Marathon Training, Week 16: I'm Half the Girl I Used to Be

Do not adjust your dials. Your eyes do not deceive you.

I've emerged from hiding.


I'm in the process of reformatting my blog. I'm trying to figure out how to move some of it without completely re-creating it. I'm trying to decide how to maintain anonymity and stay in touch with e-friends and training pals. I don't want to be a different person, I just don't want to advertise so much outside of my training life. I've had a lot of time to think and there's a lot to share. There's also a lot I'd like to keep to myself.

You see, in the past year, I've accomplished a lot. Very little of that has to do with training, but training is what has, once again, caused me to return to blogging.


I realized, after returning to racing in August, that nothing makes me feel as accomplished and healthy as finishing a race. So now, 3 years later, I've decided that I can put all my gained knowledge and gadgets to work and really enjoy and excel at the sport . . . not compared to other age groupers, but compared to me.

I also realized something after I ran/walked a 3:28 half marathon this weekend while recovering from bronchitis: namely, that nothing is ever as bad/hard/slow/long/sad as you think it is. What I mean is this: I used to think I was so sooooo slow. I figured 2:45 for my first half was TERRIBLE. Now I see myself finish in 3:28 and I go . . .

DAMN! THAT'S slow. 2:45 WAS NOT BAD!

And when I did 2:45 . . . I didn't use Gu or any real "nutrition strategy." I just ran. After all, it was just a half marathon. It's only 13.1 miles. So I finally realized that 13.1 miles is

A

long

FUCKING

RACE.

I think I got slower at races, and hurt myself, and got frustrated with my accomplishments, because I didn't respect the distance. You have to respect the distance.

Even at a 10k.

There are some races you really can just pull out of your ass. I'll give you 5ks . . .they're short and snappy. I'll give you sprint tri's . . . they're a sub-one-hour workout. But 10ks and Olympic tris, on up through marathons and Ironman races?

That's a long FUCKING DISTANCE.

Taking all this into account, I'm approaching my goals differently. I'm going to do another marathon or two, yes - maybe 1 each year - but I'm going to focus on half marathons through half Ironman races.

  1. I don't want to be a triathlon coach anymore. At least not at this point. I don't see myself doing it happily, knowing that no matter how hard I work, I won't be thin OR fast - and there are a LOT of coaches now, so financially it's also not a win. I just wanna have fun.
  2. I don't want to be an Iron-distance triathlete anymore. At least not at this point. Half Iron is good for me.
  3. I'll do some marathons, but now I think I'm going to focus on the half. It's a good training distance. It's respectably long. It still makes the average person go WOW YOU RAN THAT FAR? It still makes you feel like a certified badass.
  4. That being said, I'm re-arranging my goal and maybe I'll do a HALF marathon in every state before I die.

And that's all I got for now. Got a 5-miler, a little recovery run, and a 10-miler on the schedule this week. I'm wisely making it a stepback week since I race agin the week after.

The next week, OUC Half Marathon plus 2 miles is my long run (15). The following week, 17-19, then 18-20 long runs. After that, I step back to 12, 10, and then the marathon. If that goes well, I'm back for Florida Half Ironman in May.

If it doesn't, I just keep on training for other half-distance races.

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