Wednesday, October 6, 2010

If you haven't got anything nice to say....

...don't say anything at all?

That's what my dear departed daddy always used to say.

OK, it's not like my life has sucked for the last 6 weeks since the Apple triathlon - far from it. I'm back to school, have a great class, and good friends, I'm enjoying Erik's retirement as much as he is, and the fall weather has been gorgeous - what's not to like?

It's just that this blog mainly focuses on my training, and whenever I'm in a training funk and/or struggling with injuries, which tends to be a lot of the time, I find it harder to blog without sounding like a big freaking whiner.

And how many times do you REALLY need to read about my shins? I mean seriously? You all post and comment and say super nice supportive things when they are messed up, and then you get all excited and happy and "yay, it's finally over" when they're good, and then they get effed up again. I'm sure you are running out of things to say. I don't blame you.

And so I haven't blogged.

At any rate, here's the update and my race plan, for what it's worth.

Update since August 23

As usual, after my last race (Apple Triathlon), my shins hurt. It happens after every race, and quite often, after any run faster than a 10 min mile. So I did a test run about 4 days after the race, and they hurt enough that coach benched me for 10-14 days and said I had to pool run or do the elliptical. I opted for the elliptical because I actually enjoy doing it, as opposed to pool running, which you know I despise.

I hit the gym about 3 times a week for longer and longer elliptical sessions for two weeks until I was totally sick to death of the elliptical. 1:45 is bordering on cruel and unusual punishment, but it was integral to keep my fitness level up and do SOMETHING that simulated running without the pounding. I usually did intervals which helped to make the time go faster.

Two weeks later, in mid September, I got to try a gentle run. It felt ok. So I tried a longer run (1:30 on the weekend) and all went well. For the next two weeks, I had to really baby my shins, as they were always on the verge of trouble. If I ran long, I had to take 3 days off before I ran again. If I ran faster than an 11 min mile, I had to rest for several days. I was able to get two 90 minute long runs in during that time and then suddenly, it was already time to taper for the half marathon.

Tapering with almost no training in a month. Interesting. I feel like my endurance is suffering because at the end of the "long" runs, I am slowing down and I'm not sure if I'd be able to run for another hour if I had to. And so, once again, I am entering a race with a big question mark over my head.

Ya know, for once, I'd like to do the training and not be quasi-injured, and actually be able to race in top form. That has not happened since my very first triathlon, 3 years ago.

So - Victoria. We have our B&B booked for Saturday and Sunday night. We have reservations for the ferry, and a house sitter booked. We should arrived in Victoria just in time to be able to pick up our race package before 6pm. We will likely hook up with our ultra runner friend Carlos, the Jackal, and we'll drive the race course, check into our B&B, and get a light dinner.

Erik's 8k race starts at 7:15 am Sunday, and mine, 2 blocks away at 7:30. I am hoping to see him off but nobody will be there to take photos of us so, oh well...

Pacing plan: Coach and I talked on Skype tonight about how I should approach this race. In a perfect world, I could maintain a 6:15/km pace (10 min mile) for the entire race and come in around 2:15. However, the course is rolling and I haven't run a lot of hills. It could be raining, and I haven't run in the rain. It could be cold. I have no idea what to expect. But we've decided that I'll start out at a 6:45 pace, which is about a 10:40 mile, and hold that for about 10 miles if I can. And then, if I'm feeling good, I'll push the last 5 km. I have absolutely no idea if I can do that, but I sure want to.

The interesting thing is this - my shins will not likely be a problem DURING the run if I rest this week. And since I haven't had any problems (KNOCK ON WOOD) with my ITB for the past month and I'm now beginning to think that's because I haven't been riding my bike. (Interesting aside, I've always thought running caused my ITB problems but now I'm starting to think that's not the case). It was my ITB that caused my slow 2:58 run at the Oliver Half Iron last June. So - if I can run the half without shin or ITB pain, and I tape up my PTT nicely, the only thing to slow me down would be fatigue. That's a serious possibility since I haven't trained long for awhile, but it's a problem that could be overcome mentally.

So Sunday may become a test of my mental endurance. And that sounds more painful than shin splints. LOL...

Bring it on - I'm ready. :)

For those of you who are curious, the Good Life Victoria Marathon (formerly the Royal Victoria Marathon) will be streaming live finish line video for the first time this year. If it works, you can find the video here or here.

And I will attempt to embed it here.

The earliest I could finish would be in 2:15 - about 9:45 am, but I won't be starting near the front so it could take me 5 mins to reach the starting line (me and 6800 of my closest friends). More likely, I'll be crossing the finish line between 10:00 and 10:15 am and maybe even as late as 10:30. But who the hell knows. :)

Erik, by the way, should be done his 8km race in close to 42 minutes, putting his finish line time just after 7:55. I don't know what time they start the video, but check it out if you are up and about early Sunday morning. :)

Oh, by the way, Erik's bib #13641 and mine is #6292

Race Results can be found here.

See you on the other side!


lisaannr said...

Enjoy the race, it's a beautiful course. I'll cross my fingers for some nice (decent?) weather for you and your 6800 friends. ;)

Jennifer said...

You can do it, Barb!

There will also be results posted live at with a 10K split time for the half.

Ian Chitson said...

Hey! Don't put a downer on yourself. You have a great popular blog and sharing the downs as well as the up's is what it's all about. We're a funny breed us runners but seem very supportive to one another. Keep up the good work and if you want to whine about your shins, then you have a whine...It's your blog!