Monday, March 29, 2010

Wind, Ice, and Crawfish

Busy busy weekend!  Also: the last heavy training before I hit my April race schedule (gulp).  I just realized over this past weekend that I have my three major races all within 2 months of each other.  Who does this?  Why did I do this?  What was I thinking???

Saturday was my 10 mile continuous Zone 2 run, my longest continuous run to date.  I got to the park just as they were setting up for Trash Bash, so good timing there.  Got a parking space before things got too crazy with the trash cleanup.  It was a wonderful cool morning (probably the last one for a looong time) and I was on a mission to finish quickly since I had afternoon plans, plus I had on new running shoes, which makes things fun.  Starting out, my pace was way too fast.  Like :30/mile too fast.  I kept saying "slow down" but my feet just would not listen, so I went with it.  The run was pretty uneventful and actually sorta fun (still weird to say running and fun in the same sentence).  Managed to go hard the last mile, which was a great feeling, and NO STOPPING the whole time except to pick up my dropped water bottle twice.  Crazy part was my average pace.  My 8 mile pace last weekend was 11:09.  Saturday's 10 mile pace was 10:51.  Bananas.  I think my 2 x 1 mile track repeats last Tuesday really helped.  Also: I think I finally understand that running endorphin rush.... I was feeling *good* when I was done running.

So I rushed home, cleaned up, ate breakfast, then took off to set-up for the company crawfish boil.  I'm head of the activities committee for the office this year, and this is our major event for the office for the year.  Typically we do it in April, but it gets so hot.  So we took a gamble and bumped it to March.  We were lucky and it was gorgeous out.    My homebrew had issues (I also organize a homebrew competition).  It was TASTY, but also way way way to much foam.  Not sure how to fix that.  So, after eating my fill of crawfish, I made a graceful exit at 4 PM.  Which was good because I was tired and had to get ready for more athletic activites for Sunday....

Sunday was a 57 mile bike ride + 3 mile run.  Was hoping for less wind than last week, and I think that there may have been less wind, but only slightly less wind.  This was a MS150 training ride, which meant there were about 500 people doing various distances and at different ability levels.  I was a moron and forgot my Garmin.  After last weekend's issue with no battery, and since this was my last long training ride before my HIM, I put in a HUGE request, and had Will drive my Garmin up to me.  At 7 AM.  With a 50 minute one-way drive.  (I don't even want to think about how much I owe him for this "favor"....)  I seriously spent 10 mintues debating whether or not I needed it, and decided that I really did need the data (particularly cadence and HR), and fortunately (?) he was awesome and brought it to me without too much grumbling.  Eleventy billion positive husband points for Will.

This course was actually pretty fun.  It was windy (still not sure how windy, though), but it had enough turns so it was manageable.  You'd ride 20 min into the wind, turn a corner and cruise along at 20 mph with a tail wind for a bit, before you hit more wind.  Soooo much better (mentally and physically) then the 2 hrs of relentless headwind we experienced last weekend.  We skipped the first rest-stop to get ahead of the crowds, had a long-ish stop at mile the 24 stop.  Longer than I wanted (you can't stop that long during races!) but considering the wind and the fact that my right thigh was getting tweaky again, it was actually a welcome break.  Decided to skip the next stop and hit the mile 46 stop, which worked out nicely.  Besides, do you REALLY need to stop every 11 miles?  Really?  Winds were a bit more brutal on this middle stage, as we were headed north most of the time.  But there were some fun rollers (which is perfect for Boise training) and some pretty pastures and wildflowers, so that made the time go by.  Also, there were some craptastic roads, but not much you can do except try to get through them.  The mile 46 stop was a quick in and out, then 11 miles home.  With the last 2 miles being the worst of it all, with rough roads and a strong headwind.  It may have been the longest 2 miles of my life.  Finally into the parking lot and then onto the run.

We decided to run into the wind so that way, the return was with a tailwind.  Still went too fast (not sure this is a problem, though... we shall see).  Running definitely did not feel as good as Saturday, but my pace was fast, so I don't know.  Hopefully during my races, I can settle down so I don't burn up in the first 3 miles.  Not such a problem for my Olympic (run is 6.2 miles), but this could be a huge problem for my HIM (run is 13.1 miles).  Average run pace for the 3 miles was 10:36.  I'm expecting to get yelled at by my coach any time now....

Went out for BBQ for lunch, brought Will some to his office (poor guy worked all day), ran to the grocery store, then went home.  Will got home just in time for my ice bath.  My friend suggested that I start doing this, especially considering how many hours I put into my legs this weekend.  I was expecting it to be horrible, but it wasn't bad (which makes me think I did it wrong).  Getting in the water wasn't fun (I had the full attention of both kitties and Will with my loud wimpering).  But with the TV as a distraction, it really wasn't bad.  Especially considering my legs are barely sore today.  Tired, but not sore.

Random observations from this weekend:
  • Running in cool weather is awesome.  Curious to see how I do when it heats up.
  • I just used "running" and "awesome" in the same sentence.  Scary.
  • I need to put KT tape on my right thigh before my races and long rides.  It started getting wonky on me yesterday before the first rest stop.  I taped it for the Continental Classic ride and had on compression tights for Galveston.  But no tape = potential fail.  Fortunately, I caught it in time and stretched it out well at the first rest stop, but I do not want a repeat of last November's injury.
  • Ice baths are not scary, at least not with one popcorn bowl's worth of ice.  Probably need to stock pile ice in the garage freezer so I have more on hand for a colder bath.
This week's training is looking pretty hard (track workout is a pyramid - eeps! and a 12 mile run on Saturday), but then after that I have a week taper and then my race.  Then hopefully recovery/taper and my HIM.  April should be interesting.

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