Sunday, February 10, 2013

Is there a method to my madness?

I'd like to think there is. I'd like to think that I'm not just doing random races to see what sticks; to figure out what distance I like or what distance I personally feel "good" at. 

In a way, I'm doing just that. However, it's less random than it might seem. Sometimes, I have to adjust my goals or change the goal completely.

Early this year (after the part where I freaked out and said I'd never race again and way after I was cursing the swim focus....because yes, I will never live those down.)

I love my friends.

EARLIER this year, like a month ago, I still didn't know what I wanted to do.

THE plan....based on my goals....was to continue doing sprint tri's this year and sprinkle in a couple of olys. 

This was the plan based on other goals that I'd set. I said that I wouldn't move up in distance until I hit those "OTHER" goals. 

Well, I didn't hit those goals. Part of me really wanted to stick with the sprints. The other part really wanted to move up to the oly. 

In a way, it's nerve-racking moving up. It's like when I first signed up with Ricci, and I had to do my first few races. I was a nervous wreck. It's the constant, "What if I can't do it? What if I spent all this time doing all this training, and I'm no better than I was?"

YES. Racing is fun.

Repeatedly finishing in the bottom half of your AG = NOT FUN. 

For me, there is no sense of accomplishment in finishing at the bottom of the AG. I'm WAY past the "just finishing" mentality that goes along with finishing a first race at a particular distance. 

So, I worked at the sprints. I made considerably faster progress than I could have even imagined. In many ways, I look at my times, now, and I think they can't possibly be mine. 

But they are. I've learned to trust the system, but I didn't trust myself completely.

One day, I'm trying to figure out what races I should do when I was told:
It's pretty simple. You need to decide if you want to try to place this year in the sprint. OR do you want to see how you do going longer, knowing that your results will be similar to your first sprint with Ricci.
When I thought about it, I really didn't care too much about placing. (Not right now anyway. But, I'm sure there will be time in the near future where that will be a goal.)

Right now, I'm still testing the figure out what distances I like. 

You know that saying about the coin toss? When you're stuck, and you flip a coin....before it even lands, you know which one you want because you'll secretly be hoping for a certain outcome.

Well, when I got right down to it, I wanted to do the oly. EVEN THOUGH, I didn't hit one of my key goals. Just one goal...that I wanted to hit, but I didn't get there last year.

I wanted to break 30 minutes in the 5k before moving up.

I thought about it. Really, it was more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule.

I started registering for Olys. 

Then, I broke the 30 min mark. Then, the 29 min mark, and today ALMOST....THISCLOSE to the 28 min mark. 

I HAD that 27:xx. I know it! ARGH!

And, all of that happened this year within a few weeks of each other. 

Of course, I'm happy about it. Now, I'm faced with dealing with the 10K. I have improved in that distance, but I'm now looking at the oly races for the year.

I'll be going from a distance that would take me 1:20, to a race distance that I have never broken 3 hours on. 

I'm a little nervous about it. Not much, but a little because I've decided to move outside my comfort zone again. 

Last year, I was a nervous wreck heading into the sprint races. 

Then I got comfortable with them. I'd raced so much that no matter what happened on race day, I knew I could handle it. Bike in a hail storm? No problem. Run while cramping? Got it handled. 

Because that's what training is train in the heat or cold....whatever it is....whatever happens in training is a GOOD THING. On race day, then, you're a rock, nothing can mess with you. No one can intimidate you. The weather doesn't freak you out. 

You get comfortable. 

And that comfort became constricting for me, it was time to get uncomfortable again.

It's time to learn how to RACE an oly, not just finish it.