Monday, December 05, 2011

Finally Coming Down...Off the Ledge

Just a little play on words if you read one of Alyssa's recent blog posts.

It's now December, and Arizona feels like a lifetime ago.  But don't worry, my feelings haven't changed.  I've just been able to process it, and have a little laugh.  My dad said to me over Thanksgiving, that I didn't fail, because finishing isn't failing, I just didn't meet my goal.

And of course I had to remind him: that IS failing.  I had a goal, I failed.  But that's neither here nor there, because I then told him that I know when to fold 'em, and that time is now.  So while I'm sure there will be a disappointed 6 readers who won't get to see depressing race reports any more, it will take the frustration out of sucking.

The highlights of my last two weeks have been a combined 11 hours of training, including a little attempt at the Born to Run 5 Miler over Thanksgiving.  Held the day after Thanksgiving, this annual race in Freehold (where Bruce Springsteen was born) has certainly changed over the years.  I used to go to it, know some of the people, see some friends.  Now they seem to have all disappeared.  It was a little sad this year as I showed up, signed up, did the race, and then just...left.

The race is not super competitive, last year I was 9th or 10th with a time just over 30 minutes.  That was also just a few days after IMAZ, so I figured this year I should be able to do at least that, maybe go faster.  My legs actually felt much better this year, and I went into it feeling like I could run 5:50s.  I was content with not going out hard, so I stuck behind some little kids and a couple of girls at the start.  After 600m, 4 guys went off, and so I decided I'd rather keep them in sight than sit back.  It felt supremely easy, and I was sure I was running 6:15 pace.  First mile coming up...5:42.  Ooof.  Not good.

Who ever knows if miles are totally accurate, but that was way too quick.  The next mile is mostly downhill, and I ran 6:01.  I felt like if I could keep the miles between 6 and 6:10, that would be good.  I was getting passed by a few people, including the first girl, but I didn't really care.  The middle miles are in this little park, some trail, some gravel, but generally not fast terrain, and a few turns, BUT the 6:35 I ran for mile 3 was a shock.  So then I realized I had virtually no shot and running "well" and just kept the effort there.  Back uphill, 6:45.  Ha!  Finished with a 6:30 and came across the line in whatever, like 13th or 14th I guess at 31:35. 

After the race, there was a small Spanish guy who I recognized from races up there, and he tells me (in his accent that I can do if I'm telling the story live) that I probably would have finished top three had I not gone out so hard, yada yada.  I said I wasn't too concerned, that I did an Ironman the other day, and he and this other guy just went "ohhh..." 

I took Mon and Tues off after AZ, and then swam a little on Wednesday.  Thanksgiving I took off, and Friday ran about 6 miles and then rode 22 miles with Jason Gers at the beach.  Good ride.  I then used the good weather (temps in the low to mid 60s!) and motivation to get on my bike on Saturday for about 18 miles - the same route I rode the day I got hit 2 years ago.  Made sure to go slowly by that spot.  I came back to Baltimore on Saturday and got in the pool Sunday. 

Ran pretty easy all last week, running 7 on Monday, 8 on Wednesday, 7 on Friday and another 8 on Sunday for 30 miles.  I didn't ride at all, but I got in the pool 4 times for 8700 meters.  I actually feel pretty good in the water right now, but not great running. 

With 11 months down, here is how I'm grading myself for November:

Swimming - B+.  1:01:27 at Arizona is the best I've swam there in the three years, and basically confirms that, unless I stop swimming altogether, would not swim worse than a 1:05.  As I've always said, 1:05 was the time I used to think that I would be stoked to swim.  But, I still feel like I should have been under an hour.  No big deal.  For the month, ended up with 37,500 meters, a pretty standard month.

Cycling - C.  I only have my performance at the race to judge this on, and that was...subpar.  437 miles for the month, which is about what I did last November.  At this point I'm going to really have to take a look at what's going on for me on the bike, because it's at travesty that my swim keeps outsplitting my bike and run at this distance.

Running - B.  I was running pretty well in November, and obviously the only real race I had was AZ, but I still don't even think it was my running legs fault, something else was going on.  I feel like if you're running 30 miles a week after an IM, you're doing okay.  130 miles for the month. 

One cool byproduct of the running mileage is that I eclipsed my 2007 mileage (1751) with my run on Wednesday, the last day of November.  I now sit at 1767 with 26 days to go.  My highest mileage (keeping in mind that I didn't keep track of things during college so I'm sure those were all much, much higher) came from 2008, when I ran 1874.  I won't crack 2000 this year, but I'll probably get to 1950 or so. 

As I began this post with a little jab at my own self-worth, things have been going well for Alyssa, as she was selected to the Rev3 Tri team for 2012.  Pretty cool, as Rev3 really does put on great races from what we've heard, so I'm sure I'll get to see some of them. 

In other news, Under Armour just partnered up with Tough Mudder for 2012.  I think Tough Mudder is a joke, and it makes me cringe to think of the money that they print for their dumb races.  Haters gotta hate, I suppose, I'm sure if I was the one making that money for not doing shit I'd be happy too, but still.  Maybe UA should focus on sponsoring REAL running events (Baltimore Marathon excluded) and making real running apparel and shoes...just my two cents.  After that Hot Chocolate race debacle in DC this weekend, and Annapolis Half Marathon a few weeks ago, I've got to suspect that these RDs have dollar signs in their eyes as they think they can just start a race and have 10,000 or more people.  These races are just TOO big.  You're not the NYC Marathon!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

loved this grading system...awesome!!! haahaha -ayedee