The more I've been reading lately, I'm leaning towards the theory that my legs didn't cramp in Lake Placid because I was short on electrolytes, but because I just wasn't as fit as I needed to be.
That kind of sucks because I would have bet money that I was fitter than in 2007. My swim and bike splits would attest to that. And my recovery after the race suggest that as well. The fact that I didn't walk anywhere near as much as 2007 would make me think that I was fitter in '09 as well.
I do think that I was fitter overall. But my run fitness may not have been where I hoped it was. A little recap:
In '07 training, I:
- Ran a lot faster in training than in '09
- Did much less cycling compared to '09
While I ran much more in 2009 training, I also trained at a slower pace than in 2007. Do I think that training at a slower pace factored in my slower 2009 run time? Sure. But running slower more often also allowed me to consistently train -- something that I didn't do so well with in previous years.
More likely, my "running" legs still weren't quite back to 2007 strength levels. They were just fatigued during the race. I spent '08 breaking myself down without realizing it (leading to my injury). I'm still building back now, as evidenced by my hip still giving me a little trouble. I always knew getting to where I want to be was going to take a few years -- let's see what happens this year.
I believe my flaw in my '09 IM run was thinking that I was going to run as fast or faster as in '07, while not actually having anything to back that up. I had done no tests in '07 to compare with my '09 data. I had done no races in '09 to get a feel for my actual race speed.
So, what am I changing this year? Actually, not all that much:
- I'm not going to get injured again. That put me in a little bit of a panic. If I do get injured, I think I'm pulling the plug on CdA and getting myself 100% healthy, rather than getting myself healthy enough to train and race, but not okay for the long term. I'll talk about how I'm not going to get injured another day. Mostly it involves me turning my frail 140 pound body into a ripped, strapping 145 pound body.
- I'm going to have at least one test race in addition to all my standard training tests. I had one race in all of 2009: ironman. I might have gone a little extreme in my focus on that race. Gordo also recommends that I try to get one low-priority race in each month through the winter. I think that's mostly to keep me from going crazy. Luckily San Angelo has a ton of running races throughout the year. Hopefully I'll be able to find a masters swim meet somewhere too.
That's about it. I'll let you know how it goes.