Monday, July 18, 2016

4 Weeks to go (Weekly Recap)

This one's going to be brief but I figured I'd better get something posted before you all thought I gave up on this crazy dream. The last week got me back on track a little bit (more on that below), but lets get to it:

Two weeks ago on 'long' ride everything went wrong. It was cold (what?), it was rainy, and about 8 miles into my ride I broke a spoke. Another effing spoke. My wheel was immediately wonky and I was stranded in the park. Then it started to pour. Needless to say it just wasn't meant to be. I ended up getting in my 1:15 run that same day, but it was a struggle.

I had to take my bike to the shop and it was gone for a week before I even heard anything. The main mechanic was out and the poor thing just sat there. Week 10 ended up being a lot of swimming and running. Saturday instead of an hour ride I did yoga and a long swim. Then Sunday I did my 2:00 run. It was brutal. I couldn't get my ass out of bed so I decided to run before dinner. On Sundays this is sometimes nice because I am hungry for dinner and sleep at bedtime instead of napping in the afternoon. I planned poorly though because it was hot. So so hot. I got the 10 miles I'd planned but it took 2:11 instead of 2:00. Averaging 13 min/miles isn't where I'd hoped I'd be at this point in the season, but it's where I was that day.

Luckily, I got Ghost back on Monday! I was so happy to have her. In other good news the manufacturer is going to send another wheel as the spoke thing seems to be a factory defect. More good news! While I was in there I scheduled an updated bike fit. I hadn't noticed the change I wanted since switching saddles so I hoped a good fitting would help alleviate some of the discomfort.

The rest of the week I struggled. I did my bike fit on Tuesday - which did help - but I just couldn't bring myself to ride. When it comes down to it, I think I was scared.

Friday night I was in a horrible mood. Two weeks of non-existent riding had me feeling incredibly insecure about Ohio. We're 5 weeks out and I have no 50 miler. I can barely run 10 miles in the allotted time. All I could think was, "There's no way I can make this cut off. There's no way I can finish." I've had doubts before - plenty before Muncie - but in those instances I think the fear motivated me to work harder. I trained harder to get rid of the fear. It was all so new. This time around I've gotten lackadaisical. I care, and I get stressed when I think of Ohio and being unprepared, but it hasn't motivated me.

So Friday night I was a righteous bitch. I was scared about the 40 miler planned for Saturday; I was scared and apprehensive of this trial this week; I was angry about some weight gain and scared I'd never lose it. I went to bed early just to shut it off.

Friday morning I got up at the crack of dawn and headed to the park. The "Slow Poke" pack was meeting for 40 miles of my favorite route and a brick run after. It was almost cool, which was exciting. We were heading out at 6:30 to try to beat the heat. The route has several places to turn back. I figured if I couldn't hang I could just come back. I just kept telling myself, "try it and see what happens".

And little by little I eased into it and felt comfortable. I dare say it felt good.   We covered the first 10 miles and I felt good. After 15 I was still averaging a 13.2 mph pace and felt good. At the 20 mile mark we stopped in the park and refilled our bottles. It felt good to stand up at that point but otherwise I still felt good. I think my nutrition at that point was dialed in. I tried Infinit Go Far (in orange flavor) in one bottle, some Skratch in another and an extra bottle of water in the back. I made an effort to drink some infinit every 10 minutes or so. I'm hoping that combining nutrition/hydration helps keep me fed and hydrated. Remembering to eat and drink is actually kind of difficult. As we pulled out of Iroquois my stomach was grumbling so I added some Honey Stinger chews to give it something to gnaw on.

The way out of Iroquois is my favorite. It's a gradual downhill so you can really let go. I was sticking to the back of our 8 person pack with another rider. She was having a really tough day and I promised I wouldn't drop her. At some point I looked back and couldn't find her. I pulled over and waited for awhile, but no luck. I circled back and at that point got really nervous something had happened to her. A little bit later I found her pulled over with a flat tire. She was so upset and I felt so bad. She called her husband to pick her up but I convinced her to let me change the flat for her. Luckily I've been practicing and I got the tube changed in no time! Her husband got there just in time to show me how to use the CO2 and we were back on the road! The stop definitely hurt me though, as my legs got sort of tight and sore. The route back from that point has a lot of stop lights and we got caught by almost every one of them. That was really tough on my legs, my morale, and my time.

The last 5 or 6 miles were honestly the hardest as I opted to so a lap of the park with it's hills. By the time I coasted into home I felt pretty good. Could I do another 16 miles? hmm. Maybe? I opted not to try for 50 today and instead get in the brick Run I had planned. I popped on my shoes without the dog noticing and did an easy 1.15 miles.

All in all I'm really happy with how the ride went. It was unexpected, but just proves that I can really dig out a good performance with a little time off (see also: Tri Louisville). Obviously I need the next few long rides to go well - and the long run too!- but if I can do 40 I think I can do 50.

So not really a weekly recap 'per se', but a recap of what's up. I hope I"m on track - I really want to finish in Ohio. Time to put my butt in the saddle and kick it up a notch!

Happy Running!