I am home from D.C. and extremely happy to see my boy. The only negative aside from my bag being lost on the way home is that I’m moving terribly slowly, particularly up and down stairs. I hurt worse than I’ve hurt after any triathlon. Running just hurts.
I’m still pretty proud that I kept moving yesterday, but I’m determined to move faster the next time around. My favorite sign during the marathon said, “Channel your inner Kenyan.” I need to channel my inner Kenyan towards the Austin marathon. I’ll take tomorrow off and then hit the pool and the roads again on Wednesday. My first race is on November 11, in just two weeks. It’s a 10 mile run, which I will aim to do in 2 hours – a 12 mile pace. Particularly after this slow weekend, that would be huge for me, but I believe it’s doable.
What a lovely day for a run. I might have preferred a nice Sunday stroll, but the marathon was beautiful. I moved extremely slowly, averaging a 13:24 pace. I wasted about 15 minutes in bathroom lines, but other than that, I have no explanation for my pace. I was just slow. Maybe I’m tired from a long month? I don’t know. I hope so. The Austin marathon will be a huge test for me to see if I can do better than 12 minute miles on that distance. We’ll see. The positive from today was that I kept moving the entire time, with the exception of about a 100 yard stretch near the end of mile 25 that I walked. I pushed to keep running, even if my run was simply a shuffle, so I’m pretty proud of that.
With all my big races behind me, I need to rest, regroup and figure out how to train for the Ironman. I’m thinking I’ll spend the next few weeks “studying” my various books and investigating training programs. Come Thanksgiving, I need to know how I’m going to tackle the next phase. The big race is less than 8 months away!
I flew to D.C. today. The Marine Corps Marathon is this Sunday. Kevin (from Exeter) and I are going to start together, but I’m fully expecting he will bolt ahead of me in no time. We’ll see. Mom and I wandered the expo tonight and saw some pretty funny t-shirts. One said, “This seemed like a good idea three months ago.” Another said, “Running is cheaper than therapy.” Another said, “Your pace or mine?” And my personal favorite, “Marathon Ho.” They also gave us blank bibs so we can write inspirational or silly messages for other runners. Mine is going to say, “Where do I pick up my Marine?” Wish me luck.
Oh my goodness. I’m back from Corpus, having done the MS150 for the second year in a row. The two big differences between this year and last were (1) I had a friend with me and (2) there was an unbearable headwind almost the entire way. Last year, I rode alone and met people along the way. It was a beautiful, still weekend, and the ride felt literally painless. This year, I had one of my very best friends with me – which made the weekend so much more fun – but the ride hurt. I struggled with the headwind the entire time. I had my head down, and I felt like I was having to mash much of the time just to keep moving forward. At times, I even found it difficult to drink because doing so meant releasing my death grip on the handlebars. Once or twice, when we were not facing the headwind, I thought the side wind would knock me over. It was nuts. The time on the bike tested my patience. I could have turned into a grump except that Catherine was with me and I knew we were riding for a good cause. All in all though, we had a great time. I camped for the first time ever, and I got to hang out for two days with Catherine and my parents. Mom and Dad were about as cute as I’ve ever seen them cheering like crazy people on the sidelines. I’m lucky to have been able to do the ride and to have had such great company.
Today was nothing like what I expected. I flew to Harlingen for a conference and planned to fly to Houston this evening for another conference tomorrow. That meant (a) that I would not work out today and (b) that I wouldn’t be home with Skylar. But somehow we wrapped up early and I managed, just barely, to catch the last flight back to Austin. When I landed, I received an e-mail from Jenny wanting to run tonight. We did a nice and easy five miles, mostly on Shoal Creek. So I am fresh off a run, and now I get to sleep in my own bed with my little old man. I’ll drive to Houston in the morning, but I don’t have to leave until about 9, so I will have time to work out in the morning too. I could not have planned this day better than it turned out.
My training group ended with the half Ironman I did just over a week ago. Last week, I did very little of anything. This weekend, I did a good long run and a solid ride. Yesterday and today, I did absolutely nothing. This doesn’t bode well for training without a training group. It baffles me that I have the determination to do these endurance events but I lack the simple discipline to get my butt out of bed in the morning unless I’m letting someone else down by sleeping in.
Erin set up a site that, for me, turned into a training blog of sorts. See http://www.austin2imcda08.bravehost.com/taline.html. I am using it beyond what was intended, so rather than max out my word limits, I am changing venues.
It helps me to record my efforts towards Coeur d’Alene and to know that some of the people who care about me also care about this particular goal of mine. On the surface, it’s an M dot goal, but really the idea is to do something that will completely alter my view of what is within my reach. This distance is admittedly insane. I have an extremely ordinary body and no ability, except possibly in the pool, that accurately would be characterized as speed. Is desire enough? I hope so. I believe so. I have just over eight months to make it so.