Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Another Weekend Update

I knew it. I absolutely knew it. There was no way I would be able to recap the weekend on Monday. Way too much stuff going on. It hurts just thinking about everything I had to do on Monday much less the weekend. Fortunately I took notes at my brothers house during our Mother's Day dinner.

Yes I took notes. I had to since I didn't want to forget key points of another epic weekend with awesome results. So let's get at it. Oh.....and you better have a cup of coffee and a bagel...or better yet read this during lunch. It may get long.

Thursday and Friday last week turned into rest days. At least I think they were. I haven't been keeping track on my workouts but I definitely remember the key ones. Yeah......they were both rest days. I'm sure of it.

So Saturday would be the day to run. Our friend Jane told us about the SMILE WITH ME! 5K Run and 1M Walk to support Heart Arrhythmia Research & Community Scholarships. We arranged to meet before the race so we could get in some additional mileage. Aimee and Jane put in about 7 miles and I managed around 10. It was a pretty good warm-up for the 5k.

We drove to the race and got signed up and waited for the start. We were starting to cool-down so I went for a short run to get the muscles warm again. There weren't too many people at the race but when I lined up at the front I could tell who would be leading.

Originally I was going to run a progressively faster pace starting around 7/mile and go faster from there. Well as soon as the bell was rung that went out the window. The adrenaline pumped through my body and I was off to the races.

Now I wasn't going to try and stay with the front runners. I would have blown up after mile one. I sat back and ran on the shoulder of two others I was with in positions 5 - 7. There were two guys in front of us that I kept in check.

As we turned off the main street into a neighborhood I surged around the corner to try and break the spirit of the two guys with me. The first mile marker was 75 yards from the corner. As I passed through the first mile they called out 6:11 as my first split. DAMN. I wasn't expecting that. Now I had to hold on for two more miles.

During the second mile there is a significant downhill/uphill combination. I used the downhill to create a gap between me and the guys behind me. I could hear the footsteps growing fainter and I let loose down the hill. The flat before the uphill lasted for about 100 yards. I tried to maintain a good pace going up the hill and focus only on the 10 feet in front of me trying not to think about getting to the top. I knew I would get there eventually.

But then I started to hear footsteps behind me again. Crap he was catching up to me going up the hill. Don't worry, stay steady, keep it moving forward. He never did pass me. I wasn't going to let him.

Once I reached the top of the the hill I saw that the two guys ahead of me had split. One was starting to fade and I was reeling him in. I passed him running strong to let him know he was owned. See ya at the finish line.

The winds from the south were evident at this point during the final mile. I also knew that once I hit the main street heading back to the finish line there would be an even stronger wind coming from the west. I reminded myself that everyone would have to face the wind as well. One more mile. Only one more mile. Keep pushing it hard to the finish. The mind was definitely in control and helped keep the legs moving.

I crossed the finish line in 19:32. Not a PR but I wanted to be below 20. I did manage a fourth overall which guaranteed first place in my age group. We sat around with friend and waited for the award ceremony. Aimee's co-worker Dan Van, actually he is more friend than co-worker, took second in the my age group so we were able to have out picture taken together for the Smile with Me website.

And this was just the beginning of the weekend. We also had a wedding to attend for one of Aimee's co-workers and of course that includes a reception. But before that I cut the grass, first because it needed it and second I wanted to keep the legs loose.

We did our bricks Sunday morning since time with our mothers would be in the afternoon. I wanted to get in one more round of hills. Yes....this means the Death Ride hills again, but on very tired legs. Aimee and I both woke up with unsettled stomachs. Maybe it was the food and alcohol from the reception. Maybe it was lack of sleep and the bodies needed more rest.

I knew this would be an important training day. Not physically but mentally. In addition to the iffy stomach the temperature wasn't going to be very high, overcast and winds from the west. I pulled Aimee aside and made sure she understood the purpose of the days training. Tough it out and be strong mentally.

Over the course of the next four hours I would climb the hills to warm up and bomb the descents loosing the warmth I had created. I would see the standard dead animals in the road. But this time I was saddened by the sight of a baby red fox and intrigued by a buzzard feasting on the carcass of a raccoon.

My mental battle was Boston Mills Road. The legs were tired from the 5k on Saturday and the hills leading up to the steep road. For an hour leading up to the hill I went back and forth trying to decide if I was going to ride it. As I approached the intersection of Riverview and Boston Mills I turned without hesitation toward the hill and told myself, "Harden up F@cker".

I may be this tired at the end of Triple T and I would have to suck it up during the race. Train like you race....right? Suck it up and do it.

After a couple more hills, including the 3 mile Snowville Road, I made it back to the parking lot. I slipped on my running shoes and headed out for a 30 minute run. What struggle. I settled into a steady pace and chugged it out. It wasn't pretty but it was helpful to remember how much of a struggle the transition from bike to run can be.

When I was all done with the run....I was all done for the day. Stick a fork in me and ring the bell for dinner. I packed up and headed over to my brothers house to shower and get ready for our Mother's Day dinner. I'm glad my brother cooked because I was worthless after my brick.

We had a good dinner with mom and Aimee had a nice brunch with her mom. Aimee's brick went well despite the cold. Her feet didn't warm up until AFTER she was done with her run. But her toughness is building for the upcoming tri season and the Half IM we are doing in July.

Monday I had an accupunture session with the witch doctor and boy did it help revitalize the body. All the trapped heat and stress from training was released during the session. It was almost like another training session.

That's about all I got for now. Time to get to bed and rest up.

Time to taper for Triple T. With rest and preparation it will definitely be Game On in two weeks.

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