Friday, January 25, 2013

Falling over, Planning for Races and Ugly Training Runs


I have 15 tabs open on my browser and a text file with a list of triathlons and half- marathons. I am trying to plan the race schedule for spring. It makes me tired to look at it. I have to cross check it with my son’s swim competition schedule. I am not going to do Wildflower this year since between college visits and the boy’s schedule – it’s either him or me and – well – I am a Mom first. I am going to pick some others that are more local and focus on improving my hill work on the bike and next year I will be there. I am signing up for Palm Springs Tri instead – god that makes me feel old to pick that over Wildflower – it’s like straight in a nice resort with a heated pool over hippy camping and naked swimming.

Kessel Run Peeps - winter biking in SoCal

Last Sunday, I did a 50 mile ride with some serious hills in the middle. It was fun but we lost a couple of riders in first 10 miles when someone took a spill and they called the ambulance. We waited for them at rest stop and one of them called the leader. Later in the middle of the hills, I was feeling great and was on in front and was checking the group out when suddenly bam they were gone and I was totally lost. I stopped and figured out nothing on my iPhone except were the beach was so I just headed for the ocean. I ended up in a very crowded urban section of town biking on a crowded street. I didn’t have the leader’s number – I biked really hard to get home. I noticed my clips on the bottom of my shoe were loose and ignored them.  A mile away from home, I got to a stop and then thought the light was changing and pushed and clipped in BUT the light stayed red so I tried to unclip, my loose clip flew off my shoe and I couldn’t unclip my other shoe and I just fell over. BOOM.  I got up and picked up the pieces of my shoe and got to the side of the road. I screw the clip back on feeling like a moron. I got back on the bike, clipped in and BAM fell over (on my other side) because the chain was off and I was so freaked out that I never noticed. Big bleeding scraped knee. Ugh. And let me tell you – the next morning I woke up with my body totally locked up and screamed “Dorothy – get me the oil can!”

Yesterday, I did my final distance training run for the next half marathon that I am running in 10 days. I woke up and it was pouring rain – oh goody run scratched (I thought) but the sun cleared and my motivation was low. I got ready and rolled out at lunch on a 10 miler figuring sometimes you just have to start running and things improve. The streets were deserted but the run was ugly and hard. My brain was the angry-pissed-off-runner brain and I could not get positive – why did I sign up for that stupid race, I hate this song on my playlist, I just stepped in a puddle, I forgot my water bottle, I have to pee blah blah blah! The worst is I pulled on the wrong socks for the distance and I got a monster blister on my “problem” toe. I have one toe on my left foot that is a bit fatter on the pad then all my other toes. If something goes wrong that is where I get my blister. It popped by mile 9 and then hurt like crazy for the final mile. Apparently that was the blood blister forming. On the upside, my brain stopped the constant litany of bitching and simply went into “ow the toe hurts” mode.

I think after this next half marathon, I am done with those for a while. I guess that’s why I like triathlons…shorter running distance! – at least for an Olympic distance.  This year’s goal is to finish Olympic distances consistently, comfortably and with excellence.  Then maybe we try a longer distance. But hey – really at this point I think I have reached the point where training takes up the maximum amount of time I want to spend.  I am a relentlessly casual athlete. I want to do some more challenging hikes this spring and I would like to try to do a Century ride.  Achievable goals that make me happy are really what it’s all about.  I have a lot of conditioning in biking. Also, I guess I don’t think of success in terms of increased difficulty. I would rather get faster at 10ks or just do some open ocean races – challenge myself in specific ways and still have fun!

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