I’m….Back! Did you kind but limited followers worry. Nah…life’s too short, right. Anyway, I was keeping up with my weekly Ironman Florida Training Logs for a few weeks, but the posts were getting stale. I do want to document for my benefit, for future Ironman years, any pearls or mistakes I encountered. I’ll likely throw an update in every few weeks and get more concise towards the big day.
Last week was a dream to those long mileage running freaks out there. For me, it was one of my peak weeks for the Boston Marathon. I had a 3 runs earlier in the week. Monday, I did 17 miler with the last 8 miles at marathon pace. It was a tough run as I hovered around 7:15-7:20min/mi pace. I just couldn’t settle into a groove. The next 2 days were swims, easy runs, and spinning on the bike. On Thursday, I ran during lunch to get a 45min tempo run in. It was supposed to be an hour but I only got a 3 mile warm-up, then 3 miles at 10k+10secs tempo completed. That afternoon was my weekly 90 min bike ride.
Friday was recovery swim and spinning. I was wondering how my already beat-up legs were going to feel Saturday morning.
The Rocket Run 10miler is in the tiny historic town of Mooresville, AL. It’s one of the oldest towns in Alabama with the oldest post office(1840) still in operation. The picture above is the look across the front lawn to the back of the Old Brick Church. Some of the homes, though mostly renovated, date back to the 19th century. The town is just a few small blocks but very quaint.
The race makes a loop around the town then winds through the mostly rural neighborhood. Temps were not as cold as I would have liked (50-60s). But that was less noticeable than the gusty winds. Doh!!
I got up fairly early race morning. I didn’t have any major muscle soreness. Got to the race site to register. This was a no frills race. Entry fee, $10, $5 if you paid in advance. That got you a race bib and post-race food. It was also a free race for Huntsville Track Club members, of which I am not because apparently, they’re not taking new members. At least the last time I checked…hmmm. Anyway…
In my pre-race strategy session with myself..(you still following?).., I decided what I really wanted to do was start at the back of the race and ease into next few miles. That was my way of trying to keep this race at near marathon pace effort. Well, that didn’t work out.
I did start in the back and did ease into the first mile. I could tell my legs weren’t happy. They somehow knew it was a race. Do I sound like a horse or something? The first mile passed in an easy 7:30ish. It was into the wind but I drafted behind a few folks for that mile. We turned back and got a tailwind for the next 3 miles. Those miles ran too hot around 6:45ish. The effort was low because I didn’t realize the effect of the tailwind until we turned back into it.
The next 6 miles were either into a headwind or crossing wind. If we had a tailwind, I didn’t feel it. The miles slowed down into the high 6:50s and my legs began feeling fatigued or maybe I was getting mentally psyched out. The last 2 miles were a sufferfest for me. I felt like I was going backwards but still ran in the 7:05s. Overall, it probably averaged out to what my fitness and fatigue level could deliver that particular day. I finished by my watch in 1:10:30ish. Running a few seconds over 7:00min/mile. Good for 20th overall and 2nd in my age-group. The winner ran it in 51:14 which was a new state age-group record. Apparently the wind didn’t bother him. I also heard him say that mileage put him at 120 miles this week. Hearing that really put an end to my moaning about “tired” legs.
I was definitely happy to see the finish line that day. My legs were not as sore as I did some cool-down walking. I refueled with gatorade, a banana, and a bagel with pb…Getting my money’s worth. I talked to a few local runners then ambled off to change clothes.
Did I mention I had a 3+hour bike ride on the schedule that day. I think my coach forgot that I was doing this race. Maybe? After a short break, I got my bike nutrition together and headed out for a 50+mile loop around Mooresville area. Did I mention rural? That means flat, farm land. Nothing to block the wind. Are you getting the picture? Actually it wasn’t too bad. There were a few sections where I was going about 12mph into the wind, counting ants on the road, but overall I felt good. After 3 hours, I got burned out and turned back to my car.
I was already contemplating a hot shower, compression socks, and the couch.
Sunday, my son had the last of his baseball tourney games. Got to see him go yard on his first pitch. Awesome Dad memories. Locked those away.
The afternoon was weekly long-run numero dos. The schedule called for a 3hr15min hilly run. I planned the run to include 2 loops of 7+ miles so I could end up over at the hilly part of my neighborhood around mile 15. The hills at Boston run mostly from 15-21miles, with the last being the infamous Heartbreak Hill. Unfortunately, the battery died on my Garmin at mile 15. Too far from home to double back, I set the timer on my Ipod and ran for another 1hr up and down those hills to simulate the marathon. Then I ran back home. I had to guesstimate the total, but figured I hit around 23 miles. My legs were toast. That mileage put me at 63+ miles for the week running. That’s a record for me. I couldn’t imagine doing 120. Crazy running fool!
Thanks for reading,