Monday, September 28, 2009

Eating Vegetables (it's good for you!)

Poor Jen, I called her last night and started complaining. About being alone at my races without my family, about how slow I'm feeling. She must've said something to ELF, because I was later instructed on Facebook to pull on the big girl panties and EAT MY VEGETABLES. And they're right. It's time to HTFU, realize that I signed up for these races ostensibly for a reason (like maybe because they'd be fun? or maybe I could set a new PRs?) Neither Jen nor ELF can do that for me, and neither can my family. And while it would be nice to have a familiar face meet me at mile 20 and say "Let's get you to the finish line sooner rather than later," I shouldn't rely on that. Just like in an IM, it should be ME that gets me to the finish line. That little voice in me in Placid was really annoying, telling me how much better I'd feel if I slowed down, how easier it was to walk than run. It almost had me convinced I didn't even need to finish, but I knew better on that score (Jen and my husband would've killed me!) I don't think I've tuned it out yet either.

I have a hard time with that voice. It is the voice of self-doubt. It can be very persuasive. It is the voice that says the hurt will stop when you do. It can easily wipe out months of hard work and progress with just a little whisper of "what if..." or "you don't need to do this..." or "ouch this hurts." I think this is where people who grow up athletic have it a little better in that they learned to tune out that voice back in high school or college. How do you reprogram that voice when you're just finding that athlete inside yourself at age 41? Ha, Jen, there's a question for your blog!

On the way to dinner I was doing some math. I was trying to remember my pace for the 2007 Monument Avenue 10k which I ran in just over 52 minutes, a 2 minute PR. I wasn't running that race with a specific time goal, but I was running with a friend. She had pulled away from me at the 3 mile mark, and I remember how I push push pushed to find her again and cross the line with her. Where was the voice then? Who knows. But I wanted one thing, and that was to not be beat to the line by much. My fitness has only improved since then, so I have no excuses but damn I still feel slow! Someday I want to run a sub 50 min 10k. Right now though, my 800m repeats that have me dying by the end are not far off that 8 1/2 min/mile pace from 2007. Is IM training really THAT damaging to your speed?!

While at dinner, Joey asked how much I'd pay him to eat his vegetables. I told him he better get used to being hungry, because I won't bribe him to eat. I guess I better figure out what I'm craving, and how badly I want it. No one is going to eat those veggies for me, and even if I have to choke them down, they're good for me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday Mishmash

This past Friday was LONG RUN Friday. 3 hours. All alone. Yuck. Maybe I should back up and let you know what I did Thursday. Thursday was "run hills with Lynnie and Jilly" day. We ran Riverside Drive on the south side of town, up and down, up and down. At 6:30am (or a little later because if you know me you know I'm always late). Bleh. Oh, and we're running at Lynn's new pace, which is pretty fast, especially on hills at o'dark thirty when I still haven't had my morning coffee. I kept reminding myself as I looked for those two girls waaaay ahead of me that I chose to do this over running 1:15 by myself. Here's the route:

So Thursday's run was hard. Then I get to top it with another tough 3 hr run with 30 minute intervals building from easy to zone 4. As I was putting on my running togs, Sophie starts bouncing up and down, "oh boy oh boy oh boy we're gonna go for a run!" I felt so bad that she wasn't going to be able to come with, but dragging a half dead Viszla after 10 miles wouldn't be fun. So home she stayed. I loaded up the fuel belt with gu and water, mapped out my run, and headed out. It was a beautiful day, thank goodness. Not too hot. The first 4 miles were good, and even included MORE hills as I ran up to Grove Avenue from the UofR/CCV cut through on Tapoan and Iris. I took in the first gu at Starbucks, refilled the water bottles, and was waiting for the light to turn when I ran into a friend. He's training for the Tour de Tucson that is our local JDRF office's fundraiser this year--lucky guy just got a new road bike, all carbon with better gearing. He's amazed at what a difference it made! So chat chat chat, gotta run...and off I go down Grove. I was cruising along and just ahead along the curb of the road was a turtle. Can't leave the turtle there to wander into traffic, so I ran holding him for a block or two looking for a good place to put him out of harms way. Someone's walled garden was just the place, but I think the roofers working there all thought I was nuts for saving a turtle.

I hit the 195 overpass and it was time to put it in high gear. Time for that zone 4 area. ooof. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to run this part on sidewalks that are buckled and wobbly. Oh well. Bounding over curbs and whatnot helped keep the hr elevated. I picked the route since it's familiar territory, and has ample water and potty stops along the way. It took me exactly 1:25 to get all the way down to the VCU campus. Time to refill the water bottles, so I wandered up to my old MFA program stomping grounds and found Rob! Poor guy, I left sweaty bottom prints on his chair and sweaty elbow prints on his desk. But it was nice to see him and catch up briefly before heading back out.

