Wednesday, May 14, 2014

On the Rebound

One could argue I was never down; except for that gray period of abyss right after the Boston Marathon. As I wrote in the Boston Doldrums, I was in depression denial.  My body was beat up, and my mind was worse.  I took the whole first week off after Boston without running with the exception of an attempt at a mile swim. It felt like I'd jumped in the pool with a cotton hoodie and jeans. Can you say cinder block legs?

To compound matters, I had a general plan post-Boston, but I didn't listen to my own advice and have my next race lined up. Deer in the headlights.
My theme was "get back on that horse," but all I could find was a cow after my 5K podium win.

This all changed in the last week. I have officially started my triathlon training using my "I know absolutely nothing about triathlons except what I've learned on the internet" training plan. I have also "scaled back" the notion of 6-7 days a week of training and okay with 5-6 days a week (ironic to see that in words as it really does not look like I've cut back at all.) The biggest difference is I'm not RUNNING seven days a week, and my body seems to be regaining my energy. It could also be the Vitamix we got recently that has been infusing my body with great things like Kale, Chia seed, and the like. This probably warrants its own blog post, but you get the idea.

Perhaps with something to prove, and wanting to "open things up a bit," I went after six progressive Yassos (1/2 mile intervals) last Wednesday on my "speed" workout day. Nothing out of the ordinary other than I alternated fast and faster repeats ending with a 5:30 pace. The best part was that I felt great doing it. I have put 2-3 days a week into my pool work typically doing a pair of 1/2 mile lengths (typically the distance I'll be swimming in my "Sprint" triathlons this summer.) I have also done a good job of alternating some bike into my routine to build up my cycling muscle groups.

To test myself further, I signed up for a local 5k in the park down the hill from where I grew up in Littleton, Colorado. It was good to be out in a race environment again even though it had only been three weeks. The sun was out, kids, some strollers, and clearly a few fast ones including my run friend Luke. I opened up the race fairly fast hanging with the top ten racers, but started to wane just a bit as the 1/2 miles went by. There was a kid on my son's triathlon team that was in the early pack, but I was not about to let some kid beat me. Yes, I beat (up) that kid.  Teenagers are another matter as the young and fast were going to win this one.

It was clear that this was not going to be a PR day or even a sub-twenty day, but not without some level of trying. One thing accomplished was clearly going out too fast and having a perfect slowdown. Part of this was my overall energy post marathon, but with a turnaround configuration, it was clear that there was noone in my age group in front of me or even close to my rear-view mirror which was reflected in my 1/2 mile paces of 6:11, 6:15, 6:40, 6:43, 6:40, 6:47 (slug,) and a burst of 5:46 in the last tenth of a mile. My final timing mat time was 20:12.  Good enough for first in my age group and seventh overall.  Blood pumping through my veins again along with some pancakes in my belly at the post-race celebration.

My eleventh straight podium (non-major.)  The pressure is on for number twelve.

This was all good, but what was even better was another great mile swim the following day and an even better day on Monday with a "recovery run" of 70 minutes.  The reason it was even better was that I felt like I had the best energy I've had in months.  Funny how a training run can be as good as a race.  Perhaps a momentary lapse in focus and energy, but I seem to be a bit rejuvenated entering my triathlon and half marathon season.

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Average guy w/ an above average appetite for marathon racing and triathlons. Ran my 5th Boston in '15. 3:21, 1:29, 19:21 PR;full/half/5K Opinions & wit are mine