Sunday, November 02, 2008

And next up...

...well, lots, actually.

I've had two weeks to just relax, ride for fun, and run without a watch. It has been awesome. It has been much needed. I feel like I had so much to prove to myself this year--that I could do this again, and maybe that I could do it just as fast, or even faster (to which I suprised myself greatly)--that I needed a break from this, mentally, just to soak it all in.

It's been quite an amazing year.

As mentioned before, I haven't stopped moving since my 6 week checkup last November after giving birth to my son. And I was, at least for the first few months, moving out of fear. Motivated by "what if I'm never going to be able to even come close to competing with my pre-pregnancy self again?" Even though many before me tried to warn me that I'd be fine. You know, me and my head, see, we like to DO THINGS THE HARD WAY SOMETIMES.

So as the months went by and the times dropped...and dropped...and dropped again, I then was moving to see just what I could get away with. Motivated by seeing just how crazy this body was in trying to prove my head wrong. And the body won, folks. Fo' SHO.

So now I'm in the process of assessing.

5 minutes off the half marathon PR, 44 minutes of my half ironman bike split, 22 minutes off my half ironman run split, and 20 minutes off my marathon. I'm still on cloud nine. And don't really think it's fully sunk in yet.

First and foremost, I have to thank my awesome Coach Emily at Vision Quest. She put together the perfect mix of workouts to kick my butt and fit into my somewhat insane day. Thanks, Emily!

Also, I wouldn't have been able to do this without Team Evotri's other sponsors and my awesome teammates. Thank you to Zipp, CycleOps, BMC, Sram, and 2XU. I'm so lucky to be able to race with their products, and to work with each of those companies. They really are the best. Good people all around.

So now what?

Well, I've got some big ideas. I feel like this has been a breakthrough year for me, and I can definitely take it up another notch.

Here's what I'm thinking:

Sub-5:30 at New Orleans 70.3

This one is doable, but will require some intensity this winter. I need to work on my strength and flexibility, and I want to run better off the bike. My goal is a comfortable 36 minute swim, a 2:45 bike (which I did at Steelhead but that bike was a bit short), and a 1:55 run, including transitions, to come in just under 5:30. So there it is.

A Boston Qualifying Marathon: 3:40

This is, quite honestly, at the very upper end of what I'm capable of. This will most likely take a few tries. I'm thinking of going for a faster half marathon in the spring (1:45 would be ideal), and then shooting for 3:50 in a marathon, and finally hitting that 3:40. This will take several seasons. But I can do it. I just know that. It will be really, really hard, but I know I have it in me.

For Columbus, I never ran more than 38 miles in a week. I was swimming or doing a bike ride one other day so I had cross training, but my runs were intense. Lots of tempo, and pretty much EVERY run was a negative split. This was tough, but great especially for my mental game. One of the toughest runs I did was a 16-miler with 8 easy and the last 8 at race pace. I thank Coach Emily again for this, as I believe that's what led me to that crazy 8:52 for mile 24. I was ready to run tired, and it helped me a TON. So, what might I be able to do with a little higher mileage? I just wonder...

I'm ready to begin base training. I'm ready now to focus on strength flexibility. It's time to make myself even better.

Time, I think to put the watch on again. But not lose the feeling of running without it. :)


Jumper 2.0 said...

Hey, good luck there.

We have some similar goals this year! Well, not so much with the 1/2 ironman! I will do one, I imagine, but this year my focus is on the run. I too, want to Boston Qualify and it will take a couple of years. (a 3:20 marathon is what I would need).

However I plan on working on both ends. I am working on speed for the mile and 5K with some easy and long runs too!

Negative splits are hard but is there a better feeling once you've done one?

Looking forward to watching your progress.

DaisyDuc said...

Huge year for ya girl, congratulations! I am certain you still have mad potential and know you can do it!

Wes said...

Thanks for coming by and the good vibes for Ironman. I TOTALLY needed it :-) I love your goals for next year. Dream big, gurl!! You, of course, already know this!

Chris said...

I totally can't believe what an awesome year that you've had RIGHT AFTER HAVING BABY Z!! That's impressive all in its own right.

Congrats on a great season. Bigger congrats on your first successful year as a mom. Hopefully you have many, many more of both to come.

Wil said...

Well when you say comeback, clearly you mean COMEBACK. Way to nail it to the wall sister. You're going to rock the Astrodome again next year without a doubt :)

Borsch said... are ready for next year!

Those are some lofty goals, I can't wait to see how quickly you cross them off.

Triteacher said...

WOW - those numbers don't lie! AMAZING season.

And your goals? Woot!!! I especially love the BQ. I am whispering this next part -- I'm thinking of that myself. I'm not harboring fears of being slow after a pregnancy but after my accident. You give me hope that I will be back.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Viv said...

WOW you have some excting goals to work on for this winter. Reading a bit on your blog sounds like you will reach your goals :-)