Sunday, November 27, 2016

Grant Park Turkey Trot {2016}

Spoiler alert, I got a finishers medal!

Wednesday we went to BeerFriendsThanksgiving. It was full of great people and amazing beers. Bourbon county vertical back to 2006, WUT!?

Thursday morning we had mimosas and quiche and treated the pup to some turkey and mashed potatoes. He was super thankful.

Friday morning CB wanted to see the Chicago Christmas tree, so we ran up Michigan Ave so we could take a selfie with it.

Later on Friday, we went to Goose island and drank a lot of Bourbon County Stout. Coffee, Prop and Rare were amazing as expected. But, made waking up Saturday morning a hard sell for the race.

I had low low low expectations on Saturday morning. Originally I wanted to give a decent effort and see where I was at with my fitness, but post 3 days of holiday drinking and over indulgences, I just decided to run. Without a warmup, I took off running in Grant Park and felt alright.

First Mile 7:03 Whoa flying! Felt decent.

Second Mile 7:23 Still flying but feeling hot and over dressed but starting to feel sick.

Third Mile 7:53 C'mon, my Garmin *must* be wrong. No way I've slowed down this much. Get to next corner- Garmin still must be *off.* Feeling more and more nauseous with each step.

.10 trotted in the finish at a blazing 7:46 pace and was happy to be done.

Photo from 2013's race. Because race recaps need an "action shot"

Finished in 23:17. 4th AG. I'm surprised I ran as fast as I did given how absolutely shitty I felt in the morning.

I learned that bourbon county stout and cherry pie (my breakfast) only fuels enough for 1.5 miles. Lesson learned.

We met up with some other MRC'ers for a quick photo and then proceeded to get some Lagunitas beer at the beer van.

And then I decided I'm done "racing" for 2016, especially when I haven't been training for a particular distance. It's just not worth the $ or effort.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Races and Accomplishments

I got this in the mail a few days ago:

I almost had forgotten that I placed the order for the display at the expo the day before the IM. It was the first time I ever purchased something like this from a race. (I don't display my medals anywhere). When I opened the package It brought back all the feels from the past year. I'm so proud of myself for setting and completing the goal of "Finish an Ironman." I'm so happy I was able to train and make it to the start, and finish injury free.

And then I started reflecting on past races and started having mixed emotions about them. I thought about my BQ at the Carmel Marathon and didn't feel particularly proud of that race. Yes, I achieved my goal of a BQ on my 4th attempt in 4 years after coming so close 3 times, but my training was shit. I could have done better. I was super surprised at the outcome of that race.

Looking back at many (if not all) of my races, I feel like I could have done better at training. (Race execution generally was on point). Not like I'm trying to have super significant gains in times and Not like I would quit alcohol entirely, eat 100% clean and devote myself to a hobby where I pay to play- but instead be more moderate with everything - and not bailing on workouts when I'm lazy would make me happier with future race results... I like getting better, I want to continue to improve for as long as I can. Achieving a time goal in a race which Ive put in the work for is something that makes me feel proud, or accomplished for any distance. Tangible results.

Training totals from the day I registered for the IM through race day. 10/20/15 to 9/11/16

Even with the Ironman, I felt like I could have done a bit better with training- mainly train on hills and run more (I'll remember those changes for next time) but I know there's no way I could have skimped on training and completed the distance upright. It was a challenge I worked my ass off for, and I finished. I'm proud of this accomplishment. I think that's what spurred these feelings- that I had to put in the work to be successful at the IM. There was no way I could have "winged it" on race day.

I read {this article} recently and it got me thinking of how so many people on social media are so "obsessed" with running/triathlons/working out, yet don't have a fraction of the dedication of the guy in the article. All talk and no action. So much wasted time and energy which is easy to get caught up in. I know I've spent too much time obsessing over a freaking hobby over the past few years and have spent thousands of dollars to be mediocre in a race (for my goals/standards) all for a medal and t-shirt that never get looked at again.

I try not to take myself too seriously with my exercise lifestyle. I stop and take photos of the scenery during each outdoor run. It makes me happy. Sometimes I run, sometimes I cycle, sometimes I lift weights, sometimes I spend my disposable income on races. I like being active. I'm just noticing a huge shift in my thinking regarding training and races lately. Achieving modest time goals I've arbitrarily set for myself in races through solid training is important for me. First and foremost, my goal is to have fun at whatever I'm doing.

I think it's good to have a balance that works for your lifestyle- I'm always trying to find that and think I'm finally getting closer.

CB agrees.