The way home wasn't half as fun. It was getting late (it was about 12:30 when I turned for home) and was quite warm. I was drinking as fast as I could refill those bottles, and taking in my gu every 3 miles. I did run into Sophie's trainer and was able to put the bugaboo in his ear about her staying at Vizsla heaven (he owns 2 viszlas) while we're in Florida. Trudge trudge trudge on home. The guy at Starbucks looked at me and said "You again? How far are you running?" The downhills back by CCV hurt, but not as much as the last hill up to our street. Home at 2pm, in the ice bath by 2:10. Then it was time for a nap. Then packing for the beach. Whew. Here's the map of my route:

We had a great weekend at the beach. Saturday was cool and overcast and since (HOORAY!) I didn't have a run to do, we took our bikes down to the Back Bay Wildlife Refuge to bike to False Cape State Park. I loved biking with the family. I think this is the first time we've ever all been on bikes as a family (the four person ones with the canopy on the boardwalk don't count). The kids are totally ready for new bikes though, and could probably use ones with gearing. Once at the park, we went out to the beach and had some impromptu races. The ride back wasn't nearly as much fun due to a headwind (welcome to my life), but the kids were troopers and handled it well. Next time we'll try biking all the way to the North Carolina border, which is about 5 miles further down from the Park.

Of course the day we have to pack up and leave was gorgeous. The guys went to hit some golf balls and Maddy and I goofed off. I did get my run in, with Sophie. We have a regular ~5mi loop where we run down on the road and back along the beach. She must have run an additional 3-4 miles just running ahead to chase birds then coming back to me. Tired dog = happy dog! We stopped in Williamsburg on the way home to visit with my uncle. My aunt is still in the hospital, but will be coming home soon we hope. I still need one of those pink "Cancer Sucks" splish suits.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Looking back...looking ahead

It's hard to believe my triathlon season ended over a month ago. Here it is almost fall and in my most recent coversation with Jen we agreed that I don't need to swim any more this year. I know, some of you are crying me a river, but I'm not sure that I'm all that happy about it. I think I'm a decent swimmer, so time in the pool is ok, especially with my friends training for IMFL. I have also only been on my bike twice since Placid! Two weeks ago I rode with Fave, Lynn, Jill, and Emmie who absolutely kicked my ass on a 56 mile ride. Maybe I should get on my bike more so I don't forget how to ride. Here we are at the start of the ride, hoping the thunderstorms and crazy rain we drove through to the start wouldn't dog us for the next 3 hours:

Whatever, I'm not training for anything requiring a swimsuit or bike. I am, however, supposed to be marathon training...

Yeah, I've got this little 26.2 mile run hanging over my head in late October. The Marine Corps Marathon. And I think the friend I had talked into running it with me is going to bag on me. Something about new babies and jobs...blah blah blah. (Yeah, Bob, I'm calling you out on my blog...) The problem is my running has been off since Placid. Did you read my previous post?! Just the thought of trying to slog through another marathon is freaking me out. I did run the Rock'n'Roll half marathon this past weekend at the beach, somewhat successfully. I was worried that since it was hot and humid I might bonk again. Luckily that didn't happen, but I didn't set any speed records either. Cue up the Marit quote about "slow, strong, steady" being the key for Ironman training. You don't see speed in there. I have this little voice in my head saying I should try hard and run a 4:30 (which would be a 20 minute PR for me!), so that's what Jen is going to have me doing--speed work. Fun times.

What went right last weekend? I paid attention to the two things I didn't get right in Placid: water and electrolytes. I took a salt tab every 2 miles, and a gu and water every 3 miles. I drank most of a gatorade just before starting too. I had been training in the nasty hot humid weather of the beach in August for the past 2 weeks (minus a couple of days while Tropical Storm Danny blew around). I had been out running at o'stupid o'clock--usually around 9:30 or 10 am. Those runs really sucked since it was generally around 90 degrees out. I couldn't make it more than 5 miles. Yuck. I must say, I'm pretty excited about this weekend's half--it was really affirming to know that I could 1) handle the heat and run smart and 2) run a consistent pace with minimal walking other than to down some etabs or water. Hooray for conquering a couple of little Placid demons. Here's a picture of me close to the finish line. Don't I look happy?!
Today's little 4 1/2 mile recovery run went well. I started out a little sluggish, but was able to pick up the pace in the middle and finish strong. I was very glad that it was in the low 70s and raining! Bring on the fall weather--isn't that why we like fall marathons?

While the rest of 2009 is pretty much planned, I've already started thinking about next year. Since it will be a year to develop speed, that means no Ironman Canada for me and that makes me a little sad. Instead it will be another year of early season triathlons and fall...I don't know what yet. Maybe road races, maybe just biking. So things I'm considering are:

  • Rev3 Olympic in Knoxville, TN May 9th
  • Columbia Olympic in Maryland on May 23rd (need to sign up soon)
  • Eagleman 1/2 Iron in Maryland on June 13th (signed up!)
  • Vineman 1/2 Iron in Sonoma, CA on July 18th. (sign ups are November 1st!!!)

I am also hoping to make it back for training with Jen in Tucson next spring (Sshhh...Joe doesn't know about that one yet.) I know I can make it to the top of Mt Lemmon, just give me a 1/2 hour head start!