Monday, September 21, 2009

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

No, not that one!

Poor Coach has been sounding like a broken record player lately getting me to focus on my original iron goals instead of the tantalizing one (sub-13) that came along later and preoccupied me.

It's hard for me to let go of time goals but it must be done. This weekend I did a carefree 50-mile ride with Dave that helped. We hit those nasty hills late in the Great Floridian iron course again and I didn't even look at my Garmin (obviously, as it had turned itself off when I hit a bump and didn't even record anything for miles!). Though those hills were still far from easy, knowing what to expect was HUGE. In hindsight, I really let those buggers get to me last weekend. I just couldn't believe the course would end that way. Plus, I pushed too hard on some flats shortly before them thinking they wouldn't/couldn't be as bad as the ones in the first half of the course. Wrong!

I should know better than to assume, especially with the GF race motto being "Are You Tough Enough?"

After that 50-mile ride, I ran mainly by feel and pounded out 5 mi @ 8:34 pace, a new best run off the bike in 95-96 deg heat index. And the night before I'd run 13 miles @ 9:07 pace in 91-88 degs HI (got cooler after sunset). Un-freaking-believable. Was it not me who was cursing and struggling to run in 90 degs just a few short months ago?

Next weekend I'm doing the Florida Challenge half iron tri. It's held at the same venue as the Great Floridian but with GF only 4 weeks later, it'll not be a hard racing effort for me. Just an opportunity to train on more hills and practice my pacing, nutrition and transitions in a race situation. Maybe I'll also practice some of the hill training "tips" I saw on the GF race forum:

- Remember it's also 1/2 down hill!
- Train by getting a single speed fat tire bike and do a couple centurys
- Lock your front brake for training rides.
- Switch your front and back rings
- Remember that you won't have to worry about drafting.
- Move to Switzerland for the month of September.
- Get Lite! Buy one of those balloon kits & replace one of your water bottles with the helium for you to suck on before each hill.
- Find an overpass and tie bricks to the back of your bike.
- Before it's to late send money to the FL. state officials in exchange for two loops of the flats.
- Start practicing running hills in your bike shoes?
- Go for rides wearing your full wetsuit.
- Keep tires inflated to 40 psi.
- Stuff bottom bracket with 1/4" aggregate rocks.
- Train riding 15-18% grade hills with standard (non-clipless) pedals.
- Put on a set of Power Cranks for those 15-18% grade hills.

OK, perhaps just the first one, but I think it's good to have a sense of humor about doing GF.

Much congrats to Petra on running a hard-fought Boston Marathon qualifying race time last weekend in Berlin!

27 comments:

DaveP said...

What's with the cats?

ShirleyPerly said...

Didn't have any other photos to post and these seemed to illustrate being distracted and pouncing well.

Wendy said...

You ARE tough enough!

Marlene said...

Okay, it took me a while to realize those were not SERIOUS tips! Ha!

Nice job on the ride and runs. Good luck at the "race" this weekend.

Sherry said...

It's pretty awesome to think that there's this tough, hilly little part of Florida secretly packed amongst all of this flat-land that we are so well known for. I KNOW how insane those Claremont hills can be! You are SO tough and you are going to do AWESOME!!! My friend Julie came in 2nd female overall last year at GF and she trained mostly down my way... so you are (I repeat ARE) super ready for this Shirley! So excited for you!!!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Good luck next weekend. :-)

Stef said...

YAY for your coach and for YOU for listening!!

So close now . . . . ahhh . . . . exciting!!!! I'm very excited for you Shirley and can't wait to follow you through this string of races!

Sunshine said...

Sweet Pea here loves cat pictures .. and that is a cute one.
Having a sense of humor may be the best way to approach a lot of challenges?

Meg Runs said...

I know you are tough enough! Move to Switzerland? Ha, ha!

Marci said...

I don't know if I have commented or not yet... but I love your blog, its very inspiring for a newbie triathlete like me. Good luck on your HIM this weekend!

Petraruns said...

Woah! Thanks for the shout-out there Shirley - very much appreciated. As is all of your support.

As for your own goals - your honesty is so interesting to me - both your desire to push yourself and your understanding to put some limits on it. It sounds like your coach really "gets" you and knows when to slow you down AND push you off. And then DANG girl you are running some nice paces in that heat. Can't wait for 4 weeks from now..

Shannon said...

I loved the tips!

You Rock Shirley!

lindsay said...

haha. funny that someone posted those "tips"! gotta love a good sense of humor :)

you will rock it shirley!!

Missy said...

A race director with a sense of humor, I like it!

Calyx Meredith said...

What a fun list of tips! You're going to do fantastic!

X-Country2 said...

Good luck next weekend. Sounds like you're peaking at the right time.

aron said...

good luck next weekend!!!

its so great you have a coach to just keep you focused... sometimes i just want to be TOLD what to do and not have to think so much about things! :)

Ryan said...

I like the, "its half downhill."

Keri said...

Good luck on the half ironman!

RoadBunner said...

What a funny list. I especially like the "run hills in bike shoes" one :)

EndorphinBuzz said...

Good luck at the race or should we just call it training?

Mel-2nd Chances said...

that list is pretty funny :)

Rainmaker said...

Hilarious list!

Good luck on Sunday!

TRISHARKIE (AKA Ronda) said...

There are hills in Florida? Had no idea!

Love the list...

Irish Blue said...

Good luck this weekend! And I agree, YOU ARE TOUGH ENOUGH!

Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

I hope you have a jolly good time at the half ironman tomorrow. I think your coach wants to keep you relaxed, as even without trying you will do really well. My guess 5:37. I'm not doing much training apart from an average amount of swimming, and I've put on about 10 lbs in weight. At least people are tending to say that I look strong now when in the past (as in Kona) they used to say I looked so skinny. So I guess now I will be at a slight disadvantage running or biking against the likes of you.

ShirleyPerly said...

Thanks everyone for the good luck!

Bruce: Very doubtful that I will go sub-6 at this race with the swim not being wetsuit legal, hilly bike course and 90+ deg heat. My plan is to go ironman pace and practice holding back and racing my own race. That should put me at around a 6:30, I think.