Saturday, May 2, 2009

Limits (and getting beyond them) or Random Thoughts.

I don't read the horoscope. Yet, I am definitely a Gemini, there are two me's! Most of the time, these two get along well enough! It's when they don't get along that trouble, for me, occurs.

The one me (I should name them) is very focused. Just ask my wife. I am very difficult to live with because of this, which is why I always joke about getting my wife a sympathy card on our anniversaries.
This focus gives me ideas and very quick problem solving ideas. They bring me success.

The other me is careful, not very risky! My job would be an example. There are many reasons why I'm an RN but one of them is job security. I have so much respect for people that have their own business or who are part of a business startup, making something out of what was nothing. I have often said that I would rather make 50K a year than make 100K one year and 30K the next. The uncertainty of income would be a  stress that I know I wouldn't handle very well.

Heck, maybe there are more than two "tiny me's". (I just made this up, I was going to say mini-me's but then thought hey, my name is Tim, so I"ll use tiny instead). Those that know me well, without a doubt, say that I am extrovert! I am not. I definitely have extrovert tendencies but they take a toll on me. My job takes away a lot of energy. Often, when I get home, that energy is gone. Or I at least use to think it was! I've learned that I (or any person) need some time to recoup, there are limits, rest is needed. But I have also learned that my limits are higher than I previously thought they were.

So, I have a focus and ability to succeed, but I'm not very good at taking risks, especially when I have others depending on me.
And I am an extrovert, wait no, I'm an introvert.
And I have limits, or not!

It is my running that has really brought me on to thinking about this. I love and just get pumped when I hear quotes of Prefontaine or bloggers about h.t.f.u and other thoughts of doing what it takes to succeed at your goals.
But at the same time I have had limits that I had to accept! My first summer and fall of running and tri (2007) had a longest run limit of 3 or 4 miles due to injuries and the wrong kind of pain. I worked past that limit and ran my first half-mary in January of 08. The following spring was going great. I improved my 5K pr by a few minutes and I had signed up for 4 tri's with 2 of them the 1/2 ironman distance. Then the bike accident happened which led to me running my first marathon, Twin Cities, with less than a 1/3 of the training that I have put in for Stillwater in three weeks.

Yes, by the time I am done with the marathon I will have put in @ 600 miles of running compared to 200 total for my first marathon. This is despite limits I have run into that would otherwise have me running more. I have run into two limits (pun intended). I can only run @45 miles for two weeks in a row before needing a decrease for a week. So I play it safe and cut back so that I don't injure or cause another setback. My second weakness I noticed have been my tempo runs on Friday have been the weak link of my active training. Is it because I nail my intervals on Wednesday? Is it that I need to have two days between my intervals and my tempo instead of just one day off? Or is it other factors like the end of my work week and I'm just simply too tired to perform well?

My tempo run just this Friday went terrible. My legs just weren't there. I was suppose to run 8 miles at what is considered my 1/2 marathon pace of 7:57 (which does not mean that I can run a whole 13 miles at that pace, but I know I can run greater than 6.5 miles at that pace). I had just nailed this pace for 6.5 miles a couple of weeks before. I still put in the effort and at times my legs felt good. When they felt good I knew I could nail this but I couldn't make it stay. I finished the run at a 8:22 for those 8 miles!

An 8:22 is not something for me to complain about. Before training for this marathon, I could not have done it, especially with the hills I ran up as opposed to indoors. The pace isn't my complaint. How I felt is what I don't like. How I couldn't fix it! How I don't know what to do about it? How is this going to impact my 22 mile run on Sunday? How do I avoid this repeat next Friday, the last real tempo before I start my taper!

I'm actually thinking of skipping my mixed intervals and doing the tempo run on Wednesday followed by a marathon pace run on Friday. This is for two reasons. I want to get a good tempo run in at 8 to 8.5 miles and I have to work around my sucky schedule that starts next weekend. Starting next Saturday I have 4-12 hour shifts and 2-8 hour shifts in 7 days.

I get to run my first marathon that I have been able to train for in just 3 weeks.

I'll miss you Fargo marathoners next week. Wish I could be there.

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