A bit of reassessing

Had a really great workout today.

All of my Steelhead fears have now been put to the backburner. I can and will finish the race.

However my goals need a bit of tweaking. I am not getting much faster on the bike and I don't want to go into the race with too high of expectations and have my first half ironman be a huge disappointment.

So even though I am of the opinion that under 6 hours is really the goal to aim for if you want to be considered a decent half ironman I am backing off of that goal and instead I am hoping to break 6:30.

The swim shouldn't be an issue and I should comfortably be out in 35 or less. The bike is looking more and more like 15-16 mph and not 17+ so tack on 3:35 for that. While I would hope the run would be great I am going to back down that goal too and be a bit more conservative and aim for 9 minute miles adding 1:58 or so. Transitions should be relatively quick but I am going to back those down too because frankly I would rather be a little slow then end up riding the 56 miles without water or my sunglasses or having to run sans socks. So we will tack on 10 minutes for those. So new goal time is: 6:20 give or take ten minutes.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about the training (or lack of) that I have been doing for this race. I am excited about the race, but I am starting to realize I signed up for this one for all the wrong reasons. The thing I love the most about triathlon training is also the reason why I should have stuck to Olympic distance tris.

I love tri training because it allows me to do multiple sports and not just focus on one thing. I love it because when you set the right goals it fits into a healthy lifestyle perfectly while still letting you go out and have fun. I love that I can train for an Olympic distance tri in the summer and still stick to other commitments in my life.

My whole life I have tried to do everything. And I can't imagine living any other way. Triathlon kind of fits that niche for me now. In high school I aimed high in academics, music, sports, and social life. In college it was the same. So why would it be any different now? Unfortunately by upping the distance for my "A" tri race this year I set myself up for failure in the training arena. I just can't get in all of the training necessary to compete the way I strive for without other areas of my life suffering, and for me that isn't acceptable.

I am glad that I figured out today that I can finish this race and I can still complete that goal without interfering with the rest of my life. I don't need to get in all the workouts and if I have to miss the week workouts because of work, family, or friends, it doesn't matter. I am fit enough to go long without those workouts. So I may become a weekend warrior, oh well I will still be having fun!

Sometimes you have to figure things out the hard way!

Feeling really good about today's workout. I got down to Peninsula at 7 AM and rode 15 miles on the bike by myself. (Has anyone else in Ohio had trouble with what I deemed the "Bog of Stench" just past Bath road?) Holy freaking cow it stank so bad I thought I would never make it out! I am assuming the sewage treatment plant was just having trouble with all the rain we've gotten? Yikes.

A showed up around 8 and after getting her stuff together we headed out for another 40 miles. Some nice rolling hills on which I got my butt kicked. I think my shoes may be too big which is causing me to push down on the pedals more while going up hill and not really pull up since my feet slide around. Why don't they make shoes my size??? Grr. Around 45 miles into my ride we hit a freaking monster of a hill. I was seriously going 6 mph for all 1.75 miles of it, okay maybe I got up to 8 mph for a little bit. I was so mad! I can run faster than that up that hill! But I must admit almost hitting 40 mph on the way back down was fun!

Dropped the bikes off at the car 3 hours and 34 minutes later and headed out onto the run. Ran a little shy of 4 miles with A and she headed out while I tacked on 6 more to get in an even 10 miles on the run. I decided not to look at my watch or splits while running because I "knew" I was going to be slow and I didn't want to get discouraged. I just kept telling myself to keep good form and keep moving forward. I felt surprisingly good on the run. I didn't feel like I was going to set any PRs but I felt strong and like I could definitely tack on another 3.1 plus push the pace the last few miles. That was a huge mental boost.

Turns out I did great on the run and what I thought were going to be 10-10:30 minute miles were actually 9 minute miles. I was really pleased with this, especially considering that the furthest I had ever gone on the bike was 50 miles and today I added 5 to that then ran 10 miles. Suhweet!

A few interesting things I learned on the bike today:

I cannot eat/drink and breathe at the same time, both of which are necessary on the bike. I need to learn how to breathe through my nose!

I need to build a little bit better upper body strength. Is it too late to add some arm workouts into training?

The longer I am on the run the better I start to feel.

The half size up in running shoes was a great idea as my feet were definitely a bit swollen today.

Got home and attacked some chores. I decided to skip the nap in the hopes that I will sleep really soundly tonight. I am pretty beat but the legs don't feel too bad, a little tender moving down the stairs. I think they will be okay for a run in the morning.

Really freaking peeved that I can't live track all my peeps in France tonight since I will obviously be in bed. To think they may be almost finished before I wake up! Crazy.


BuckeyeRunner said...

Great post, Liz. Reading about how you are sorting out your feelings about going half-IM long has made me feel better about not biting off more than I can chew this year. I love sprint tris, hope that I love olympic ones, and don't really feel like taking the plunge into the IM world - and that suits my life right now. Glad I am not the only one struggling with these thoughts. And I also admire your guts for tackling this challenge. You're going to do great at Steelhead.

Michele said...

Congrats on an awesome workout. You are going to do great at Steelhead.

A. M. Mericsko said...

Elizabeth = Tiger. Nuff Said!

TriSaraTops said...

Nice job on the workout! Yeah, I'm with ya on the longer I run, better I feel thing on a brick. I think your goals sound very attainable for you and you will have no problem hitting them (and hopefully blowing 'em away) in Steelhead. :)

trifrog said...

Count me in the 'Can't lead my desired balanced life and train well for those ultra-long distances.

If it's not for you or not in the cards right now, you're wise to decide what you want and do things for your own reasons.

You'll do fine at Steelhead with your refined goals.