California 70.3 - Fail

The short version is this:  I ended last triathlon season by completing my first half ironman distance race at Troika.  With a lot of hard work, a healthy season, and relative ease, I finished that race in 5:50.  I had raced smart and conservatively and I looked forward to my next go at the 70.3 distance.

I signed up for Cali 70.3 last October and trained my ass off all fall and winter long.  Round about 6-8 weeks before the race, every ride and run felt like a major struggle.  Frankly, I felt powerless.  I thought my legs were just overly fatigued and would "snap back" during recovery week.

I was completely wrong.  I finished Cali 70.3 an entire hour slower than Troika.  Granted, the swim at Oceanside is in a choppy ocean and the bike course is much more challenging in Camp Pendleton.  Whatever.  I gave the race all I had, but I just felt bad, again powerless.  Not sick, but not 100% well.

I'm not an excuse maker and when something goes wrong with me, I will always blame myself.  Immediately after the race I started finding all kinds of reasons for such a piss poor performance at the race...I didn't recover between race season (this might be true), I should have hired a coach, I should have used a different training plan, I shouldn't have done strength training this season, I need a new bike fit, and so on.  My husband had another theory - perhaps my chronic anemia was back, since I hadn't taken my iron in months.

One blood draw and a doctor's appointment last week said it all: I am severely iron deficient and suffering from anemia.  So, though I don't have to change my entire training approach, I am still mad at myself and it really is my fault for not taking care.

What's next is not entirely clear to me yet, since it could take four months before my iron stores reach a reasonable level.  My plan is to finish my three weeks of recovery this Saturday and start building the blocks of smart and healthy training again.  I want to feel some power when I swim, bike and run.  I look forward to enjoying a long run, not dreading my failure at it.  I want to be able to push hard and know I am making progress.  I want to succeed.