Friday, April 23, 2010

Paralysis by Analysis...

What a nasty leprosy or something. I like to think that I know how to make good decisions as far as training and racing are concerned, but I feel like if I use more than 5% of my brain during any decision-making process, nothing really gets done. I know you should listen to the Inner Voice of Reason, but I hear several Inner Voices of Reason. They go like this:

"Hmm....I should do workout X tomorrow."
"But I did the last half of my long run yesterday waaaay harder than I was planning to. It was basically an AT run tacked onto a long run. It was awesome."
"Hmm...well then I should do workout Y tomorrow, so it'll balance out."
"But I can't change it! I already wrote it down as The Plan for this week!" (Frantic tone).
"Um...hello? It's PAPER. It's not carved in stone. I could change it. I bet I won't even get struck by lightning for it. There probably won't even be a plague of locusts. Or frogs. Remember all that you have been taught. Use the wisdom bestowed upon you. Think long term. Tsk tsk."
"But if I change this week I'll have to change next week, and the week after, and the one after that...all the way till the Apocolypse..."
"I think I'm over-analyzing things. Perhaps this is not rational."
"I concur!"
"Seriously, don't get your spankies in a wad."
"Get a job."
"Hmm...I should do workout X tomorrow."

Process repeats. It gets very tiresome.

A very wise teacher once told me to approach anything confusing in life in the same way that a dog would: If you can't eat it or play with it then it's probably not good for anything so just take a leak on it and walk away. That's not at all applicable to this situation, but I wanted to find a way to tuck that little gem into here somewhere. You can thank me later.
Back to the issue at hand.
So at present I'm overanalyzing the possibility of running the Cherry Creek Sneak on Sunday. Owing to some unforeseen, untimely, and very much unappreciated circumstances arising from an incident several weeks ago involving a tempo run, a moonless night, and a hole in the ground (I don't want to talk about it), training has been anything but great for a while, although things have certainly started to come around this past week. Of course it's only a five mile race/fun run, not exactly the Death Valley Ultra, so really it shouldn't take that much thought, right? Oh but it does. I really like to go to races to actually compete, and get all serious, even if there's nothing on the line, and to compete like you should you have to be relatively confident. Confidence stems from preparation. Preparation at this time is virtually nil. At the same time though I don't think I have much to lose just by doing it and who knows? It might be the best ever. Plus it's always looked really fun. Plus I haven't raced since Jacksonville and that was ages ago. And I kind of think I should just take a leaf out of Delaney's book and just go for it despite feeling underprepared (plus this race is 21.2 miles shorter than his was sooo...). But I'm still juggling with the idea of nixing it and just training then finding some other rinky-dink race the next week to do for fun and just gear everything after that to the Bolder Boulder. I have no idea. My friend Hafer told me to decide by midnight tomorrow. That's the deadline, well it is if I want to bum a ride to Denver anyway. So hopefully I'll figure it out by then. I'll let you know.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Another Half Marathon

After my failed attempt at a half marathon effort at Platte River, I decided on Wednesday that I really needed another chance at a hard effort in a race environment. I really, really wanted to make sure that I was still on track for the marathon-bad races (despite the reason) always seem to make me question my fitness and also make me worry that all of the sudden my body is no longer adapting to the miles.

So, after last weekend, even though I was trying to be upbeat and positive most of my emails with Jon (my coach) over the past week went something like this:

Me: The run was good today. My legs felt good, my stomach is feeling better but still not 100%. Do you really think that I am ok?
Jon: I really think things are ok. You are on track.
Me: Good. I hope you are right.

Me: OH MY GOSH…the marathon is only 10 weeks away. Do you think I will be ready?
Jon: Yes. Things are ok.
Me: Are you sure?
Jon: You might not run a PR but all we are looking for is a strong effort, a respectable race and actually getting through a training cycle without having to pull the plug.
Me: OK. You are right…

Me: 9 weeks left!! OH my gosh…I haven’t even started much work yet.
Jon: You are driving me crazy. My opinion isn’t going to change. Stop reminding me how long it is until the marathon, I have it on my calendar. Have I ever not had you ready for a marathon? CALM DOWN!!!!

Well, maybe he didn’t respond that way on the last response, but I am pretty sure that is how he was feeling!

Anyway, I decided that I needed to prove to myself that last weekend was a fluke, I am not going to get sick every time I race over 5K and that things as Jon put it are ”ok”. So, I decided to run another half marathon. I have lived in Fort Collins for almost 7 years and have always vowed never to do the race I ran yesterday—the Horsetooth Half Marathon. Hills are one of my biggest weaknesses…I am just not a big strength runner so throw in a couple of well placed or ill placed hills and the course can kill me! So even despite some big hesitations, I decided to go for it. I had a plan in mind and I executed it very well…I hoped to run the first 2 miles in 15 minutes. YES, I did mean to type 15 minutes…you should see the course profile! So once I got through those 2 miles in 15:05 I was pretty sure the rest of the race would be ok and thankfully it was. I crossed the finish line 8th overall and the 1st woman. I was very pleased with how I felt during the race, how my body didn’t let me down the last 5 miles and that I didn’t need to stop in the last 5K to find a bathroom! =) So it was a success and I think Jon was happy because my freaking out emails probably won’t start up again until I realize I only have 8 weeks left!