Testing, testing… is this thing on?

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I’ve been grappling with whether or not to do my final race of the season. My training plan got completely thrown off with the layoff and while I’ve been getting back to it, I’m no where near where I wanted to be. So, I decided to do a little diagnostic test and see where my fitness was and let that help me with my decision-making. I mapped out an approximately 30 mile ride from Marymoor park to do with T (with a little out and back to add some bike mileage on my own without killing T) and then I planned to do an hour long brick run.

We were doing the same loop that we’d gotten lost on last time, but this time I thought I’d identified where we went wrong. Unfortunately, I still found a way to get lost and while we found our way back to Redmond, we had only ridden about 15 miles. Grrr… T graciously agreed to kill even more time at the Peets and I did my out and back on the multi-use path from Marymoor to bring my mileage up to 37 miles. As I fought the headwind back, I was pretty certain that I wanted to race but that I should do the shorter option. I pushed the pace hard to make up for the shorter distance and my legs were definitely feeling it when I got back to the car. I told T my thoughts on the race as I changed into my run gear and added a flip remark like “unless this run goes awesome, I’m doing the shorter race.”

As I headed out on my run, my legs felt like their usual crap and the first fifteen minutes felt like the start of every longer race I’ve done. Cramping, dead legs and generally off my game mentally. I was able to run at first, but then I started taking a few walk breaks and tried to regroup. I ate a gel and drank some water and started running again, hoping I could run for five minutes straight before the next walk break. And then a funny thing happened, I fell into the zone and felt great. I ran for the rest of the run without incident and ended the run feeling really strong.

So, the conflict goes on. Do I do the race I’m under-trained for and face the possibility of another half-iron death march? Or do I do the shorter race that might not be as satisfying? Time will tell…

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5 thoughts on “Testing, testing… is this thing on?

  1. M

    For what it’s worth, my vote is for the shorter race and focusing on having a good experience, a personal pick me up, and leaving the season on a high note. I want you to have fun and go into fall feeling happy about racing and the upcoming break from racing.

  2. lilpups

    Do the shorter race. I’m actually finding that I love racing shorter after years of IM and half IM. It’s so fun to be able to try and really hammer the bike and the run (and the swim) without worrying about the fact that you’ll die before the finish line. I may be converting to an OLY distance racer 99% of the time – they’re really a ton of fun!

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