The last few weeks have been tough. Work is tough, the kids are busy with full time school (remember that?), there are projects going on, and finding daylight to train in is tricky. To me this is all part of the game though. Triathlon or really any time consuming hobby is not just about putting in the time, but managing the rest of your day. Workout life balance is just as important as work life balance.
I don’t think I am breaking any ground here, everyone knows how challenging it is to train hard and consistently put in the time. But when we push through the obstacles, we can see they are not so overwhelming when we just take a breath. Baby steps get you through it. Relying on the excuses stinks. Nobody else really cares if I work out so the excuses are just for myself. Me lying to me just doesn’t seem worth it.
One thing is for sure though, no matter how hard you try, things will not always go your way. Case in point I had a very small window to do my track session a few weeks ago, and the track was taken when I showed up (again). Nothing I could do about that. The key was to roll with it and not get too focused on the disappointment or missed workout. When you think about it, missing a day is only 24 hours, so you are just sliding the effort down the line a bit. No biggy.
After the missed weekend, I did resume where I left off this past weekend, and was back at it with the newly arrived Alphafly’s. I like them. Some initial thoughts are that they might run a bit small. I had a heck of a time getting one of them on. They felt fine to run in, but the opening for your foot is snug. The front air pods are for sure a unique feel and sprinting on the toes felt unusual. I thought I looked like a baby deer stumbling down the backstretch. Awkward but fast. Were they worth the $300 ? Eh, maybe, but a key piece of being a professional amateur is making up for talent with gear. In the workout I ran 2 x 1000’s (on 3 minutes rest) and 5 x 200’s (jogging 200) in them and they felt pretty good. I could see doing a marathon with them no problem, although I did get a blister on my Achilles so that will need some moleskin if I take them to an Ironman. Total run with warmup and cool down was about 5 miles.
Were they faster though that is the big question. So yes, my time was faster, BUT, I have been continuing to work hard and keep at the consistency so there is probably a bunch more left before my ceiling. Full disclosure for this effort I ran my first 1000 in 3:31 and the second in 3:33. Still about 20 seconds from where I need to be, but around 8 seconds faster than last time. I also ran my fastest 200 with the shoes on in around 33 seconds. So was it the shoes or just the growth? I think both. I have had the Zero’s for a few years now, and ran consistently faster in them. From 5k to marathon, I had a great year overall and the shoes had to play a role in that. I can’t discount the impact two design generations later these shoes make. Plus, I mean, Kipchoge #amiright?
After sharing the 3:31 1000 meter time, for some it might look like the sub-5 attempt will be impossible. On its face I would agree, but every single time I hit the track the numbers look better. Will it happen by Thanksgiving? Ah, that is a tough one. I can say for sure that I could have kept the 1k pace for 600m more. That puts me around 5:30’s. Thirty seconds in the mile is a long time, but the strength feels like it is there. So I need to keep working on my turnover and top end speed. More importantly I need to remind myself that my shortest race in the last two years was over an hour. One nice side effect is that I ran some intervals at 6:40 last night and it felt super easy. So if nothing else, I hope to see some benefits to my endurance speed. The bike numbers are also ticking up as are some of the strength measures I have. All good news.
I head back to Lake Placid this weekend, and will be playing in the snow for Halloween. Depending on the conditions a true speed workout might not be possible, but I heart running in the snow. In fact, it is probably my favorite time to run. YakTrax F.T.W. One way or another I will be running, it just depends on how fast.