After my awful swim at the Naval Station tri this year, I vowed that I was going to redeem myself at the Y Not Tri in September. I bought a wetsuit. I tried on the wetsuit. In the course of trying it on, I tore the wetsuit.
What I did not do was swim in the wetsuit. Not once. I did go for a few eensy-weensy quick open-water swims while we were at the beach with the kids, but as the month of August progressed, my enthusiasm waned.
I kept pretending I might still give it a go - right up until the week before the race. But then I admitted to myself that it wasn't going to happen.
I thought I'd feel disappointed and upset with myself, and I did feel that way a little bit, but mostly I felt relieved. The drive and the desire just weren't there this year, and I know I would have just had another race with a crappy swim, and regretted it.
I really do want to work on this next year, though. At the beginning of spring this year, I considered getting some coaching help for swimming, and never did it. But now that I've seen how well I can do on the bike and run (at both the tri and the biathlon a few weeks ago), I am pretty motivated to get the swimming thing figured out once and for all, because I could post some really good overall times if I could get through the swim more quickly.
So next year is the year of no more excuses. Next year I'm going to conquer the swim, and figure out how to be comfortable swimming in the ocean.
In the meantime, I still have plenty to keep me busy.
Tomorrow night I'm driving up to Massachussetts to attend the "Another Mother Runner" house party, where I will get to mingle with a whole bunch of fabulous mother runners (including a dear friend from college who I haven't seen in ages!), and meet the amazing Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell, authors of "Run Like a Mother" and "Train Like a Mother," and creators of one of the greatest Facebook communities ever. It's going to take me nearly 2 hours to get there, but it's going to be totally worth it. I can't wait!
And Saturday is the start of a fabulous girls' weekend getaway on the Cape with a close friend, which will include my 4th half marathon of the year - Zooma Cape Cod. We're staying at the host hotel, which is right on the ocean, the weather looks perfect, and the post-race party looks amazing. And to top it all off, we're meeting up with a bunch of other women from the AMR Facebook page for dinner Saturday night.
This is the race I've been working up to all summer, and the reason I've been doing regular track workouts and tempo runs. I feel confident that I can run the 13.1 in under 1:40, based on my 1:41 in Jamestown, and on the paces I've been hitting in all my training runs, and based on the fact that it's bound to be cooler and drier, and the course is much flatter.
I had initially planned on that being my last half for the year, but caved to peer pressure and signed up last week for the Philly half-marathon in November. There's a big group from the running club going down, most of whom are running the full, and they've been trying all summer to convince me to do it. I knew the full was not an option for me, but I hemmed and hawed about the half, and when I found out it was almost sold out, I finally got my credit card out and made it official.
More than the race itself, though, I'm really looking forward to a weekend with friends, and hanging out and running in a city I've never been in.
And I am SO looking forward to being able to finish my race, and then come back to cheer on all my friends who are running the full! Whenever I do a race, I always circle back to the finish for at least a few minutes (sometimes longer) to cheer on other finishers, but I'm usually pretty exhausted and out of it, so it'll be nice to have a little down time to catch my breath and recover a bit before going back and cheering everyone in.
And after that, my plan is to take some time off from racing. I've had a pretty busy schedule ever since Gansett last April, and it's been great - some really fun races, and some huge PRs - but my focus now is definitely shifting to Boston.
I submitted my registration Monday morning, and should hear back next week as to whether or not I'm in. All indications are that there are still plenty of spots left, and I feel fairly confident that I'll be standing on the starting line in Hopkinton next year. But I'll feel much, much better once I know that for sure.
And if I am running Boston next April, I'll be back in full-on training mode at the end of December, so I want to give myself some real down time. I haven't been on a training schedule this summer, but I've still been working pretty darn hard, and I think it will be good for me to back off for a month or so, so that I can go into my Boston training feeling refreshed and ready.
I'm already getting excited just thinking about it. As soon as I sent in my registration, I started exploring the BAA website, and perusing training plans. I have a pretty huge goal in mind, but I'm still a little nervous to say it out loud.
And even though I know my name isn't going to be there yet, I still keep checking the list of entrants, hoping it's going to pop up. Hopefully, in a few more days, it will.
I was so burned out after running Hartford and Gansett just 6 months apart, and last April, the last thing I wanted to think about was training for another marathon. And not being beholden to a training schedule like that all summer has been so wonderful, and so freeing.
And it did exactly what I wanted it to do - it gave me a break, and made me enjoy running again, and gave me enough of a rest that I'm now really looking forward to being back on a schedule and checking off my workouts as I complete them, and counting down the days to April 15.
I've got the schedule, I've got the plan - now I just need the official registration. Keep your fingers crossed for me.....!