Sunday, May 3, 2009

Picture Perfect Weekend

The weekend was quite the weekend.

Saturday, I logged the very satisfying 5 mile pace run (6.25 miles total), 10 mile bike (5 mile time trial with a 30 second time improvement), and an easy :45 late night form swim.

I felt very good going to bed last night, feeling that I really accomplished more than I would have thought back at the beginning of the year. I went to bed tired but feeling good.

When I woke up on Sunday, I put my feet on the floor. That’s when I started to feel the previous day’s activities. My, my, my, and I have an 11 mile run today.

I admit it. I was nervous. Another new pace—and a long run—to boot, overcast, rain all night….the day wasn’t living up to my standards for the “perfect long run day”.

Perfect or not, I’m not running on the treadmill.

That’s when I heard it….birds singing. Birds singing can only mean one thing: The rain has stopped.

I had my breakfast sandwhich and banana split breakfast. (My breakfast of choice before races). I waited roughly an hour, and I was ready to go.

Because of my increasing love/hate relationship with my garmin, I tucked it into my pocket so I couldn’t see my pace. I could only hear to beep for each mile. I had a one minute range for my pacing. I told Mike to expect at the slower end and even that would be pushing it. (I’m running 11, but the route is 12.5. Mike was planning on meeting me at the 11 marker, so we could walk home together).

I told him, “Expect a call at 2:00. I’ll probably be calling you to tell you that I’m running WAY behind schedule.”

Mike gave me the customary grunt that really means, “Whatever. You always say that then end up running faster than expected.”

Well, HE didn’t know how I felt today.

I started running. It took me about 2 miles to warm up. The air was chilly. The sky overcast, and the wind coming off the water really didn’t agree my clothing choice. I tend to dress as I want the weather to be, instead of what it actually is.

I felt as though I was running through mud. My legs were tired. I considered looking at my garmin.

At the halfway mark, I decided to look at it. I was right in the middle of my range and running :30 per mile faster than I was expecting to run.

“Of course, the garmin must be wrong.”

I kept running.

At roughly ten miles and 1:50 into my run, I called Mike.

“Um, you’re not going to believe this, but uh I’m running :30 faster per mile than expected. So, I’m going to be at the meet up point earlier.”

He just laughed at me.

The last mile of my run is uphill….the entire mile. Starting my run, I always hold back on the downhill. Going home, it’s simply a matter of reaching the top.

Regardless of how slow that last mile was, the rest of my pacing was perfect.

My new nutrtion strategy would have been perfect, given conditions, except that I miscalculated how far the water fill up was and ran from 6-10 miles without water—which meant taking GU dry. Today, that wasn’t an issue because it was so cool. But it’s looking more and more like the day of the race will be incredibly warm—verging on hot.


In the meantime, I can’t help but wonder what this “C” race will hold for me. It’s a new race for me. The course can only be easier than where I normally run.

Maybe even running easy could turn into a PR. I normally don’t feel this confident two weeks before a race, but I can’t help but wonder….