Race Schedule and Results

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Teeter-Totter

Remember the teeter totter on the playground as a kid?  Looking back, now as a triathlete, what better form of exercise for a kid.  I mean, you get a friend to sit on the other end (hopefully someone heavier than you so you fly up in the air) and go up and down, up and down.  Talk about quad workout!  If I had only known that I’d love biking so much as a “grown-up” – chalk that up as a “if I knew then what I know now”. 

Anyway, I’m stuck on a teeter totter of life right now.  Standing in the middle of it like that bratty know it all punk on the playground - balancing.  I’m standing in the middle and the two “people” on either end are fighting for my attention.  But which way do I sway?

On one side, I have the REV3 Full up at Cedar Point.  I signed up for this race back in February after yet another round of the old “I don’t want to do a 140.6 distance race this year”.  My intention after last year’s miserable fail at the distance was to take a year off, regroup if you will, focus on some short stuff, maybe some speed and then pick back up, if I felt like it, in 2012.  Then Trakkers came along, the lure of a 140.6 in my home state, with so many blogger, teammates and real life friends.  How could I pass that up?  I jumped on it and was chugging along just great until about a month ago.  Then it hit.  Maybe I need to refer to the email advice that I shared on this post so lovingly (it’s easy to give advice, but to listen to your own, eh… you know).  I was in a low point something fierce.  It helped that the hubs was with me.  After a few “failed” workouts (it’s hard to call 12 mile runs and 95 mile bikes failures, but I did), we just said we needed to recharge.

And that brings me to the other side of the teeter totter – the Half Rev up at Cedar Point.  I’ve gone as far as changing my registration to the half, convinced that I needed to recharge the batteries.  I’ve been doing a lot of short races and loving it.  I’m seeing huge improvements on my bike, my run is coming along, swimming (wait, that’s part of triathlon???), it’s going okay.  I’m having fun.  The prospect of doing the half has been a sweet relief.  I think I can do it and have a good race.

But lately, I’m finding myself standing in the middle of that teeter totter, wondering if I should go back to the full.  I’m in the best shape of my life.  I’m at my race weight today, 7 weeks out from the race.  I’ve done a century, a 95 mile bike and have a century planned this week.  Heck, by the end of the month I’ll have logged 700+ miles on my bike.  My running is feeling good.  We had a killer run on Saturday and when Tom texted me to say “what’s up” my response was “my confidence”.  It just felt good.  I have a 15, 17, and 19 miler already planned before Cedar Point because of my marathon training (did I mention I’m running Chicago in October???).  So I sit here wondering… if I’m putting in the miles, why not do the full?

How can I be 47 days out and teetering still? I know I can do it, but who registers for a full, then a half, then a full?  What if I have a crappy race and regret not doing the half?  What if I do the half, but see all my friends and regret not doing the full?  The course will be filled with tons of familiar faces, all facing the same struggles that I will that day, but we’d be in it together, cheering each other along.  Then again, I could be plopped on my butt with two Texans (yes, I’m admitting that), drinking some cold ones, screaming like a little kid after my 5.5 hour race.

At some point I’m going to need to take that first step off the center of the teeter totter toward one direction.  And we all know that once you start leaning toward one side of a teeter totter, you must commit to that side.  Trouble is, I don’t know which way to go…

36 comments:

Ironman By Thirty said...

Wait, your optionsa re to do the full or to do the half and then have to spend the rest of the day with Texans??? Easiest decision in the world - go with the full! haha

Seriously though, you have done the training for a full and have even more great workouts on the horizon. Now, you just have to listen to your own advice. Maybe I can trick you by taking your email and signing my name on the bottom of it. Would that trick you into believing it was my advice and not yours??? :)

You can, and will be physically ready for the full. As long as you can keep up the motivational level, you are going to be golden.

If you ever need a pick me up or some encouragement, just holler. You have a world of friends out here just waiting to help.

Lori said...

I wish I knew what to tell you...but I don't. I know that in the end, you'll make the decision that's right for you and that's all that matters.

ps-I am definitely going to try to make it up to Cedar Point for the race so I can scream my head off for you. Just FYI :D

Jason said...

Self reflection is the hardest thing anyone can do but you must do it now. You must look at yourself in the mirror and ask the hard question of which distance is going to make you HAPPY!

You know you can finish both distances and do it with a smile but the question is which will make you happy. Do not worry what others think because we will think you are awesome regardless of which you go with.

Personally, I think you have been training really hard for the long-course and that is the direction you should go in. Since I'm heavier than you and not the bratty kid I am going to push you that way, but remember to pick the distance that will make you HAPPY!

