Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Track and Four Miles

Tuesday was track night. We hadn't been in a couple of weeks and I was anxious to go back and feel speedy.

When we got there, the skies opened up and huge yet soft drops started pelting us. We ducked into the tunnel under the stands while the downpour happened, which was maybe for 1 minute. Then we went back out and it was just humid and sticky.

What looked to be the entire lot of boys who'd like to play football for Mason was out in the field and swarming the track. It was junior high and high school boys, and probably early practice before try-outs. It was a chaotic mess of black and green shirts and skins out on the field. There were different groups scattered on different parts of the field doing drills. They were loud and happy and pretty funny to watch, really. Most of the times, the drills were pushing the edges of the field. We had to be on the lookout for balls overthrown onto the track and the pack of stinky boys chasing after it. It made for an interesting time!

I warmed up 1 mile, then did 400 repeats, walking 200s in between. Times:

Then I cooled down a mile. It felt pretty good. I don't think I could have done more than 4 repeats without slowing down.

This morning I ran 4 miles with Casey and it was a little rough. The air was so thick. My legs were lead-filled for about a mile and half then were fine. But the air never un-thickened. I haven't been sleeping well this week and that is how I felt.

Saturday a few of us are doing a 5K in Mason- Asha for Education. It starts in the park and goes through there and looks like the path along the road by the map. It won't be flat, but it won't be Idlewild either. I'm really really looking forward to a decent 5K maybe the same time as what the Tri for Joe time was, which now is feeling more and more like it was some kind of fluke. We'll see I guess.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Running After the Du

There goes a pack of high school boys running on the sidewalk...  I remember sitting here looking out this window back in the winter, lamenting how I couldn't run. I was reminded each day of this fact as I watched countless people braving the winter weather for a jog. Eventually, Evil Foam Roller - uh- rolled into my life [cymbal crash], I finally started making progress on my IT band, and voila!  Here I am enjoying each and every run I go on, even if they aren't perfect.

After the duathlon Sunday, my knee ached from my IT band. Badly. During the end of the race I questioned whether it was going to hurt so badly I'd have to hobble across the finish line. I didn't really talk about it, other than "my knee was sore" because I didn't want to worry about it. But the fact was, it hurt just as bad as it did when I was injured and couldn't run, and in the back of my mind that is where I thought I was headed–time off. The entire day Sunday and Monday it throbbed and hurt to walk. The good thing that comes from being injured is that you learn how to treat yourself, and maybe can jump start treatment for things quicker. I rolled on EFR, gritting my teeth from the pain. I iced multiple times throughout the day. I took Advil in the beginning. I massaged the sore spots I could pinpoint. I talked that IT band into relaxing. Back off, IT band! 

This morning was the first time I've ran since Sunday, and I was nervous. But it was 4 miles of greatness. My legs were definitely still sore from the race. I could feel my muscles protesting that they would rather not have to carry my body for 4 miles, with some of the distance at a quicker pace. We stopped to stretch once because I felt my entire right leg tightening...I jumped on the chance to get it back in control and it worked. 

So, even though it was a painful run in terms of effort, I was elated to have no knee pain whatsoever from my IT band. I suppose I should take a minute to thank Evil Foam Roller:  Evil, you're hard and made out of "foam" which should really just be called "rock," and you usually just sit quietly in the corner. But you're always there when I need you to inflict healing pain on me. And you don't seem to mind my cursing and foul mood when I'm done with you. Thanks for being round. And evil.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lifting...for the first time in a long time

Tonight track was cancelled by the Thirty + Track Club...or Old Fartleks...or whatever it is we decide to call ourselves. It was raining really hard, and two of the three members of our huge club had other obligations getting in the way. So, we met for dinner instead. That meant I lifted. I had to do something. And I really really really really ... really need to work on this mushy weakness I call my upper body.

I did a short circuit that seemed to touch on everything a little bit, the best I could. I even threw in some core and leg therapy stuff. I need to refine the workout more, but it was a start, and it made me feel like I'm moving in the right direction.

Here is Dexter, watching from the couch, approving of my form. But not approving of the huge orange ball coming at him.

Caesar Creek Duathlon - official time

The results are up, and here are my official times, which weren't far off at all from Greg's watch. Same averages apply.

5K Run1:  30:01
T1:  1:52
22K (13.6 miles) Bike:  50:23
T2: 1:48
Run2: 34:30

Total: 1:58:34

And a finish line photo:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Caesar Creek Duathlon - race report

Unofficial results from Greg's stopwatch:

5K Run1:  30:22 --- 9:48 min/mile
T1:  1:49
22K (13.6 miles) Bike:  50:22 ---- 16.22 mph average
T2: 1:46
Run2: 34:27 --- 11:07 min/mile

Overall it was a fun day, but I wish I had done better. The weather was good. The bike course was very hilly. The 5K should have been challenging but doable at a faster pace. It just wasn't my day physically I guess. I still had a great time. I just wish I could feel better about the overall performance. 

Greg took pictures again (thanks!)  And Casey and Jannelle came to watch, which was awesome and made the day very fun! 

Walking to the start. I felt fine. But I never really did feel pumped up and "race ready". 

At the duathlon start line. 

View of the group of the duathletes. Hard to tell how many people did the du...maybe 100?

View of the swim start.

