Well, not so much long in the sense of being off from work since I only had a break on Monday, but I got some really quality workouts in.
Thursday Tony (my tri bike) and I went out for a quick hour ride. I've been trying to break myself of the "all or nothing" mentality that I developed in my last 2 years of IM training. Last year, if I wasn't going to run 6 miles, bike 25, or swim 2, it wasn't even worth my time to go out, so I would just take some rest time if time was short. Goodness knows you need it during that kind of training! This year, I'm trying to re-train my brain into realizing that those 3 mile runs, 15 mile bike rides, and shorter swims are often all I need for mid-week workouts. In my hour on Thursday, I still managed to squeeze in over 17 miles. Plus, it was tons of fun to get out and GO!
Saturday I worked, went to church, and then played hostess for a party Steve wanted to throw for a group of his students. Not sure if it was the migraine I had developed at work or if I was just tired, but college sophomores seem younger and squealier than they used to be. It was great to finally put faces to the names and stories that Steve has been talking about all semester. Somehow I think I have aged well beyond my actual years. I am only 27 but felt like a total party pooper to be glad that they had all left by 9. A 10 PM bedtime and 5:30 alarm clock don't really mix with hosting parties!
Sunday I put in my 10 hours and was really surprised when I left at 5 PM to find that the temp had risen to a muggy 85 degrees. It was our first day above 80 this year, and I wasn't too excited to be doing a "fast" long run on our hottest day of the year so far. I took a quick nap before lacing up my running shoes, and in typical Minnesota fashion, a storm front had moved through, and the temperature had dropped 20 degrees in less than 60 minutes. Guess it was my lucky night. As I mentioned in my last post, I was planning on using this run as a test to see what my actual long run speed is sans running partner. The plan was to just go out and keep it at a good pace and still feel comfortable for 15 miles. The run was beautiful. It was still humid and a little warmer than I prefer, but summer is fast approaching, and I need to get used to it again. The lilacs, crab apple trees, and lilly of the valleys are all in bloom, and the whole city smelled phenomenal. I managed to stay between 9:10s and 9:30s. I had hoped to pick it up at the end, but my IT band flared up a little, and I really couldn't push it. My body felt good, my breathing felt fine, but my right leg refused to go any faster. At least I didn't slow down. I'm not really sure what this will translate to come race time in just 3 weeks. I've secretly or not so secretly been hoping for sub 4, which wouldn't technically be a PR for me but close (I ran a 3:58 and change in 2002). The course I ran on Sunday was packed with hills, but Grandma's course is fairly flat. I know running with other people and pushing it a little more on race day can translate to faster split times. I just don't know if I can cut another 5-25 seconds off per mile and while tacking on 11 more miles to Sunday's run. I've got another 20+ miler coming up, but it will be with other people again, so I don't think I'll be able to gauge much from it. Arrg. Too much thinking.
Monday I woke up a little sore, especially in my IT band. I need to be working that bad boy out. It needs to know who's boss this summer. I had a long bike ride planned with a friend. We had anticipated doing somewhere between 30 and 50 miles. My longest ride to date in 08 has been 30, and I need to be picking it up before WIBA and Steelhead! Well we ended up posting 52 miles, and I felt great! Great may be a bit of an overstatement, but I did feel good. The legs were a little tired at the last climb of the day, but I never felt like I was pushing too hard. We were just out for a really easy long ride and still managed almost a 15 MPH average. No speed awards or anything, but considering the 15 mile run just 15 hours before, I'll take it! I certainly need to get in some more hills and distance before WIBA, but with the marathon coming up and some family commitments, I'll be lucky to hit 65 miles before tackling the course again.
Tempo run tonight - 5 miles. We'll see how Mr. IT band feels. I may have to forgo the speed work this week if he's not willing to cooperate. I'll also have some creative finagling to do since my brother's graduation party is this weekend. My last 20 miler may have to get bumped to next weekend.
Riding Strong: Another Bike PR!
11 hours ago