WARNING: Because I’m a slacker, this is quite long, but I wanted to catch up on training. And racing. And training to race.
So let me get into the goods of my workouts lately. My birthday was Friday, and I REALLY appreciate the “Happy Birthday” sentiments from you all. I got a TON on Facebook, and that just sort of makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. We had some drinks on the beach, met the kids as they got off the bus, and I got to open presents. Will I ever outgrow the fun of that? I hope not. I got a Magic Bullet and used it Wednesday…. I can say that I will never use that friggin blender for a smoothie again!!! Love the Bullet. We then went out to have some more drinks and eat dinner.
I did extend my birthday day drinking a little too long, and there may or may not be a picture of me riding a big plastic tiger at the Mellow Mushroom, but anyway, when I got up to run on Saturday morning, I was just dog tired. I had four miles to run before my 5k, and I wasn’t feeling it. Then I realized that the color for October’s Breast Cancer Awareness was pink. Like it has been forever. And what did I pull out of my drawer to wear to a Breast Cancer Awareness race? Yeah, the brightest ORANGE shirt I have. I take the “Moron of the Race” award, that’s for sure. It was the Run for the Tatas 5k to help raise money for local charities that support those who have been affected by breast cancer. I was so happy to be a part of this race! So many survivors out there, so many supporters, a great vibe on a beautiful morning. This is a different style of race because the men have to start 2:30 AFTER the women start. Rad, right? It was cool to just have all the women start first. When the horn sounded, I took off, hoping for the best. I was in the front of the crowd, and was happy to see that, in mile 1, I was going about my PR pace of 6:50-ish. Well, that certainly didn’t last long, as in mile 2, I got that lead feeling in my stomach. I wasn’t super surprised since I hadn’t been doing speed work and haven’t trained to run a 5k PR. I slowed down, and then tried to pick back up in the last mile. I can’t remember when the men started passing me, but it was fun to be in front of so many of them, at least for a little bit! I crossed the finish line in 22:30, which I’m happy with, but I’m also slightly disappointed. When will I ever learn to not have parties or special events the night before a 5k?
I ran another two miles after the race so I could catch the awards ceremony, but I still had another two miles to go after that, plus catch my son’s football game. I got lost in the awards ceremony though, especially when the announcer gave the awards for the fastest survivor, the survivor teams, and all the survivor stuff. Sheesh, I get all verklempt thinking about it now. One thing I did notice was how YOUNG they were. These weren’t grandma types like my mom, they were, well, like ME. It took me back a little (oh Lord, here comes the tears again), and I was so proud of these women. I’ve never been challenged with something like that, and I can’t imagine how it would feel. I was inspired by their strength and the fact they were out there, running, raising money, and with big smiles on their faces.
My time ended up being good enough for 3rd Overall Masters, and I won MONEY. I couldn’t believe it, real, actual money. Then I felt guilty because some other ladies donated their winnings back to one of the charities, so I decided to buy a race shirt with half and donate the other half. Knowing me, I’ll probably end up donating the entire thing, but it’s definitely a great cause and well worth it.
I had to leave the awards early so I could get my last two miles in, catch some grub, and head to my son’s game. It was a beautiful day, but later that afternoon, I was so tired, I could barely keep my eyes open. I headed to bed before 9:00 pm. It was awesome.
On Sunday, I got up to meet my friend, Gary, so we could go for a 40 mile bike ride and 5 mile run. I was really geared up for it and wanted to just tear it up. Well, my legs had another idea, so I struggled through most of the 40 miles. I couldn’t get my heart rate up where my legs could stand the work, so I ended up going slower and easier than I had planned and what I was supposed to do. I figured my run was going to be crap too, so I started off at a conservative pace, and ended up having to slow myself down several times to an 8 minute mile. Where the heck that came from, I’ll never know, and I was confused, but I was happy that the run felt so good. My coach did tell me that I’m in the “awkward phase” of training right now too.
Monday rolled around and I had arranged to meet my swim friend, Stacey, so we could get our open water swim in. It was in the 40’s that morning, so I wasn’t looking forward to getting in the water with the chilly air. Surprisingly, the air temps at the beach were pretty warm, so it was nearly perfect. We had a screaming current and the water was flat as glass, so our 1.4 mile swim only took 30 minutes. We chatted a bit, and I headed home with the windows open and a smile on my face.
