Had a couple of discussions with CC... actually he really wasn't a Cranky Coach -- he told me what I needed to hear.
Ever since my skin removal, almost 6 months ago, I hoped I'd feel *different* where running was concerned. Biking and swimming feel eaiser, but running it just sucks the freakin' life out of me right now. Might have something to do with a lack of training. Doh.
Having set inappropriate expectations, my motivation dropped and I experienced a slight depression. Not like I'm-going-to-kill-myself kind of depression, just disappointed. I was somewhat realistic in that I knew it wouldn't be magical like a Unicorn, but I did expect it to feel different, better.
The last few months have been a whirlwind of travel, work and family obligations -- If I wasn't busy I was sick. I was getting sick and tired of being busy or sick. Couple that with the lack of motivation and the few opportunities I did have to make choices to train, I didn't.
There were a number of reasons ranging from, "I am just too tired", to "I better do this now, while I have the chance, because once I start training..." In between all that there was a bunch of dread and disappointment. I have the Houston Aramco Half looming over my head -- and it was causing a lot of stress knowing I felt so sh*tty running, and that I haven't made some of the best choices outside of my crazy schedule.
I kept thinking if I could just string a few weeks together I could get my routine back, but it didn't happen -- at best I did 2 weeks -- I made most of my long runs and got up to 9 miles, but it was a miserable 9. I knew that for me the best thing to do is to defer this year. I just didn't respect the distance enough to make the right choices when I could have. I feel like such a sh*tty athlete. A half marathon is a daunting distance when untrained and the thought of it just paralyzed me. I knew in my current (lack of) condition it would be u-g-l-y.
I didn't want to have the discussion with coach. I knew he'd give me a million reasons why I should do it -- Mr. Optimistic. Mr. Positive. I knew I didn't want to be talked into it, but sometimes he can be so darned compelling... that is his job though. :)
Before talking to him I did some thinking and came up with a plan. I decided that I need baby steps with running again. It has essentially been a year of very little running -- my pace, while always slow, is still off today. I can't even run the official pace cut-off time (13:45 mile) for the Half distance (another big driver in my decision not to do it). I will know I didn't race it by the rules... even there is 8 hours to finish it, you know?
So I keep asking myself, why am I jumping straight into a half marathon? I didn't do that distance when I first started running. I started with 5k's and 10k's... then halfs. I worked my way up. So I decided to use the Rodeo Run 10K as my target race.. it gives me more than another month to string together some good effort and get my routine back. Wow! It felt good to make that decision. I felt like a weight was lifted. Of course I still had to tell Coach. Which I kept putting off, until this past weekend.
He already sensed my disappointment and depression -- he just didn't know the cause. His biggest reason for wanting me to race is that he wanted me to get that event under my belt to get me back into the routine of training for something... that, and having a crappy day would light that fire under my butt. He doesn't think you can just "flip a switch" and be 100% on when it comes to training -- I think there is some truth to that, especially after you've been off for a while, like me.
I know I can flip that switch, now that I have the weight of the Half removed from my shoulders. If nothing else, I will prove him wrong. :)
There are no podium spots for runners like me and really, I am okay with that. The only thing I do have is to do better than I did last time -- which is not going to happen in for 2014. Even if I tried, I wouldn't come close.
It's a tough decision to make, to quit a race before you start -- although Coach says. "If you never start, it's not really quitting." LOL I still feel like I quit -- that's how I am. When I commit to something I go all the way -- I won't do it if I can only go half-way, you know? I am like that with most things. Having to make that decision was enough to light that fire he was looking for.
In the end the conversation was good. We also talked a lot about life dynamics when Ironman Florida training starts. He accepted and agreed with my plan, though he still thinks I should just go and "have fun" at the half, even if I had to walk it all. I just don't wanna go down that way. He was happy I had another race in mind, because then he still kind of gets his way. LOL
My training calendar is changing a bit and adding some other considerations:
FEB Rodeo Run 10K
APR 70.3 Texas - Relaying (swimming)
MAY Gulf Coast 70.3 (Panama City)
JUN Buffalo Springs 57.2 Aquabike (Tentative)
SEP Redman Full Aquabike
NOV Ironman Florida
In other news, I am happy I am going back to Masters swimming starting tomorrow morning and mad spin has started! Coach argues that I am faster than I was, so here's weight off my shoulders and getting my training routine going to find this speed he says is there. :)