Apr 11, 2010

The Countdown Continues.

ADJUSTMENTS
MIA again. At least I am consistent with my inconsistency. That must count for something.

I am now 2 months outside of Welland. I have altered my race schedule to accommodate the past 2 months of work travel, and therefore the lack of training time.

4/10 - Martian 10k
4/11 GREYHOUNDS Time Trial on Hines Drive (road bike)
5/1 - Willow Duathlon
5/2 - MGST 62 mile ride
5/31 - TOPs Tour 75 mile ride
6/6 - Dexter to Ann Arbor Half Marathon
6/13 - Motor City Olympic Tri
6/27 - Welland Half Ironman

I have a solid training plan thanks to my partner in crime, Carol. I pretty much just took the trinewbies 18 weeks plan she is following, started it at week 8 as that is where we are right now, and incorporated my known workouts/events:
  • Monday night Bike/Run Hines Drive Bricks (Starting up 4/12 at 6PM at Newburgh Point - come on out!)
  • Thursday night OWS/Bike ILRA workouts
  • Saturday AM FAST Swims
  • Misc. RACING GREYHOUNDS team events
  • Biking Tours (for long rides)
With the need to get to the Dexter Ann Arbor (DX2AA) Half Marathon by June 6th I increased the running distances (although in all fairness, not by much). When I took the step back and looked it over - it looks good. No. It looks really good.

Yesterday started back on track with the Martian Meteor 10kas my long training run. I had not realized this, but the last time that I ran a 10k race was 4 years ago. I wonder why I have ignored the 10k for so long? That race, the last one I ran before yesterday? That was my PR at 1:10:xx. I ran the Martian race at RPE 2-3 (an easy low HR run) and finished in my 2nd fastest time ever in 1:14:xx. I stopped to take off some clothing and walked through the water stations in addition to just sort of jogging along and I ran my 2nd fastest 10k ever.

My fitness is not so bad. When I first started running (and was running alot more frequently than today) I was always aiming for a 1:15 but rarely attained it. Plus, I weigh at least 20 lbs more now than I did at my PR race in '06.

This was the confidence boost that I needed. My base building adventures have really helped carry me through the tough times this year. I had so much left in the tank at the end of the 10k that I felt confident that I could have ran the half marathon. I am right where I need to be fitness wise in my training.


So no more looking back at what I have missed, only looking forward at what is to come.

Today is the team Time Trial. This is my first bike only race (me vs. the clock) and I know that if I had not joined the GREYHOUNDS this year, I would not have ever done a bike only road race. My goal for 2010 is to work on my bike speed and skills and to try more new things to keep it lively in the health 'hood.


LESSONS FROM THE ROAD
I must stop here and make mention that I have grown so much mentally in this sport. That is where most of us forget to train. We get the swims, bikes, and runs done. We practice nutrition and clothing, and choreograph race day from setting up our transitions to marking every step we will take from the gun to the finish line. It is a routine we follow and attempt to follow it as flawlessly as possible.

Do we ever really think about the mental places we will be taken to during the race?

My failures (even if only failures to me) have always been due to my head. I maybe have the physical capacity to do something, but I cannot wrap my head around it and I start that negative self-talk and boom - downhill we go.

Lessons learned from all of my time on the road is that I need to be prepared and force myself to push through in these darker times. we all need to really. So, with that I have added to my training this year the mental aspects.

For instance, this past Monday I had a 45 minute run planned. I was feeling really good about it all day since I had some decent runs in Shanghai, and 45 minutes is a pretty short run comparatively. I head out along my favorite spot to run after work and right away my legs are not happy.

I realize that my nutrition that day, while really healthy, was sparse and I had not consumed the calories I had needed to prior to the run. Oh well, what can you do but to push through or quit? I pushed through,

Mile 1 comes (slowly) and I am thinking that I feel absolutely horrible. "Let's walk this baby back in and go home" I tell myself. I keep on going. "No," I respond to my inner dark voice, "the schedule is calling for 45 minutes and if this were the last 45 minutes of my race would I quit? No, I would make it to the end, somehow. Anyway possible I must finish." And that was all it took.

Once I realized that come hell or high water I will finish, a weight was lifted and I felt no pitty for myself. So what if my body wasn't performing to the level I know it is capable of.

"NOW is not the time to worry about the 'should be', NOW is the time to think about the 'is', and what is happening is that I need to walk and that is OK as I am making that forward progress." These are the words I had to keep repeating to myself to remind myself to now sweat the here and now, but to work in the here and now.

I started walking and then at the 2.5 mile mark it happened. Complete wardrobe failure. I made some modifications and walked/jogged it in to finish at 45 minutes just as planned.

Of course at any time I could have stopped, however at that point the bigger part of that training session was not the run. Clearly the run disappeared at mile 1/2. At that point what I was training myself to do was to see light in adversity. To design a plan on the fly when I need to get out of a sticky situation and finish.

I consider that a success. Now I know that I can still finish even when things get tough. Let's get the crap out of the way now so I will not be surprised if the crap happens at Welland.

Have a great week!
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