As I write this, I am sprawled out on the couch, wearing my compression tights for the second day in a row, and really wanting a nap. Labor day weekend has been awesome - definitely the most training I've ever done over four days. I've calculated that I have biked 155 miles and ran 38 miles, covering a grand total of 193 miles. And I feel it. Friday was my 28th birthday and Mark and I both took the day off and drove 3 hours out to Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland so I could ride the Savageman bike course. And it was savage. The Westernport Wall was just as unforgiving as last year, but I still (barely) made it up AND took a picture of my brick and Karen's brick, forever entombed in the Wall. Awesome. That was only the beginning of a really long day on the bike with more hills than I really ever care to ride again. There's a no-name hill towards the end of the ride, nearish to mile 50, and I was cursing to myself all the way up the thing because I was so tired of hills. But I felt good on the ride overall, and felt like I could run afterwards if I had to. I was only gone a little over four hours, but it felt like much longer - in some ways you almost feel like a different person when you are finished than what you were when you started, it's very hard to adequately explain. Either way, I was GLAD to be finished and on our way back to DC for my birthday dinner!
Dinner with friends was great - it was so nice to spend time with everyone because I don't get a chance to see them all terribly often. Ha - on our way there, we walked our the front door to our apartment building and saw the bus (pictured above) sitting in the parking circle in front of our building. Apparently it hopped the curb, crashed through the brick wall by the sidewalk, and came to rest in the parking circle after mowing through the flowerbed. Fortunately nobody was hurt, that's why I didn't feel guilty taking pictures.
Saturday was a beautiful 100 mile ride out by Maryland's Western shore (I didn't even know Maryland HAD a Western shore). For some reason, I thought it would be a flat ride... I was wrong, there were actually alot of rolling hills. I did get one flat, but one of the riders was nice enough to let me use his pump, rather than wasting my CO2 cartridges. The scenery was beautiful and I especially liked riding the last few miles out by the Bay. It was my first 100 mile ride since Beach2Battleship last year and I was thrilled with how well it went. I ate a few bananas at each rest stop (and, who am I kidding, along with some cookies and brownies). I'm trying to lay off the Fritos on my rides, but I did miss them on Saturday. I figured I'd finish the ride in a little over 6 hours, but I surprised myself with a 5:55. It took me 5:45 two weeks ago to finish my 90 mile ride, so I'm really happy with Saturday's ride.
I was tired after the ride, but I made myself go on a 6 mile run when I got home. It was a slow, ugly 6 miles, but it actually got better as every mile passed. I spent the rest of the day wearing my compression tights and eating (a whole veggie quesadilla, two ears of corn, carrot cake, and Birthday Cake Remix ice cream - yum!! thank you Mark!). I was down for the count before the clock struck 10.
Sunday was the most painful 20+ mile run ever. I was planning on doing a 22 mile run, the weather was perfect, I ate a good breakfast, but my legs were SORE from the previous two days of cycling. I must've also been in a fog when I left the apartment for the run, because I only took a half-eaten bag of Honey Stingers with me (along with water, of course), and there was no way that small amount of food was going to keep me satisfied. And it didn't. And I didn't bring money with me either so i couldn't even stop at the store. I decided to ration out my last three Honey Stingers with nine miles to go - I would eat one every three miles and hope that I wouldn't have to beg a Clif bar or something off of a biker or runner on the bike path. I ended up running eight miles on roads and 14 miles on the bike trail - I was afraid if I looped back by home (as I normally do on my runs) that the temptation to cut out early would be too overwhelming. While on the bike path refilling my water bottle, I met an older guy who was out for a leisurely 80 mile bike ride. His plan was to ride to Leesburg on the bike path, stop for pizza (I was starving at that point and pizza sounded sooooo good) and then ride the canal path back to DC. He doesn't race, he just bikes for fun. I have alot of admiration for people who just get out and do long bike rides simply because they feel like it, no goal in mind. I always have a goal to work towards - and even though I enjoy my workouts, I also enjoy racing and having something to try and achieve, so I don't know if I will ever be one of those people who just works out "for fun", I don't know if I'm motivated enough without a goal. Anyway, I got a little off topic there. I did finish my run in one piece, Mark was the most awesome husband ever because when I came home, he had twenty pounds of ice, a cold gatorade, and a tub for me to take an ice bath in. AWESOME! I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (all while fending off Bissell, my thief of a cat), took a (painful-yet-exhilarating) ice bath, and sported my compression tights for the second day in a row. It was 3:17 of running with lead legs, but it felt good in the end. And I have more confidence in the bank for Ironman Florida (coincidentally, two months from today!).
Sunday night, Mark and I put on our dancing shoes, and celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary (which is technically on the 8th) with a dinner cruise down the Potomac. The food was good, the sunset was beautiful, and we had a wonderful evening together. The music was cheesy, and it tested my knowledge of 70s/80s smarmy love songs. Mark and I had a field day with that.
Today I slept in as much as possible, considering I had a cat licking my face starting at 6am. I swear, sometimes Bissell forgets he is a cat and thinks he's a dog. He drools, he licks me, he steals food and breaks into cabinets and closets. He and Hoover have been in cahoots and dragged a 15 pound bag of cat food off the shelf in the pantry, ripped it open, and had a buffet. Again, I've gone a little off topic. I only had a 10 mile run to do today, but I was so tired I REALLY didn't want to do it. I finally summoned the motivation (after bribing myself with 5 new iTunes purchases) to get out the door by 11:30. And the run felt pretty good about halfway through. I ran down to Arlington Cemetery and over the Memorial Bridge, back through Georgetown and over the Key Bridge before heading up Wilson Blvd to get home. We had Gnocchi for dinner tonight (AWESOME!) and we're still working our way through my birthday carrot cake.
The pool is open again tomorrow after being closed for a week for annual cleaning. I'm really excited to get back in, I LOVE swimming in a pool that's just been cleaned! Now I just need to go to bed so I actually wake up... though I'm sure Bissell will help me by drooling in my eye and licking my ear...