As Kevin said you need to keep up the motivation for one, but should you lack that refer to us The League of Extraordinary Tri-Geeks and we will talk to you because you are family and we will give you our thoughts, opinions and advice and then you will decide what to do.

At that point we will back you no matter what you choose because you are family.

Rock on Sister Elektra!

tribirdie said...

This is your call, completely, but I say go full. Sometimes the races that are not fully thought out are the best. Either way we are all here cheering for you to have an awesome race! (this being said, I've always wanted to do a half being physically ready to do a full, just to see how well I could do at half if I had more fitness) ok I'm no help at all, sorry :D

Jon said...

I hear your gut saying Full. Sorry, but I do!

I live by if you have any regrets, you are missing something.

Of course I am being that devil on your shoulder.

Megan said...

Gosh, I kind of feel like your heart is in the half, but your training is in the full. You'll be successful at either, I'd say. :)

Shannon (IronTexasMommy) said...

The training is there. You know it. Your body knows it. The only thing standing in your way is your mind. Mentally you have to remove the doubts and trust that your body will do what it has trained to do. Take away the expectations of PR's and focus on the fun. Why you love competing... Because you love pushing yourself to achieve more. To accomplish the "what if".. Whether that be go faster or go further.

The one thing that got me mentally prepared for doing IMTX- was to read about races like double ironmans, Leadville and race reports from people have done 100 mile runs. It put the race in perspective. It's not that far. That may sound crazy to some, but think of the 1200 that crossed the finish line at IMLP. It's possible- that finish line will be there waiting for you, even if you have to walk the whole run. You have nothing to prove.

Break down each portion of the race and focus only on the part you'll be racing- not the whole race. You can do each part. We're not naive enough to know that it won't be hard and that it won't hurt. But, you'll deal with that as it comes. You've gotten to the low point and you've pushed through it to get where you are right now.

Let the Texans drink the beer, they'll just cheer that much louder for you! You can do this. Bring it Oh-Hi-O!

tri like mary said...

You signed up for the full and during a time of uncertainty changed to the half. Your first instinct is usually the right one. Go with your heart and have a fabulous race!

Alisa said...

First, your "failed" workout made me chuckle b/c I had a similar "failed" workout that to most people would have seemed like an amazing life accomplishment.

Second, I think everyone has moments of self doubt. When you changed that registration to the half did you do it b/c you felt at that moment you weren't prepared or b/c you were afraid of "failing" at the full? Was it self-doubt or honest deep down gut saying "I've done a full before and I know I'm not ready."

If, it was your gut saying you're not ready then I'd stick with the half if it was self-doubt and fear then go for it---the only thing that is saying is that your fear is going to fuel you to push it on race day.

(PS Not that I have really any idea what I'm talking about I've never done a full and have no idea what it takes but to me, it sounds like you've done the training and still have time to fit in some more for confidence sake.)

Heather said...

Go with your heart, not your head. But I'm sure you'll make the right decision!
I was actually just contemplating doing this race next year! :)

Matthew Smith said...

First of all, that was really beautiful writing. Secondly, I agree that it sounds like you really want to do the full as long as you can stay motivated. You've already logged a bunch of miles, and you're got the marathon looming ahead which will help with the running miles. Plus, it sounds like you could easily regret NOT doing 140.6.

Good luck with your decision. I'm sure you're going to rock whatever you do!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Good thing you have till the end of August to teeter totter. Do playgrounds still have teeter totters? I wounder if it will be as fun as it was when we were kids.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

LOL!! Kevins first paragraph makes the most logical sense!!!

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

This maybe the first time (but probably not the last) someone is choosing to race an ironman because they are fearful of getting shit-faced with me (-: -hahahaha!

Don't worry C, we will have extra cold Shiners waiting for you at the finish line if you take on the big boy again!

And don't listen to Kevin b/c he would be the first one pounding cold ones with me if he wasn't doing that "other" race in Madison.

You should probably do the full!

Meredith said...

Obviously the choice is ultimately yours and ONLY yours to make. Remember, there's still a lot of training to go and it's HOT outside. That mood will swing again. And I know that Chicago is a priority for you this year. If you do the full you may have to readjust your goals for Chicago as it's only four weeks out from CP and your body may not be as recovered as you think it should be. Food for thought....

Christi said...

I have to say "go with your gut." What is your gut saying about the race?

misszippy said...

Colleen--This is really, really tough! I guess I'd look into the future--how will you feel the day after if you do the 1/2? Regrets or ok? No matter what you choose, you're still a stud. Make your decision and then make peace with it. good luck!

