Ready for Bloomsday! (or is “?” more appropriate?)

The fortieth Bloomsday is this coming Sunday. It’ll be my third. After completing the last two, I’ve proclaimed “Next year I will be twenty pounds lighter and twenty minutes faster!” Perhaps that will happen with the forty-first Bloomsday… I’m not complaining. Last year, I was focused on training for Titanium Man. An Olympic-distance triathlon was a huge endeavor for me. Training for an endurance event requires a lot of fuel, and an athlete can improve performance or lose weight. It is possible to do both, but that requires dialing in one’s nutrition to an extent I wasn’t able to do. In reality, I wasn’t trying to do both. I love food, and I didn’t want eating to become a chore. Also, I wasn’t working with a nutritionist. For me to train to that level and lose weight during the same season, I would need to have a coach and a nutritionist who were working together. While I’d love that, I can’t afford it. I also have to admit I lack sufficient interest in the idea to even attempt to have the discipline to try it.

I ran the Spring Into Summer 5K last Saturday. I was hoping for a 5K PR. When I ran that race two years ago, I got my first – and still only – age group award: I came in 3rd in my age group. Although I pushed myself, I still walked for a minute every half-mile or so. I thought I’d done well, but I was disappointed to discover I was slower in 2016 than I’d been in 2014.

Upon reflection, I can understand why. First, I haven’t done any strength training. Strength training = speed; there’s no escaping that. (Strength training also means stronger connective tissue, leading to fewer injuries.) Second, although I’m lighter weight than I was two years ago, it’s probably only a few pounds. It doesn’t matter if I’m 20% body fat or 50% body fat – 175 pounds is 175 pounds. It takes the same amount of effort to propel a fat 175-pound runner as it does to propel a fit 175-pound runner. Finally, I’ve spent the last six months training for half-marathons. I’ve done intervals and speed work, but I’ve not tried to run  five km at an all-out pace. I’m more comfortable in an endurance-pace groove.

If I want to be a fast 5K runner, I need to train to run 5Ks fast. I think I’ll stick with 10Ks, and accept that I’m a slowpoke at 5Ks.

I was supposed to run intervals last night. I skipped it. I wanted to get home and some work done around the house. In retrospect, it was a good idea. I’ve added some glute work to my routine, and I currently feel like a horse kicked me in the ass. Training on tired muscles is great, but not the week before a race. Tomorrow’s run is 3-4 miles at an easy pace. I’m looking forward to it. I may go over to Chamna. I have an easy, 20-minute jog on the calendar for Friday, and that’s it for the runs.

All in all, I feel ready for Bloomsday. I know I will have to walk the first mile or two. I will use my 4/1 run/walk ratio. I may be slower than the last two years. But I’ll have fun, and I’ll have enough energy to smile big for the cameras when I cross the finish line.

My training for Race the River starts the next day. I’ll move Wednesday’s scheduled bike workout to Monday, and do Monday’s run Tuesday morning. I’m using a sprint tri training plan from Garmin Connect. I’m a little scared going it alone after working with a coach last year, but this will be a good test of my ability to detect over-training. If I can’t figure that out, there’s no way I can train for the Badger Mountain Challenge 50K.

The conference will be a drag, I’m sure. But it’s two days out of the office, and it’s always nice to visit Spokane on someone else’s dime. I’m not happy that the Davenport Grand doesn’t have refrigerators in its rooms. I’ll be bringing along a cooler for my own food so I don’t have to buy breakfast each morning. No pool and no fridge. Yep, I’ll be lodging my complaints with the conference organizers.

Enough of that, though. I’ll be riding my bike home tonight. And that will make me happy. 🙂

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