Out with the old…
So, tri season. Holy crap, what a ride. It definitely had high points (Lake Pf tri, Kerrville) and low points (Jack’s Generic), but all in all, I did what I set out to do this season. In an uncharacteristic move, I don’t think I did a season goal post at any point but I know what was motivating me so here we go with the wrap up!
This year: Continue to improve swim efficiency. Speed would be nice (and should come with better efficiency), but getting out of the water not feeling tired is the goal each race this season. 1-2 swim workouts per week.
How did I do?: Great. I still swam slow as molasses, but a little less some days, and never overdid it in a race.
Next year: I want to see what I can really do in the water. As soon as I can get back into swimming this winter (put on hold for a bit for marathon training + some offseason time), I need to work on some major sprinting. Next spring, I need to get my ass to the lake and do some hard OWSs and get on the bike hurting. I think I can handle much more than I expect, and going hard in the water is not going to completely waste me on the bike/run.
Work on growing bike endurance. I started the season having done 2 centuries I wasn’t ready for and about died after, and before that, had done 2-30 mile rides and a 35. Not just this year, but EVER. This was what I started the year most nervous about. I got a trainer and became bffs with it all spring and summer.
How did I do?: Awesome! I nailed this portion of the tri each time – I can pick a bike pace and execute by meeting or exceeding what I intend after studying the course. I became familiar with 30-40 mile rides and did a few longer.
Next year: Two-fold goal – I want to over-endurance. I plan on an epic 100 miler on the trainer this winter doing a movie marathon. I want to get very familiar with riding 50-60 miles both outside and on the trainer. Just as the half IM swim and run aren’t really a thing to me standalone, the aches and pains and weirdness I got around mile 45 in the race made me realize I need to do more rides over 50 miles. Also, I want to get FASTER. It doesn’t seem right that my half-IM pace and my sprint pace are about the same (15.9 in Rookie, Couples, Jacks, and Kerrville, I only beat that at Lake Pf and Tri-Rock…a hilly OLYMPIC). I’d love to break 20 mph on a sprint one day.
Running was a three-fold goal. First of all, I wanted to break into the goddamn 9s in a sprint tri 5k. Second, I had to get past the mental (and physical, but really mostly mental) barrier of not running more than 6 miles off the bike. Third, I had to get used to running on tired legs. I wanted fresh running legs to be a treat like cupcakes – nice when it happens once a month, but not expected.
How did I do?: Eh, so so. This is still where I feel like I can improve the most on tris, and it’s really mental. There is no reason I can’t take that ~28 min 5k I proved I could do and stick it after an hour of biking and swimming like clockwork. I only executed this one out of 3 times. Rookie was muddy and I didn’t want to slip (and I sub 10’d it anyway, but it was only 2 miles). Couples I gave up at the last hill out of frustration. Jack’s I was too exhausted. I was pleased with my 10k at Tri rock because it was hot as balls, and I didn’t stop running and 11 min/mi isn’t too bad. Kerrville – I got through it and didn’t hurl on any spectators or volunteers, and it will be easy to PR next year!
For the second goal, I got down enough bike + 7-13 mile runs that it didn’t feel awkward anymore. Third – check. I’m not sure if I remember what refreshed legs feel like. 🙂
Next year: Speed. I want to get FASTER. I’m tired of slogging through long slow miles and ready to kill myself on sprints and pukeworthy tempos again after my legs completely recover after my marathon + offseason time.
My race goals were to complete the Texas Tri Series, which meant completing my first half ironman. Also, PR at least one of the tris.
How did I do?: Check, check, and check. The series is done, the 70.3 is in the books, and I PR’d Rookie by 3 mins, Pf by 8 mins, and cut over 40 mins off my Olympic Tri PR from 2 years ago.
Next Year: I don’t want to lock myself into this, but thoughts I have are: I want to do more Olympics (and would be fun to race one that’s not hot as balls to really see what I could do), at least 2 70.3s, but I do love a sprint tri. Texas Tri Series next year? Maybe. I’m taking a LOT of time off racing earlier in the year, so maybe I’ll be ok with a tri every 2 weeks. We’ll see. Outlook uncertain. NOTE: There is no full ironman in my future next year. I need AT LEAST 1 more year. 2014? Maybe. Outlook definitely uncertain.
I wanted to come up with a training plan that fit our limitations (I really, really need a Saturday or Sunday off. I’ll have to give it up someday if I want to full IM probably, but I really need a day to do errands, dork online, and butt-to-couch reps), and got us from sprint triathletes with a bit of a half marathon running problem to full fledged 70.3-ers.
How did I do?: I did pretty good, and also gave myself permission to modify if I needed with no guilt if I was really overwhelmed. I did run myself into the ground once, but I recognized it really quick and though it sort of mentally ruined a race for me, I figured out really quick and fixed that shit. And, well, we finished the race, so I can’t complain.
Next Year: Considering joining a team or getting a coach, but also have definitely learned enough lessons to be a better self-coach. I really feel like I needed to exhaust myself this year to get the endurance I did, especially with the race/vacation schedule I had, but next year I really, really want to make good on the rule of “3 weeks build, 1 week recovery/stepback”. I just needed every week this year.
