Feeling Wishy-Washy

Posted by on February 16, 2010 in Training

I’ve written about it several times in earlier posts, but I have a crazy March racing schedule.  The Miami Triathlon is the marquis event because, well, it’s in Miami!  Racing and hanging with one of my closest friends Fernando, his brother-in-law, and other friends will make this a super fun weekend.  But, it’s the following weekend that’s providing the stress.

On March 20th, I want to race the Pine Hill Arms Triathlon.  It’s a ski-bike-run event that I’ve done several times in the past.  The last time I did it, I came in just under one hour which was my goal, but scheduling conflicts have prevented me from participating the last couple of years (damn Vegas trips!).  With my perceived condition of fitness being considerably further along than in years past, I’m really itching to give this event another go, especially since there is podium potential.  The only trepidation I have is the NYC half-marathon that is scheduled for the next day, a mere 18 hours or so after the triathlon.  I already paid for the half-marathon, so from a financial perspective, it makes sense to not do the triathlon… but something is preventing me from using that criterion.

My running conditioning has been coming along nicely.  I ran a 4 mile race with friends a week and change ago, and beat my goal of 7:30 pace by putting down a 7:23 pace.  Seven seconds per mile (for a total of 28 seconds) may not seem like a lot, but it was monumental for me.  With very cold temps and tired legs from a heavy cycling session the previous day, I had some concerns about how I’d do, but I was pleased with the results.  My training runs before and since have been fairly steady, and I’ve incorporated some treadmill sessions as well to ramp up the intensity.  Lastly, my last long run, an 8.5 miler, felt surprisingly good despite, once again, being on tired cycling legs.  I held a steady pace, was able to take my energy gels without any intestinal issues, and kept myself within an acceptable heart rate range.  My last mile was, by design, my fastest mile too, so that was yet another feather in my ego cap.  Add to that the cycling sessions indoors with the Terrier Triathlon Team and I feel well conditioned for a good day in this ski-bike-run race.

While an 8.5 mile long run is good, it’s not 13.1 miles.  I plan on doing a 10 miler this coming Sunday.  I don’t foresee any major problems since I had good legs following the last long run.  The following weekend (the last one in Feb), I’ll be snowboarding in Jackson Hole, so I won’t be doing much running.  When I get back, I’ll have a few days in town before heading out to Chicago for a social weekend, but I will be able to run there.  My goal is to do a 12 miler.  The following weekend, March 14th, is the Miami Tri.  Naturally, I won’t be doing any long distance runs, so I essentially only have a 10 miler and 12 miler left before the 13.1 miler on March 21st.  Not good.  And again, I’m going to be on tired legs following the triathlon the day before.

So, to bring this all back to the title of this post, I’m feeling wishy-washy.  I started my 8.5 miler this past Sunday thinking that I was an idiot for trying to do too much in too short a period of time.  When I finished, I was singing a different tune.  And as I write this, I’m back to dead-center ambivalence.  Deep down, my prediction is that I’ll go all out in the triathlon and that indeed, I will line up for the half-marathon 18 hours later.  It will for sure be a brutally difficult physical weekend for me in this case, but I can’t help but wonder if there are huge learning opportunities therein.  With the famed Alcatraz Triathlon and Eagleman half-Ironman races in May and June respectively, maybe this crazy March weekend will be good for me.   Or not.  I don’t know.  I hate not knowing stuff like this.  I could easily not run the half and give my number to a friend, and while no one would fault me for being rational, I’d feel less tough.

This ego isn’t an easy thing to manage.  And it’s not about how I’m perceived by others; it’s about who I see when I look in the mirror.  I want to see a person who is impervious to physical challenges.

I think my mirror’s broken.

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