Monday, May 19, 2008

Race Week: Madison Half Marathon

Well the first meaningful race of the season is upon is. And, the first of what will be 3 races in 4 weeks. Finally, game is on.

We've been over the plan for the race - obliterate the old PR of 1:58ish. What does obliterate mean? I'm not really sure, which feels like a cop-out. I'd like to say "1:45" or something, but I don't want to get hung up on specific numbers that might sabotage an otherwise well-planned day. The goals are: 3 miles easy. In training, that's generally meant around 8:30/mi. My primary objective will be to not go out too fast those first 3 miles and get caught up in race-day adrenaline. I think I'll probably situate myself, a la my girl TriSaraTops (speaking of PR obliteration...), with the 3:40 marathon pacers. If they're rolling too hard for me, or even too easy, then I'll go my own way - just keeping those first 3 miles easy and comfortable, no worry about pace. I'll plan to ratchet up the next 7 miles to under 8:30. Again, I'll see how I feel - if I can roll at 8:15, I will - but I want to avoid pushing too hard and blowing up. That'll actually be an important part of the ongoing strategery of the day - exceeding my training paces, but not getting too fired up and blowing it the last 3-5 miles. I hope to kind of ride the razor's edge a little bit there. The last 3 miles - we'll see. If I'm comfortable where I'm at, I'll stay. I hope to tighten the rope just a bit more, though, and finish strong.

A note about the PR thing - I'm not really a numbers guy (check that: I'm obsessive about numbers, but I'm not out there to achieve some magical number or place or time - I do that only when it's fun or adds to the competitive nature of me, but triathlon is not for me the means to that end), but this race, and hopefully the entire season (see my Chasing Sevens ongoing - and so far futile - saga of trying to finish a damn 5k with a 7:00/mile pace or faster...), I'm training in such a way so as to see how fast I can go in a race. That's the point of all this training, and I have specific races that will be the proving grounds for that training. So when I talk about obliterating my PR, I suppose I really mean, "execute as the training has prepared me for." That's all I want to do out there - just execute like I know I can. If I do that, the PR will come.

Meanwhile, I'm feeling all that skittishness that a taper of any sort influences in me - all fat and lazy and slow, just because my mileage is intentionally down a bit over the last 2 weeks. Not that my workouts haven't been good - they have been, including my 25 minute continuous swim (before they kicked me to the pool late - but at least I got to the pool! Huzzah!) and my 26 mile easy ride today. Just, when you back off high mileage like I'm used to - well, you know how it is. Just makes a guy a little crazy. Really, really looking forward to Sunday.

Couple of shout outs before I sign off - as I said TriSaraTops shredded the Half Mary at the Cleveland Marathon this weekend - seriously, if I can facsimile her day over here on Sunday, I'll be a happy dude. Erin and Krista cruised through the Half at the Green Bay Marathon this last weekend (and E is rolling Madison 13.1 this weekend, and K 26.2 - that's kickass), and my man Brazo rocked his first Xterra in Michigan last weekend. JLT Represent! Great great work everybody, seriously. I love that you cats are my friends.

Coming up later this week: A sneak-peek at something I've been working on (geez if a brotha could get some time), some music by request, and a Favorite Things post about Headsweats, which was not on my head today (as it usually is) for my ride and I hated life without it. Stay tuned.


Team Brazo said...

Looking forward to hearing about your race -- no doubt you'll be much below your PR.

I understand the "not about the numbers" thing. I really don't care about my time, but as long as I'm doing it -- lets try my best and see what happens. One reason that I really enjoy doing tri's is the fact that if you select different races, then you can never really compare time -- so that makes finishing hard my only goal.

Enjoy the taper...

TriSaraTops said...

Thanks for the shout-out!

And thanks for using the word "strategery." Makes me think of an SNL with President Bush. Hee hee!

I've got a good feeling for you this weekend, my friend! Try not to go to nutso during taper and have some obliteration on that course!

Krista said...

I'm pumped for this weekend! Thanks for the shout-out, and for the encouragement - I'll need it!

I'll see you in Madison. We'll all kick its ass.

Erin said...

What Krista said. And then we'll have brats and beer after. Only in Wisco!

Alili said...

Go after it XT! Thanks for the encouragement BTW:)

marathon2tri said...

Now that's a race plan! If you can keep your HR in Zone 3, low Zone 4 to mile 10, then let it rip.....your Connecticut contingent will be cheering for you!

Pharmie said...

Good luck! I'll be expecting an awesome race report. You never disappoint!