Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Miscellaneous thoughts

Because I am a five-year-plan type person and am having a morning of to-do lists that will not otherwise be reflected here...

2007: fall marathon, injury permitting--New York if I get a spot in the lottery, Philadelphia if not. In the meantime, lots of swimming and biking as cross-training & skill-building but no non-run-related racing (unless an irresistible triathlon opportunity pops up--but I still don't even have a bike!). Various half-marathons and shorter races, including the 9 ones I will need to guarantee a spot in the 2008 New York marathon. I have signed up for a 10K next weekend to get a start on that--it's been making me crazy having to wait for my stress fracture to get better, but I think it's finally OK. I will be slower than I was in the fall, which is annoying but unavoidable; I'll aim for a 9:15 pace, but if I can get down closer to 9:00 it will make me happier.

2008: 4-5 sprint and Olympic-distance triathlons (and another marathon in the fall if I can, plus a couple of half-marathons and shorter races as it suits).

2009: half-Ironman!

And after that I will decide if I want to do a full one...

It actually all seems pretty attainable, the thing I like about this endurance training stuff is that it's kind of just a matter of putting in the time and you get the results. It was a great swimming clinic last night--it's Level II, now, and definitely more hard-core, which is what I like--a serious work-out. I was the only woman, and I think also the only person who hasn't done any triathlons yet--a couple of the other guys were training for full-length Ironman races this summer. And the thing was that I did do one less set of the last thing we did, I am just kind of a slower swimmer still than these guys, but I am definitely not in a different universe of swimming from them, it's more a matter of building up endurance & keeping working on skills & stuff but on some things I am perfectly on a par, and on kicking perhaps better. So this is all good, if they can do it I definitely can! I am getting a bike as soon as I've finished grading and done enough novel revision to justify an afternoon off--I'm hoping later next week sometime...


  1. Oooooh -- if only I could work swimming into my life, I'd be SO tempted to train for triathlons. I so love endurance work. And I love big long projects that take years. I'd need more time in my life though (or more energy and focus). This plan sounds so wonderful. I know what you mean about being slower but not in a different universe from the guys -- I've had that experience a lot, and over time, I find myself beating those guys now and then.

  2. I am dazzled. And jealous. You are a model of what can be accomplished in a life with no children!! I was just thinking this morning as I finished a quick run about maybe moving up my next marathon from my current ten year plan. Which is interesting, because a few months ago I was thinking about how I had absolutely no desire to run another marathon.

  3. Sure, you have to put in your training time, but it's your iron will that's going to get you across the finish line. It's all about determination and unwillingness to give up (in my humble opinion).

    Have you read Alfre Lansing's "Endurance?" It's not exactly an extreme sports narrative (It's about Shackleton's mission to the South Pole), but it tells a great story of what happens when people are pushed past their physical limits. Also, "Touching the Void," by Joe Simpson, about his miraculous survival after a mountain climbing accident. I had trouble getting through the book (lots of technical mountaineering lingo), but the documentary movie version is worth renting. It had some amazing interview footage with the author talking about his absolute refusal to give up, even after he lost 1/3 of his body weight, his femur was sticking out of his thigh, and he was in frank renal failure.

  4. Becca, you have to run another marathon sooner than ten years, there is no reason to wait so long! And we will have some good long runs together sometime not long from now I hope...

    Dorothy, once I have this summer of bike-riding under my belt, and then really do some proper training next spring and early summer, I am going to invite myself up to your neck of the woods to come on a long ride, one of those group ones that you do! I've got a friend here who's a serious cyclist & sometime triathlete who's going to give me some coaching this summer, and really for the months to come I'm just going to put in a lot of hours getting acclimated, but next summer I'm going to get serious and do LONG FAST RIDES! I love reading your cycling posts, always very inspiring...

  5. Nomad, thanks for the recs, that is exactly the kind of book I love! (I mean, one of the kinds!) I agree with you on the iron will thing, I was just thinking about that last night--I would not have believed how much it was mind over matter, but I feel certain that mind really helps more than the non-athlete can possibly imagine--that's what it says in the "Triathlete's Training Bible" by Joe Friel at any rate, a book that is currently occupying the prize position in the part of the bed that I don't actually sleep in...