Yeah, really...7.5 miles tonight. Seems a bit foolish if you ask me. 1.75 mile warm up, 5 x 1 mile repeats and a .75 mile cool down. I'm not sure why this was a good idea, for that you will have to ask Bob. The bigger problem is that I was a lemming tonight. Just followed right along. I guess that's the point of track with a group, push your limits. But do the limits have to be pushed that far? I didn't walk in my door till after 8:30 tonight and track started at 6. Mind you I did stop at Whole Foods for dinner, but still. I feel great, very proud. I ran hard, fast and with consistency. Had some good laughs with fellow runners and caught up with those I had missed during my hiatus. More importantly I got a sense of where other fall marathoner's were in their training. To my surprise I am not as far behind as I thought. Right there with everyone else, bitching about the heat and worried about race day. So I guess the 7.5 miles and late night was worth it for the piece of mind knowing that Chicago is still a possibility, thanks guys.
4:00am, I never get up at 4 to run. Today was different, forget about Sarah the runner and focus on Sarah the Triathlete (do you hear the ohh's and ahh's from the crowd). This seemed like a great idea until I watched them put out the buoy's for the 1/4 mile swim, they seemed further out and further apart than last year. I suddenly worried that I never wrote out that will to determine who would care for Stanley. Just before my wave started I took what could have been my last look at Joe, the hottest cheerleader on the beach. Why am I doing this as he is standing nearby...DRY?? My nerves did not dissipate until I hit the water and had to focus on not drowning. Although the swim is the most nerve wracking for me, it's my strongest leg of the race. Getting to the 2nd buoy seemed to take a while and was complicated by solar glare. And just like last year when I thought I couldn't swim any further I hit the buoy, took a sharp left and headed back to the beach. That's right, again I didn't drown and to me that makes it a successful swim!
Next up the bike. Here's the thing about the bike, I haven't been on mine since this race last year. Not smart but what can I say, I'm not a huge fan of biking. Don't get me wrong, a Sunday ride in shorts and flip flops for ice cream I'm there, but riding hard soaking wet after a swim really does nothing for me. I made it through the transition and got my bike on the road only to find it was broken. Yep, I should have checked before but I didn't. The chain fell off and was wedged in tight. After struggling for a few moments someone took pity on me and fixed it for me. So now my chain is on, but when I hit the minor hills I found the gears weren't working right. What the hell! Nothing I can do but laugh. 2 loops completed pretty quickly and back to the transition for the run.
I run all the time, and I don't always run smart. Yesterday I ran 13 miles so today's run sucked. Not only because it was during a tri and my legs were beat up but also because I wasn't recovered from yesterday. Again, all I can do is laugh. Last year I figured out that no matter how slow it feels like you are running, the punishment is over quicker if you keep trying to run rather than resort to walking. In addition to being in pain from the long run yesterday and swim and the bike ride I finished, it was friggin HOT out. There was no shade on the course, although lovely ocean views.
Finishing was oh so sweet, sweeter than finishing most running races if you want me to be completely honest. There is just something about finishing a tri that is amazing. The sense of accomplishment is overwhelming. Not that I trained for this or had an amazing finishing time but think about it; I swam in the open ocean then hopped on my bike then went for a run...all before breakfast!
Notes for next year:
tinted googles to help with sun glare
check bike before run to ensure it's not broken and ride bike more than annually
find someone else to complete running segment as it's the most uncomfortable!
Miles trained today: 1/4 mile swim, 11 mile bike ride, 3.2 mile run
I did it, I ran on the roads this morning and hit my goal of 13 miles. We took it easy, stopped for water and swedish fish along the route. I was pumped when we made it home before 9:30. Just as I got in the shower it happened, the post long run delirium. Things start to move very slowly, nothing makes absolute sense. Running at the beach and then immediately sleeping for hours on my towel has prevented this from happening in quite a while. I knew I was in trouble when I found myself laying down on the shower floor. Judging by the pruniness of my finger tips I had been there a while, maybe too long. With the schedule as it is today, I couldn't allow for a 3-4 hour nap. So the delirium followed me for most of the afternoon. Joe had it too, as evidenced by his agreement that I purchase 2 dresses (note to self bring him shopping after long runs to ensure purchases without complaint). We tried to eat and found ourselves zoning out over sandwiches. The task of going grocery shopping seemed daunting, it was going to require some walking. We were all over the store, forgetting things and aisle jumping, it was pretty messy. The only cure I know of is sleep, and it's going to be a long time before I climb into bed.
I'll admit, it was pretty nice out tonight. I was tempted to blow off my appt with the treadmill and get reaquainted with the roads. But alas, I'm not at the point yet where I can tolerate another bad run. There is no telling what can happen on the roads, it can get wild out there. On the treadmill I have complete control AND I found the special machine. It is perfectly positioned so that my left side is blasted with a/c the whole time. It's the little things in running that keep me going. I couldn't convince Joe that I had the right idea and as I walked inside to my mechanical oasis he hit the roads. After an hour he came to find me with stories about sailboats on the water and sunsets in the park. I was not jealous. There were no sailboats or sunsets in the gym, just old episodes of the Real Housewives, but I had a good run and that's all that matters right about now.