Matty O said...

A couple things... number one. You wouldn't have written this post if you already didn't start stepping towards a certain FULL direction of the teeter totter.

Ummmm if I bring beers with me on the run does that count as partying early?! :)

Your training appears to be spot on with ours. We are going to finish, NOT PR. WE WILL FINISH WITH A SMILE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and a beer.

I think your training is spot on. Personally, just don't think of it, focus on the marathon with century ride cross training days. You will be more than ready.

Aimee said...

It seems like you've already gotten some great comments! All I can say, is that I think you should go with your gut. It sounds like you've done the training for the full, so it's not a matter of going into the race unprepared. Plus, you'll have your teammates and friends cheering you on every step of the way!
If you didn't do the full, how do you think you would feel? Do you think you would have a little voice inside your head wondering if you should have done it? If so, then do the full!! I have all the confidence in the world that you can do it!!!!

Wes said...

yea, I'm right there with you. I was all prepared to make an assault on sub-6 half Iron next year, but I'm thinking I may push that and my 2013 Ironman back another year. What's the hurry?

Carolina John said...

So do the full! it's not a big deal.

If you believe that, I've got some beachfront property in Arizona that we should talk about.

Going 140.6 is always a big deal. It's not a decision to take lightly. If you're already in shape for a century and marathon, I would lean towards doing the full.

DRog said...

sounds like ur backing up the full with your examples and completed training sessions and also planned training sessions! let it come to you do what feels right...how GREAT you have a race that allows you to teeter totter!!!

D

Aunt Nan said...

Follow your heart, Sweetheart. I love you. Mom xoxox

Beal88 said...

Haha...luv that you said Texans would be sitting and watching. Follow your heart and your body. You are a rockstar and I am sure will be massively successful at either distance.

Pschall said...

Hey girl, I’m new to following your blog, but I gotta share my two cents -- hit up that full! You will be happy at the end of the race when you complete all that you were training for. You definitely sound ready to me.

Caratunk Girl said...

Hey Colleen! I think you would rock either distance. Follow your heart, do what seems like the most fun.

Mark said...

Yeah, I was right there with you last year. I went back and forth deciding what I was going to do. My father passed away months before Cedar Point, I took on a new job, I was busy with my children. I remember having a conversation with our teammate Kelly. She said "...look, you may not have the ideal set of circumstances, but do you want to wonder what could have happened?"

I think you go out there and put your best foot forward with the life, training, and time that you have at your discretion. The volume is there. The one thing that definitely helped me last summer was that I said "okay... I did what I could manage, so I do not have ANY expectations."

If you decide to run the full. Go out there and give it your best... and have FUN! We do not do this for a living. We do this because we love the lifestyle!

MissFancyPants said...

This is a tough one, and you have contrasting opinions from everyone, however, it's you making the decision and sounds like your brain is playing some tricks with you. Do some yoga or meditate and then decide.

Jill @ Run for the Hills said...

I agree with Amanda...look past race day and try to reflect on how you'll feel afterwards with the decision you made. You're prepared either way, so be comfortable with it.

Regardless, you are amazing.

Meaghan said...

No one can make this decision for you. To ME, it sounds like your heart is in the full. Look past the race into the weeks after - will YOU feel satisfied? Will YOU be happy? At the end of the day, thats the only thing that matters.. Good luck :)

Chris K said...

Even though I'm not a triathlete I can relate. I think you got enough Go With Your Guts comments. I say, flip a coin.

Hollywood said...

I had that time to recharge after a failed race at Rev3 Portland a few weeks ago, and I came back far stronger than I've ever been, Get yourself recharged, and if you feel that familiar buzzing inside when you think about the full, the get after it! Everyone needs a break every now and then; it's when we grow

N.D. said...

tough call but you sound like me deciding bt sprint and olympic. I knew I had it in me to do the olympic even though I could have rocked out on the sprint. I think you could do the half and do amazing with all of your training going well and your race weight and confidence (side note: tips for calories during all this training?) how did you get to race weight? as far as the full, it could be redemption. When do you need to decide by? I vote the full.

Beth said...

I bet you already know the answer to this if you look beyond the expectations (yours and others) and see what it is you really want. Regret is a wasted emotion, follow your heart and focus on the positive. I look forward to hearing what you decide.

Patrick Mahoney said...

I'm going with what Aunt Nan said. Well at least the first sentence. Not that I don't...you know what I mean.

110% fine to be more impressed by Ian than me.

Richelle said...

Good luck on your decision. The only advice I have for you is follow your heart.

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