Monday, August 24, 2009

Go big or go home!

August 22 has come and gone and I am not yet registered. In fact, today is the last day I can register online at the regular fee for the triathlon races in Ottawa Sept. 5.

I'm still sitting on the fence and can't figure out for which race to register ... the Sprint or the Half Iron. Frankly, I'm not ready for either.

Today I ran 15k, hip and bunions hurt, but I pushed through and finished strong. I actually visualised running the entire half marathon distance (even though I ran 6k short) and instead of running it at a regular LSD (long slow distance) pace, I picked up the pace and let it hurt more than I wanted, but not enough to cause injury. I needed to test my physical and mental toughness of what it might feel like after swimming 2k, biking 90k then running 21k.

Let's check out the pros and cons of each distance:

SPRINT TRIATHLON

Pros
- Costs less than the Half Ironman.
- Takes less time than the Half Ironman.
- Found out today that the bike is actually 30k and not 20k, which is more common ... so I'm liking the longer distance :-)
- Though my training has been inconsistent, I've for sure done enough mileage.
- This will make me step out of my comfort zone of endurance racing and maybe I'll discover that I'm not as slow as I think.
- The pressure to be speedy freaks me out!
- The pace required is never described by the word "comfy".

Cons
- I have to push myself at my maximum throughout the entire race.
- I haven't done any speedwork. I suck at transitioning and this part is super important in a short race.
- I have to push so hard that I will actually be on the verge of being out of breath all the time and my muscles will BURN BURN BURN. I will HURT HURT HURT!

HALF IRONMAN

Pros
- I'm very comfortable with endurance races, I know I can finish. A lot of the endurance race is in the head.
- I was just as badly prepared for Ironman Louisville last year and I managed to finish without crawling over the finish line.
- The HIM is a less popular distance than a Sprint, so knowing that, I can feed my Endurance Triathlete Ego ;-) Yes, I like owning a HIM finisher's medal more than a Sprint (but best is the IM medal!)
- I like when I can get into a groove and relax into a consistent pace, which is almost zen-like, 'cept when it hurts ... but then it all becomes surreal when it REALLY HURTS, though still painful.
- There is less pressure to be Speedy-Gonzales during transitions. I'll be racing for seven hours so what difference will a few minutes make? I ain't gonna be winning ...

Cons
- More expensive than the Sprint tri.
- I haven't done enough mileage or consistent training to do this distance!
- I'm sure I am underestimating how much I am going to SUFFER! I might be limp-running-walking during the last half of the run leg.
- I haven't done any open water swimming yet this year ... will I remember how?

Oh, oh, oh! Decisions, decisions, decisions ...

But as my friend TP said, "Go big or go home!" I feel like I've been challenged. It's true, I've never been one to do things in a "small way" ... Hmmm ... I'm gonna sit on the fence just a bit longer ... Maybe I'll just have to see how training goes this week and pay the late online fee.

This is a hard choice, I'm an endurance athlete, but maybe just once, I should play it safe?

Labels: , , , ,

4 Comments:

Blogger Véronique said...

From your pro's and con's, I feel like the sprint is going to be a bigger challenge for you (RACING!) so I vote for "sprint". It is also less ricky for your hip.
My two cents!

10:08 a.m.  
Blogger Silly Sally said...

Yes, you hit the nail on the head ... I'm totally crap at racing (speed freaks me out!) and have always been happy to just complete. It's interesting how my comfort zone lies in endurance races rather than in short zippy ones ... sigh.

Vero, what's your favourite distance?

12:25 p.m.  
Blogger Véronique said...

It is my first triathlon season. And I had to LEARN to swim and it is also my first cycling season so I only did sprint distance so far (doing my first olympic in three weeks!).

But I love long distance. We are very different in the sense that I absolutely LOVE marathon training, the long runs and the high mileage. It is my favorite distance to train. Half-marathon would be my favorite distance to race. This season because of an ITB issue and a convincing coach, I did mostly short races and I gained a lot of speed. I too thought I was a slow, "one-speed" kind of person (I would actually be able to predict a 5K race time by my 5K split in a half-marathon..!) but not anymore at all. I find that I am very good a short distance with this "new-acquired speed". But to be honest, I am mostly looking forward to see how this will translate in my longer distance speeds!

I LOVE long distance, this is absolutely what I prefer but I am glad I agreed to "short distance racing" so that I gain speed and be able to run even longer/farther for the same amount of time.

Long comment, sorry!

7:51 a.m.  
Blogger Silly Sally said...

Hey, I believe in dreaming big, Veronique ... I got over my fear of water and learnt to swim, started biking again (road bike this time!)and did Ironman my first tri season. If you can dream it, you can do it.

If I had your discipline, I'd be quicker. My friends want me to train to qualify for Boston. I'd rather get to Kona (even through the lottery!)

Kudos to your discipline. Now go dream big and sign up for Ironman next year ;-) I know you want to.

p.s. I actually like marathon training, the long runs ... just my painful bunions don't :(

11:11 a.m.  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home