Sunday, November 01, 2009

November 1 already?

I can't believe it's been a quarter of a year since I felt like an athlete (Lake Placid at the end of July). Time sure does fly. With the arrival of November I'm beginning (along with my "experiments") my 2010 pre-season training. It's fairly unstructured except for the experimental stuff, and is aimed at keeping the neuron's firing and metabolism from grinding to a halt. My current weight is 160, which is about 8 pounds above my IMLP race weight. My z1 running pace (pace on the flats at 135bpm) is about 7:08 per mile. By comparison I was at 7:28 per mile last January. I hope to pretty much keep things where they are now. I'm starting some lifting to try and increase my power more, as that is clearly my limiter (well, that and time to adequately train for an Ironman). I'm not racing Ironman in 2010, so my training schedule will be closer to what I need to be successful. The focus will be 1/2 Irons with an 'A' goal of finally getting under 4:30, and maybe returning to the World Championships in Clearwater next November.

**Best and Worst of 2009**

Let's start with the best:
3) The return of my inner competitor 4 miles from the finish of Mooseman. It was almost an unconscious reaction. A guy in my age group passed me and I was pretty well resigned to holding pace and just cruising in. Then I caught an almost imperceptible hitch in his stride and something clicked. I just buried it and starting running scared. It was like high school cross country again. I "heard" footsteps behind me. Every time I sensed I was slowing I pressed the pace. By the finish I had destroyed that guy by minutes. Truly invigorating.

2) Similar situation at IMLP, but not an age group competitor and only 2 miles out. I put a minute on a guy in the last 3/4 of a mile. I crushed the finish in a manner I did not think was physically possible after 10hrs of racing.

1) Post finish at IMLP, when the volunteer came looking for me to tell me my family was trying to find me. When I looked there was Dylan on his Grandpa's shoulders searching for me. It just doesn't get better than that. A really difficult race in which I raced as hard and well as I could and then was able to enjoy the accomplishment with my family. That's what it is all about!

Non-racing #1: All the great QT2 teammates I met this year. I'm proud to call my friends.

The worst:
3) Racing the 10k in Hyannis in February. I really should not have raced because I was still sick, but I was soooo tired of being cooped up inside. The wheels fell off big time half way.

2) The Hawaii roll down at IMLP. 105 damn seconds (2 places) away from achieving a life goal: to race Ironman Hawaii. Ultimately it was a blessing. I and my family needed the rest of the year to address things.

1) The month of June. Starting with my call home after Mooseman and going into July, I lived and trained through the worst stress I can remember. We're all still here, and though the road still seems terribly long, we're moving forwards.

I'm hopeful for 2010, because I need to be. What choice is there really? We used to make fun of my Dad for being so idealistic, but as I get older I realize that you really need to be because being too much of a realist makes one pessimistic and ultimately makes one lose hope. We all need hope.

So here's to hoping 2010 is the best year yet!