Sunday, October 09, 2011

The Anti-Social Triathlete

It's been four weeks since I started working with my new coach. I have a few thoughts on how it's going.

  1. Holy running, batman.
  2. I'm becoming an anti-social triathlete.
  3. I'm officially hardcore.
1. Running.
Fall running season is upon us. The Newton Chilly Half is just 5 weeks away, and as a result I've run 74 miles in the last 4 weeks. That's not a lot for real runners, but for me, let's put this in perspective. Prior to starting with the new coach, it took 10 weeks to get to 74 miles. Over the last 4 weeks running has made up 38% of my training time.

I've been struggling to balance this volume with my low shin splint. It hurt a lot in the warm up before last week's 5K. I was pretty much ready to throw in the towel on the half. But, Coach Alan gave me Tuesday off from running to help it recover. That meant, I didn't run from Saturday until Thursday of this week. The rest in conjunction with some ART and my own "squatting stretch" has helped immensely. (This stretch is one I made up a few years ago that seems to help with my shin splints. It's just squatting down with heals off the ground and shifting weight from one side to the other. I think it's stretching my tibialis posterior. At a minimum it feels good. Do you have any suggested stretches of your own?)

Thursday's run felt ok. Not pain-free, but it was the first run that was actually better than the previous one. I ran again yesterday, and it seemed ok again. So, I'm hopeful that the half marathon is still in the cards.

2. The Anti-Social Triathlete

I've done a lot more of my workouts over the last four weeks on my own. Sure, I've done my Thursday runs with Lauren, a ride with Chad, a few swims and a trainer ride with Andrea, but I've done a majority on my own. I was worried that I might get bored or lazy without that local person to be accountable to, but instead, I sort of enjoy having a few workouts all to myself.

You see, the workouts are very prescriptive. An 80 minute run with a heart rate between 151 and 159 means that the only people I can run with are those who are willing to run at the pace that gets me to that heart rate. Sometimes it works out, like it did yesterday with some BTT folks out by the river, but sometimes it's just too hard to make the logistics work. And, other times it's nice to just tune into my workout, no distractions.

And that got me thinking. My friend R who's just started running doesn't like to run with anyone else. When I first started running, I didn't want to run with any one else either. But slowly, as I developed confidence in my running, I started wanting to run with people. And, as I started running with people, I started getting faster. Now I'm not superfast, but it is interesting to feel this shift away from the social element of my training.

And then the consultant in me had to make a visualization.

3. I'm hardcore.

If you're still with me, thanks! I promise this is worth it. Yesterday, I was running the river with two other people. At almost 8 miles in, something hit my eye. What was that? I wiped my eye and came away with bird shit. EW!!!

But here's the thing. I kept running. Didn't even mention it to my running buddies. There's not much that could be done about it at the time. When I finished the run, I went into a Dunkin Donuts and washed up.

Told you it was worth it. :)


Miss V October 9, 2011 at 8:34 PM  

The bird poop made me laugh out loud. It reminded me when I'd come home from a long run and have bug guts stuck in my eyelashes or smeared all over my shirt...or in my teeth. Good luck with your training.

Shannon October 27, 2011 at 10:01 AM  

hehe, hardcore indeed ;) but it's definitely true about the phases! i go through them myself, although not hardcore, maybe it goes with the time of year!

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