2016 – Some small races, daily routine, and ready for the season!!!

It’s been a while since the last blog post so here it is!  2016 comin’ at-ya, fast and furious.

Here’s what’s been going on:

Every day is pretty much the same!  I get up, train, drive to the bus station, take a bus to Boston, go buy a gallon of water because I work at gym and that’s what we do, walk to the club, straighten my hair quickly, work, train, work more, realize I’m late for the bus, maul people over on the way to the bus, get home around 8, and make/eat dinner and foam roll/go to bed.

And I love it.  (Btw, looking for a great club? join mine.  And bring two friends).

 

Prospecting to a familiar character... Larry! Staged photo shoot.
Prospecting to a familiar character… Larry! Staged photo shoot.  Note BRC in background.

I’m also in the process of becoming a certified strength coach, which is sort of like a personal trainer but is specifically geared towards athletic training.  I was happy to discover the best practical studying has been my own training… so much stuff everyone told me a million times finally made sense :).

But you’re interested in the juicy stuff.. training!  Racing!

This year started out with the standard 5k.  Clearly it had to be the one by the boathouse.  I waved a quick hello to my boat Maverick as I crushed my old PR and finally broke 21 mins.  Yay.  Good for 1st in ag.  But really, I cared more about that time.  And it was great to see a bunch of NEMS friends at that race too.

Then we had a TT.  I wasn’t really pleased with the power I put out, or my ability to reach inside and produce greatness.  So that was just ok.  Still respectable.  I reached inside and produced B+ material.  Maybe a B.  I believe it was after a pretty hectic sales close out in January.  If I recall, my coach asked if I was excited to race, and I told him I would think about it after I finished selling things.  I have a two track mind, and I don’t like to mix the two together.  They’re both a little intense.  Someone might get hurt if I’m not totally focused one way or the other. 😉

Next up was a half marathon.  This was a really good race for me!  I had no idea where I’d end up, and the plan was to go for some 7:40s.  I ended up hitting 7:32s with an overall course time of 1:39.  I came in 2nd in the open AG with a finish I’ll save in the memory bank.  A couple girls were ahead of me… rationally, a bit too far with what I had left in the tank.  But I thought there was a trophy up for grabs, and I knew not too many people were ahead of me.  So I threw the hammer down and committed to catching them no matter the cost.  My legs buckled and I couldn’t really see, but I knew I could make it one more step, and then one more, and that’s all I needed. I passed them, didn’t look back, and stayed upright, and crossed the line ahead of them.   The only sad part of the day is that there was no trophy for my division!  I waited at the awards ceremony and everything.  And then I actually just went up to ask for it, since I wanted to go home, and the director was like, “no, you didn’t get one”.  So I was like, “oh no sir, check again.”  And he’s all like, “still no”.  So I had some pizza, talked to Dan McCombs, and then still was happy with the result.  (huge pr, by over 6 mins).

Ash half marathon
Focusing on my armswing, cadence, and forward lean.  (haha I don’t know what kind of arm swing I think I’m doing)

I’ll say this a million times though, I don’t really care about the actual trophy.  Ok, maybe I do for two seconds.  It’s the goal and experience of attaining it.  I’d actually rather have an amazing personal race and no trophy than a worthless win.  Racing at this level is about the experiences, learning from each race and situation, and using that knowledge to get to the next level, whether in triathlon, personally, professionally, or some other sport I don’t even know about yet.  I’m very fortunate to already have had another ‘adult’ sport that had it’s share of lessons and learning experiences that translate very well to this sport.  I feel like I have ‘credits’ from another school that transferred over.  Not everything, but some things.

On that note, I just had a 10k.  Now, I’ll premise by saying I also had/have the worst sinus infection I’ve ever had.  For the past month or so, I’d been getting dizzy during all my long training, but ruled out low glycogen/ poor fueling.  I didn’t have any symptoms of a sinus infection, but went to the Dr, and they said that’s what it was.  My head was so filled with stuff that my equilibrium was off.  The dr. told me to ‘take it easy’, not do anything, and prescribed some antibiotics the day before this 10k.  So I figured, at least I wasn’t doing a marathon.  Of all the events I’ve done, 10k is a small offender.  I got there, and could not breathe at all.  It was like breathing through a straw.  The course was killer, combo of trails/roads and lots of turns and steep hills.  Plus the volunteers weren’t out for the frontrunners on the first loop and I had a slight misdirection.  I won the race by over two mins, but that’s really because it was a small race.  I missed my goal splits, and bargained with myself to hang on in the end.  I’m allowed to be sick and have off days, but overall it was a good wakeup call, because it really was a bad race for me.  I was hanging on, not setting the tone.  I don’t like to ‘hang on’, because that’s wild and unpredictable.  I hope that doesn’t sound shitty, but if you want to go pot-hunting I’ll help you find a small race to win.  It doesn’t feel particularly good.  It’s like crashing field day and winning the kids race.

 

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Still took the money.

 

What’s up next?  Eagleman, Challenge St. Andrews, Timberman, and Ironman Maryland!

My purpose in choosing MD is to get it done.  Put my head down and nail my day.  I’m not particularly excited for the venue, I don’t care for jellyfish, double loop swims, or towns that care so much about church they won’t let a race happen on Sunday… but the run is flat.  I move a little better when I can just go.  I AM particularly excited for the opportunity to have a great race.

Until then, I’m just repeating my daily schedule with purpose.

 

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