Things are happening fast and furiously here. Too fast? Too furiously? Nah. But with work and life and everything, and a dearth of significant racing going on, there’s not much to blog about. But here’s something anyhow.
We all have something about racing and training that scares the chickens (sic) out of us. For some people it’s the fear of underperformance while racing. For others, it’s a specific sport. For me? The trainer. Specifically, workouts where I know failure is a possible outcome. And I’m not quite sure how to get around that. I know it’s mental, because most of the workouts I’ve been able to get through (and if it’s a workout on the road, I definitely get through it). So here I am, being honest. I am afraid of failing. And getting around that can be extremely difficult. But if getting mentally tougher is part of the path to being a better athlete, then it’s something I need to get past.
Way back when I was a wee swimmer (like back when swimmers were called minnows and tadpoles… so probably when I was 5 or 7), we had to write down our goals. This was right around the time of the Be All That You Can Be Army recruiting campaign. And I was impressionable. So that’s what I wrote down for one of my goals. Be all that I can be. The coaches got a kick out of it. My parents got a kick out of it. Probably in an awww how cute way, but to me I thought they were laughing at me. But I think, as open and honest about myself as I claim to be, I’ve been reluctant to talk about my goals (I suppose aside from time goals). And not because I am worried I will be laughed at for them, but because I don’t think I’ve taken the time to really sit down and think them through, to map out what I really want out of life and training and everything. Perhaps next time I’m at the lake. And if I don’t like what I think of, I can always stoke the fire.
And here is a cover of a SCUBA diver’s favorite band’s most famous song.
The 2012 racing season is essentially complete. Granted, I have more races coming up (including a 5K on Thanksgiving… hopefully, I’ll wake up for this one). (Ed: I did, it sucked, but more about that some other time. I took good things away from it). But I’ve already had my off-season and started working on my 2013 racing body (smaller, faster, stronger). Not that it’s been incredibly smooth sailing: jury duty and other events knocked week one a bit off kilter. But here I am, still driving forward.
I was trying to think back about the year and what had gone on. 2011 had been punctuated by the BQ at Marine Corps, but there had been the misery that was IM Coeur d’Alene fresh in my mind as well. There were a few races at the end of 2011 (Miss Santa, Yulefest) but those races were really only memorable for the conditions (either weather or my body/mind) and the company. Continue reading →
It was a rough race this morning. A bit hungover from Wednesday night, very cold, and dealing with a road that was frosted over. My slowest 5K in a while… I couldn’t remember the last time I went over 20, but I can now. But I am thankful for that, because I don’t want to do that shittily again. Ever. I have ideas about how to improve, and part of that is training better.
It’s time for the holiday of giving thanks (and then it’s time to give things, I suppose). In that vein… Continue reading →
I guess at some point I should write a season in review for 2012, but that’ll have to wait for another day. It wasn’t everything I wanted, but it was pretty good.
This weekend was a bit of a double whammy. I debated going running Friday night, but in the end decided that it was the end of the offseason vacation and I was a bit too stressed out by jury duty and work and it’s the end of the training vacation and I get to do what I want without stressing out about things. So I skipped the run and carried on with my regularly scheduled Friday night. Continue reading →
One of my last “don’t know, don’t care” runs of the offseason, and it just so happens a nor’easter is blowing through. Contrary to how most people feel about miserable weather runs, I love them. The suffering is increased, I suppose, but it removes the focus from the suffering in my legs. Every winter, I am rudely reminded that the signs that say Bridge Freezes Before Roadway is, in fact, SCIENCE! I’m exhausted, my schedule is all screwed up due to jury duty, and my ability to sleep through the night is disappeared. But being able to get out and run… Continue reading →
This is how the world ends
This is how the world ends
This is how the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper
This is not how I wanted the season to end. Despite having been sick, having probably the wrong wheelset choice, and a probably-cancelled swim, I wanted to race. I was looking forward to racing. I didn’t have any expectations for how well I would do having been sick for a couple of weeks, but I still wanted to see what would happen. But sometimes, life conspires against you and you don’t get the ending you hoped or expected for. Continue reading →
Had the most amazing of training scenery this weekend.
It’s hard to say when this season started. Was it right after Marine Corps Marathon last year? Was it before that? Did I ever stop training after IMCDA? In any case, it’s been a long, humbling, trying, and, ultimately, rewarding season. There have been lows, but there have been the highest highs I’ve experienced yet. And now I’m in the final week of the season, tapering for Rev3 FL. Time to screw my head on straight and not let myself down mentally before the race. Continue reading →
I was at a bon voyage/good luck party for Julia’s trip to NZ for Worlds, and was on the receiving end of some gentle ribbing about how crappily I fuel myself for races and training: namely, Swedish Fish, beer, and soda. While my results speak for themselves, the question was posed as to how much faster I could go with a better fueling/diet strategy. Now…
There would need to be 4 (and possibly a 5th depending on sponsorship) categories: the swedish fish/beer/soda control group, the beer/soda experimental group, the swedish fish experimental group, the none of the above experimental group. Further, to determine statistical significance, we’d need to have a large sample. Unfortunately, we can’t try this year after year on the same course as that will introduce all kinds of confounding variables (age, training load, focus). So to be fair, we’d need to clone me… I’m thinking 200 Jordans randomly assigned to the groups should suffice. Some would say that’s too many Jordans. They’re probably right. There’s also the issue of feeding and housing and training those extra Jordans. Which means that this might need sponsorship. I figure since Red Bull has had a man jump from 24 miles up, creating 250 or Jordans (and introducing the Red Bull experiment group) might be right up their alley.
Some people have other ideas with what to do with 200 Jordans:
My coach is going Kona Deep. To say he’s been an inspiration this year would be an understatement. He’s been a confidant and a good friend to me as well. So I’m really excited to see what he can throw down at Kona this year. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to catch him, but I’m going to try and emulate him.
If you’ve followed me on twitter, you’ll often see the hashtag #awesometrain on my training tweets. That’s something Steve started up way back at the beginning of the season (or maybe even earlier). There have been a a few times when I’ve fallen off the awesometrain (including my swimming right now), but it’s a convenient way to brag to the rest of Steve’s athletes about how intensely we’re training. It also has its other advantages, like last week during Applefest when I was contemplating walking. Nobody is allowed to walk in a running race if they want to be on the awesometrain. And that’s how I battled those thoughts. The race wasn’t without mistakes: I had no gels with me (I left them on the floor of my bedroom).
At Florida, I think the goal is to attack the race more strategically, though I’m not sure what that means. Do I risk everything on the bike? Or do I try to run <1:25? Does strategy even matter in a half? Do I just need to go as hard as I can the whole way? Strategy is something really new to me in terms of racing: up until this year, I had podiumed exactly twice (and one of those was in a beer 5K). I don’t want to be strategic just to be strategic and forfeit speed or placing, so maybe it’s too soon.