Monday, February 26, 2007
Training is going well, as my 15K report tells you. My average200 yd swim time is down to 4:20 which is close to my ironman pace goal. Epic windy, 48 mile ride last Saturday. So much to write about, so little time. The dissertation is just a big black hole for time.
Hope everyone is training well. Maybe I'll catch up tonight.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Another 7 years in the bank and I stood at the Gasparilla 15K starting line once again. Another personal test; another big race on the horizon. The test was the clock. This was the first race where I dared to set an aggressive time goal. A few weeks ago I ran 5 miles in about 45 minutes which told me sub 90 minutes was possible. Not guaranteed, simply possible if I ran hard. I wanted to do it but I felt guilty, as if going for time somehow betrayed my athletic values and would lose the respect of my friends. Weird, I know. As a result, the only person who knew my goal time was Coach Debi.
My plan was to find someone running 9:30s and follow them. Great plan, right? Sometimes the simple plan is the best plan. The race start was extremely crowded. My first mistake was to line up in my comfort zone: the back of the pack. Sure, 90 minutes is fast for me but that's not fast to most of the runners in the race. I don't _need_ a spot in the mid-pack, do I? Um yeah, I do because, apparently, other participants were not bothered by such thoughts.
Two minutes after the start of the race, I crossed the timing mats. I found myself carried along in a current of people. Most of my time was spent in a not so graceful cycle of slow down-trip-sprint as other participants cut me off only to slow down. It was frustrating for everyone. Where is my bunny? I need a pace bunny! About 1/2 mile into the race I found someone I know through a couple of online running groups. He realized (thanks to his Garmin GPS thingy) that the crowded conditions had slowed me down to 10:50 miles. I never asked if he would pace me because he's much faster than me. Without hesitation Bill graciously informed me that _we_ would need to pick it up to meet my goal. He showed me how to move through the crowd into pockets of open space where I could find a groove without tripping over people. Thank you, Bill the "Slow Twin"!!! We ran together for the first 4 miles. Bill filled the time with easy conversation. The pace made breathing my priority but I replied as best I could.
At mile 5 I simply had to visit the Blue Boxes. This is the third time GI issues have derailed workouts and I was mad-mad-mad-mad-mad. Bill was running the 5K later on in the day and the marathon on Sunday. It wasn't fair to ruin his entire weekend of racing so I sent him on his way, promising to catch up to him.
Two minutes later, I'm back on the road. After bringing my average pace down to 9:22, mile 5 was 11:27. Bummer. Major bummer. But not over by a longshot. Time to run tough. Before the race I worried about distracting myself when running felt really hard. It wasn't an issue. The lack of oxygen limited my brain to a few random thoughts.
Mile 6: 9:09 (running scared, gel with caffeine, is that guy wearing overalls?)
Mile 7: 9:12 (tried to sing to myself but failed, kept mixing up songs)
Mile 8: 9:20 (mumble my mantra "I am fast, fluid, and relaxed")
Mile 9: 9:17 (no way am I giving in now)
Mile 9.3: 2:43 (see the clock, run faster, run faster)
Time on my watch: 1:28:41
Yeah buddy!!! What a great feeling! The best part (other than pushing myself to the max) was receiving my race medal from a Chik-fil-A cow. How cool!
My official chip time was 1:28:42 which makes me 95/206 for 30-34 year old females. Gasparilla offers separate prize money for local runners which means all the fast people show up. Sneaking into the top 50% of my age group was the icing on the cake.
And so my road to Ironman Florida continues. There are a few check points along the way but my next big goal is the Gulf Coast Tri in May. There is so much work to do. Oh yeah, and this athletic stuff still is fun. Why else would I do it?
in beautiful Florida
If we weren't all crazy
we would go insane
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Week 6 can be summarized fairly easily: I was sick. Nothing like a taper week for week 5, a superbowl party with lots of strangers, and 100% increase in school stress to roll out the red carpet for viruses. Free rent! Move in today! So, they did.
Monday-sore throat, no big, swim anyway.
Tuesday AM - a little tired, a little runny nose but I'll keep the brick easy.
Tuesday PM - fatigue, runny nose, find some sudafed but it doesn't help, spend the night with a box of aloe tissues.
