Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Trisko Kid

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my running goals and how to best fit them in with the rest of my life. My new job, while awesome in many ways, poses some challenges. The frequent travel (so far we’re at four trips in six weeks) is the biggest one. In one way, I’m working that out. I have resolved to still go running when I’m travelling, even though it means having to wake up extra early. It’s worth it to me, because starting a hectic day with a run is a great way for me to feel centered, and to really feel like me, even in a strange environment.

The trouble comes when I get home. Steve and Jack have been incredibly supportive of me in just about every possible way. That includes both work and running. And because the boys are so great, when I am home, I want to spend time with them.
Right now, I can, as the great Tim Gunn would say, make it work. I’m using the FIRST plan to train for a trisko (“half marathon”) on May 10, then another on May 24. Tuesday nights I do a track workout, then Thursdays I do a tempo run – unless I am travelling, in which case I do those workouts whenever I am on the road. On Sundays, I start my long run at 7:30 in the morning, and with the longest pre-race run planned at 13.1 miles, it doesn’t eat up my entire day – both with the time to run and the time to recover.

But when my thoughts turn to marathon training in the fall, I get a little worried. My mid-week workouts will be about the same, but those long runs on weekends are a lot tougher. If I go out and run a 20 miler, between running, an ice bath, eating a giant pile of food, and recovery time, half my day is shot. I love the time I spend running, but if I’ve already been away from home for a couple of days in the week, it’s a lot of time spent away from Steve and Jack.

That’s why I’m thinking that 2009 may be the Year of the Trisko (which, again, sounds much cooler than the Year of the Half Marathon).

A trisko is, of course, a respectable and challenging distance. But my long runs won’t take so long. I’ll feel ready to hang out with my guys after a sandwich and a shower, rather than an ice bath and a nap. And because it’s easier to recover from the race itself, I could do more of them. I can also set more aggressive goals, knowing that it’s easier to sustain 13.1 miles than 26.2.

My calendar is already starting to fill up. There’s the Quad Cities Distance Classic on May 10, followed by the Madison Half Marathon on May 24. And I just convinced Steve that it would be really fun for the three of us to go to Chicago on the weekend of June 7 so that I can run 13.1 Chicago. I could run the Quad Cities Half Marathon in September, but then follow that up with the half marathons in Des Moines or Kansas City.

The marathon will always have a special place in my heart, and I know I’ll go back to it someday. But for now, triskos may be the way to go. Just call me The Trisko Kid.


tfh said...

My favorite part about triskos is just what you said-- quicker recovery, making more races possible. And yes, I can see how it would eat up a lot of family time on weekends if I did have a child-- and watching moms who do manage to do it all with very little r&r time for themselves post-run is something I don't think I could ever do. Sounds like a great decision for you, Trisko Kid!

newsjunkie said...

I think that's a great plan. And in a way I'm envious. I love the half and I wish I could satisfy myself with sticking to that distance. But there's that part of me that, if a full is available, says, "Hey, you've done 3 now--one where you were injured and in pain for the last half, one where you struggled with leg cramps, and one where you totally slacked on your training. You CAN do the full and although the recovery is longer, you know that within 4 days the major pain will be gone." So I end up doing the full.

Although you have something I don't have--a family with whom you want to spend time. My pets seem to prefer when I'm out of the house, and I'm happy to oblige them during training. :)

You're an awesome runner no matter what distance you run.

Roisin said...

I think that's such a great idea! Marathons are soooo time consuming and just wreck you...it's hard to imagine doing them more than once per year. And your family has gotta be your top priority! I give you credit for doing all that you do anyway!

joyRuN said...

I love the HM distance - really not sure how I signed up for another full.

I also enjoy running when in new locations - best way to get intimate with the area. Freaks out the people I travel with though :)

Nat said...

As everyone said it's challenging without killing your family life.

God, that's a lot of traveling. The Man used to travel like that and it was rough all around... Family first I say.