The other night, Gayle and I were having dinner (Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings – super easy, super good), and the talk turned to my training. Gayle made the observation that I am the tortoise from the fairy tale “The Tortoise and the Hare”. I plod along at a slow and steady pace and eventually get to the end, but without any sense of urgency or speed. And while that did help the tortoise beat the hare, he did so in his own sweet time. The race I’m training for, on the other hand, has a time limit, and while it might seem that 17 hours is plenty of time I know from my half ironman experience and reading others race reports that it might not be enough.
So, while starting out at warp speed and burning myself out is not recommended, I do need to develop a sense of urgency with my training. I need to pick up the pace and not be satisfied with my slow times.
I do have numbers in mind for the times and speed at which I need to finish each section of the race. And to my math loving brain it has been quite fun working those out. In fact (true confession time) while I am running I like to do the math in my head (If I keep up a 12 min/mile pace on the run, how long will it take me? What about a 12.5 min/mile pace? And so on…) It’s nerdy, I know. But it makes me happy.
So, I have given myself a deadline. I would like to be at my goal pace with both the bike and the run by June. Then from June – October I will work on keeping that pace for extended periods of time until I am at the amount of mileage that I need to be to complete an IronMan. That means that I want to be able to sustain a 10 min/mile pace while running for at least 5 miles and I would also like to be able to sustain a bike speed of 15 mph for at least 15 miles by June 1st. Currently I can hold a 17 min/mile pace for three miles (which is better than where I was at the start of the year) and my average bike speed is around 10 mph for a 15 mile stretch. So, I have my work cut out for me over the next few months.
Too bad I can’t strap on a rocket like this tortoise!