In most all endeavors in life, I believe, the ability to self assess and adapt or make changes when warranted is very much a component of achieving success. I don't have any life coach certifications, but I'm just saying, dinosaurs weren't built to adapt very well, and look at how far that got them. Germs, viruses, microbes, yeah they adapt, flu anyone? That's probably a different type of adapting, and a little bit more dramatic, but in all seriousness, the ability to review your own actions, thoughts, etc. from an objective standpoint will help you improve, regardless of the endeavor.
Since we are a gym, I'm going to speak specifically to your athletic performance on both a micro and macro level. In terms of a macro level, I'm thinking in terms of an "A" race. An event in which you plan and train for, and you are providing what amounts to a post race writeup. Lindsay provided us with some great feedback after her most recent event, and she has given us permission to share that with you, which I will do in a moment. Prior to getting to that, I want to briefly mention that this type of internal thought and personal feedback shouldn't only occur on a large scale.
Take for example the "On The Minute" style of workouts that we do where we manipulate work:rest ratios, rep schemes and loads. Most often, depending on the phase of training we are in, these are low volume, moderate to high weight affairs. These are some of my favorite days to coach, because they afford me the ability to not only watch an athlete's lift and provide feedback, but often 50 seconds plus of feedback. Now, that may not seem like much time, but I am a firm believer that you can't fix much more than one thing at a time. The shotgun approach always stuck me as a sure fire way to overwhelm and confuse. 50 seconds is enough time to reinforce some positives, focus on one negative, and demonstrate a correction. That is valuable one on one time, and in the middle of a workout. But this isn't where that coaching ends.
You've just lifted, you have been given one or a few corrections, and you given me that, "yup, that makes sense" face. Now pay attention to what you are doing for the rest of the workout. You have those same 50 seconds after every lift to re-assess. How did you feel, what did you do right, what did you do wrong, did the queue help, etc. Rather than singing along to Mark's Eminem playlist or watching each second tick off the clock, think about what you just did, and visualize your next lift. Provide us, the coaches with feedback when we make it back to you. Maybe the queue didn't help at all and you are more confused. Either way, this type of self assessment will make you a better athlete period. There is always something to improve upon. The sooner you identify it, the sooner you can start addressing it...period
And now, on a macro level, we have Lindsay O's post race report. First off, great job on both your hard work, and your reflections. I love that you have set a goal and worked hard towards that goal. Second, thank you for sharing and helping to provide a great example of what I'm talking about here. Saves me from totally having to fabricate a make believe story.
Overall, a great experience.
The swim was fine, albeit a little weird. If you look at the course map on the Mossman website, it would appear to be a diamond where you swim out a pretty good distance, but in reality the first segment is pretty lateral to the shoreline. With low tide (like, very low tide), you wind up not really being able to swim it because you hit the bottom with hands and/or feet. So… once I hit the first buoy, I was able to swim. The water was pretty warm (I think they said 71F) and very calm, and I got into a groove pretty quickly and just chugged along. My main goals for the swim were to not get too anxious and to not get kicked in the face. I knew if I could avoid those two things, I’d be fine. Except for the one lady that was near me most of the swim and seemed to be incapable of sighting the rest of the buoys (granted, we were swimming into the sun, so I’ll give her that), no issues (and no jellies!). I expected to be in the water for ~40 mins based on what I thought my 1 mile swim time was, but my swim time was 29 mins and change, so either this course was off, I was way faster than I’ve been all summer (I don’t think so), or what I previously thought was 1 mile during training was actually longer.
T1 was also fine. I think a little slow by comparison to others, but I can work on that. The bike ride was OK. I guess I’d say it met my expectations in terms of how I thought I’d feel. The bike is still the least comfortable thing for me (and I don’t just mean sitting on the seat). BUT, I think this is also where I can probably make the most significant gains in the near terms with some technique tweaks and proper equipment/fit. I didn’t really like the 5 loop thing… it was mainly that I didn’t like how close the super-cyclists out to win a gold medal were to me when they lapped me. I think I’d probably prefer an out-and-back bike course or bigger loops, but I have no complaints about the lack of hills. So, once the super cyclists were off the course, it was better for me psychologically, but by the 4th loop, my pace started dropping off. I was keeping a comfortably tough pace for the first 3.5ish loops but things started to drop off after that. I knew the bike would be my toughest sport, so I tried to keep it reigned in and not go out too fast.
T2 was fine for me, I don’t think I could have done anything better necessarily since I was already wearing my running shoes for the bike ride. Rack the bike, toss the helmet, swig some water, and off you go. On to the run!! This is where I felt the best! I know I’m not fast, but it’s something I feel very comfortable with both in terms of knowing what I’m doing and knowing how to gut out the miles. So I started the run, and for the most part, I did not feel like I was running on cinderblocks coming right off of the bike. Granted, I did feel tired and like I was moving slowly. However, I was wearing my GPS watch which I paid no attention to it until it beeped at mile 1, and lo and behold, it read 10:20! 10:20 is a great mile for me on fresh legs, so I was SHOCKED to see that. Not only that, but I was passing people, too. In my mind, this is 100% attributable to the crossfit workouts and the strength that I have built up – it kicks in at the end and I can still run with my shoulders back instead of hunched over from fatigue. The pace dropped off a little after the first mile, but I ended up averaging 10:40/mi overall. My 10k was 1:07 and change… that’s only ~4 mins off of my PR and not my slowest 10k ever either, so I was incredibly pleased with the run.
So, I finished last in my age group, but I downloaded all the data and put it in a spreadsheet, and once I went through that, I saw that my swim and my run were really pretty decent, it’s the bike ride that I’m not so good with. Comparing my results to other women with similar swim and run times, my bike ride was on the order of 20-30 minutes longer than theirs – so this is how I’ve determined that the bike ride is where I probably stand to make the most significant gains in the short term. And I really think it’s probably technique (gear shifting, etc) and equipment (I think I need a bike frame probably one size bigger than the one I was riding, plus the right pedals and shoes) because given how I did on the run, I don’t think basic strength is my main issue.