That which does not kill us, makes us stronger. - Nietzsche

Thursday, May 26, 2011

grumbles and race strategy

Looking at marathon training plans. Freaking out a little. I haven't been thinking about it much, but I need to. I have 16 weeks (after this weekend) to train. All of the training plans say I should be able to do a 6 mile long run and increase from there. Even if I add one mile on to my longest run every week, I won't even hit 20 within 16 weeks. Eek.

I'm going to talk to the PT again on Tuesday. I'm going to see if he'll compromise and instead of letting me run back-to-back - which I don't even really WANT to do anyway - see if he'll work with me on focusing on safely increasing distance. A 3 mile run followed by a 2 mile run the next day isn't how to get to where I want to be.

I'm beginning to doubt that I should've signed up for the marathon. This is beyond frustrating to think about.

So I'm going to try to stop, because I have a triathlon this weekend. I picked up my swag tonight, although I don't get the number or timing chip until Saturday. I must say, the swag gets a thumbs up. I wasn't expecting a tech shirt (even if it's not the coolest looking shirt ever), plus fun stuff like two tickets to Coney Island, a pedometer, and sunscreen.

Oh....swim cap....I should be getting a swim cap too. I think they were just giving out the bags that everyone gets tonight. The swim cap should be based on which wave you're in. I'm expecting to be in the slow kid wave, natch. :)

Got a swim in today. My 700 yd time was faster than it has been lately. I tested out the wetsuit the other night and it felt weird. I debated not wearing it, but (a) that changes my wardrobe plans, and (b) the water will probably be cold, and I HATE getting into cold water. Hate it to the point where it can be 90 degrees outside and if the pool isn't heated, my husband has to beg me to get in past my knees. But I also think I didn't have the wetsuit pulled up enough or fastened right in the back. I'll spend more time on that Saturday. Wetsuits also theoretically make a person faster, because they help you float. We shall see.

My official strategy for the tri: slow and steady. I realized today that I swim faster when I'm calm and keep a steady pace, not when I'm TRYING to swim fast. It'll also keep me from panicking (water = last place on earth one wants to panic) and it'll conserve energy. The good thing about the setup is that the swim is two laps, the bike is out and back, and the run is out and back. This means that I have two distinct halves to each leg of the race, so I can start out at a strong, steady pace, and speed up in the second half if it feels good. I think that's how I'll race happiest, for sure.

Some thoughts I posted on a tri forum:

Swim: I'm planning to totally focus inward and go at a pace that feels good, almost relaxing. To equate it to running (since that's where I have the most training), my swim pace should feel about like my long run pace (comfy, sustainable for a long time, relaxed). This is so that I don't wear myself out, and also so that I don't start getting tired mid-swim and panic in the deep end.

Bike: This is my strongest area at the moment. (Totally unaffected by the bad leg.) I'm going for a comfortably hard, steady pace, since it's a flat course. The effort should feel something like my 10k run pace.

Run: I know this may be a struggle. Coming back from injury is a b****. I'm going to start slow and comfortable and pick up the pace in the last mile if I've got it in me. I'm pretty good at running at a steady pace, and pretty good at knowing where my body is and where it should be when I run. I'm getting re-used to some of that, but I can see obvious improvement in all of those things every time I'm back out there.

No Garmin. I don't need the numbers distracting me. No ipod. They're not allowed in the triathlon world, and it would be one more thing to deal with. (The amount of gear needed for a triathlon, to someone who's used to just running, is insane!) Plus, I've been trying to run more without the ipod. I don't bike with it, for safety reasons, and I enjoy biking just fine. No reason why I can't grow to be the same way with running.

I have no real time goal, but I find it impossible to think about this without estimating. So if you're curious, I estimate that I can do the swim in 15-20 minutes (that's the hardest to estimate, since it will just be a freaking madhouse), the bike in 40-45, and the run in 33-35. I gave my estimated finish time as 1:45.

But I can finish happy and I can totally live with that. :)


  1. ITS GOING TO BE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!

    The swim is a time trial swim, 2 people will enter the water every 3-5 seconds, it wont be as congested. If you panic, 85% of it is in shallow water, so just stand up, if you panic out by the back walls, grap onto a lane line. I bet you will be ok though

    Last years shirt was cotton and was actually cool for a race shirt, now I am worried this years wont make the rotation based on your description

    Bring the wetsuit, put your feet in the water before the race and decide then if you want it or not.
    Most important, HAVE FUN!!! Enjoy the day, soak in the race. If you have questions, just ask people around you. More then 50% of the field will be newbies as well. Its a great race, and keep an eye for Joe, he comes out, such a cute little kid

  2. The shirt isn't too bad. It's just not as cool as some race shirts I've seen. I'm just happy to get a shirt I can actually run in - I have a drawer overflowing with cotton t-shirts.

    I plan on having a good time and enjoying the experience - hope it works out! You've been super helpful! I hope you'll say hi if you think you spot me!!