Monday, July 11, 2011

Muncie 70.3: The Zone 2 Workout

Short and sweet:  I was exhausted.  My legs, my arms, and most importantly, my mind didn't show up.

I wanted this race to be over after 200m of the swim.  And every 5 minutes thereafter.  At the very least I wanted to pull over and take a nap in a ditch and pick up where I had left off at a later time. 
Here's me wondering if I could find a place to curl up in T1

I almost ended up in a ditch, nap or not.  You know how drunk drivers often get into accidents because their liquor-dampened senses fixate on a single object or a twinkling light, and instead of steering away from it, head straight for it?  I spent the first ten miles of the bike going through every pot-hole because I would see it, think to avoid it, and completely fail/forget to do so.  I guess you could say I was so tired I was driving drunk.

Other than a bumpy ride, I couldn't produce any amount of effective output.  The worst it got I was putting out recovery watts despite a non-recovery effort, and the course's single "hill" brought me to a pitiful stand-still.

Yes, I ran and finished.  I wasn't injured or over-trained, I was just under-slept, so I plodded along, over the numerous hills and dales, and got in the volume that "racing" Muncie the weekend before Racine was intended to provide.  And because of the design of the professional qualification for Kona slots, I needed to cross the line and get the points simply for showing up.  Check, check, and check.

Basically I went out and executed a five-hour, zone 2, brick workout, during which people handed me water, ice, soda, and gatorade at pre-determined intervals.

Can I go to sleep now?

Severe weather and the fragility of domestic commercial airline industry and its aircraft had forced me to travel nearly 20 hours, arriving at 4 am and sleeping only 5 hours a night before the race.  I really should not have been as surprised by this as I was at the time; I tried to believe it was not the inevitable outcome.  I wanted so badly to deal calmly with the challenges I faced in simply getting to Munccie and despite the stress, maintain my focus on racing Muncie.  But we play our bodies like fiddles, and although I did as much damage control as I know to do, the instrument was cracked deeper than could be repaired in such a short time-frame.  I prefer to come away from races with a "lessons learned" or "thing(s) to work on," but in this case, I'm stuck with "what ifs" and excuses.  My things to work on are 1) get better drugs to make me sleep longer when I don't get to bed until 4 am, and 2) learn to predict severe weather systems before buying plane tickets.

Having said all of that, I highly recommend Muncie 70.3.  The scenery is beautiful, the organization is top-notch, and because the race is 32 years old, despite being a first-year WTC event, Muncie had none of the shakiness of a first-year race.

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