My thoughts are all over the place the last few weeks as I have tried to wrap things up at work before we head out on our vacation(s), plan travel, finish year end projects and actually stick to my training schedule for the first time ever. Perhaps it is catching me at a low point when we are hit with actual rain in Socal and gloomy weather but I am pretty tired today. I hope to get out some of my thoughts and always fall back to my honesty…even when I may look weak or foolish looking back. Its a long road and putting it all in my training log or lessons learned has always given me insight to the next steps or provided me a good laugh in order to keep on keeping on.
Perseverance is not a long race: It is many short races, one after another. ~Walter Elliot
As it has turned out, I have been able to get in a solid amount of volume for about a year now and I really think the long stuff suits me better. I like the training and process anyways. For over a month now I have been sticking to the training schedule and have cut back some volume in favor of more intensity and what feels like much more quality workouts and recovery. Then in last two weeks I have bagged a handful of workouts from the schedule and I am trying to balance the quality of the schedule with what I have learned is too much for me. In the past I would opt to do more rather than cut things out. Is this better or did the “right stuff” happen? That is part of the excitement of race day. This brings me to some key points for what my training and race goals are going into Kona in…four days!
While I didn’t plan on going to Kona until earlier this year I cannot say that I have not put in my best attempts at trying to get as fit and healthy as possible from that time on. Yet that did not get me out of the “boys just wanna have fun” program and I buried myself with volume in July and the adventure race in August. If I have learned one thing about myself in the last few years it is that I am a racer and can trust that on race day the switch gets flipped. Its not about how I feel…ready or not it is time to throw down!
The big change in my training recently supported my focus around what I think (or want to believe) will set me up to have a good race for me.
Rested more – July was a good example for me to stop looking at numbers. After the Gold Rush I was taking more rest and cutting things short before I felt like I had to because of injury or fatigue. This was hard to do mentally thinking I was getting out of shape(and maybe I am) but it helped keep my key sessions top quality and my body niggle free. This helped the mental side in the long run.
I biked a lot less – Not stoked about that(and what I would change going forward)! I have only ridden over 100 miles twice in the last four months. Riding all_day_long is one of the things I love and I believe has been a strength for me in the past. My average ride has been about 2.5hrs and I have been missing mountain biking more than I could express. I have to believe that this time in the year I would do more damage than good smashing out 6-8 hour days on the bike and running after. I also had gone through 5 power meters in the last two months which cut out a lot of mojo for riding from frustration and probably does not help that 90% or more of my rides have been solo. I have no idea what power numbers to look for or how I will feel late into the ride but I am trusting I will have the bike fitness to set me up for a good marathon. . . and that is exactly what I want from the bike right now.
Became a runner – If I have any performance goals for Kona it is to run a solid marathon and finish with a fast 10K. While my swimming has stayed about the same and bike bike is questionable I have no doubt that my running has had my focus the last few months and has improved the most over the last year. While I know that the heat and humility will do humbling things to my pace I am not concerned with my splits and just excited to run a marathon this time around.
Tried to get fat – Even with the lack of volume and long days on the bike my weight has stayed the same but with all of the running I have had to eat even more than normal. Instead of going on a diet and trying to get lean for Kona like most athletes I have been trying to bulk up and maintain all of the strength and injury insurance I could get. Plus, I still have a 3 day stage race next month!
I have enjoyed the taper time – With no stress for Kona results outside of what I know I will push myself into as I enter WAR on race day I have really enjoyed getting to hang with Monique and some friends more. I really like this time knowing that the work is done and I do not feel rushed to finish up some last minute “stuff”. In many ways is builds upon belief that the right stuff already happened and you need to be confident in that and appreciate the time and commitment that the team that got you put into making it a success. This it the times I feel most grateful when I look at the relationships in my life. I guess it give me more time to thing about it…
Monique and my nephew Kadin
Getting to see my friend race the last couple of weekends and spending time with family makes me appreciate the process that much more and I know this is what I will draw strength from on race day when I need it most. Balance is a powerful thing when it is in full swing.