Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Week 39: Review

With the triathlon last week, I did a bit of a taper to help prepare myself for the race so my overall mileage is down significantly from the previous week. Contributing to this was the fact that I developed a sore throat on Monday, so that also forced me to move things around from what was planned. Fortunately the throat got better pretty quickly so it didn't pose a huge problem, but I'm still a bit stuffed up so it's not completely gone at this point.

Outside of all of that, my plans for this week were pretty fluid so while the actual execution was significantly different it wasn't really a problem either way. I would have liked to get the long ride in on Monday as planned, but I didn't want to venture that far out with the sore throat so I figured I'd play it safe for the race. With the race coming up, I figured that a little lost training was less significant than having to do the race in a compromised condition - especially as this was pretty much my last chance for this season.

As mentioned in my last post, the race itself went quite well despite the problems leading up to it. Naturally, there were a few snags that slowed me down a bit, however none of them were related to physical preparation and they all add up to valuable lessons learned for any future attempts. Either way, the process itself was extremely enjoyable and it's definitely something that I want to do more of.

Week 39 Totals:
Running: 26.9km (16.7mi)
Walking: 2.5km (1.6mi)
Cycling: 44.3km (27.5mi)
Swimming: 3.9km (2.4mi)
Total: 77.6km (48.2mi)

Year to Date:
Running: 1,900.6km (1,181.0mi)
Walking: 198.9km (123.6mi)
Cycling: 3,122.0km (1,939.9mi)
Swimming: 53.2km (33.1mi)
Total: 5,274.7km (3,277.5mi)

As for this week, the rain and humidity has messed things up once again but it appears that after today things will start getting better. I've already started working speedwork back into the mix, and I hope to get a proper long run in this Sunday now that I'm comfortable the ankle is better. Depending on the weather, I'd also like to head out for a long ride (80-100km) on Friday or Saturday. Regardless, the tentative schedule is as follows:

Mon Rest (was going to do a bike ride, but it rained most of the day)
Tue 2mi Swim (3x750m), 5mi Recovery w/6x100m
Wed 30K Ride (if weather permits), 10K Recovery
Thurs 5K Swim, 5mi GA
Fri 80-100K Ride
Sat 4mi Recovery, 50K Ride
Sun 8mi (12.9K) LSD

Going forward, I'm starting to reconsider my options at this point. The original plan was to focus first on getting my Marathon time down to 3:10 in order to qualify for Boston and perhaps do a few more Triathlons on the way to get some practice. At this point, however, I'm seriously thinking about putting that on the back-burner and trying to work toward a Half-Ironman in fall 2010. If I focus on building a base in all three sports over the winter, and then do progressively longer Triathlons over the summer it should be possible.

Working to refine my marathon time was enjoyable, but training to simply do better at something I've already done doesn't quite have the same sheen as aiming at something bigger. I've refined my times on shorter distances over the past year, but most of that has simply been a byproduct of working my way up to the marathon. Training for the Triathlon mixed something new into the equation, and gave me a brand new target to aim for.

At some point I'd like to try my hand at a full Ironman, but getting to that point will take a few years of concerted effort. Having that big target up there on the horizon is something that I missed while training for my second marathon, so putting that back into the mix could potentially be a significant motivator. Given that the Ironman contains a marathon, however, putting some focus on that race as well is something that could be part of the equation rather than an ultimate end.

With that said, not everyone is built to do a race like that so I'm not entirely sure that my frame is even capable of that sort of thing. The basic concept of a race that takes normal people well into double digit hours borders on insanity, and the very thought of aiming for such a thing is daunting. The marathon is something that I know that I can do, and while a 3:10 target is challenging I'm pretty sure that I can pull it off with enough work. Moving my focus away from that and coming back to it later could potentially make that process more difficult, so part of me wants to just stick with the existing plan and worry about the longer Triathlons in future years.

Either way, I have plenty of time to think about this in the off-season and at this point I really need to focus on the remainder of the running season. The full marathon is certainly not possible at this point, however I'm still considering doing the half at the Toronto Marathon in mid-October. I'll have to accelerate the rebuilding process at this point to be in proper shape for it, but as the injury appears to be out of the way that shouldn't be a huge problem. I also like the idea of the Zoo Run, as I've yet to get around to running a 10K race as of yet. Time is running out to register, so I'm going to have to figure it out one way or the other ;)

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