I am starting to reach those long training workouts that go with Ironman training, the workouts that begin to stretch my weekly training hours well beyond anything I would normally do. So far everything seems to be going well for me. In a way, things almost seem too good as I am coming off off two good training weeks in a row (and those followed a good 50 mile running experience in the Rocky Raccoon 50 mile event).
I don't really have much to report on, other than perhaps providing a detailed description of last week's workouts which I don't plan to do this year--although I did have close to 13:40 of total workout time last week. Feel free to go back into last year's blog posts if you want to see a weekly blow by blow of my training. However, it will vary from this year given that I entered this point of training from a perspective of being in better shape and aiming at some additional priorities along the way.
One thing I did want to write about was a change in my perspective. This is something I have mentioned a few times before, and my perspective is something that continues to evolve in ways I do not necessarily realize until after it has changed. I realized last week that all my training for so very long a time period has been backward-looking. By that I mean that I was attempting to reach a point of fitness that I could compare to a previous point in my life when I was in better shape. Later on I shifted to a backward-looking perspective where I was fearful of returning to my more recent past of less healthy habits and regaining the weight I worked so hard to lose. It is only fairly recently that I began to shift my perspective to being forward-looking as I concentrated more on what I can accomplish for its own sake with no bearing on anything in my past (except maybe to be better, faster and stronger than I was before). I don't quite know when this change of perspective happened, just that it did. Everything in my training is now geared towards improving myself to be better, but without the ghosts from my past taunting me along the way and also without me making any comparisons to my former self.
89 days until Ironman Texas.....
Sunday, February 5, 2012
My Rocky Raccoon 50 Mile race adventure got off to an expected start with a rain coming down over the several days before the race. We had heavy rains the night before and even started in a light rain for the first several miles of the day. Otherwise the weather was good, moderate temperatures that cooled only slightly during the day with sun coming out only late enough to provide extra twilight visibility before dark. The course is 3 loops of a 16.67 mile course run through Huntsville State Park in Huntsville, Texas. My general plan is to run an 8-2 run-walk plan with extra walking up hills and large inclines, short rest stops at all aid stations and a break to assess myself between loops. I ran the race with my friend Karen, who is an experienced ultra-distance runner. Karen ran the 100 mile distance at this race last year. Loop 1: There is a lot of water on the course and it is only a matter of time before feet are wet and mud is splattered up along my legs. Fortunately my trail shoes (Brooks Ghost GTX) proved to be good at keeping most of the water out my shoes and draining excess water away from my feet. Initially, we try to avoid as much water as possible by going through makeshift detours around water-filled areas, but this only goes so far and we are often forced to go right through the water. Overall, I felt like this lap went pretty well. I did suffer from a moderate amount of gastrointestinal distress for several miles in the middle of the loop, though a trip to the porta-potty helped to address that for a few hours. After that, I feel like I am back on pace and running well with some of the more difficult parts of the loop ahead. I'm shown in this photo approaching the last aid station in the first loop.