Monday, November 21, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

When it comes to personal decisions, I have to admit that I am the most indecisive person EVER. So right now, I have a choice to make and I can’t decide what I want to do! Yesterday, I met with an awesome tri coach from a local triathlon training group to discuss my racing goals for 2012 and she gave me very good food for thought.

As you might know from this blog, I really wanted to do the Texas 70.3 (formerly known as Lone Star) in Galveston in April of this year, but with the new job and busy season that coincided at the same time as the peak training season, it just didn’t happen. I felt guilty trying to work late, then go to the gym only to arrive home after the kiddos were already in bed. Then, add a few out-of-town work trips in there and I missed some key workouts. But hey, work pays for triathlons. It comes much higher on the priority list than these races!

Here’s the deal – I came out of my abbreviated version of tri season on a high. I had 2 somewhat solid races (it would have been more if I had not broken my freaking toe), and I ended the season with my 1st non-panicked open water swim in a race. I immediately decided that, dammit, 2012 was going to be my year! I was doing the 2012 Texas 70.3! I would find a way, make a way to do this.

Flash forward 3 months later…it’s been awhile since that final triathlon and that high has dwindled a bit. Now, I am on a high from the NYC Marathon. I am all signed up for the Aramaco Houston Half Marathon on January 15, but I’ll admit that I’d been toying with the idea of switching to the full for a couple of months now. Heck, I’m trained up for it, so why not? Then, I saw the medals for this year’s race…

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the big 4-0! I still have the commemorative timing chip from the race’s 35th anniversary –and- my 40th birthday is 3 days after the race, so why wouldn’t I want that big, honkin’, blinging 4-0 medal??? Plus, why not try to prove to myself that I can run a sub-5 hour race again??? I decided that I was in! I also decided to do the RunGirl ½ marathon with my triathlon peep, Kelly, on December 11. It would be more of 1/2 for fun...obviously right after NYC, I wasn't going to be outright "racing" it.

Then, Coach brought me back to reality.

First of all, the Texas 70.3 is on April 1st (it gets earlier and earlier every year). Before NYC, this was going to be my 2012 “A” race. Let’s say I do run the Houston Marathon on January 15…since I am currently in “recovery mode” from NYC, coach does not recommend any speed training between now and Houston. In fact, she recommended not running more than a 17 miler between now and then. Then, I’d need a few weeks of recovery AFTER Houston (i.e. still running, but not “pushing it”)…that puts me into February with no real hardcore training for a ½ marathon distance race (i.e. speedwork). Let’s face it, training for a full and training for a ½ are very different. My paces for my 10 and 12 mile training runs are significantly slower this year (10:50 – 11:15) than the paces I was running these same distances at this time last year (10:10 – 10:20). Oh, and let’s not forget that I am supposed to be swimming and biking. Ideally, Coach’s strategy for running between now and the 70.3 would be to work on shorter distances and work on increasing my speed.

So what do I do???

Choice #1 - do I start training for Texas 70.3 effective December 1, but skip the RunGirl ½ and only do the Houston ½ Marathon (and more than likely not PR again this year, since I haven’t been training for a ½)? But, I would do the Woodlands ½ in March before the taper begins. Honestly, the thought of the 70.3 race scares the HELL out of me. Mostly because of that 1.2 mile swim. And my swim sucks. But, that’s part of the reason I WANT to do this race. If you would have asked me 3 years ago, I would have said that I was completely incapable of completing this distance. Well that, and that I was not crazy enough to do it.

Choice #2 – Do I wait to do the 70.3 next year, when my job situation will be completely different and just run my arse of this year? Do Houston, maybe do RunGirl, do the Texas Indepedence Relay? A co-worker asked me if I was joining the company team for the MS-150 (apparently the company support is awesome)..that would be fun. And, maybe just work on my swim another year and go for an Oly?

Choice #3 – Just do Houston and do the 70, and suck it up that my 70.3 may not the best race I am capable of. My feeling here is that the 70.3 is a big goal, and completing another marathon isn’t exactly easy…whatever I do, I want to do it well. I don’t anticipate doing another 70.3. EVER. Of course, I said that about marathons, too.

Here's my list of pros and cons...yes, I am THAT type A, lol! (Feel free to click on it to view the full-sized version)

So, how are you when it comes to making these decisions? Do you just make the desicion in a flash, or do you over analyze like me?


JunieB said...

I am no good on this one because I wouldnt be signing up for a tri of that magnitude. EVER.

I still have my chip from the 35th year as well!!!!!!!!!

Lisa said...

I'm not a Tri girl (I do have a bike though). If doing well in the Tri is VERY important to you, I would put it off till the next year. Get the swim better like you said in your "pros & cons". I had a friend complete her first Ironman in AZ yesterday. She ran, biked, & swam all summer/fall long. That's a lot of work. My hat goes off to you whatever you choose because working moms who find time to work out are my HEROS!

Teamarcia said...

Yes, I'm a notorious overthinker. I say go with your heart. You'll be awesome with whatever you choose!

Shannon (IronTexasMommy) said...

Maybe I'm not the best advice giver, but you know your own body. It's definitely possible. I did a 90-mile bike ride the weekend before the Galveston 70.3 last year and didn't fall apart. I actually ended up dropping almost an entire hour off my time from the previous year.

This year I'm doing the White Rock Marathon on 12/4, then following it with back-to-back marathons at the New Year's double and then doing New Orleans 70.3 in April. It's not impossible.

Do two tempo runs and one long run/ week. Cross train on either two or three of the days and give yourself one or two days off. Your legs will be stronger if you add in biking. And you'll enjoy the recovery benefits of a swim.

Consider using the Galloway method for the full, if you're concerned about the strain on your legs. It may not be your fastest marathon, but you'll still earn the medal. I promise you, it's possible and there's nothing to fear. You can do this!