I mentioned in my first post of 2011 that I wouldn't be "racing" the Houston Half. I have been chasing a half marathon PR for some time now and back in December talked with my coach and understood that the 2011 Houston Half probably wouldn't be my time either. As part of my triathlon training, I'm in the base phase and have been focusing on lowering my heart rate for the past several weeks. To do this, I basically watch my HR on my runs and when I see it creeping out of my set zone, I either slow down or in some cases, walk until the HR cooperates. This was extremely frustrating at first but I stuck with it and have seen some major improvements. I'm at the point now where my long run pace truly feels like an all day effort. I'm not kidding, I feel like I could run ALL DAY LONG if I needed to at about an 11:30min-ish/mile pace. I know that isn't fast but it's not supposed to be...it's all day people! So what does this mean for the Houston Half? Well, it simply means I won't be pushing it the entire time. I haven't talked to my coach again about this but my guess is I'll be asked to keep my effort in HR Zones 1&2 and then maybe let it creep to 3 for a bit. For me, it was a no-brainer to not chase the PR during this race. Triathlon training and specifically Ironman training is the priority so if I have to sacrifice my pride here and there along the way, you bet I will. Those of you close to me are probably saying, "yeah right" about now as you know how I am with pushing myself but mark my words, I will not PR in 2 weeks (unless I can do it in the correct HR zone). :)
I'm not big on setting resolutions at the beginning of a new year. In all honesty, there are usually tons of things I know I want to accomplish each year but I just don't want to label them. The start of the new year does sort of push the reset button for me though and gives me a sort of clean slate in many ways. I keep a memo board Keith helped me make in my workout room and I post my race numbers and other random things there. Well, with 2010 saying "adios" and 2011 starting, I decided it was time to take down the old race numbers and make way for the new. Another clean slate. It's weird going in there to workout and having NO race numbers posted (except for the framed ones). Yet another reason I can't wait for 2 weeks and the Houston Half when I can pick up my first race number of 2011!
So there you go, a picture of my real life "clean slate" (sorta). Stay tuned as I'm pretty certain the training posts will be increasing the further we get into 2011!