Now that I've had several weeks of off season, caught up on the housework and eaten way to much over the holidays I can look back at my 2009 season. What did I learn? what did I do right? What did I do wrong?
What did I learn?
1. Injury is not the end of the world. Its hard mentally but you need to be patient, do what the doc says and you can come back stronger than ever.
2. Don't put limits on yourself--if you do you may never realize your potential. Every time I think that I am as fast as I can be, I get faster. I never ever though I'd be capable of a 5:30 bike for IM--well, I did it and I backed way off the last 10 miles to save the legs for the run
3. I trained for a week on Kona: the conditions there: wind + heat + humidity put that race at a whole different level than anything I've ever experienced--I have a whole new appreciation for all the athletes that finish the race there. (IMC was over 90 F this year and it was nothing compared to Kona!).
4. Carbon fibre bikes can be repaired--Calfee does a great job and come through in a pinch
5. How to descend fast--thanks to my friend Karon I have overcome my fear on long fast descents!
What did I do right?
1. I nailed my nutrition for both of the IM's I did this year. I am not going to mess with success for future races.
2. Run is improving nicely--despite the 6 week layoff for the hip injury I am faster at all distances
3. End of the season focused on quality more than quantity on the bike--paid off nicely at IM AZ
4. I had FUN in all my races--even when I walked the marathon at IMC I made sure to smile and enjoy the experience.
5. Using planned walk breaks during the marathon of an IM
What did I do wrong (or can improve)?
1. Don't get injured--not sure how I could have prevented this years injury--doc seemed to think it was a fluke. But I'm going to make sure I'm doing all my stretching and strength exercises to minimize any risk
2. Need to figure out how to pee on the bike.--it cost me 2 pot-a-potty stops at IM AZ for a total of almost 3 minutes (and a top 5 finish)
3. Wasnt able to maintain the race weight I was aiming for--not sure what that cost me but I ran IM AZ about 4 lbs heavier than desired
Overall it was a great season! I set 4 PR's:
1/2 marathon: 1:46:06
Olympic Tri: 2:20:16
1/2 Ironman: 5:29:24 (on a course with a 58 mile bike ride)
Ironman: 11:10:56 (an improvement of 1 hr 14min!)