Wednesday - wake up, drink coffee, the futon looks soooooo comfortable, maybe I'll just nap today
Thursday - trainer broken, head so foggy from cold medicine I dare not ride outside in the fog, run? was there a run?
Friday - run AM to make up Wednesday, swim pm, 85% normal, no sinus problems or major fatigue
By Saturday I was 90% normal for me. Of course, the workout called for an easy 45 minute spin so there was no problem there. The only bad part about Saturday was watching the 2006 IM Hawaii coverage for the second time. By myself. It got inside my head. You think you can do this? Look at the people who failed! Why are you different? Don't know why. So many doubts. That's life. Real challenges mean real risk. But I decided that if I'm going to do this IM thing, I'm going to do it 100%. And throw in that pesky dissertation as well. We must do that thing we think we cannot do.
Sunday called for a mock olympic distance race. All 3 sports in order with casual transitions. Coach said to invite your friends; have fun. Except that the most likely running partner is vacationing in Thailand for 4 weeks. How selfish of her! Possible riding partner #1 has started her MBA program and possible #2 was in Atlanta. Sigh. And the university pool doesn't open until 11AM. Start the 'race' at 11AM? WHAT A PAIN.
It was not lost on me that this casual 3 hour workout used to be my season's goal. In fact, 2003, 2004, and 2006 my goal races were olympic distance. Now it's any early season moderate workout. What am I doing again? Oh right, Ironman training. To be fair, the workout was not supposed to be race pace, just solid aerobic. And it was pretty easy except for the run where that steak from Friday night/Saturday lunch haunted me. My HR would not calm down. Talk about gastrointestinal pain! Even a bathroom break brought no relief. Note to self: you don't normally eat beef, save it as a special meal after races or big workouts. Stick to red wine and pepperoni pizza before the race.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
So, it's not a building, it has no staff, and I became interseted in the concept from a Blog co-authored by a prarie dog. Right. Well, no one said I was sane.
In lieu of an official corporation, I created my very ownpersonal, portable, Bank of Ironman safety deposit box. Here it is:
So to all of you out there blogging away about your weekly workouts, thank you. Those day to day stories are so much more inspiring than large essay blogs. Keep it up. I need all the inspiration I can get.
You may be thinking that it looks like a play pirate chest with the M-dot logo in it. You would be right. More on that later. In fact, if the Ironman corporation finds this photo, they'll make me remove it but anyway.....stored inside are letters, quotes, and blog entries that capture the spirit of Ironman to me as well as messages and inspirations given to me by others. The deposit slips are copies of my Week in Ironman posts. Money in the bank to be withdrawn by a nervous newbie on Nov 3, 2007.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Deposits in the Bank of Ironman:
Several solid runs at a steadily dropping pace.
2 hour ride on Sunday in wicked headwinds. 9 mph into the wind, 21 mph with the wind behind me, same heart rate. Yeah, it was bad. I reminded myself that I can add "headwind training" to my bank of ironman. I will bring my own weather to race day.
10K with Shawn and Molly on Saturday. It hit me that I might be able to maintain the 12 minute mile pace for an entire marathon if I trained for the distance. That's a 5 hour marathon. Too cool! Of course, all pace bets are off for IMFL. Sub 17 hours is my goal but it's nice to see progress in the stand alone times as well.
OK, that's it. As always I ask your forgiveness for my lack of blog posts and comments on your blogs. I'm visiting, I swear, but blogging has taken a back seat to other stuff. Sometimes reading is all I can manage. Speaking of "other stuff", it's time to work on the next dissertation chapter. Have to finish 3 by the beginning of March. No pressure....
Sunday, February 04, 2007
January 2005 - 17:20 hours, 1 hour of swimming (~3000yds)
2006 - 6.2 hours, no swimming because I messed up my shoulder
2007 - 29:18 hours with 8600 yds of swimming
What a big difference! Generally I wait to start serious training until March or so but not this year. Next month should be well into 30+ hours. Another big change is the distance covered each month. In 2005 the biggest months of my half IM build, 42 hours of training would take me over 310 miles. Now I cover that in about 29 hours. That's a big improvement. It's going to be a fun year as long as I can keep it all balanced.