So as you know, my triathlon racing season concluded last Saturday with a sprint in Darien, CT. After a humbling yet motivating experience at Age Group Nationals, the ITPMAN served as an ideal last race; it reminded me why I love swimming, biking, and running—and training, racing, and hanging out with my teammates.
Even though there won’t be any more swim-bike-run races until 2014 (boo!), I still plan to SBR with Full Throttle Endurance through mid-October. A few weeks ago, I got “called up” to train with the five-day-a-week group. (I trained with the three-day-a-week group this season.) Obviously, I don’t want to turn down this opportunity—oh, no, that’s OK; I’ll just see you guys in January!—and plus, this gives me a chance to work out with new teammates and develop a solid relationship with the head coach.
Anyway, so why am I sharing this information? Well, I’ve been entertaining the idea of doing a half-marathon for a few weeks, and most of my five-day-a-week teammates are training for marathons (mainly New York City in November) or doing a few half-marathons. And since I embarked on Operation: Go Long—and since I’m prone to succumbing to peer pressure—I officially registered for the 3rd Annual Fall Foliage Half-Marathon when I got home from Darien.
The race takes place in four weeks, so there’s plenty of time to log some longer runs. On Saturday, I completed a 10 miler sans music, which was a huge confidence booster, even though it didn’t go as well as I would’ve liked.
Coach Pat to the rescue! This epitomizes “do as I say, not as I do”: At the running store, I always tell half- and full-marathoners to carry water or make sure there will be water available on their route, practice their nutrition strategy, etc. But during my run, I had zero water and zero nutrition. Yes, I should—and do—know better.
Anyway, I’m locked into doing this 13.1, but I haven’t decided whether I want to truly race it. Honestly, staying positive, running strong, and crossing the finish line will be a huge victory after last summer’s half from hell. I’ve definitely matured and developed as a runner this year, but spending so much time in my head still makes me nervous. And I know that sounds ridiculous because Olympic triathlons last longer than half-marathons, but switching sports breaks up the race. Basically, I’m not used to spending so much interrupted time in my head.
How do you stay positive during longer workouts and when the going gets tough?