Falling asleep last night was a slow process. Pain was present throughout the entire body, inside and out: sunburn, blisters, muscle aches, joint stiffness, abrasions, internal systems in turmoil, you name it. Today, looking over my race stats and feeling the subtle sensations, I notice that I don’t want anything to do with the sun right now, which is very unusual for me. A friend of mine asked if the heat at Ironman Los Cabos was similar to Ironman Kona: no, Kona can be hotter but the sun in Los Cabos feels more intense.
My heart rate was too high for too long yesterday to allow for proper execution of my marathon run. Based on the feeling in my legs, I didn’t over-bike, and hydration and nutrition were good. However, I feel that my peak fitness occurred prior to the race, so for the first part of the bike ride, I gave my legs plenty of time to wake up–letting it come to me, which it did. But over time my internal systems struggled to stay afloat in the scorching conditions. After 15 kilometres of running the trickling vitality-bleed took its toll, despite fighting it with all the willpower tricks I know. Assuredly, I still have lots to learn about strengthening my mind.
Mentally, I was really positive while riding: the mantra being to “set up the run”. Visualising Patrick Lange at Kona this year, my plan was to run with tons of heart and free flowing legs. Maybe I should have backed off on the bike in order to lower my pulse. Sustained higher intensity work is, well, just not sustainable. During the marathon’s middle 15km, with an easier pace and cooling temperatures, my heart rate came down and I was able to put some energy back into the tank. With a present mind, the body relaxed (slightly) allowing me to pick up the pace for the final 10km. Physically, it wasn’t the least bit comfortable, but it was gratifying.
A good friend of mine asked the following morning, what positives I pull from the race and what did I improve on? There are several items, but the central aspect is that I had a more relaxed, present mind. As a goal oriented person, always running from one thing to the next looking for greener grass, this is a huge development.
And another friend reminded me that although yesterday wasn’t the exact day I wanted (6th place instead of a podium finish with accompanying qualifying Kona slot), thanks to my charity: water fundraisers, I’ve been a part of helping people in developing countries finally receive clean water. He’s a smart man, full of heart, and a role model for me: “That’s the beauty of life…challenge ourselves while being able to help others. Impacting lives!”
Yeah, that’s really what it’s all about.