So my training sucks right now and has sucked for the last 2-3 weeks. The heat is kicking my ass and at this point I'm questioning the marathon. I don't want to run another 5 hour marathon and if something doesn't change that's what I'm headed for. June 26th I did an 11 mile run at a 10:30 pace and since then it's been down hill. July 4th was the 10k and that felt good but was only 6 miles. Last week, no long run as I was questioning a strain. This week I tried for 11 miles and almost killed myself getting through 9 and don't even ask about the pace. I haven't had a good run outside since July 4th. On the treadmill with a/c I can run 6-7 miles and not think twice about it. On the treadmill speed workouts are enjoyable. I don't know if I should quit road running and focus on running well on the treadmill until the heat breaks. I'm giving it a month, if things haven't improved by then I'm out of Chicago and not going to look back.
Yep, I'm a bit nervous. Might have over done it. My calf is a bit pissed off. Friday I did a speed workout on the treadmill, it felt so good. Followed by 35 mins in the pool, didn't end feeling good. I got one of those calf cramps that makes you want to scream in pain. I half treaded, half hobbled to the wall and tried to work it out. Maybe I swam 3 more lengths before calling it a day. Since then I've been in pain, tried to run twice and am still feeling it. The pain is worse after not moving and after a mile or so works its way out. Going down stairs hurts, a lot. So, what is my plan? Tomorrow no running or swimming. It's better than the day before and the day before that; here's hoping I've found the road to a quick recovery. So I don't think it's anything serious. We'll see how Tuesday goes. I'm a little irritated that this is now 2 weeks without a long run, Chicago is still just over 3 months away so I have time....
Miles trained today - 1 hour (too hot to care about distance)
I took a test this morning and didn't have to study. Dehydration is a big topic with the heat wave and I have continued to run. So today I weighted myself pre and post run to see what I had lost. Let me tell you why this was a terrible idea. I weighed myself prior to drinking any water and then was parched immediately after stepping off the scale. We then ran, rather, waded though an hour of 94% humidity - again no water. The ride home seemed like double the normal time it takes. At times I was hallucinating, seeing little water bottles along the road. All of this to show that I lost over 2 lbs in sweat. Great news! Why parch myself for this? I don't have a good answer. I also did nothing new with this info. Finishing the run I took a cold shower and drank my normal amount of liquids (plus a little too much ocean water during an evening swim). Next time I won't listen to Runner's World and will just continue on with my routine. Maybe it's a bigger deal to those who run faster or further than I do, or those who don't consume copious amounts of water per day. Just another useless little running fact: on days where the humidity is a 94% and I run for an hour, I can expect to sweat out over 2 lbs of water.
Miles trained today: 1 hour - distance not measured
Before starting the race today, we were standing in the chute waiting, at least 4 times there were warnings about the temps. Don't go out too fast, be sure to hydrate, enjoy yourself. Enjoy? It was quickly approaching the mid 80's and we hadn't started yet, I should have been enjoying myself on the beach! Off we went and the first mile sucked. I was running on tired legs and they let me know it. Just sore. I put it out of my head and kept going, as predicted things started to loosen up. We ran into an old friend and spent then next couple of miles chatting. The goal was not too go out too fast and by chatting we kept it nice and easy. The course was flat and there was enough shade to prevent me from melting into the asphalt. I love 10k's, long enough to count for a work out and short enough not to kill you. The last 2 miles things started to pick up, before we knew it we were entering the park again. Now it gets funny, we are sprinting or at least I was. Can't breath, could puke but that would require slowing down. My sister in law (who by the way is legs from the neck down) pulls out her cell phone and calls her hubby to inform him we are ahead of schedule. I look over and she's gliding along beside me, barely breathing hard and having a good time...I could have killed her! Finishing in the stadium was a blast. Onto the turf, through the helmet and onto the jumbotron. We had enough time post finish line to take in the stadium from the turf, it was unreal. I'll be there next year and hoping the temps are a bit lower.
This is a running blog, but I enjoyed my swim so that's what you get tonight. The tri is about 25 days away and I've been neglecting the pool. No reasons, it's just not always at the top of my priority list. Now here's the deal with signing up for the tri, it's more dangerous than any running race I have ever competed in. In case you forgot, it can be LIFE THREATENING. If I get tired on my bike or feet, I slow down and catch my breath. If I get too tired in the ocean, DEATH is an option. That said I decided I needed to ensure I could swim the quarter mile distance again, it's been a year since I've tried. Drum roll please....I swam it. I know, pretty anti-climatic. It was just about that exciting in real life as well. Now I realize why I've had trouble getting to the pool, it's BORING! I did it, it's done. But just remember, when I do it for real on race day it will be in the big scary ocean complete with waves! That is why I will recommit to my swimming efforts and swim 2-3 days a week till race day.
I did go for a run tonight as well and it was pleasurable. Joe is back in town and it's always easier to run with him, unless he drags his feet in lame attempts to stall or even prevent the run from happening (not that this occurred this evening).