Friday, June 25, 2010

the end of my racing career?

That sounds so dramatic, doesn't it? Last night I did the Boulder Stroke N Stride. I had swam that morning (~2000 meters) and ridden to and from the Rez (about 15 miles roundtrip). Then I went on a nice mellow hike with Ole and followed that up with 2+ hours in the pool with Mae, Aria and Chloe. I had nothing left for the swim - my arms felt like lead. I forced myself to get to the 1st buoy and decide then if I wanted to turn back. I did. My rotator cuff was snapping again (which it hasn't done in ages but happens when I'm sloppy in my form). Anyway, I came back, which was a disappointment but I was so tired I didn't care. The race people were super nice and let me do the 5K anyway so I headed off with the elite men that had already swam and did a very hot but fairly pleasant 5K in 31:34 (Wendy thinks the course is short, though it felt long enough to me!). Since I was one of the first to finish (I was able to see all the other people who had swam the 1500 meters going out on the run when I was coming in) I got a quick massage that made my very tight quads feel fantastic. We enjoyed our pizza and soda and came home.

I had a sort of epiphany out there on the run though. I really don't like to race. Really don't like to race. I need and enjoy the motivation a race provides; I am a very goal-oriented person. But...

This month I've swam (swum?) at the Rez a handful of times and loved it. When it's 6:30am and you're out in the middle of the reservoir, there is nothing to do but enjoy it. And I do love it, when my arms cooperate. It's so restful and mellow and beautiful and peaceful.

And I do love to bike, though I HATE HATE HATE hills and don't relish killing myself on them (yes I am panicking about Old Stage - done it 3x and it was so so hard). But I do love the 12+ miles roundtrip to and from Paul's office if I want to meet him for lunch, or the 15 miles roundtrip to and from the Rez. I love biking the boys to HHS every day and tooling around the bike paths of Boulder figuring out what connects to what. I love the rollers on 63rd and all the beautiful road rides near Nelson Road etc. But I don't like hills.

And oh how I love to run. I should probably just call it jogging. I enjoy a mellow 11-minute mile. On Wednesday I ran for almost 2 hours on the trails, just because it was so beautiful. I had my water and my gels and I stopped to walk every 10 minutes, for 1 minute, to take them in when I needed them. I would have kept going if my left quad wasn't complaining. I do love to run. I don't like running fast. It makes me panicky. And my fast isn't even fast anyway!

I may continue to "race" the Half Marathon distance. It takes long enough that I don't bother killing myself and I really enjoyed last year's Boulder Backroads. And I will do the CF Ride each year in support and also because it's a mellow ride (I will stick with the short distance to avoid Old Stage!) I also hope to continue riding on the weekend with my riding partner, because we have such a great time together, especially at the Starbucks pit stops. :-)

So, I have committed to two more triathlons this season: the Boulder Peak (Olympic) and the Outdoor Divas (Sprint). I will do them because I put money down on them, but I don't think I'll do any more. I just want to enjoy myself. Isn't that what it's about? I'm not competitive enough or determined enough or whatever character trait it is that gets people to constantly strive to improve themselves. I just want to be out there, outside, taking it all in and loving it.


Wendy said...

1. I changed my opinion of the 5k being short. Or I was just slow.

2. The CF ride doesn't do Olde Stage.

3. Glad you are doing the races you signed up for. That's commitment ;)The Peak will be hard and you never have to do it again, but you will be so proud of yourself when you are done.

Becka said...

I sorta feel the same way Ellen. Although I do like to race, but not hard courses :D

Ellen said...

Re #2 - I see. The 44 mile goes to Jamestown. The 69 goes to Ward. I'll do the 27 again.

Thanks, ladies. :-)