This year is going to be a year of firsts for me, for sure. First major running injury, first real road bike, first sprint triathlon, hopefully first olympic distance tri.....and first marathon.
I officially registered for the US Air Force Marathon on September 17. I'm in. I'm paid. I'm committed.
This is with the blessing of my doctor, and my PT, whom I asked MULTIPLE times before I signed up. When I signed up for the Pig, that seemed like a tough road, but something doable. Now, when I can barely squeak out a few miles and I have four months to octuple the distance I can run.....this endeavor now seems to be somewhere along the same level as making pigs actually fly. But ya'll know I'm going to try my head off. Or my feet off.
This also means that I'm officially marathon training again, I guess. I began the official training with....a near 4-mile run. In 40 minutes. And, going slower than my previous long run pace, I was wearing myself out. Sigh. Running endurance sure disappears fast!
The very good things about that run: it was 40 minutes of running straight. The most I've done since the 10k. And my running buddy came to visit for it!!! I've soooo missed running with her!! Nice to ditch the ipod and have a good chat every once in a while. And the other good thing: I'm fine now. Leg is tired, but not in pain. I'm still hyper-aware of the signals I get from it and what they mean. I still have some discomfort and weirdness from it from time to time, but very little pain. I can tell it's getting stronger. I'm thinking/hoping that when the injury is really gone for good, my endurance and speed will shoot back up to their previous levels.
NEXT WEEKEND: Tri for Joe! I haven't officially signed up yet....but I'm gonna do it. It's going to be tough. The other day at the gym, I did a mini-triathlon: 20 minute swim, 20 minute stationary bike, 20 minute run on the track. It wasn't exactly the same, obviously, because I leisurely changed my clothes and fixed my hair between the swim and bike, but it was good practice for doing three in a row. Holy crap. That kicked my butt. This triathlon thing looks so easy on paper, but it's a whole new mental game when you're tiring yourself out before each workout!
But I will finish and I will have fun, and since I've never done a tri, I'm not thinking too hard about the time at all. I can't remember the last time I've done a race without being a little OCD about time and pace, so it'll be nice. I just want to see how this goes!
And finally: I think I've got the clipless pedal thing figured out. I'm by no means good with them, but I can set my bike in motion without falling over now, and kinda clip as I go. I can unclip at will, although I'm still a bit skittish so I start unclipping looong before it's necessary! I even rode in freaking traffic, with multiple stop lights, clipping and unclipping. Nearly fell over when a car suddenly stopped, but I hung in there.
Fell once on the bike trail. I was going to pull off into a parking lot and turn around to head back home. My inner dialogue went something like this:
"OK, unclip right foot. UNCLIP RIGHT FOOT. (Note: by default, I stop using my right foot when I bike, so I'm working on unclipping that one to stop.) WHY won't it come out?? Aaah! It's stuck! It's so stuck!! OK....I can keep pedaling a little longer. Now, come out right foot. Hmm. Left foot? OK, left foot's out. Now I can stop! Wait...wait....why the eff am I leaning right to stop?? No! Wrong way! Aaahhh....*crash* Don't even tell me my stupid foot is still stuck to that stupid pedal. Oh....NOW you're unclipping!"
But nobody was around to see, and a little road rash never killed anyone. :)