Tuesday, April 26, 2011

freak out

I should be on the trainer right now. I have one of those unusual mornings where I actually have the time to get in a 2 hour workout and didn't have to get up til 6. I don't have to be at work til noon (if I do 3 hours of work at home). And yet I'm not on the trainer yet. I was looking forward to this workout. 70 minute ride, 50 minute run. I love this workout. I'm sitting at the computer.

On Sunday I was finally ready to drop the cash to register for my first A race (of 2) of the season, the Patriot Half Ironman. I got to the website and it was SOLD OUT! There was a waitlist which I gladly paid $1 (plus $3.25 in processing fees) to get on. But I have little hope that I will make it off the waitlist. And now I can't sleep. 2 nights in a row. I feel totally turned around. I have been training for the Patriot. I want to race the Patriot. I have been thinking about the Patriot. Everything feels all wrapped up in this race. This race that I felt I could be ready for. Last year I sort of blew my load jumping straight from 1 Oly into HIM distance. This year I was stoked to feel ready. My endurance is there. I did a combo workout 10 days ago with 2200yds swimming, 56 mile ride, and 10.5 mile run. I felt awesome after. I was exactly where I wanted to be. Now I don't know where I am.

I don't want to race in July/August at HIM distance, its too hot. I overheat too easily. Yet Ironman Rhode Island (70.3) is the nearest and closest (date) race. But I don't know the course (they're changing it). Rev3 Quassy sounds amazing but I looked at the bike map and I just don't feel like I could handle the hills. (Read: I'm afraid). I feel like I keep looking for courses that I think I am ready for and there are so few. Tinman (Tupper Lake, NY) looks good but its 5 1/2 hours from my house and its the weekend of my last week of work, tough timing. I'd have to convince my husband or mother to drive with me and its a lot to ask.

I don't know what to do. I'm freaking out. This sucks.

[Thanks to those who already responded. I appreciate everyone who does swing by my blog and give me feedback. I think acknowledging that I shy away from hills was important. I spent my workout fantasizing about Quassy...so there is a 4 mile hill with 600ft elevation gain...so my time may be a little slower...sooo?]

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Great Bay Half Marathon - Pre-race

Tomorrow James is running his first half marathon - the Great Bay Half in Newmarket, New Hampshire. I am running as well. I wasn't sure if I'd be ready for the distance, but I am. I'm not sure whether to race or just to do it as a steady training run effort. My priority is this modified big day on April 16 (40min swim, 3hr ride, 1hr30min run) and don't want to set myself back on that front. I have had difficult recoveries (what is my frame of reference really?) after my races in the past. My posterior tibialis often acts up when I go hard/fast and long and takes weeks to get back to normal. There is a part of me that feels that given the volume I have trained this past month and my solid long runs that no workout shorter than 2 hours should be that hard, yet I know what my body has had to say about that in the past. I don't know what to do. So I don't have a race plan yet. What do you  think? Go hard? Hold back?

My PR is a 1:52 (first and only open HM). I ran 1:52 two weeks ago for the first 13.1 miles of a 13.5mi long run. McMillan says I could run 1:47 based on recent 5k and 10k training runs. I strongly believe this is overly generous though b/c both of those efforts were on the flat (along the Charles River for the 5k and at the track for the 10k) and I tend to fall apart with any hills thrown in. When I think about racing even at the pace I ran 2 weeks ago (8:30-8:35) I start having doubts. I don't know why.

I have been making silly excel tables with paces and HM times (with a range for a total distance of 13.1 to 13.25, depending on how I run the tangents and how bad the congestion is with the first 2.5miles of the course being with 1000 5k runners). I didn't admit it to myself until just as I have been writing this but there is a little part of me that secretly (or not so secretly now) would be really stoked and proud to break 1:50. That's an 8:20. I don't feel that I am there yet. And yet, I had an 8 mile run at 7:58/mi the same week I ran the 13.1 at 8:33/mi. I had hard rides 5 days that week, no taper. I have been feeling confident on my runs. I have been a good cheerleader to myself. I have been improving. I'd like to psych myself up for going after a goal.

I hear a lot of people talking about needing to learn or already knowing how to suffer. Perhaps I shouldn't admit this but, I'm not sure that I want to suffer. I suffer enough. I'm doing this to suffer less, to enjoy myself more. It makes it hard to wrap my mind around this aspect of racing -- suffering. I wonder if there is some other way of thinking about hard efforts.


March - By the Numbers

Swim: 23,250 yards
Bike:  567.2 miles
Run: 105.15 miles
Weights/Core: 5 sessions
Total training time:  56hrs 50minutes

March was a very good month for training! After months and months of slow, demoralizing running I re-found my "speed." With the outdoor track finally liberated from the snow I have been doing speedwork outside rather than on the treadmill. This was huge - I'm much faster on the road than on the treadmill. Feeling tempo and speed efforts is so much better when you are moving forward rather than trying not to fall off the back of a spinning belt. My long runs were all also really solid. I even had a run where I entertained the fantasy (albeit very briefly) of running a marathon after triathlon season. My pace felt good; I finally stopped falling apart at the 10 mile mark like I did my entire first year of running. Maybe there is something to slow, demoralizing, but consistent running all through the winter.

I was a beast on the trainer this month. Over 30 hours, well over 500 miles. Loved (almost) every minute of it. I got my bike tuned up so its road ready. I thought about switching out my trainer tyre for my road tire but thought better of it and am glad I waited as we just had more snow yesterday. I have a modified Big Day planned for 2 weeks from now, think I might make the transition after that. Can't wait to see how things are back out on the road. I only road Nimbus a handful of times outside last summer - it'll be great to find out what sort of progress I've made with 2000 or so trainer miles I have put in over the winter.

Swimming and weights, still meh at best for this month. Think I was using my paddles too often and for too much distance too soon, which has been aggravating my left shoulder. This past week I put the paddles away and have had a bunch of good swims, and no pain. Lesson learned; for now. Still haven't figured out a good schedule for lifting. At work my schedule is changing a little bit for the next three months so hopefully I might find a better groove.