Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Pie Training

Pie? Did someone say pie???

This may sound funny but I am more nervous about the 10K than I have been about my marathons or iron tris. There's so much more time during a long race to settle down, get into a groove and even fix things if they don't go right at first. To me, there's more reliance on endurance, my strength, and less on guts and speed, which don't come easy for me. Some may disagree but here's how I view long races vs. short races (Other includes nutrition, weather, luck, etc.):

To improve as an athlete, though, I need to be eating more red and yellow pieces. Any more blue pieces would be like just eating more "fat". It may taste good but it's not going to help me meet my goals. Bringing out more racing guts and speed is mostly mental for me. That is, I know I have some but they're tucked away deep behind some big mental barriers. This week I experimented with a few things to try to break them down.

#1 - Run for your life

Hearing the about Chelsea King's recent murder, I was reminded about Nicole Ganguzza, another young woman who was slain while running on a popular bike path near where I live, and the two times I've been nearly attacked too. You want motivation to run fast? Run past where Nicole's body was found four times and remind yourself how fast you ran when chased by a crazy naked guy and a hooded villain on a bicycle. Not the most pleasant of thoughts but effective for last Thursday's run:

6 mi, get faster every 2: 7:46, 7:54, 7:30, 7:30, 7:09, 7:03
7:29 avg, AHR 172. A solid solo run for me!

#2 - Ride like a roadie

Established group rides can often be very intimidating to newcomers with other riders (mostly guys) all decked out in their fancy kits (club/team uniforms), $$$$ bikes and legs of sinewy steel. Dave and I showed up at an Eastside Cycling Club (ESCC) group ride for the first time last Saturday. Dave looks like a strong rider and fit in right away. Me? I'm sure some of the guys there were probably thinking "Who's this little chickadee? I think we'll eat her for lunch." The A (fast) & B (not as fast) groups started off riding together but then split up on this one stretch of road. Dave was up ahead with the A riders and I got stuck back with a few Bs. When it became my turn to pull, though, Dave just got done with his pull and was now in the back of the A group ahead and sort of lagging to see if we'd catch up. That was just the motivation I needed. I pulled at 23+mph to get the groups back together and then hung on for dear life. Note to self: Do this more often!

#3 - Swim fast or freeze

The lake looks harmless enough but it's hiding a dark secret. No, no lurking gators, amoebas, Lochness monsters or other open water nastiness. The water is just cold, really COLD! And it'd have to be in the mid-90's for two straight weeks for lakes to get even close to 70 so we'll probably have mid to high 50 deg water temps at the Gator Half Iron next weekend too. In other words, get used to it, Princess. I mentioned in my last post trying to find a neoprene swim cap. Unfortunately, I couldn't find one of the cool ones below:

But then again, I'd have to wear a swim cap over it during the tri ... So I settled on a plain "hot head" that I got from a local dive shop.

I know it looks dorky as hell but all swim caps do on me. The important thing was that I got my butt (and head) into that cold water after the group ride to lead some tri newbies on their first-ever open water swim. Did you think I would do it on my own? Man, I tell ya, if you want motivation to swim fast, cold water will do it. If you swim slow, your hands will go numb!

After a long brick (bike-run) workout on Sunday I rewarded myself with another cold dip. This time no "hot head" worn as it was just for my legs. Who needs an ice bath when your backyard pool is 52 degrees!?!

But my legs are feeling good and I think I'm as ready as can be for my 10K on Saturday. Thank you everyone for your advice and input!


Marlene said...

I love the pie charts and your analogy - definitely book-marking.

Great job braving the cold water (that would be a hot tub in Ontario, hehehe)

Kristi said...

Awww....I was expecting a fantastic new 'recovery' pie recipe or something. Pie....mmmmm.

Um, the whole jogger abducted/you being chased thing is really scary. Be careful out there!

Best of luck at the 10k....I'm sure you will do fantastic....you're speedy!

DaveP said...

Or my personal favorite, "She has the key to the house and I need to keep her in sight so I can get in to the house before she leaves for her run". It's what keeps me going.

Jennifer Neu said...

I really love your pie chart! You just have to remember that all the guts you need to run a 10k you already have. Think of the race as a treat to yourself - an "easy" run. Enjoy the fact that you are running less than an hour! If your worried about getting warmed up, do an easy mile or 2 before the race to get yourself moving. Your a fast runner and I wish i could run some of your times. Enjoy and have a great race. Also take care - that's scary that you have been almost attacked and other runners have been murdered!

