three things thursday

1. One of the great things about moving to Boulder is that suddenly I live in the same town as two other Sonja ponies.  Great for us, hair-pully-outy for her, I am sure.  Both of them had a MAF test on the schedule for this morning.  I knew that my first week back would definitely include one, so I decided to get one up on Sonja and crash theirs to see exactly how much fitness I've lost in the past several months.  This is the moon, by the way, along with Mikki breaking into the track.
I believe that I have found the recipe for the worst MAF test in the history of my training.  Two weeks coughing up little pieces of lungs and laying in bed.  Add in suddenly living at 5400' instead of 0' and stir briskly.  I'm not even sure it could be called running, more of a bouncy walk.  And I'm not stressed about it at all.  I've actually been in a bit of a funk this week, missing my family and being sad about being apart from them at my favorite time of the year (Christmas season).  A chatty warm-up and 4 incredibly slow miles was exactly what I needed.
No, I don't think I'll ever figure out how to keep my hat on straight but at least my hair was brushed under there.

2. This fall was rough, I've talked about it before and I'm not going to blather on about it again, but my training hasn't really been executed consistently since June.  I'm not sure I "needed" several months of stress and change but I am FINALLY excited to get back on a strict training schedule again.  The MAF test this morning was horrendous, yes, but also incredibly motivating.  I know that the only way my fitness will go from here is up, and I'm actually looking forward to being a slave to my HR monitor again.  I've been in the pool twice this week, which is twice more than I've been swimming in any week since B2B, and I feel rested and slow.  I threw in some roughly half-IM-paced hundreds and was pleased to see that they were not quite as sluggish I expected, although significantly slower than I was swimming a few months ago.  But none of it makes me cranky, which is weird in itself.  It actually makes me happy, it's proof that I let my body chill out and rest and get fat during my off-season.  Hopefully I can remind myself this in two weeks when I get a buttload of hard intervals in the pool and can't make any of them.

3. All that said, I'm finally ready to start thinking about 2013.  I signed up for IMLP, as you will recall, and have planned nothing else.  Running an open marathon is something I am interested in tackling, and I have one in mind, but I'm not sure about the timing so it's still a maybe.  I'm going to spend some time tonight and tomorrow investigating races, and then will take my list to Sonja who will probably cross half of it out.  I'm also considering not racing much at all this year - a marathon and an ironman might be enough.  I'm a little worried about not having those tune-up races in there that I am used to as fitness tests, but in general I enjoy training so much more than I enjoy racing.  I'd also certainly love to save the big pile of money that it takes to race and travel.  My 2013 plan when I signed up for IMLP was "no races where I have to get on a plane," which is obviously not happening now that I've moved 1800 miles away.  But we'll see.  I feel this way now, but I might get the itch come March to start jumping in a few things, or I might not.  I've raced a lot the past few years, and I'm curious about what a season of little racing at all would feel like.   

So that's my Thursday with some numbers thrown in, friends.  Tell me about your race planning.  Are tune-up races important, or would you consider a season that only includes two big ones?


  1. I forgot you have to contend with altitude now that you no longer live at sea level in the swamp! IMLP will feel easy after months at altitude :) I'm starting to plan out the 2013 race schedule. Hoping to have as many races as 2012, just different ones so 2013 doesn't feel like a repeat. Maybe a few more running races thrown in at the beginning of the year.

  2. Be sure to add at least one somewhat centrally located swim meet not at altitude! And I KNOW that you really, really, really want to come back East and swim 4.4 miles in June. REALLY.

  3. I would guess that you'd want to do a few local tuneups if for no other reason than to dive into your new community - provided they work with the A race schedule, of course. I'm having a hard time figuring out my 2013 plan too, thanks to what promises to be an oppressively difficult Jan-April at work.

  4. I thought tune-up races were important but the more I think about them the more I am not sure. What is the point of RACING a 70.3 to then have to recover and continue onto IM?

    Is it worth it? I'm not sure anymore.

    That being don't have to get on a plane to Boulder 70.3......just saying!

  5. I'm also backing down a bit next year. got a half and a full iron on the schedule and not much else. Quite a bit different from the 27 races I did in 2012. Of course, you never know when I'll throw in a marathon or century ride. Do what feels fun, and I'm glad you're enjoying the offseason!

  6. You're exactly where you should be. You took some much deserved time off and you can get moving again. The running is always the last to come back but it will. As for our Feb mary plan, rain check?

  7. My thoughts on tuneup races:

    They help me stick to my training, but you don't need that kind of motivation.

    They're fun because they are much shorter and less stress-producing, also they are mini-goals AND a (good) distraction from the seriousness of your A-race.

  8. Yay and the fat and happy offseason resting!

    I will do 24 races in 12 months this year. I planned my training around the races. Next year, I'm going to pick my goal, and plan my races around training (aka - splash and dashes as speedwork days, supported rides as long ride days) but only if they fit.

    I'm not sure if I'll have race withdrawals but I surely won't be pulling up to races going "crap do I HAVE to race today" next year like I did this year...

  9. I think smaller races can interfere with training for the big one in that taper, racing and recovering all mess with the training schedule (and I've learned the hard way that if I do not taper, the race will be tough!) That said, I still like to throw in a few races to measure my progress (and I have an 8K, 10K, and half marathon in my sights on my way to a full marathon in June).

  10. It sounds like you are settling in nicely!!! How long till the family moves out?

    IM years are usually light racing years for me - I do a couple warmup tris and dus early in the season, a half and then the full. I'm excited to race a lot with short course stuff this year!

  11. I can't imagine only having two races in a year but I guess if they were big goals and I trained all year then it would be ok. The second half of this year has felt like a lot of races for me with little training. Not the best way to train/race for sure.
    Next year I am planning to do an A-race half marathon in early spring (as to avoid heat/humidity) and then a few of my regular smaller races. Maybe a goal half in the fall too but we'll see.
    I think you should do the Bolder Boulder 10k but only because I've heard about it and not even been to Colorado.

  12. I keep chomping at the bit to sign up for another race (only one on the calendar at this point) and then cautioning myself to just wait. Probably a good thing since I'm having some running issues right now. Also, I'm set to go skiing at the end of the year, and I'd like to see if I survive the trip without injury before I spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on racing! Probably the race that I keep going back and forth on is Wildflower - yes/no, oly/long course? Decisions, decisions.

  13. Those are two big goals and with all the life changes I wouldn't sign up for anything else. This will probably give you some time to settle inti the new groove!


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