November 7, 2010

No more fear of commitment

First of all, congratulations to all those who competed in Ironman Florida yesterday.  It's a truly amazing feat.  And "good luck!" to all those running the NYC Marathon today.  I wish I could be there to cheer you on!

All the competing this weekend has me thinking about my own goals and how I'm going to get there.  Here we go:

1.  Qualify for Boston at the California International Marathon

I know that Boston sold out in 0.5 seconds.  I am very aware of that fact because I let my pace slide at my last marathon thinking I could qualify at my next.  Sucks, but c'est la vie.

Unfortunately, I had to do the most grueling training for the Towpath Marathon while I was on my most demanding work rotation.  Generally, I was ecstatic to get a mere 6-7 hours of sleep and was happy just to be able to fit any runs into my schedule.  No speedwork.  No hills.  Just logging the miles.  I still hoped it would be enough, and there's a slim possibility that I could have still qualified if I did some serious pushing through the pain & burn.  But, as I mentioned in my race report, I wasn't having fun or enjoying myself.  Maybe I'm a dreamer, but I think it should be possible to qualify without being miserable and I'd much rather have it be a good experience.  So I won't be going this year but I want the qualification nonetheless.

So!  Goal number two:

2.  Pensacola Marathon ONLY as a training run.

I sometimes have a bad habit of pushing it on days when I feel good to the detriment of runs when I actually want to push the pace.  Since Pensacola is only a week away (and only 3 weeks before CIM), it's important that I commit myself to taking it easy.  My aim is to run no faster than MP+45 for 18-20 miles and then MP for the last 6-8.  We'll see how I feel.  If anything is sore or hurting, I'll back off.  This is not the time to get injured.  (Remind me I said that when someone passes me in the last mile and I'm not allowed to speed up.)

Looking at past results, I shouldn't have too much trouble keeping it slow.  This is a pretty small marathon and last year there were less than 80 women (only 221 marathon runners in total.) I won't have massive crowds egging me on.  It'll feel like a LSD run that starts & ends with a lot of people.  And I won't have to carry my own water.  I'm ok with that.

3.  Keep running though the winter.

It's not that I'm worried about "falling off the wagon."  By now, I'm a hard-core convert.  If I go too many days without running I start getting symptoms of withdrawal.  For me that mostly means I get super grouchy, b*tchy and can't sleep.  Trust me.  You don't want to see me like that.  I don't want to be around myself when that happens.

What I am worried about is the fact that December & January are going to be insanely busy for me.  I will more or less be away from home and on the road from mid-November until New Years.  While the trip should be a lot of fun (& work), fitting in runs could become a major challenge.  I'm gonna go ahead and use you guys as my peer pressure.  I'll squeeze my runs in whenever and wherever I can - pit stops, early mornings, late at night...  Hopefully I'll end up with some great stories and awesome pictures.  Maybe I'll even find a running partner or two.  But this blog will hold me responsible.

And while we're on the topic, I don't want to simply run though December & January.  I want to keep cross-training.  I'm still toying with the idea of competing my first triathlon at the New Orleans 70.3 Ironman this spring.  Right now, the major hurdle is a bike.  I only have a MTB and I'm broke.  There may be a way for me to use some loan money to buy a road bike, but that might cause a much tighter belt over the next year than I can afford.  So, we'll call it "cross-training" for now.

Now that's commitment
The hurdle will be that biking & swimming aren't quite as convenient as running.  I'll either have to bring my bike with me or pay for a gym every time I need to bike or swim.  Again, this whole "being poor" thing is really cramping my style.  So we'll see.  But now I'm committed.  I said it "outloud."  (Well.  I made it public, anyway.  You know what I mean.)  I am committed to running, biking & swimming through the winter, whatever it takes.  Hold me to it.

Any suggestions for training while on an extended road trip?


  1. Thanks for leaving a message on my post.
    I see you are in NOLA. Cool! I went to college and grad school in NE Louisiana so I have a very special feeling for Louisiana.
    I look forward to reading about your runs. And will try to keep you accountable through the holidays and the busy period. :)

  2. CIM is such a nice race! A lot of my friends have had their PRs there so I'm sure you'll have a great time... Yeah, do be very careful with Pensacola. 26 miles even at training pace does take a bit out of you... It's OK to slack a little bit during the holidays :) Good luck!

  3. New Orleans 70.3 is a great race. Well run. Just pray that the wind is favorable on race day or else the swim is going to suuuuuuck (bad chops). But other than the swim, you can't ask for a flatter, faster course!

  4. When I travel I always bring my workout clothes, and hit up the hotel gym for workouts at least a few times. good luck!

  5. I hear ya! It's too cold to swim. But I know it must be done =(

  6. I am not a big runner, but I truly respect all of those who do run. I wish I was a great runner but my body just wasn't built for it.

    Have fun on your road trip! I'm jealous. And, thanks for stopping by my blog :)

  7. oooh I like these 'goals' :) And as for training while on a road trip - I try to fit in a run each morning (when I can)

  8. Great goals!! It really is tough to keep up a great running schedule during the winter!! I will be your peer pressure.
    My tips for on the road are to make a detailed schedule for the week on Sunday nights and make sure I do whatever it takes to do it! I always make sure to have my running shoes/clothes with me so I have no excuses.

    P.S. You will qualify!!
    Thanks for the airport tricks....I will be using those on Tuesday!

  9. I froze my butt off on Sunday's bike ride. I HIGHLY recommend a wind breaker.


  10. When I went on extended road trips during college, I'd stop at any town with a college, find their gym/locker room, go for a run, shower and then hit the road again.