As I type this Tuesday night, I have only one more scheduled competition this calendar year. Since my last Training Tuesday post, I’ve been busy with a wide variety of things, some of which actually involve training. Rather than an exhaustive and boring list of all the stuff I’ve done, let me summarize: one road race, two half-marathons, and one powerlifting meet.
- The first race was the Monte Sano 15K, a road race at Monte Sano State Park. It was mildly hilly, but very cloudy, with maybe 200’ ceilings and lots of low fog. Cool and humid conditions made for a pretty fast course. I ran the 15K in 1:27:36, which was a good time for me on that distance, plus I got a very cool neon-yellow running shirt. Winning!
- The next weekend I flew to Chattanooga for the Four Bridges Half Marathon. I had the boys that weekend, and Tom was working, so I ended up getting up at 0330 to fly myself to the Chattanooga airport, where the superb staff at Wilson Air loaned me a car. The race was a blast: the weather could not have been nicer, the course was lovely, there were plenty of water/potty stops on the course, and the runners and crowd were both enthusiastic. The only blemish on the day was that the volunteers who laid out the half-marathon course accidentally cut about 0.5 miles off it, so I ended up with not quite a half-marathon PR, running 12.5mi in 1:53:29. However, getting to fly to and from the race helped make up for it. As a bonus, the finishers’ medal had a unique misspelling, making it slightly more collectible than I’d expected.
- In early November, I flew to Atlanta to compete in the USAPL “Powerlifting for Pink” meet. My performance here was nothing to brag about; I missed two of my three squats and all three bench attempts, mostly due to poor focus. Turns out you really have to pay attention to the judges’ commands. However, I deadlifted well, I had fun with Dana, and I learned a ton that will help me in my future meets.
- For my birthday, I’d planned a trip to run Rocketman but the logistics just weren’t going to work, so I ran the Huntsville Half Marathon instead. I didn’t do a lot of race preparation beforehand, and it showed; I ran it in 2:07:49, which was nearly 8 minutes faster than my previous half-marathon but about 0:30/mi off the pace in Chattanooga. I have no idea why. After the race, my legs were much more sore than they were after Chattanooga, too.
One of the lessons I am slowly starting to learn is that I’m not always going to set a PR every time I step up to the starting line or platform. There’s still a large gap between what I feel like I should be able to do and what I can actually do, but the gap is getting smaller, both as I adjust my expectations and as I become more capable.
As things stand right now, the Hobbs Island 10K will probably be my last race of the season; there are a few scattered triathlons before the end of the year, but I don’t think it will be feasible for me to run any of them. The good news is that I’ve already started picking my 2016 events and will be working with my coach to build a training plan accordingly. It’s going to be a busy winter!