Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Time - Slow down!
The weekend after Independence Day I did a 16 mile training run early Saturday morning in an attempt to beat the heat. It didn't matter how early I started the humidity was out of control. I was dripping sweat within the first half mile. I felt ok. My pace was a little slow, but considering it was very early and already in the 80s I was ok with it. As long as I felt comfortable and could keep moving forward without difficulty or pain I figured it was a good run. Then somewhere around mile 12 my hips started to hurt. More specifically, my ass muscles. I had done quite a bit of biking the previous few days so I figured that was the cause, but it really started to bother me in the last few miles of my run. I slowed to barely a shuffle. I was so frustrated because I felt ok. I wasn't dehydrated and I had tons of energy. It just plain hurt to run. That was a first for me in a long time.
I finished the run and took an ice bath right away with 80lbs of ice. It might have been a little too much, but it felt really good. I spent the rest of the day on my couch watching the Tour de France. Even after laying down for most of the day my hips were still sore. I hoped they would feel better by the next day because that Sunday I had my first international distance tri of the summer.
I woke up Sunday morning and felt a little better. Got breakfast and packed my car. Luckily I didn't have to travel far to get to the race. It was in Lowell up the street from my house. I made it to the race and set up my bike. Listened to some tunes to get pumped and try to relax a little before the start. I was nervous about the swim because it was the same difficult river swim as last year against the current. Before I knew it the gun went off and I was swimming. It wasn't as bad as the year before I felt ok in the water. I kept looking over my shoulder to see if I was the last one out of the water and there were at least a few swim caps behind me so I felt ok.
I got out of the water faster than I did last year, then it was time for the bike. I did not feel as good on the bike. Hips still bothering me. After 26 miles it actually was a relief to run. I realized I needed to adjust the seat height on my bike. It was obviously way too high and I was rocking my hips and over extending my legs pulling my hamstrings. It was adding up but too late to change it now I was in the middle of the race. I finished strong, not dead last, but pretty close.
The next week, I felt like junk. I rested Monday. I tried to run Tuesday, but had a serious case of lead legs and only made it 2 miles, just barely. The heat and intense activity of the weekend hit me like a ton of bricks and I couldn't move. Wednesday I rested. Thursday I had signed up for a local 5K with my friend Ann so I jogged to the start of the race. Feeling ok, not fast, but better and not in pain so I figured I'd just run and see how it went. It was really hot and humid again so I wasn't expecting anything spectacular. I ran the first mile and a half with Ann and then pick up the pace a little. It wasn't my fastest or slowest 5K. I considered it a win because I felt good. Friday I rested some more before another busy weekend.
Saturday morning I got up and did 14 miles. What a difference a week of taking it easy made. The 14 miles felt amazing. The first 3 miles were a little rough and then I settled into a nice comfortable pace. I actually found a little orange stuffed animal gorilla on the side of the road and took him along for the run, he became my good luck charm because after I picked him up I felt great. I even saved a dog from getting hit by a truck. I was running on a back road and the dog ran out of his yard to come run with me. Normally I would be scared, but this dog just seemed to want to join me, not hurt me. Unfortunately, right when he came across the road there was a truck coming. I was able to grab him and bring him back to his home. Then I continued my run, looking back to make sure he stayed.
I finished the run and took my ice bath, reducing the amount of ice this time to only 60lbs. I think maybe 80lbs. is just right because I melted the 60lbs. almost instantly. Once I showered and refueled I took a look at my garmin and my splits for the run. To my surprise, my heartrate in the first mile maxed out at 207!!!!!! No wonder I felt like death, I was knocking on it's door. I stabilized after the first 3 miles and averaged in the 140s, but damn that first mile was bad.
Sunday I had another triathlon, just a sprint. I got there early and adjusted my bike seat. I rode a few miles and made sure it was right. It killed two, well really three, birds with one stone - I fixed my bike, warmed up for the race, and passed some time while waiting for the race to begin. The race was a half mile swim, ten mile bike, and three mile run. I felt really good in the water despite an annoying girl in front of me that could NOT swim straight and kept zig-zagging across the line I was trying to swim as close to the bouys as possible.
I got on the bike and immediately noticed a difference from the previous week. I was averaging between 18 and 20mph instead of the barely 14-15mph I had been seeing. It was awesome! I blew past people screaming "ON YOUR LEFT!" I tried to keep my eye out for girls in my division, I met a few of them before the race racking their bikes near me so I knew who to look for. One of them passed me on the bike, but I kept her in my sight and when I got to the transition I got my running gear on and quickly passed her. T2 is one of my strengths. I am usually under a minute.
The run was really challenging but fun. It was a mix of trail and road. Some of the trails were narrow and really scketchy. It was more like hiking than running. I felt really good though. I finished strong and crossed the finish line in 1:25. I had a feeling it was good enough to place so I waited around for the awards. It took FOREVER and it was really hot out. I thought about leaving a few times, but I'm glad I didn't because I got 2nd place!
Monday morning I registered for marathon #13 - Big Sur 2013. I was teetering on the fence about it, but decided I want to do it and I should just run it. So I signed up. So, I've got 2 more sprint triathlons, an olympic tri, a half ironman, a half marathon, then Chicago, Goofy, then Big Sur. Keeping busy, staying motivated and loving life. Doesn't get much better than this.