05 October 2013

Feels like Ironman training. But isn't. Don't tell my legs that though.

I feel like today was a Saturday back in Ironman training. It was one of those sneaky workouts where, at first glance, it doesn't look like a long day or double digit running miles or a bike ride worthy of more than just a Gu pack. But then you look closer and start to do the math - 45 minute run, that'll be a bit over 5 miles; then a 2.5 hour ride, probably looking at 40ish or so miles; and then another 45 minute run. By the time all was said and done, the totals came out to 45 miles of biking and 11.5 miles of running. So no, I guess it's not really Ironman caliber, but it was my longest training day since July for sure and my legs are absolutely feeling it. It was also warmer out today than I had expected, I think around the mid-upper 80s by the time I was on my second run, which added to the mid-summer Ironman-like training feeling. 

The first run was good, my legs felt peppy and I had Mr. Sweetie and Miles for company. We started off easy and then when I started to build the pace, I was on my own (which drove Miles nuts, Mr. Sweetie finally got him calmed down just in time for me to catch them and run by as I finished my interval, wrecking all the work he put into getting Miles to calm down - ha!). The weather was still cool out and each mile clicked by faster than the previous one. This would be a good day.

Then it was onto the bike. I decided to chance it with Hains Point and the gov't shutdown closures of parks - I didn't feel like dealing with stoplights, traffic, and construction work along MacArthur - I wanted to do my intervals as uninterrupted as possible. They had the gates up at Hains, but it was easy to maneuver the bike around them and continue on my merry way. The road in West Potomac Park (I think that's the one, on the other side of the tidal basin near the MLK Memorial) was also closed and full of cyclists, so I ended up doing a bow tie loop of Hains and the other park. Admittedly, it did get boring after awhile and thankfully I only had to do 30 miles worth of those loops and got the rest of the miles in on the bike path to and from home.

And then the last run. Always the hardest one. Sometimes I do not like bricks and on those days it's really more of a mental struggle to convince myself to put on my running shoes after I take off my bike shoes. I really need to tell myself beforehand, really get myself excited about that run off the bike, if I have any hope in heck of actually doing it (skipping these transition runs are probably part of the reason I had a less than stellar race in Vegas - it's a slippery slope of I'll just skip today's 20 minutes off the bike which then turns into skipping the longer t-run on the weekend, etc. You get the point). While putting on my run shoes, I ate a banana and some bread - starving! Didn't eat enough on the bike! (Should've brought that can of frosting). Headed out the door and it was hot, hot, hot! Back out to the bike path, which was emptier than it was earlier this morning, and this run had some faster intervals mixed in and my legs had a harder time responding. My average pace was faster than the first run, but this second run did NOT feel effortless or easy like run number one did. I got home and made a beeline for the freezer, grabbing a popsicle because that sounded like the best thing ever. Sadly, my hands were so sweaty I couldn't get get the darn wrapper off.

Best part of the day was running into my friends Mel, Iwan, Jason, and Brian while I was out biking. I love how small this town can be sometimes.

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