Shake it up

or: Shake and bake.

or: Shake it like a Polaroid pick-chaaah.

or: I’m shaking things up a bit.

I was supposed to do my first (real) ultra this weekend.

I was supposed to train with long runs (think- 6-7hours) and lots of food and lots of rest.

I was supposed to step it up.

But I didn’t.

Maybe I shouldn’t say it like that. No one was forcing me to run the Voyageur 50mile on the Superior Hiking Trail. No one twisted my arm to register online and mail in the check. I did it on my own.

And I’m not really stepping aside, I’m still stepping up. I am just stepping up a different ladder.

There is a big difference in focusing on triathlon and focusing on ultra running. It’s true that cycling can help my endurance, and that cycling and swimming offer a great break from the impact of running but maintain my cardiovascular fitness.

But if I want to be good at triathlon, I need to focus on triathlon.

And I’ve been making excuses to not focus on triathlon. I was sick with some sort of China Funk/Whooping Cough/UP Death Flu in May, right after Rev3 Knox, and pulled out of the American Triple T. And I was recovering and traveling and recovering in June. and I was wedding-ing and traveling and sleeping it off in July.

And I stopped moving for a day and faced it: I am not ready for this type of 50 miler. The Superior Hiking Trail is hard. Rocky. Hilly. Unforgiving. And I have been training on roads, snowmobile trails, and two-wheeled machines. So I threw in the towel on my first ultra and reeled in another beast: Chisago Lake Tri.

I did this race last year, and had a blast. It’s a short drive (6hrs) and I know the course. It’s a fairly big race (1000 athletes?) and a fast course. Its competitive but not too competitive, and I have a benchmark. Plus, the bike course is flat, so it will be a great tune-up for the Full Rev at Cedar Point.

And I am trying something new. I am not going to focus on my previous best time or try to beat my swim or my bike or my run time (or all three). I am going to go into it with the same mentality as I did last year, just to try and race the race, do the best I can do on that day, and hope for the best race I can give. I am going to test my ability to let all things go and not actually hold something in the back of my head like: “Why are you just NOW getting on the bike when last year you were out of the water in 34 minutes?” or “This pace isn’t going to get you off the bike in 2.5hours like laaast year.”

Instead, I am going to ask myself questions, like:

“Are you having fun?”

And if the answer is no, I am going to shake it up some more. Carole will be there, too, so maybe I can moon her. Maybe that will be my goal…

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About megankillian

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware. I love biomechanics!

Posted on July 21, 2010, in Minnesota, psychology, racing, Trakkers, travel, triathlon. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. i really wanted to do an ultra this year too, but i knew it would take away from my bigger picture goals so i decided not to. sometimes its hard but in the end i think moving towards the A goals is always a good thing 🙂 we cant do it all all the time!

  2. I am sad to miss you at Voyageur! But you’re right. While it’s mostly not on the SHT, it is some pretty brutal stuff and if you aren’t prepped for it it could turn into a death march real easy. I like how I say this as though I’ve done it 🙂 Well, I did the HALF voyageur (where they also add an extra little loop to make it a full marathon) a couple weekends ago, so I guess I do know the course at least.

    Hopefully we will see you next year there? Have a blast at your tri, I hope you have loads of fun and I know you’ll be awesome.

  3. northlandrunner

    Good luck at your tri! I was thinking about doing the half voyageur but decided against it after hearing how brutal it is. Maybe next year..

  4. Love the beginning of this post…lol.

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