Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A break ... from blogging, but not running

Tandem training is happening now ... for a both a speedy half-marathon and a triathlon.

The half-marathon will be first, next month in Los Gatos (just over the mountains from me here in Santa Cruz). The triathlon is the one I've been talking about for ages -- the Santa Cruz Triathlon (formerly "the Sentinel") in about three months.

Figuring out how to train for both while enjoying the spoils of summer at the beach is a challenge. Go for a bike ride or sit in the yard for a reading/sunbathing session? I've got to be honest, the serial killer book and a lawn chair won out last weekend.

Also, training for just a half-marathon -- I know, JUST -- seems almost like being a woman without a race. I could cover that distance tonight after work if I felt like it. In fact, I've done two half-marathon races in the past three weeks (more on those later) and taken no time off after them. So getting it through my head that I need to run a certain distance at a certain pace can be a tough sell.

The one thing I'm actually getting really into is swimming in the ocean. Yes, totally insane. Nuts. But it feels like such an accomplishment every time I finish loop around the buoys at Cowell Beach. Don't get me wrong, it's no fun when I'm out there. Sunday morning, I thought kelp that caught on my ankles was a sea monster. Sometimes I get little panic attacks from the cold, choppy water. But once I can touch the sand again and run up out of the waves, I'm ecstatic. And this weekend I may try swimming the Wharf, which is the full distance I will have to cover during the triathlon. Woot woot!!

Running-wise, it's time to update my iPod playlist and start cranking out the miles again. I know it's not ideal for some of the racing I'd like to do, but the weather's great and I have a couple running buddies who will explore some of the single-track trails I'm too cowardly to take on alone ... mostly for fear of getting lost.

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"So be prepared to quit. Do it willingly and with honest resolve. You'll be back. The marvelous thing about running is that you will never become jaded by it. Boredom, injury or anguish may overtake you from time to time, but the reward that first drew you to begin logging the miles remain untarnished and available -- always. Just put on your shoes and head out the door."