Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hard week of training: Reflections

The journey of 1000 miles begins with one step- Chinese Proverb.

This week kicked off the begining of my training for 2011 season 1 race is on the list so far The Rev 3 Half at Quassy. This race is in my backyard so much of the next 18 months will be spent getting myself acquainted with it's lay out. I've already started joking with some training partners I should toe the line at this bitch wearing Under Armour with " Protect this House" etched on the back. Essentially this race in one my normal hunting grounds so I have some homefield advantage. It's like living in Kona and doing repeats of the Energy Lab, you can work the hardest parts of the course and get prepared for what it's going to take to perform.

So needless to say I've been spending alot of time in Middlebury. I also took a good hard look in the mirror and a good hard look at the scale. I'm pushing a heavy race weight, I've been training like garbarge and eating like garbage because I've been feeling like garbarge, and quite frankly that garbarge has got to stop. So this week I wrote a training plan and decided to stick to it. I managed to swim about 10,000 yards in a week for the first time in months. On the running front: I did two 9milers and about a 12 miler on the Rev3 course this week. The 12 miler came on a 90 degree day. As I cranked out the miles, that video in my head started playing that one that always comes out when I'm running the one where I'm in Kona and I'm going to win the damn thing. Now maybe it's only a dream, but I felt pretty damn strong as I ran along. I got out of my daydream and I started taking notes of what race day will be like at Rev, I started making notes of how I felt in different sections. Trying to make notes of hills, pavement quality and how I felt. I did pretty well on the first 8 mile stretch, it's well marked and shares part of the route with the Pat Griskus Sprint Bike loop. I ended up taking a wrong turn at about mile 10 and ended up on the back half of the old run loop/ Griskus Tri Run loop. I was feeling pretty tight and running out of water so I finshed on the route I was going on. I managed to get the 11.5-12 miles out in about an 1:43. Not blazing for a race pace but pretty damn good for training day.

Today my buddy Alex and I went for a 72 mile bike ride from Middlebury up to Lake Waramaug. I think I still have a bad habit of going too hard to early, as my legs were pretty fried by the last 10 miles. The loop was pretty challenging as we rode the back half of the Old Lake Waramaug tri route. The race has changed venues but I still remember the old route, and the hills are just as tough. The loop took you around the lake and then up a short steep hill by the golf course then down hill to a flat section before you climbed another short little wall and then shot back around the lake. We then rode up into Bantam and around Bantam Lake and got back on the the Griskus Olympic route and finshed off the ride. Things went pretty well except for some toatsy legs and a frightening flat. As Alex and I were heading down a pretty fast downhill in Washington at about 35 miles per hour my front wheel felt funny, I could feel a lot of vibration, and the bike became harder to control. The front tire went flat. I immediately began feathering the brakes, to slow down as the tire lost air, hoping it would stay on the rim. I switched to using just the back brakes to stop on flat road as I felt myself losing control, and nearly took a header. I unclipped called for Alex who was about 200 meters up at a stop sign, to let him know I didn't beef it. We changed the tire and got the rest of the ride done with with no further incident. On the cycling milestone note: This was the first flat I've gotten on a ride that I was able to change on the road and salvaged a ride finish.

While Rev is on the list and I'm still waiting to hear from the Navy, I debating Ironman again. I'm not planning on going anywhere crazy or exotic this time around granted I do want to head back to Taupo eventally, but I've been noticing IM Louisville hasn't sold out yet. Part of me is tempted. Likewise it's late season one of the last races before the Kona Qualifying cut off. Part of me is screaming do it, another part is saying "hold your horses cowboy...remember what happened the last time you went with your gut. You had some good racing but buried yourself in debt, and eventually you do want to buy a house, marry, possibily pop out 1.5 offspring..." I'm stuck on this decision do I go with the idealistic dreams of a boy or the wisdom of a man.

I mean I know I could get a good flight deal out there with those IM NZ induced frequent flier miles I need to redeem by Decemeber, but now I've got X-factors, a girlfriend, a more important job, hefty bills, hopefully a place. Real life that surpasses the fantasy. One of my training partners was saying to me after the Griskus Sprint where I was in the top 30, "You're getting to a point where you're becoming a contender. If you bring your "A-game" you might actually have a shot to win some of these local things." I shrugged it off but he went a little further " Seriously you're doing this well with no coach, old equipment, just think of how you would do it if you could take this a little more seriously." "Dude I can barley afford my car note let alone a coach." I retorted. "Have you thought about tracking down some sponsors? Seriously you're reaching a point where either you'll be the local guy who top 20's every year or you could go beyond where you could be a serious threat." As much as I wanted to block his rationale out of my head I couldn't. One of my dreams has always been to go pro, and for the first time this summer I was really beginning to think it was just a stupid dream, I'd been left homeless, was getting hounded for money I didn't have essentially the whole idea of taking $50-$100 of my paycheck and tossing it down so I could play speed demon was feeling kind of pointless. ParkCity didn't go well, I took a little break essentially just running and swimming to stay in shape, essentially this whole year has been about just trying to stay fit while I'm in holding pattern. And then two weeks ago I looked in the mirror I was looking fat and lazy. I read through some blog posts, looked at some of my race photos, and looked at my races from this year...nothing Long. Next year that changes.

Everyone keeps telling me Kona will be there when I'm older but quite frankly I don't know if I'm going to be there when I'm older. Eventally I will have to grow up and become a respectable, mature responsible adult...whatever that is..... If I'm going to make a run at it it has to be before I'm 30 because essentially in the 30+ age groups I'm going to need pro speed to get a slot. So I'm debating do I go to KY and give it a go....

Until then let the flogging continue until morale improves.

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