Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Time - Slow down!

WOW it's been a crazy couple of weeks.  I've been so busy I didn't even realize that I hadn't updated the blog in a while.  Time is really flying by way faster than I would like it to.  I have so much training to do and not nearly enough hours in each day to do everything I want.  I've had a race every weekend and I have a ton of events coming up.  Plus the temps have been in the 90s lately with very high humidity making the heat index unbearable.

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.

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