It may come as no surprise to anyone that despite thinking red eyes are a good idea when booking flights, I inevitably regret them the second the flight starts. No matter what, I can never seem to get any sleep on the plane. In fact, I typed out this blog post at 2 am California time after spending an hour and a half working on the formatting of my NIH biosketch for the grant application I’m working on. And that was after a beer at the postdoc appreciation BBQ before leaving work and another large beer at the bar while watching the end of the Royals game at the airport.
With that rant over, I wanted to do a quick update on where things are training/racing-wise and where they’re headed.
If you’ve taken a look at my race calendar lately, you may have noticed that between September 19 and October 18, I have 4 races scheduled. Oops!
Following all of the Ragnar fun, I spent a lot of time thinking through what made the most sense with the races I had on my schedule already, and where I wanted my effort level to be for each of them. I obviously want to avoid injury, since I now have another 4 races left to round out my 2014 season, but I also wanted to make sure I’m not throwing away opportunities to push myself, as well.
My Coach warned me that coming off of Ragnar, I’d be exhausted. My legs would feel ok shortly after getting home from the adventure, but a combination of the miles and lack of sleep would make it difficult to find any kind of speed in them for a few weeks. So with that in mind, we crafted a plan to carry me through November 9 (aka the day I FINALLY get a pedicure and fix the disgustingness that my feet have become after 9 months of racing).
Tower of Terror Ten Miler – This race was one I was actually supposed to do last year. But between starting my postdoc and being a Matron of Honor in my best friend’s wedding around the same time, I opted to defer to this year. I hadn’t decided if I was actually going to run the race or walk it with my mom until Matt was able to find a bib a few months ago. Given Ragnar 2 weeks ago, we’ve decided that this race is going to be an easy long run with a few hundred friends J. We’re actually dressing as Ariel and Prince Eric – nothing elaborate but carefully chosen running clothes match their outfits – and plan to stop for photos along the way as long as it isn’t raining. I refuse to go beyond a 9 min/mile pace, so if you are following along Saturday night, feel free to yell at me if you see faster splits!
Healdsburg Half Marathon – The final race in the Run Wine Country Series, I signed up for this race after finishing Water to Wine in August. Run all 3 races (the first was Windsor Green in May) in the same calendar year, and you snag yourself a special label bottle of wine. That’s the kind of prize that has my name written all over it! After flying back home from Florida next week, Matt and I will head up to Healdsburg for the weekend for another easy race. I’m not going into the half with any time expectations; and in fact, I’d rather not push it. The following weekend is my big goal race for the fall and I view this race as my final big training push.
Du the Bears Duathlon – My final duathlon of the season will take me back to my first duathlon course. This time I’m hoping there won’t be sideways rain and my increased experience on the bike should mean more confident handling. Racing my solo duathlon after Matt’s bike accident was a major confidence boost, and I’m looking to dominate this race and set a HUGE PR compared to where I started in February. I have yet to come in lower than 1st place in my AG this year, and with some real competition this time around, I’m hoping I can maintain my positioning! This is the race I’m really focused on nailing right now.
Berkeley Half Marathon – On November 9, I’ll be taking to the streets of Berkeley to run my old neighborhood and some of my favorite training routes. The course is brand new this year, and if you aren’t familiar with the route, I promise you this: it’ll be a challenge. There are several hills that I often struggle to conquer, but I think that’s the excitement of this race for me. During a meeting with my Coach, we talked about using this half marathon as an opportunity to test myself on racing strategy. I have some really big goals that I’m working towards (fodder for a future post), and it’s becoming increasingly important that I learn to use sound strategy while racing instead of just giving it what I can. I’m excited to test myself on my ability to make a plan and stick to it despite the race excitement. I have a feeling that’s going to require some work!
And that is where I leave you for now, my friends. I think it’s finally time I caught a few Z’s on this flight and tried to rest up for my next race. Catch you on the opposite coast!
Your Turn: How are you rounding out your 2014 racing schedule? Are you running any of these same races?