Balance.  Yin and yang.  Up and down.  I’ve been very yiiiiiin for the last, oh, few months.  Let’s just call it the majority of 2010.  Work, races, training, social obligations, trips, oh my.  I can count the amount of weekend days when I’ve had nothing to do and am not completely wasted (dead tired after training, dead tired after races, dead tired after travel, dead tired after uh… training my liver… etc etc) this year on one hand pretty much.  I may be SLIGHTLY exaggerating, but still.  There are 8 weekends left before holiday break and I’m full up on all but one.  Birthday, race, race/party, thanksgiving, nothing, Phoenix, then BAM!  I’m on a 2 week vacay.

Speaking of Halloween (even though we weren’t), here is Cleo and King Tut:

At least training is winding down.  Earlier this week, I did my 4.5 miles of ladder sprints and ended feeling like – uh – already?  Today’s 5 mile tempo was a blink of the eye.  I can’t remember the last time a workout was less than an hour.  Also, having over 3 days (Friday morning to Monday night) off made the legs nice and rested.  I’ve never felt this rested at the beginning of a taper and it bodes well.  I’ve also never felt this calm this close to a race.  Maybe this is what happens when when you have over a dozen races under your belt.  Maybe this is what happens once you’ve already met a major goal for the year, and have low expectations.  Or just maybe, I know that I can do the distance and it’s just a coin toss on the PR front whether I’m having a good day or bad day.

My biggest challenge right now is just to stay healthy and rested.  This is one of my vulnerable times of year – Halloween to Thanksgiving is kind of a coin toss whether I get sick or not.  My body does not take kindly to the weather getting colder.  I’m feeling on the verge of something.  I just need to make sure I get lots of sleep, eat good food, take my vitamins, and treat my body well.  It’s a good time for a taper since reducing intensity of workouts from crazypants to sane usually helps your immune system.  Hopefully that will save me!

It’s crazy that I only have 4 more runs of training, and only ONE of those is over 4 miles (8 miler this weekend, 3.5 miles sprints, 3 mile tempo, and a 2 miler to keep my legs loose).  It’s even crazier that I’ve only done 11 training runs since the tri.  I do feel ready though.  I always have good 12 milers, and this was no exception.  Maybe this will be the time where I don’t have a huge disconnect between running 12 and running 13.1 and fall apart during the race.  There are a lot of maybes this race.  Odd that I’m not freaking out about it, I think it’s just a testament to my mental burnout more than anything.

Although, I’m realizing that I don’t need to put so much pressure on myself.  This is my third, and almost certainly not my last half marathon.  If I don’t hit a PR or my goals this time, it’s just more motivation for next time.  It’s a nice feeling.  And… after the tris, this is just running.  I don’t have to worry about so much.  No stressing on the lake conditions, the wave start with people kicking in your face, the transitions

I’m already looking forward to less cardio, more weight training, and just all in all doing something different.  But I’ve got a few weeks and 3 races to rock first.

By the numbers last week (check out those awesome improving paces!!!):

Monday: 4 x 1 mile sprints (8-8:30 pace) – 5.5 miles total, 53 mins
Tuesday: 30 mins weights (had to work late)
Wednesday: 7 mile tempo run (67 mins)
Thursday: bike 6 miles (22:30), swim 1200 yds (25 mins)
Friday: 12 mile run (2:03, so just over 10 min miles)
Saturday: off
Sunday: off

This week’s plan:

Monday: ladder sprints (400m w/u, 400m @ 7.5, 400m recovery, 800m @ 7.2, 400m recovery, 1600m @ 6.8, 400m recovery, 800m @ 7.2, 400m recovery, 400m @ 7.5, 400m race pace, 400m cooldown)
Tuesday: off (I voted at least!)
Wednesday: 5 mile tempo run (47 mins)
Thursday: weights and a swim
Friday: off
Saturday: 8 mile run
Sunday: bike ride

Next week will be full on taper, with a road trip up to San Antonio Saturday!!!  It still boggles my mind that I’m running on so little training, but I did complete a 12 miler, wash up, go to work, and barely felt wasted, so I guess I’ll be alright.

So, what do you think about the weather getting colder?  Hate it with a fiery passion like I do and are counting the days til Spring?  Or revel in the delight of snowflakes and coats and the chill in the air?  What times of year do you usually get sick?  Just wanna congrats me for finally getting a little lead out of my feet?  Hit me up. 🙂