After some digging, I figured out that I am ending the Texas Tri Series ranked 2nd in my AG (of 3) that finished all the races. I was 4th going in to Kerrville, but I beat #3 by enough that I took over 3rd, and 2nd and 5th were a no show for the race, so… yay for a silver by attrition! However, I’m really, really glad I’m not 40-44… that was the most competitive age group by far!
In with the new… (for a few weeks at least)
Well, in exactly 33 days from now, I’ll be a marathoner or die trying. I am slightly less terrified of this race after the last two weeks, but still pretty fucking terrified.
The three things that have built up my confidence:
1. I finished the half ironman with a smile on my face.
2. A guy at the half ironman said he’s done many of both and they feel about the same after.
3. I did my longest run ever Saturday at 18.1 miles and didn’t quite die or have my legs fall off after (well, sort of, I’m dealing with pain this week but they’re still there). Although I did get angry with Zliten who took us on a detour that killed my mojo around mile 15. I may have amused myself by spitting on the yards who have the opposite candidate than I plan to vote for’s signs the last few miles (the yards, not on the signs, that would be disrespectful, this was just…. well-timed spitting that I would be doing anyway). I actually took down 400 calories during the run (cliff blocks, I love you), kept my pace pretty even throughout minus a despair walk break, and even sped up a bit at the end.
I am having some left hamstring soreness and hip soreness on my left side, but so far so good elsewhere (besides a little kink in my neck, but I don’t think that’s related). I just need to get healed, then through a few more weeks of stupid (for me) run volume and then taper and see what throwing a whole season of training for a half ironman + some long runs will net me on M-day. I expect it to be hard, painful, and lots of cursing/crying/giving up running forever, but I think I have the will to get through it even if I barely have the endurance. It’s going to be slow, but I’ll make it as long as I don’t do anything stupid.
This week I ran a speedy 3 yesterday (9:22 pace!), and planned to do more miles than I did this week due to my leg sort of kinda falling off (see above), and I’ll race the Showdown Half put on by the fabulous ultra runner Libby and add about 5-6 miles before/after. I said I’d race a 2:15 for the 13.1, but we’ll see how that pans out (my plan is to try to get 5 miles first slow as molasses, and then stick with the 2:25 pacer and see how I feel halfway through).
Next weekend I plan to do my requisite 20 on Sunday (after a work costume party Friday and resting the hell up on Saturday) and then taper, taper, taper, and see what happens. Eiieeeee! These are my excitingly terrified noises.
Also, let me just say (speaking of my Halloween costume) – I impressed myself by going out after work last Friday night with a goal costume, trying 3 on, and finding one that I really liked. Shocker: it was even a “sexy” version. I really liked how it looked, even fat from vacation and 70.3’ing. Woo! We went back out and grabbed all the accessories, and I have shoes at home that aren’t so uncomfortable I want to die and that work, so Halloween was done within 2 hours. This is huge for me as it’s usually 3 weeks of trying shit on, hemming and hawing, and getting pissed off that nothing fits my weird body right. I even snapped a pic just in case I forget to when I put it on for real, but for now, it’s a secret…
It’s been a weird experience lately – I just feel… ok with what’s going on lately. I’d like a little less athlete in my tri-suit, but I was feeling pretty dang good with where I was at before I went on vacation and pretty proud of where my body has taken me this year. I’m already seeing some nice fall-off on the scale this week (back in the 177s, down from the land of the lost), and it will be interesting to see what offseason will do. I dropped about 3-4 lbs in August by just peaking and then resting twice (the most significant loss happened during the rest weeks).
I know I’m going to have to watch portions and all, but I think I could really do some good to myself if I treat the holidays as DAYS and put mostly good things in my cakehole at other times. I’m starting to work on the transition of “OMG WHATEVER THE FUCK I WANT WHENEVER I WANT IT” from 70.3 training to “healthy shit mostly whenever the fuck I want it” so that “healthy shit mostly AND NOT AS MUCH DAMN YOU NO CARBLOADING FOR AN HOUR WALK” isn’t a surprise. The change in “hmmm, nothing is working” to “hey, slow as molasses but that’s a little lower” came when I switched to a) less meat b) more GOOD carbs/grains, which I plan on sticking with, but also c) really started ramping up my training. So we’ll see.
My head is already spinning around what I want to accomplish next year but we’ll talk about that…um… then. Let’s just do the deets and be done.
Monday: off (beer+mac and cheese reps?)
Tuesday: off (thought about swimming, and decided to sleep instead)
Wednesday: 30 min trainer, 30 mins weights
Thursday: 3.3 mile run in 33 mins
Saturday: 18.1 miles run (4 hours)
Monday: 3.2 mile run in 30
Tuesday: 30 mins on trainer (~9 miles)
Wednesday: costco walkin’ for an hour
Thursday: 2 miles in 22:53, 1 mile walk
Friday: off or another EZ run if my legs feel better.
Saturday: 13.1 mile race + ~5 miles add on before/after
Goals for this week:
-Shove lots of good healthy food in my mouth. Less sweets/chips/junk. Perhaps that will take a bit off the scale (back into the 178’s so that’s something). Veggies and fruit and hummus and beans and whole grains and stuff, oh my. Like, how I used to eat before vacation ruined me.
-Run without injuring myself further and dying this week. Listen to my body and realize that missing a few midweek runs this week to deal with the leg issues is ultimately ok and not going to ruin my marathon.
-Sleeeeeeeeep. Like a boss.
Question of the week: what are you going to be for Halloween?