Monday, October 29, 2012

Twenty Six Point Two

Maybe it's the cabin fever.

Maybe it's the rest day today.

Maybe it's the fact that registration fees increase by $30 on Wednesday.

Regardless, I am officially signed up.  Hopefully, DC will have recovered from Sandy by then.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mental over physical

Well, that was... a bit disappointing.  28 seconds slower than last year.  The plan was to run the first 4.5 miles at a hard pace, then increase to very hard and very very hard for the last 2 miles.  I stuck to the plan, but somehow my hard heart rate translated to a 7:44 pace.  This pace felt a little slow.  And I spent those miles watching the competition pass me by, hoping that my increased effort at the end of the race would allow me to catch back up. 

At 4.5, I kicked it up a gear and finally felt like I was moving.  I passed the 5 or 6 people who had passed me in the last mile.  Then I set my sights on a woman who had started with me, but left me in the dust when I tried to maintain my effort level in the first mile.  I slowly reeled her in, and in the last half a mile, I passed 4 more women, so that felt good. 

The end results are that with a slightly slower finish, I had an 8th place in age group (versus 6th last year) out of 272.  I can't really be disappointed about coming in the top 3% of my age group, even if it wasn't the performance I'd hoped for.  This wasn't an A race, and I didn't have A race preparation, taper or mentality going into it.  Having a solid race should be a good result.  My bigger concern is that I have an aggressive goal for the Chilly half of a 7:20 pace.  Averaging 7:29 here does not build confidence.

Much more exciting (and less sulky):  my friend A had a stellar race!  She improved her time by nearly 3 minutes.  That's almost 30 seconds per mile.  She hit her goal and really raced out there today.  So happy for her.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Breaking new ground

Last week, I ran the most miles I have ever run in a single week.  My previous record was just over 27, in the week of the Chilly Half.  Last week I ran just over 30.  I know in the world of marathoners that is not a big number, but for me, this is pretty huge.  That was 30 miles in just 3 runs, nestled in amongst 2 hours of swimming and 2.5 hours of biking.  Hell yeah.

But that will likely be the longest run, I'll see for another month.  This weekend is the Devil's Chase 6.66 miler in Salem.  I'm feeling good for this race.  Last year I did this race at an average pace of 7:28, for a total time of 49:08.  My plan for this weekend is by heart rate, so I don't have a good sense of what to expect time-wise.  I believe I'm faster, but I haven't raced a 10K in the last year outside of a tri.  My best was at AGN, but that was a 7:32 pace.  So, yeah, faster.

Then in 3 little weeks I've got the repeat of the Chilly, so I don't imagine the training will get back up to 30 miles until after that.  Here, we're targeting a 1:36.  This feels legitimately fast.  And a little bit scary.

But not as scary as signing up for a marathon.  I've talked about, I've researched, I've put it on my race goals with my coach, but I still haven't signed up.  Because I'm scared.  Marathons have always been this big looming beast.  I've always had too much trouble with injury to even flirt with a full marathon, but here I am, running healthy and looking at that 26.2 boundary.  The deadline for early registration is next week. I'm sure I will register by then, so I get the discounted rate, but I just can't seem to do it, yet. It will mean many more weeks over 30 miles.  It will mean running in the brutal cold and dark.  It will also somehow legitimize the possibility of doing a full ironman at some point in my future.  Marathons are scary.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Fairweather triathlete

As the storms rolled in on Friday night, I was reminded of Quassy.  Going into that race, I was completely unfazed, but during the actual ride, I was hating it.  With Duxbury, there wasn't a lot riding on the race, so I actually considered pulling out of the race.

My logic on Friday night, however, was that every other athlete was thinking the same thing, and maybe the fast ladies wouldn't show up, so I was in.  Unfortunately, where this logic fails is that the other fast ladies came to the same conclusion as I did.  When I arrived at the race on Saturday morning, there were some very fast looking bikes making their way through the puddles to transition.

And puddles there were.  The road out to transition had puddles about 8 inches deep.  Transition itself was in a paved parking lot, and my transition area in particular was in a puddle about 3/4" deep.  Try as I might to set down plastic bags to provide a dry spot for shoes and towel, it was not going to happen.  Everything got wet.

As I finished setting up transition, the rain stopped, but the wind started.  I put on my wetsuit and went to hang out in the registration tent to keep warm.  When it was finally time to head down to the water, I huddled up on the shore, shivering, waiting for my wave.  I seriously considered pulling out of the race right then.  I don't think I've ever come so close.  But it occurred to me that I'd just have to wait until the swimmers were all in to get my bike out of transition, might as well race.

The strange part was though, as soon as the my wave started, all those doubts evaporated.  I was racing, and I loved it.  The swim was rough and choppy, but so much fun.  Wasn't my best swim, came out 4th in my AG, but still just fun.

I took a bit of extra time in transition to put on a jacket, and I'm so glad I did.  Then, just as I was about to mount my bike, another athlete rode her bike right into me.  I still don't understand how that happened.  She apologized profusely, but I just stared at her bewildered.  My bike and I were fine.  And then neglected to hit the button on my watch, so my data showed a 43 minute transition, followed by a 3 second bike.

On the run, I stuck to the plan, I was chasing a girl who came out of transition just ahead of me.  She kept her distance for the first mile, but then I slowly started to reel her in, and made the pass on the back half of the course.  My run came in at 21:45, a new PR for the distance. 

Overall 10 seconds slower than two years ago (with a different swim) and only good enough for 4th place on the day.

Looking at my season this year versus last year, the clear improvement has been my running, which I think is a combination of better pacing on the swim and the bike, and just sheer leg speed.

Here's what my percentile rank in AG looked like in 2011:

And here's 2012:
It's good to see how my run rank has improved, and how I didn't blow up in any race this season.  But I've traded a bit with the swim.  However, I think that's more to do with who shows ups.  Now I gotta get working on that bike!

  © Blogger template 'Solitude' by 2008 | Photo by Jaredflo

Back to TOP