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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Expectations

A quick look back at my Strava account reveals the unlikely: I've been gradually building mileage and training more or less consistently for the Skippo 30K since early August.  I did my last long run this past Friday, and with a 12-hour adventure race this coming weekend, chances of me doing more than a few easy miles in the next two weeks are low.  What's the saying...the hay is in the barn?
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Running the Skippo loop twice in September

On one level, this is my most dedicated training since my marathon; on the other hand, workouts have consisted of weekly long runs interspersed with infrequent, shorter weekday runs. It's been a rare week that I've run more than twice, and I've done no speedwork, tempo runs, or anything beyond time on my feet.  Well, and spent lots of time on trails.

Running the Lost Valley Trail. #trailrunning #FIGARtraining #skippo30ktraining #castlewoodARtraining #multitasking
Running Lost Valley in late September
You'd think that the preparation would make me confident going into Skippo, but you'd think wrong. Racing untrained makes just finishing a triumph.  Actually working for it leads to expectations (highly specific things like "I should do better than last year") and expectations lead to stress.  I don't like it. I'm really not made to be competitive; I think I prefer going into events hoping not to die rather than hoping to do well.

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Running Castlewood in mid-October
I don't even know how to talk about goals because I don't have a specific one. Beat last year's 3:37 time, I guess. And, after re-reading my 2013 race report, my main goal is to have as much fun talking to people as I did then and push myself harder.  Last year I finished thinking I needed to learn to hurt a little, so that's my plan. But just a little.

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Running the Lewis section of the Lewis & Clark Trail in late October
While most of my training has been running, I've gotten in some fun bike time, too.

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My friend Michelle on the Lost Valley Trail.
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No trip to Lost Valley is complete without a swing on the gate!
I don't think I'll ever be that good at any one thing because there are so many fun things out there to do.  Case in point: I wrote most of this blog post last week, all worried about how I was going to do at Skippo, stressed out that I wouldn't be able to live up to the expectations I have for myself.  And then I went and did a 12-hour adventure race this past Saturday, which isn't exactly a textbook taper for a goal race.  But would a potential PR at Skippo be worth skipping the Fig? Not a chance.  The Fig was a fantastic experience.

That, however, is a story for next time.

10 comments:

  1. Monolithic training for a single event is not have as much fun as your training - keep enjoying yourself or what's the point?

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  2. When I go away to the ocean/DC/whereever......beautiful place to bike/run I am going to take advantage of being there rather than having the best race by a day off. A day off when I'm near the ocean, no thanks. I agree with you. It's all about what works for you. I love that you will hurt more.........just a little.

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  3. "I think I prefer going into events hoping not to die rather than hoping to do well." Yes, yes, yes!!! I do about a billion times better at races when I have no ability to do well, than when I've trained my ass off. It's a little sad, really. I hope you can keep the expectations at bay and just enjoy the run. :)

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  4. Of course you tapered with a 12 hour adventure race. Of course you did.

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  5. I'm doing the 20K at Skippo! See you there!

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  6. You'll do great at Skippo, no doubt. Lost valley looks like a nice place to train. Maybe someday I'll get on Facebook and hear about training meet ups :-).

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  7. I can't wait to hear about the Fig. Potentially the long-winded (while winded) version during skippo? It'll be great :)

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    1. We might need to run an extra 10k to get all the Fig talk in! ;)

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