Formulaic said...

Getting attacked twice is enough to make you want to quit running or carry mace.

It's a good thing that you are so aware and can handle yourself. Yet another reason why you rock!

ShirleyPerly said...

Oh, you can be sure I carry pepper spray with me on my runs. But awareness is definitely the first line of defense. Hopefully I'll never have to use my last resort, my martial arts.

MarathonChris said...

You are going to do great! See you on Saturday!

Rainmaker said...

I think you need to make it a priority to find and wear one of those funny lookin' caps. Take the pie charts and re-arrange them with 'Find better swim cap' in there somehow. :)

Missy said...

Everyone looks like a dork with those freakin neoprene caps on ... but I like the princess cap!

Now I want some pie, thanks a lot.

Missy said...

PS short races scare the hell out of me too!

jen said...

That pie chart is brilliant!

Based on that 6 mile speed run, you are going to CRUSH this 10k!

Have fun with it! :)

Lisa said...

I love the pie charts!!!!!!

Maria said...

What a great post, I love the pie analogy, although I have to be careful with food analogies because they just make me hungry. Congrats on getting your butt and head in the cold water!


I haven't been in the water since IMFL and had my first real chance down here in Puebla Mexico on business.
Outdoor lap pool around 65F
Guess what? I chickened out. Guess I need to join LA Fitness for a month
I do like the hoodie you have on, though. Gonna have to get one

Wendy said...

Hey ... waitaminnit ... those pies have negative calories!

Good luck racing! It'll be over in a flash. ;-)

Dori said...

You're too modest. Anybody who thinks they can eat you for lunch has another think coming! I love the swim caps--especially the "princess" one.

I have to disagree with you on the pie charts, though. I think endurance races require a lot of guts to finish.

The Alien said...

mmmmmmmm pie... now I'm hungry!
Good luck on your 10k, it'll be over before you know it.

lindsay said...

why sure, i'll eat pie and call it training! :)

you have crazy tan lines for it to be march! sheesh!

it is very nerve-wracking to me to even THINK about what has happened to runners before... i don't know what i'd do if someone was actually chasing me!

Smithposts said...

You should definitely put a fish swim cap on your to buy list. Could provide lots of excitement on group swim sessions!

You are going to nail your 10k! You have guts to spare.

Petraruns said...

Great analogy - and I agree with most of it - though I do think that Dori's right - endurance events require guts. You mad ironwoman you - you lacking in guts?

But I agree that 10Ks are nasty - it's very hard work for a long time...

As for all the scary stuff - that's just awful. We seem to have none of those scary tales here but that's not to say they don't happen. I do think they had a case like that in London recently, actually. After all the posts about it I do now go out running with my cell phone and tell my husband where I am.

Keep inspiring us Shirley - you seem indefatigable.

ShirleyPerly said...

Perhaps we have 2 types of guts like we have basically 2 types of muscle fibers (type I and Type II). Whatever the case, I really find it much tougher to go hard and fast for short distances!

Sara Cox Landolt said...

Important points about awareness on the run. That situation has been on my mind lately too. Be safe out there!

peter said...

You are rugged Shirley, and surely an inspiration! Good luck in the 10K.

Regina said...

I'm freezing just looking at those photos! By the way, everyone looks dorky in a neoprene cap, ok, except maybe Heidi Klum.

Now about that pie? That was a bait and switch if ever I saw one! ;)

The almost attack thing is a bit unsettling; how scary. I think about that all the time around here.

Good Luck in the 10K (your times here are amazing!)

lizzie lee said...

Ok. No, I will not be able to run by those areas. I understand the feeling though. There is a particular road close to my home that on Sat/Sun morning projects my shadow as is somebody's chasing me. Not cool. It is scary. Yes, I am sometimes afraid of my own shadow. What a chick!

Congrats on that 7:29 min/mile... Pretty amazing... And if you check on Lydiard, he advises what you've done... Endurance, endurance, endurance, then go speed and guts. I think I am backwards....not that I am too fast though, but my speed for short races is good while my endurance for long is not as such.

Susan said...

You never fail to inspire me, SP!

Runner Leana said...

You've been chased by a crazy naked guy and a hooded villain on a bicycle? That would make me run fast for sure! How scary!

Love your pie chart...so true! And congratulations on your strong group ride!