Getting back from my trip, my body felt absolutely awful, I was somewhat disappointed with the results at Worlds (but also not in some ways), I was so sleepy tired that I was feeling off in my workouts, and I admit, I had a bit of angst / regret / stress about having registered for an Ironman in March. I had exactly 21 weeks from when I got back to get ready, which is plenty of time for someone with my base fitness, but a taking a winter break was crossing my mind more often than I wanted it to….likely fueled most by the aches and pains I was feeling.
My coach was awesome, understanding and accommodating of my two weeks of not hitting my all of workouts like I normally try to do and she also allowed me to do as much yoga as my little heart desired. Yoga is so restorative to my body and more importantly, my mind…it’s hard as all get out, I get so hot I see spots sometimes, I drip sweat more than your average girl, and I smell like crap when I leave, but I have never once left the studio not feeling better than I did when I went in – both physically and mentally!
Fast forward to this weekend where I had Thunder Road and a ~3 hour ride planned. As I stated in my last post, I was instructed to use the race as a training run. I had very specific paces that I was to stick to and I planned to do just that. Well, I have proved to myself once again, that I am not capable of toeing the line to a race with a chip on my foot and following my coaches orders. Must keep working on that! 🙂
My instructions were to run the first 6 miles no faster than 8:15 pace, and even slower was ok. Then I had some tempo miles with some threshold work towards the end. Well, when the first mile ticked off at 7:45, with my heart rate not even to my official zone 1 yet, I thought long and hard about my workout and what I was going to do for the next 12 – either slow the heck down or continue to run based on feel. I decided on the later. I told myself not to let my HR go above 168 (zone 2), which correlated to a ~7:25-7:50 pace. Obviously to keep your HR under zone 3 on a hill requires to you run it REALLY easy. After the half way point though, everything still felt really good so I picked up the pace just a bit. By mile 11, I was hitting low 7:20’s and mile 12-13.25 averaged 6:59 with a HR never higher than 178!
My official race time was 1:40 and change, but I’m protesting that because my watch said 13.22 miles despite running the tangents pretty dang tight. 🙂 1:39/1:40 is irrelevant to the matter – it wasn’t a PR and it wasn’t supposed to be. What IS relevant is how great I felt and with such relative “ease” that I ran it. It was by far the most enjoyable half marathon I’ve ever run. I checked my log from running this race 2 years ago and my average HR was almost 16 bpm higher average and I only ran it ~2 minutes faster overall. I realize I’m not breaking any ground speed records and I probably never will, but I am still very happy with making progress. 🙂
Given I’d had 16 miles on my legs from yesterday (3 additional miles with a client who was finishing up the full), I was somewhat skeptical with how today’s ride would go. Happy to report that I felt absolutely perfect and was able to hit all power numbers as prescribed. And what beautiful fall day for a ride.
It feels good to feel good!
What does not feel good though is my heel. Grrrr. It felt great during the run yesterday – I don’t recall ever feeling any pain at all. I was really hoping I was in the clear! However, stupid heel has reminded me who is boss. 😦 I’ve iced, rolled, stretched and slept in my boot and it feels a bit better after the ride today. APR session #2 and a visit to Dr. G is in the plans for hopefully tomorrow or Tuesday.
Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and I hope you’re feeling as good as I am!