marathon

Do you know how to hurt?

I was mentally reviewing past seasons of triathlons and racing, and while I’ve gotten much better, I noticed that many of my times have been consistently good, but that’s it.  Just good.  I’m not happy with good.  Not only do I want to be great, I want to see improvement from “good”.  Good is fine if it’s continually improving.  For example, if your run a 1:30 half marathon and year over year decrease that to 1:29, 1:28, 1:27, etc, that’s awesome because you are getting faster!  But if you stay 1:30, 1:30, 1:30, year after year, you’re not making any progress in your training. That’s when it hit me—I workout hard and I know what it’s like to hurt… but I know how to hurt jusssst enough. I’ve said it before—you’ve got be comfortable with being uncomfortable.  If I want to get better, I’ve got to realize that there are going to be some workouts where I collapse at the end of my run or hang onto the side of pool gasping and panting thinking it’s the first time in my life I’ve ever breathed in Oxygen.

And the same goes for racing—at the end of that half Ironman, I need to be able to kick into black-out mode for that last 5k of the run—and not have been holding back for that leading up to it.  I always try to currently, but when I try to go fast, it’s maybe 1 or 2 seconds faster per mile.  Insignificant.

So what’s the point here?  If you want to get faster, you’ve got to embrace the hurt (and also the recovery!)  I’ve been adhering to my coaches plan and we have been swimming as a group a couple times a week

It’s amazing what having your coach watching you and having competition will do to your effort levels.  I’ve set PRs each practice… and also almost drown.  Using paddles while having my ankles bound together with an old bike tube?  Not fun.  I enjoy breathing, actually.  Or 50m kickboard races against someone who is faster than you and seeing black as you try to catch them.

I love it.

Rest and repeat.  If you want to get better, hurt a lot, occasionally, go easy a bit, recover correctly, and know exactly what you are looking to achieve!

I've got a race next weekend so I'm stoked to see how it's going to go!

  1. Do you agree with me?
  2. What do you want to get better in?

Headwinds

This Monday is the Boston Marathon, for which I qualified, registered, and had planned to race. Until last Monday. I’ve done something to my knee and running on it doesn’t feel good at all. Admittedly, it’s getting better and feels ok today, but do I risk a month (or years or lifetime?) of recovering if I decide to do the race and create some irreparable damage? Two weeks ago I had my half Ironman. Felt good after the race, recovered well, and didn’t do any running until Friday, focusing fully on biking and swimming. Oddly, though, I woke up Friday with some weird pain in my knee. Strange I thought, but after a good trainer ride that evening, I had a great run off the bike. The next day, I had a long ride scheduled, so a friend and I headed out on the Suncoast Trail for 51 miles. The course was straight out and straight back basically. We had a moderate tailwind on the way out, but as we turned around, we could see a storm rolling in. The winds picked up and it was a hard ride into a headwind the whole way back! We got 50 miles rain free… and 1 were we got drenched. So much for my brick run outside. I got home and did the run on the treadmill instead and everything was good. Although, I could still notice my knee.

Sunday came, I got up to do my long run, and realized it was already 10AM, so being that it’s pretty hot in Tampa, I put it off till the afternoon and set out that afternoon for the run instead. Guess what—it’s even freaking hotter at 4:00 than at 10:00. The heat didn’t bug me too much, but I knew the run would be hard from the get go. I was physically tired from the previous 2 days and felt that as I headed out. As I got onto Bayshore, a straight road than runs along the water, I found myself plowing into a headwind in the blazing sun. Every bit of me was just like, “dude, turn around and head back now”, but I was getting my 18 miles damnit. I finally hit the turnaround, but my pace was all over the place for the run. Haha, when my coach saw the pace chart he was just like wtf did you do??

I made it back though and felt great about myself—longest run I’ve done since November. But back to my knee—when I woke up on Monday, it wasn’t feeling too hot and pretty swollen. 2 weeks before the Boston Marathon. Wonderful. 30+ miles in 3 days didn’t help probably.

So since Sunday, I haven’t run at all. Just bike, swimming, and water running. I got a new bike trainer which is awesome so it’s making riding a lot more bearable, but this knee needs to heal… and quick! I don’t want to go run Boston and F myself up for the rest of the year… or more. It’s Monday… ask me again on Friday! I’ve been trying to get my rest, icing, nutrition, and supplementation spot on and I’m sure it’s helping. But it’s one of those, “Really? Now?” kind of moments. I just damn sure want to run this!

But the more I’ve talked about with a lot of people—coach, family, friends, I don’t think it’s the best option for me right now. I’d rather be a damn good (and healthy) triathlete than a decent (and possible injured) marathoner. Plus, I can be a good marathoner by being a great triathlete. So who wants to run a marathon with me after triathlon season? I’m thinking about the Richmond marathon in November (where I BQ’d in 2010) and planning to smash my time there!

I hope everyone had a good Easter—mine was spent on my trainer lol, but I did go see the Hunger Games, made some BBQ Turkey in my slow cooker, and had a Cadbury Crème Egg!

Solid enough right? Plus, the day before was the Final game of the NCAA Frozen Four here in Tampa—the championship for men’s college hockey. I was able to snag a lower level ticket which was awesome, for a great deal! The key is just to show up a little after the game starts when the scalpers won’t be able to sell the tickets anyway! So please, say a prayer for me and hope that these winds change and blow in my direction for being able to run healthy for a long long time.

  1. What would you do? Would you run the race? Or are you already?
  2. Favorite Easter Candy or tradition?
  3. Chocolate bunnies: ears first or no?