 Larry Rosa (endurapix.com)

Ironman 70.3 US Pro Championships
St. George, UT  2013.05.04

After my rather ignominious finish in St. George, a single thought (well, at least a single appropriate thought) kept running through my mind. "Well, a wiser fella than myself once said, 'sometimes you eat the bar. And, well, sometimes he eats you...'" And so it goes when you are looking for solace, that "The Big Lebowski" yet again comes through in the clutch.



But rather than solely chalking up my bad race to a case of getting eaten by the "bar," which implies a bit more luck than I expect was truly at play here, I think it's important to recognize that it was not entirely surprising that I got eaten by aforementioned "bar" at this here race. This was not a case of sunning myself in Palm Beach and getting eaten by a grizzly. That is bad luck. Extraordinarily bad. And probably a case of rather lax zoo security. This was more of a case of rubbing yourself in bacon, honey, and salmon roe and laying out beneath the stars on Kodiak Island. It was more likely than not that I'd get eaten. To understand why, exactly, I made this helpful little graph.




As you can see, even if I'd been as fit as I thought I was, I'd still have come up quite short on the day. I don't think I would have been reduced to periods of walking (as I was), but I also don't think that even the best performance I had in me was particularly good. This wasn't entirely shocking; the period after Ironman Melbourne was not the best. I did a combination of too much and not enough training in that sort of random mix that indicates that a bad day is certainly a real possibility. With that said, I've had some really great races coming six weeks after an Ironman off not a lot of training, but in those cases, it was less - but still consistent - training, which this was not. Consistency is critical; for a technical look at why, this article by Brian Stover is pretty good at explaining the concept of CTL.

While I could attempt to follow the trend in current society to "put a positive spin" on this whole thing, the reality is that I should not have raced in St. George. I didn't actually get anything out of having a bad race other than remembering that it's not very much fun. And I'm pretty sure I didn't need to be reminded of that. There was no "new lesson" in all of this, though there was certainly a lesson. It's just a lesson that I've been taught before. Clearly needed a refresher course, though again, I wouldn't say that having one made the race a net-positive. It was a sub-par performance - though not really a surprising one, and I have no interest in delivering sub-par performances. Accordingly, I've decided that I will not be racing in Honu, since the likelihood of getting things turned around by then is not great, and I certainly don't want to have another bad race. The long-ish view is to October 12. And the really long view is towards the October after that, and after that, and after that. How do I put myself in the best position on those days? Well, I know how I don't do it. So now let's see if I can figure out how actually to do it.

So the next race I will for sure be doing is Vineman 70.3. If things get back on track sooner rather than later, then I might add in something else. We'll see.

Thanks to everyone who sent kind words after St. George. Not my best day, but you'd never know it from the support I got. Thank you.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keeping it real, Jordan - well done! October is the prize - looking forward to seeing you smoke it!

Jeremy said...

"While I could attempt to follow the trend in current society to "put a positive spin" on this whole thing ..."

Love it.

Meredith Gardner said...

Love the report! I did the full last year in St. George and nothing could have prepared me for that. Glad to hear the course is still a beast even half the distance.

When things get tough for me now, I just say, "Can't be as bad as St. George." Strangely though, I have a odd love of that place.

Can't wait to see you kick some butt in October!