Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Running: My One True Love

Thoughts as to my 2012 plans have been swimming around in my head for some time.  I've already made some rather drastic changes all in an effort to best position myself to get faster.  To sum up:

1. I significantly cut back time volunteering in the running community, at least through running itself.  Most of what I do now is behind the scenes and balanced in such a way that I can get runs in without doing them at ungodly hours.  It gives me more physical time to run, to be able to focus on my training, and to actually get some sleep.

2. I forced myself to cut back on racing, holding steadfast to signing up for only 2 races a month, and as much as possible, spreading them out.  I train to train and race to race, that's the mantra for this year.  Though I won't exactly cut back mileage for every race I do, I won't train through every single one either.

3. I carefully constructed a coherent and well thought out training plan based on all my observations from December 2009 to the present.  Through that time, I've learned how much I can handle, how long I can peak, what it takes to burn out, and what it takes to be sharp.  This plan is designed to deliver me to Boston ready, sharp, and peaked.

I've eliminated unknowns and really decided to refocus.  It's been great that I've felt so fresh since taking an easy December.  I've raced really well for having done barely any workouts (two 16:44 5Ks and a 27:01 5 miler).  And, any lingering issues I've had are fading (minus an ingrown toenail that is being fixed ASAP).

Now as I stand over my training schedule and look to Boston for the third year in a row (with hopes of getting there for the first time), I see the bike miles I have planned and wonder.  I don't know how I'll respond to the bike on top of the running.  I know the running will work, but the bike is still very new, and very unknown.  I also know that there is no way I can get myself into equivalent cycling shape.  I have neither the time nor the desire, not to mention it would have to come at the cost of running.  For the 5 or 6 duathlons I participated in last year, I only encountered two legit runners, the rest were all fodder on foot who made fodder of me on the bike.  In my heart, I know I'm just a runner anyway.

So here I stand, leaning heavily to just shelving the bike completely at least until after Boston and focusing on just running, my one and only true love (14 years...there is nothing else I've associated with for that long!).  I originally figured the bike would be my mileage check, keeping me from overdoing it.  But, I've clearly learned enough to stick to the plan and keep the mileage and racing reasonable without another sport running interference.

I already backed off of going after the triathlon because going from drowning in a pool to swimming a few laps would take way too much work, at the cost of running.  Just as I look at the bike of "getting in the way" of running, I thought the same thing about going into the tri.  To get better at running I have to dedicate myself fully; it is clearly getting harder and I have to stay on top of my game.  Getting into anything else will only hurt my running because of where I've ended up.

No decisions are final, but at the end of the day, I'm only going to be between the ages of 25-30 once and I don't know if I want to spend them chasing after people on a bike when I have big hopes and dreams for running.

1 comment:

  1. My two cents:

    When you're training for a marathon, particularly one as big and important as Boston, don't worry about the bike. The nice thing is, it's not even enjoyable to be outside on the bike until after Boston anyway! So that should help squash the urge.

    And you're right, you're only 25-30 once. Most of these dudes in triathlon are over 30. Get your running to a point you're content, and then when you've accomplished what you feel good with, move on. You'll always be one of the fastest bipeds in a triathlon or duathlon, so that's a huge weapon for you. You'll be able to back off running, and focus on the other areas, and not feel like you're neglecting anything.

    Plus, nobody races duathlons anyway.