Starting...hopeful and calm.

Coming into transition after the first run. I was so slow. I was hoping mile markers were marked wrong. Not sure why, but I just couldn't go any faster. 

Leaving on the bike...(and wooowooo look at that guy in the background! Vest and no shirt, lol.) I was prepared to start feeling better about myself with a kick-ass bike race. The course womped me though. It was hard to tell how I was doing because my speeds varied so greatly. 35 mph down hills....5 - 10 mph up some of the big climbs. 

Coming into transition after the bike. I got a bad calf cramp in the last mile, which was thankfully downhill so I could just slowly spin and work it out.

Ballet-like dismount. I have no idea why I got off the bike this way, as I have never done it like this and I'm always afraid I am going to fall. I think I saw the person in front of me and just did it without thinking. Which I suppose proves I can in fact dismount properly without falling.

Ouch - clomp - ouch - clomp

Heading out for the final legs weren't moving well at all. It was a shuffle for the first mile.

Uuugggg...almost there...

The finish line. It was a meager push to the end. I was exhausted. That woman behind me - we kept playing leap frog on the bike. Actually I played leap frog with a few ladies out on the bike course. I would always pass on the down hills and then be passed on the up hills. A sign my legs weren't performing well I guess.

So, that's it. Nearly 2 hours. Not my best for sure, but there's always the next race.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Few More Days...

I'm looking forward to Caesar Creek duathlon Sunday. I'm taking the next few days off, hydrating and trying to eat well. Thankfully these 95+ degree temps are subsiding tomorrow. Otherwise it would make for some nasty race conditions.

Here's a map of the course. Yellow highlights the bike course (which I've made note of so I don't go the wrong way this time) and the orange is the out-and-back 5K run portion. I still need to clean my bike and get my nutrition for the day, just some gels and chews. If temps are close to what they were at the Tri for Joe, I'm hoping for a very similar race performance. The bike course is hillier, so I'm not entirely sure what that will mean for my bike times, or the run after. I'm most concerned with the run–being able to keep those paces again would make me very happy! It's new territory for me.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

4th of July Weekend

This past weekend was nice–stayed in town and relaxed with numerous grill-outs. I got in another bike ride on Saturday with some hills, so I was happy about that. I might try to do one more before the du.

I left from my house, and planned on winging a route out into the country. I took Davis and just kept going...and eventually found my way to the bike trail! I had no idea I could get to the trail that way. There is still a very nasty big hill to climb up, but hey, that's what training is for.

I wound my way down this hill–it took a sharp left at the beginning and then just kept going. I was going 40 mph, a little above the 35 mph speed limit of the road :)  Then, I was on a slightly rolling, curvy part of the road along the river–the opposite side from the trail. Soon I came to Old 3C, which surprised me. I popped out here, crossed the river and got on the trail by the Monkey Bar. Yay for a new and much better route to the trail other than the only other one I knew about which was Old 3C–a very bumpy, shoulderless road that I never had any intention of riding down.

Since my original intention had been to ride roads, I decided I would take the part of the trail that goes to Lebanon. As I remembered it was kind of hilly, or at least not as flat as the main trail. When I got near Lebanon, I climbed the longest hill ever. I remember doing this part of the trail a few years back after it was new and had just opened...Greg and I were on our mountain bikes and I don't think I made it all the way to the top before having to hop off. Unfortunately, the start of the hill is after a stop sign, so there wasn't any momentum to help in the beginning...I just had to start going. I shifted down into my lowest gear and kept a constant rhythm on the pedals that matched my heavy breathing. It was so hard. I was completely maxed out–couldn't have gone any faster or my lungs would have exploded. I reached the top and slowly kept pedaling, gradually gaining some speed again as I recovered. I moved to the road that ran parallel to the trail. After some more rollers and the road ending into 48, I turned around and headed back.

That hill took a lot out of me. But I still managed 17 - 19 mph on my way back. When I got back to Davis, however, I bailed on the hill. One very tough hill was enough for this day, a week before the du. I wanted to save my knee. And I also didn't feel like falling over in the road when I wouldn't have enough energy to reach the top...which I was 99% certain would happen :) So I walked it, and even that had me huffing and puffing loudly.

At the top of that hill I got back on my bike and rode slowly as I recovered again. I was looking forward to getting home and drinking something other than water. Something with flavor.

I made it back and collapsed on the floor, but not before pouring myself a tall glass of sweet tea. It tasted wonderful.

So now it's 5 more days until the du. I'm hoping I can conquer the hills around Caesar's Creek pretty well this year. There will be a lot of gear shifting going on.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Nice Weather We're Having, eh?

This morning I thought I was going to go to a spin class and then follow it up with a couple miles on a treadmill for a brick workout, after reestablishing my community center membership. However, I looked at the schedule wrong. When I double checked last night before I went to bed to make sure the time was 8:15 a.m. and not 8:30, I saw there was no such class on Friday. Thursday there is. Dang it.

So I slept in and when I finally felt like dragging myself out of bed, went for a nice 3 mile run. My pace started out pretty slow, but after a mile I felt warmed up. It ended up being 3 miles in 28:05. So a 9:22 pace.

It was such a nice morning! I was in a t-shirt and didn't get hot. There was a cool breeze and no humidity! I really hope for the same weather next weekend during the Caesar Creek Du.