The doubts about Miami started creeping in on Monday, as I expected they would. Did I really try my best? Did I honestly max out my effort in those last couple of miles? Was it actually that hot?
For the most part, I’ve managed to push them away. It was a bad race, and yet, it wasn’t really all that bad. I’ve run five half-marathons; this one, time-wise, is the midpoint. If anything, I see that as proof that I’m ready to go faster when I’m running on my own turf. (Um, and that maybe I should run somewhere that isn’t 65 degrees year-round sometime.) I also crossed 600 miles for the year at about mile 12 of the race — 100 miles more than the goal I set on January 1, 2011. It’s not a half PR, but it is a big milestone for me.
Physically, I’m feeling nearly recovered. The only lingering issue is something in my right knee that I can’t quite pinpoint or roll out; the best I can explain it is that it feels like when you sleep funny on your neck, but inside my knee. It shakes out/goes away within a couple of minutes of exercise or walking, though, so I’m not terribly concerned. I planned to swim on Monday — my favorite thing to do after any race or hard run — but we didn’t get home till 1 a.m. (or 4 a.m. back in Florida, where we’d woken up that day), and I ended up snoozing my alarm in favor of more hours of sleep than I could count on one hand. Tuesday was a crazy work day and Whole Foods hot bar sounded better than the gym. I would have bailed again this morning, but I intentionally parked where my car would be towed if I wasn’t out the door by 7:30, which gave me just enough time for 25 minutes of easy laps. The rest of my “recovery week” plan includes more swimming, yoga or OnDemand pilates, and some care and feeding of Penelope. Running? Maybe Sunday. Maybe not.
So what happens next? I have a lot of ideas, most of which seem in direct opposition to each other:
Triathlon training — I’m planning on training with a group for the Wildflower Olympic tri in May. Based on the 2011 dates, official training should start in mid-February or slightly later.
Fun gym classes — A few months ago, I bought a Living Social deal for a one-month Crunch membership and one personal training session. I can activate it anytime between now and February, but I’m inclined to wait till the last minute to let the resolution crowd die down. The only goal here is to take as many ridiculous fitness classes as possible.
Yoga — I miss it. I want it back in my life.
12 Days of Christmas Challenge — Theodora gave me an idea for a pretty hilarious fitness challenge to do between now and New Year’s. Um, I still have to finish making it up, but I will write it down soon. And then I’ll do it. And it will be awesome.
Redemption half? — Yeah. Yeeeeeah. This wasn’t in the plan. The plan was, hey, let’s spend the next two months running shorter distances and learning to ride a bike without freaking out and taking silly fitness classes like yoga on a swing, and then go train for a triathlon, and then we can talk about road racing again in, y’know, May. I know a redemption race is seventeen different flavors of Bad Idea, and yet, I’m still thinking about it, because I’ve got this base of training now, and I don’t think I’ve used it to its best advantage.
It’s not helping logic’s cause that there are two great Redemption Races staring me in the face. The Kaiser half in early February is my “local” half, a race on the course I run for most of my long runs and where I set my current PR on not very much training. The Oakland half in late March gets rave reviews and comes complete with two awesome ladies already planning on pacing a friend to a sub-2 finish.
Kaiser would let me get another race in before triathlon training; it also means I’d need to keep training, like, now, through the holidays and potentially snowy conditions in Michigan and my 30th birthday and a debaucherous New Year’s. Oakland allows for at least a month of short distances and gym classes and yoga (and not doing anything at all, sometimes), but it’s also in the middle of tri training, which feels like a completely unpredictable beast.
Obviously, my brain is telling me to sign up for both. (Logic is a language my brain doesn’t speak.)
I’ve set one rule: No race registration till after I’ve run again. I think that’ll speak volumes about my motivation to keep going.
Have you ever run a redemption race? Do they ever end well?