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Monday, September 30, 2013

This girl will self-destruct in 10 seconds

Don't worry...this is no cry for help. Rather, it's an admission that maybe I overdid it this weekend.  That possibly my lack of discipline and inability to say no to things that sound fun could be getting in the way of my performance.  That, in fact, it's conceivable that I'm my own worst enemy.

So...I've got this little half marathon coming up in six days.  Road races don't particularly call to me, and I had no plans to do another half, but my teammate Adam was doing this one and some other friends are and somehow I convinced myself that I wanted to do it as well. My first half marathon was a raging success by my standards, so when I first committed to this race my intention was to train faithfully and collect a second sub-2 hour finish.  You're reading this blog, so chances are good that you won't be surprised to hear that things didn't quite work out that way.

I got a good start, but then school started back up again and I developed this aversion to running in the dark because of all the skunks in our neighborhood (that's totally an excuse...I mean, it's both true and a bullshit wimpy excuse) and all I wanted to do was ride my bikes.  Still, even if I was whiffing on my mid-week miles, I had some decent long runs.  9 miles on August 18, whatever the trekking mileage was at Thunder Rolls, and 10 miles on Sept. 1.  Then my planned long run was cut short two weeks ago when I hurt my back.  Sigh.

I got in 10K last weekend and figured I'd run a few miles this Saturday and then basically just write off the last two months as an extend taper.  Instead, this Saturday found me running 12.6 at Lost Valley, one of my very favorite trails.  I won't pretend it was easy (or that I wasn't looking at all the people out on mountain bikes with undisguised envy), but it was fun -- perhaps more so in retrospect than at the time, though there was one stretch that was absolutely glorious and made me so sad not to have a camera along so I could capture the moment -- and my average pace was 11:46/mi.  Maintaining that on trails and hills gives me hope that Sunday's half marathon won't be a disaster.  Even better, I made it through that distance with minimal hip pain, and if the only thing this half marathon "training" gives me is the ability to run the distance again without spending the last four miles limping, I'll be thrilled.

Sunday was the third race in the Wild Trak Bikes Superprestige cyclocross series, and my biggest hope was that the muscled pain from Saturday's run wouldn't set in until after my race.  I was a little stiff when I woke up, but my legs didn't feel too bad.  That didn't stop me from coming in last in my race, though.  Two other girls DNF'd, but all of the other finishers (8 of us in all) were ahead of me, including one woman at her first cross race.  While I expected her to beat me because I know she's stronger on a bike than I am, it's still really disheartening to lose to someone totally new to cross.

On the plus side, unlike last week at La Vista, none of the women in my race lapped me, the course was a lot of fun, and the photographer took some good pictures of me. Credit Mike Dawson for the awesome pictures.  Very cool to have someone out on the course every weekend taking and posting photographs for us! 
Early in the race.  You can tell because there are actually other bikes around me.
I'm either smiling because I'm talking to the photographer or laughing at myself because I just did something stupid.  Both things happened in this spot.  I still love the picture.
 
Another cool picture.
I had planned to do the Open race as well if there were few enough women that I was guaranteed to finish in the money, but instead I wimped out.  I got as far as the staging area and talked myself out of it.  My whiny self-talk went something like, I don't want to limp around this course for another hour while all these fast people fly around me.  So I didn't and was immediately disgusted with myself.  Since when am I too wimpy to suffer for one more hour on a bike, especially surrounded with cool people and on a course I loved (except for the run-up).  I find it way too easy to let myself off the hook.

I went home in a lousy frame of mind and planned to go out back and practice remounts after sitting and relaxing with a magazine for a while.  Instead, I got a message from my friend Dave suggesting a mountain bike ride.  Since my guys were spending the day watching football, I jumped at the chance to ride at Bluff View, one of my new favorite trails.  If I'd realized just how long it would take to get there (I've only ridden there from a closer park) I probably would have opted out, but I'm so glad I went.  It was exactly what I needed to break out of my negative mindset. 

How can you be crabby when your trails include a playground with a view?
I fell right asleep last night, but I really didn't realize how tired I was until I got to work this morning.   I'm just exhausted.  Much napping will be taking place this week.  Oh, and looking ahead to this coming weekend...Judging from Saturday's run, I think a 2:15 finish is possible, so here are my goals for Sunday's race: 

C goal: no major hip or knee pain
B goal: 2:15
A goal: anything better than 2:15 and/or still be able to make it in time to race at the cross race. 

12 comments:

  1. awesome pics! Good luck, I bet you will kick butt!

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  2. I think you'll be fine. Sounds to me like you are more prepared than you think you are. Those are some great pics!

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  3. Most people when they're utterly exhausted take a nap or go to bed, not write 5000 word blog posts!! ;) Ah, you know I love you.

    I think you just love too many things to actually "train" for something specifically. It's all good though because that's what you love most. I'm sure if the sub 2-hour meant more to you, you'd have dropped the other stuff and trained, but your heart is SUPER loaded with so many adventures, it can't be tied to just one; that's boring and lame (like me :)).

    You're going to have a great race, simply because you make everything so much fun. I wish you lived closer so we could do some of your adventures together....err, maybe not - we'd be in the ER way more than we actually raced :).

    Thanks for your VERY kind words on my post today, meant a lot. I'll send an email off in a day or so. In the meantime, keep up the great job tapering and have a kickass week!

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  4. Love these pictures!!!
    I hope you have a good race SK and NO NO NO pain
    Pain is the enemy

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  5. Never! You can't be tired! :) You've done some amazing fun races and adventures so just go and enjoy the half. My slowest half on the road is 2:49 so 2:15 is still very sharp in my books.

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  6. I like what Jill said. I think you're like a kid in an adventure candy store. You want it all, but can only train for what you enjoy most. That said, go have a blast at your race. Badass pics!

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  7. You guys know me so well. I don't like missing out, for sure, and really what matters most to me is being able to do a good job in an adventure race, so maybe doing all these multiple activities pretty close to each other is actually good training for my long ARs, right? Right?

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  8. Awesome pictures - you look super speedy! Good luck at the race my friend.

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  9. I don't really train for a race because
    A I'm lazy.
    B. I'd rather bike.
    C. I'd rather do triathlons.
    D. Mostly I just like to do lots of races so how can I train for all of them?

    I think I'll take D.
    You'll do great. The most important thing is how much fun you are having at all the amazing things you do. Keep it up!

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  10. So now your half marathons are just warm-ups for cross races - impressive.

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  11. Good luck at the race, think positive and, of course, no pain.
    The pictures are too beautiful!

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  12. There are those socks again..:)

    I like your A B C goals. It's always a blessing to have a pain-free run!
    Wishing you all the best for an A race, though. GO get em lady!

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