Thanks for the great feedback! I wanted to be sure I made something clear: I don't think totally abandoning time goals is the way to go. I definitely think that's a great way to measure progress; what I do think is that is not the ONLY way to measure progress. Especially in these really large races with tough competition. It's one piece, but I have started to understand it's not the ONLY piece. The SATs are important and stuff, but so are your grades, you know? So are your "other leadership activities."
Okay, sorry. I can't help but get into teacher mode. Especially when all my kids are getting into colleges and stuff. :)
So you know what?
I believe my strength has become my weakness and my weakness has become my strength.
First 70.3, 2005, Deer Creek Pineman
Swim somewhere in the realm of 33 (probably a little short though--who knows. It's no longer on their website)
Bike avg 16.5 mph (went even SLOWER the following year at Musselman! 15.7!)
4th 70.3, New Orleans
Swim 40.17 (some say a little long though--again, who freakin' knows)
Bike avg 18.9 (Steelhead was 20.4! But was about a mile-ish short there)
Why? Simple answer:
I do not have a 25 yard pool in my basement. It requires a lot of coordinating schedules to get to the pool during the school year.
This is kind of funny. For years I thought I would just be an awful cyclist forever. Turns out that with time, that gets better and stuff. This from the girl who has been swimming since she was 2...you'd think I'd get it, right?
Somehow I'm now to the point where if I do NOT average at LEAST 19 miles/hour on a half iron distance, I get all pissy.
Who is this girl?!
Now if I can just find a way to NOT let the swimming slide...I'm comfortable enough that I can get away with "winging it" in the water, but that shouldn't be an excuse. Just a little more consistency would help. Three times a week instead of one or two.
I think I have a good solution.
And it's that little rule I learned last week:
THOU SHALT NOT EVER DO AN EARLY 70.3 AGAIN.
Or, if I do, just understand that this is the way it will have to be. Go for the more aggressive goal in July or August when I can spend a lot of time on everything, and have NO weakness.
Since we're on the subject of time, here is where I feel I am NOW, after four years of racing these 70.3 thingys (and I still have a LOT to learn). Here is my "perfect day:"
Swim: 34 minutes
Bike: avg 20+ mph
With transitions, I know I am capable of, on an absolutely perfect day, somewhere around a 5:17.
I was NOT ready for that at New Orleans since I hadn't prepared quite as thoroughly as I do by August. Time wise, if everything went very well, I was hoping to hit around 5:35-5:40. Everything did NOT go very well, as previously explained, so ending up with a 6:00 at first glance could have left me pretty disappointed. But I'm not, because when I remember that everyone had the same conditions I did, it helped me see I still made some significant progress.
So that's the scoop. Still a lot to learn about this distance, but I'm definitely headed in the right direction.