Tuesday was my running group run, and I was happy to report that my leg was feeling great. Signs of my shin splints were disappearing, and I was happy that I caught it in time to reverse the pain. The issue that day was that my stomach was a mess. I don’t know if it was from open water swimming the day before, but it felt weird and it did last week after open water swimming too. I wasn’t ready to run super fast, but I came ready to run. I was happy until I found out we were doing one and two mile time trials. Time trials. Ugh! I hate them and my stomach was really pissed, so I figured I’d just give it my best shot. I was a little nervous about my shin splints since I’d had some fast paces the past few days, but I charged ahead anyway. My mile came in at 6:38 and my two miles came in at 15:08 or somewhere close to that. I had to laugh because 1) I don’t put much weight on time trials and 2) the two mile split was slower than my 5k. So whatever, but it did give me a benchmark to improve upon as the season continues. I also was dealing with mass boredom during the 2 miler. I almost quit. It was so boring and was the longest 8 laps I’ve ever run at a track, probably ever. BUT, I made it through. Anyone else feel ambivalent towards time trials?
So moving on to Wednesday, I had 1:15 bike ride followed by a one hour run. I drove to Wrightsville Beach to have a change of scenery, and the bike ride was surprisingly good. I figured my legs were going to be pretty tired, but I felt strong, even against the wind. It was a LOT warmer than what I thought it was going to be, so by the time I got that done and moved on to my run, it was probably in the upper 70’s with high humidity. Not a big deal, normally, but something in my body was missing, because I made it 20 minutes before I realized that the run wasn’t going to be a good one. It was the opposite of Sunday! What the hell!???! I thought I fueled well, and even practiced eating while riding (slow), so I was expecting good things. I’m not a huge heart rate training person, for no particular reason, but I noticed that it got really high when I started running and took a long time to lower, which is the opposite of what it did on the bike. Many times, I can’t even get my heart rate in Zone 4 unless I’m going as fast as I can with heavy resistance. I stopped to walk a few times, grabbed a drink, but I continued to feel like crap, plus my stupid shin was bothering me. So I was frustrated, but I also realize that there are going to be good training days, and there are going to be not-so-good training days. I had a combined effect with Sunday/Wednesday with one sport being good the other bad. I came home and stretched, rolled, and iced, and it’s feeling better today. Thank goodness.
Now, on to today. I had an easy bike ride, so I thought I’d meander down to Carolina Beach. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right? Yeah, my stupid tire was as dead as a doornail. Well, alert the mental health professionals because I fell apart. All my fears of the half iron came out in a big mass of tears. I’m scared of having a flat during the race, I’m scared of finding my tire flat when I get done with the swim (assuming I finish the swim in time), and having yet another flat was just something that put me over the cliff. Without the bat wings. I realize that it’s just all my fears and stress coming out in a not-so-princess-like way, but it’s real. It didn’t last long, and when it was done, I turned my bike over and changed that damn flat.
On Friday, I’ve got a high cadence bike workout and then Saturday…. drum roll…… is my very first ever in my entire life SWIM RACE!!!!! (Check out the website, it’s really cool and you can see where I’m going to be swimming! You can see half my coach’s face in the picture montage too!) I have 6 miles to run earlier that morning, but the race will start at 10 am. I’m sort of nervous but I’m sort of excited because it’s almost exactly the same course with the SAME tide conditions as the Beach 2 Battleship triathlon I’m doing in just two weeks. Um, two friggin’ weeks. Yeah, if I’m not a river in Egypt because I’m in De-Nial about that. Really super duper excited to get ‘er done, but wow, here it is. HERE. IT. IS.
Jitters? Yes. Excitement? Yes. Visualization? Yes. Determination? Yes. Confidence? Mostly yes. Saturday will really help, but really, I have to take each bit, know deep down that I CAN do it, and that whatever happens, I did the absolute best to prepare. It’s time to bring on the BEAST MODE for this race!
I’ll be back with my race recap, probably this weekend. I don’t usually blog on the weekends, but I just may for this 🙂
Happy running, y’all, just over two weeks and it’s MARATHON MODE for me!