3.1, 6.2, 12.4, 13.1, 26.2

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm Back!

OK, so I didn’t really go anywhere, but it’s been a few weeks since my last post, so I feel obligated to make the announcement that I’ve returned from my slacking of blogging. Actually, I wish I could say I’ve been slacking, but it’s been quite the opposite. The last few weeks have been crazy hectic at work with me being in Topeka, KS for most of last week for one of my projects. And when I’m not running around at work, Shannon, the boys and I have settled into our normally busy home life of running from place-to-place with whatever free time we have in the evenings on weekends.

So an update on my running/training schedule: I’ve officially decided not to run the 2009 Des Moines Marathon. This decision was difficult in that I feel like I could physically complete the ‘thon, but mentally I just haven’t been into the training and preparation leading up to the event. After having already achieved a PR in July, the continued preparation for the Des Moines ‘thon started taking a mental toll on me right away. Like I mentioned in my last post, I think I hit the wall with my training. Some refer to it as “over training”. No matter what I call it, I just feel that by forcing the run, I’m increasing my risk of injury or mental collapse. And for those who have run any kind of race, the mental aspect, the mental training and strength, is, in my opinion, far more difficult to overcome than the physical aspects. So by not having the desire to sustain the necessary training, I lost the urge to put in the required miles for training. If that makes sense…

Since my last post, I completed the Cyman Triathlon on September 13th. By my guesstimate, I completed the event in 1:25:00, 23 minutes faster than last year’s time and 2 minutes faster than Hickory Grove a month earlier. I say guesstimate because I don’t have an official time according to the event. Here’s how it went down: that morning when I got to the transition area right after it opened, I went to the registration table to get my arm and leg marked with my bib number and age. When I got there, I told the half-awake guy my bib number. “261”, I said. Without feeling the need to double check my arm for what he put on there, I got my markings and headed to the chip table for my timing chip. Here is where I made my mistake; instead of telling the lady handing out chips my bib number, I just showed her my arm and reached for the timing chip she handed me. Again, without checking the numbers, I slapped on chip on around my ankle and started setting up my transition area. What I didn’t notice was the zombie with the marker put ‘216’ on my arm instead of ‘261’. So when I was given chip 216, it wasn’t even activated; thus not registering anytime I went over a timing mat in and out of transition. But thanks to being able to recognize other people’s bib numbers in the pictures Shannon took of my heading in and out of transition, I was able to piece together fairly accurate times for each leg or the tri.

I had a great swim, approximately 9:45 in the water. My first transition was considerably faster than Hickory Grove, probably less than 2 minutes. The bike however was a different story. About 10 miles into the 14.5 bike while aggressively changing gears, I threw my chain. At first I couldn’t believe I had done it. It’s never happened to me before, in training or an event, but I’ve heard it happening to other people. And I can confirm what I’ve heard from them, throwing your chain during the bike portion of a tri “sucks balls” (quoting Jay from every single Kevin Smith movie). Once it registered that I was pedaling my ass off and not going anywhere, I quickly pull off to the side of the road, chuck the chain back on the gear box, and hop back on my bike with only losing a minute or so. All-in-all, it wasn’t that big of a setback, but mentally, I was thrown for a loop and just that couple minutes of not making progress on the route wrecked my psyche for the rest of the event. I kept having that, “hurry up, now you’re behind schedule” feeling. I was able to hammer out the remaining 4.5ish miles in decent time; by my guess I think I averaged a little over 18 mph on the bike, so I was pretty happy with that. Transition two from bike to run was quick, but what happened on the run “equally sucked balls” (again, quoting Jay from the big screen duo of Jay and Silent Bob). About a mile into the run, I got the worse side cramp I’ve ever had while running. Cramping has happened to me a few times during training runs, but never during an event. So needless to say I was frustrated and pissed off at my body. Again all I kept thinking was, “now I’m even farther behind schedule!” I had to stop and walk through the water station at mile one and the rest of the run was a hard grind. I had to slow my pace just to allow myself the opportunity to breathe deeply. The worst part was my legs felt great, but I couldn’t capitalize on “fresh” legs for the run. In the end, the entire run was terrible, but I still managed a 24 minute 5k.

Thanks to a great swim, a quick fix on the bike and a grinder of a run, I was able finish with a new PR for a sprint triathlon.

So with Cyman complete and my decision not to run DSM, my events for 2009 are all but over. In a few weeks, I’ll be running the Susan G. Koman run for breast cancer. That will be my last event of the year. However, my quest for qualifying to the 2011 Boston Marathon officially started yesterday. I met with my new trainer, Lisa Leon, who subsequently kicked my ass with her redonkulously challenging lunge and squat-based workout. Nonetheless, I feel like I’m off to a good start with my training. I know I said I would start my Boston qualifying training until November, but Lisa and I agreed to ease into this round of training as it is something new that I’ve never done before. Now all I need to do is figure out which 2010 marathon I’ll use to qualify on.

Lastly, I’d like to send a shout out to the high school douchers that went out of their way to splash me on my run today. Thanks a bunch, a-holes! Its one thing to get splashed inadvertently, but it’s another to watch a car switch lanes for no other reason other than to careen through the only puddle big enough to reach the poor sap running in the rain. Man, that shit was funny when I was doing it in high school. Now it kind of sucks being on the receiving end. God it sucks getting old…