So, I’m really having a dilemma with my race plan for the year. I got all dorky and signed up for the Beginner Tri forums and now have access to their create-a-training plan site. However, doing that made me really have to sit and think what my goals are for the rest of the year. There’s about 5 months left of tri season, which then leads right into fall running season. I really want to do at least one Olympic and one half, but now I’m questioning why, other than I did one last year and want to beat my times. I could probably fall asleep on the bike and doggie paddle with my skillz now and PR the Oly. It merges SO WELL into a half because I barely have to train for it. I mean seriously. I did a total of NINE RUNS (3×3 per week) before taper and PR’d by 8 minutes.
Last year it was an epic 3 months – it was 6 weeks between my sprint and olympic (though I was ramping up the distance way before), and then it was 6 weeks between the olympic and the half (1 week off recovering, 3 weeks training, 2 taper). I was really mentally burnt out after the tri and kept cursing myself for registering. All’s well that ends well, and I wouldn’t change a thing in hindsight, but I really and truly don’t know if I want to subject myself to that again. Might circumstances be different? Sure. My body will probably be less wrecked since it’s been there before. I’m not doing the job of 2 people at work like I was. I’ll know that it’s OK to take the week after really easy and not have guilt/stress/freakouts about my body being utterly worthless 6 weeks out of the half, and that the runs will start out really rough but get better.
I know I can do it. I like the training. I like the challenge. But I’m trying to figure out WHY I really want to do the longer races. Life would be so much easier if I stuck to sprints. Short, super intense workouts to get FASTER. Last year, all I could work on was building distances. I didn’t get any faster. It’s fun shaving time off my 5ks and seeing regular paces in the 8s and seeing my bike pace slowly creep up to 19mph on the stationary and hopefully beyond. I know I am going to sacrifice some of this to build distance.
I guess I also feel like just doing sprints, for me, is erm…wimpy? It’s not the right word but I guess I’m trying to say that I don’t feel like it’s all I got. I know in my head that I should be able to just go twice as hard through half the distance and be just as spent at the end but I haven’t figured out how yet. I have a certain tolerance of being uncomfortable, and it gets better with distance. Once my body is in motion, it will stay in motion (to a point). I haven’t figured out how to translate it into short bursts as well as I should. Maybe that’s what I need to learn for this year.
There is always the fear too. If I don’t do a half this year, and instead really chase that 5k PR, is that going to make me a bad runner? What if my distance never comes back (my constant fear when I’m not running long – it always does when I train it to/need it to but it always feels weird when I’m running under 10 miles per week. I did an Olympic my first year, and now I’m considering NOT? I know in my rational brain that it’s just a different type of training and focus, and shorter is not inferior, but 5ks feel like so 2009.
I also don’t have a race picked out. The race I did last year doesn’t actually exist this year (it’s a different course/location), and that’s ok, because I’m ok with a little less of a hellbike. I mean, there are probably a dozen I could do in the month of September within a few hours drive, so it’s not really an issue, but I just don’t work as well without a focus.
Lastly – I seem to be making some progress with project: 150s doing as much volume as I need to do for the sprints. I can keep weight training. I don’t have to do 3.5 hour weekend workouts at peak. It sounds… nice. I didn’t gain during tri season last year but I certainly didn’t lose.
I think I’ll get through the race on June 19th and then consider my options, but it’s food for thought, and honestly, writing it out has helped me sort through some stuff in my head.
Random Bits and Bobbles
In other news, I worked most of the day, but we seem to have made some major progress and we’re getting out of the weeds. I’m not HAPPY with weekend work, but it was obvious it had to happen. Going in today was totally worth having the evening and the whole day tomorrow where I can just relax, not like last weekend where I was just dealing with work via email both days. Hopefully by next week’s end things will all be back to normal.
My back is getting better, but it’s not all the way better yet. I have resigned that this week is a loss. If it wasn’t so crazy with work I would have been in the water every day and weight training, but ya know what? Sometimes when you’re broken physically and exhausted mentally? It’s time to just retreat and take some time off. And thus I did this week. I’ll log 2 days in the pool and nothing else. I just have to accept that 1) this is ok and 2) either I’ll surprise myself at the 5k this weekend or I can sign up for another one and have my revenge.
We had to cancel the limo tour (ironically because one of our other friends had to work late into the evening – ah, game industry…), and it’s rescheduled for June. Instead, we are having a very wild night involving PJs and a movie marathon, which feels much more my style after the crazy week. Tomorrow, it’s makeup mother’s day celebrations with the fam – bbq, pool time, and playing cards. It should be a pretty good day.
I’ve not been a saint with the food, but it’s more in terms of the content, not the calories. Hard to eat low sodium when work’s buying you dinner or you get home too late to cook anything from scratch. After lunch tomorrow though, it’s back to it. We’ll see what the damage is Monday, but I’m hoping it’s not too bad.
Questions of the day: any insight on my dilemma – what would you do? Also – what’s your go to food when you’re crunched for time/too exhausted to cook?