Sunday, March 21, 2010

6 weeks to St. George!

A week ago I spent three days in Long Beach, California at a meeting and managed to "squeeze in" 42 miles of running. Ran 14 miles each day, the first two days broken into two runs and the third day just one long slow brutal run. Came home and the next day had my best 4 hours of biking indoors. Worked out and recovered through the week, fighting off borderline fatigue and soreness from one day to the next. I've also been fighting pain in my right "shoulder". The quotation marks are for the fact that I've learned that it's not exactly my shoulder, but my right deltoid, as well as my biceps and triceps. I've been massaging my arm daily and stretching and was ready to swim on Saturday. I ended up swimming 5,000 yards, over a 1,000 more than I've ever done before, and it felt easy! Go figure.

Today was the big test, my key workout prior to St. George. I was really excited yesterday, but woke up this morning feeling a little flat. Also, my legs felt sluggish and a little sore. Well, in some ways an opportunity to train feeling both tired and unenthused. I'm sure that will happen at some point during the St. George Ironman:), so figured that I could use this as an experience. With that in mind, I started my 4 hour indoor bike ride, with an effort that was supposed to be similar to the effort I will have on the bike at St. George. While it wasn't "easy", it also wasn't really hard. Well, that's not really the truth. It was a bit of a struggle, but never got unmanageable. I watched Goodfellas and just stayed persistent. At St. George I will have gorgeous scenery to enjoy! I really think that's one of the big advantages of this race. The course is beautiful. So long as I remember to smile and enjoy the surroundings, I'll be ok. When I got off the bike, my legs didn't feel any better, but they really didn't feel any worse. I'm pretty fortunate, insofar as biking hasn't been having much impact on my running legs. So, 10 minutes later, I was out the door for my 13.2 mile hilly run.

The run wasn't bad, the first 10 minutes were a little tough, but I then settled in to a rhythm. I just finished reading "Born to Run", and when I get tired, I just think about the joy of running. Again, at St. George, this will be easier to do, the run course is also beautiful. I kept a solid pace and just kept increasing my effort. Just under 2 hours later, I was done.

My coach has suggested that my pre workout ambivalence may be a sign that I'm right on the edge with my training, so I have a few days to recover and take it easy. This experience continues to be remarkable, as I keep taking my body to places I never thought possible. 6 hours of training today, and as I sit here and type this blog, I have no soreness. A small pizza has helped me replenish (as did some "healthier" calories), as did a one hour nap. Naps are critical!

I have to remind myself that my result at St. George isn't important. It really is about the journey. I'm doing everything possible to have a good result, but an Ironman can be fickle. I made it for 6 hours today, but how will I do after 11-12 hours and at the end of a marathon? I don't know, but I know that when I'm feeling tired or discouraged, I'll try to smile and remember the joy of being outside running or biking.

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