Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It doesn't get easier, but it does get faster

As I approach the last race of my second triathlon season it occurred to me how much faster I've gotten over these past couple of years. It's sometimes hard to see it in the race results, mostly because sprint distance race aren't all the same size, so comparisons are hard to make. The stamina increase is obvious, simply by the fact that I finished Timberman. But the speed isn't always as clearly defined.

Last night, Rach and I went for a run as part of week 4 of my couch to 5k training. It has me doing a lot more running than I'm used to out of each workout, and it's a struggle. When I run, I get up near my body's "red line" really fast still. It just simply hasn't gotten easier to run, at least from a perceived effort way of measuring. And yet, when I run, I'm going farther, faster. It's like I still get exhausted just as fast, but I'm getting more out of the time I'm actually running. 

The problem I've always had with running is that I've never particularly enjoyed it. My very active mind has trouble finding peace while I'm doing it, and I almost always feel like theres something more interesting I could be doing. The logical part of me knows that I need it for training, for exercise, and just for my health, but that part is the quietest voice when I'm trying to decide whether or not to get off the couch. It's why I've been on week 4 of the Couch to 5k for the better part of 2 weeks. 

We ran after dark last night, and in our neck of the woods, a woman doesn't run alone after dark, so Rach ran with me at my pace. Plus with her injury, she shouldn't be running full speed yet anyways. And while I didn't really notice at first, Rach mentioned that I was running faster than I used to. At one point early in the season she ran with me, and said "You could probably walk faster than you're running right now." It stung a little bit, but it's true. I'm a pretty fast walker and was a terribly slow runner. I'm still not fast, but I'm shooting for a 3 mile PR during the last leg of Club Nationals this weekend. 

My current best 5k time is a bit over 39 minutes on two very flat courses last season. One of them, America's Hometown Thanksgiving 5k, I believe was measured short, and was not chip timed. Even with the run coming after the swin and bike, I'm still shooting for a time under 39:00, as this course is purported to be quite flat.


- Tonight is my last bike ride to train for the race before I box it up to take on the plane. Hopefully that operation goes well and the bike arrives fully functional on the other end of the flights to SC, and arrives on time with me. Last thing I want is to pay $100 to ship the bike only to have it either fail to arrive, or fail to arrive on time. 

- Finally swimming today. Last night it simply didn't work for my schedule. Thankfully this is a short swim, and maybe even ahead of the bike the easiest part of my training to pick back up.


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