Wednesday, July 29, 2009

And on the 7th day.....


After my crazy hard weekend, I tried to forgo a rest day. I know, I know. Not smart. Especially since I hadn't taken a rest day in 2 weeks. What happened to the one-rest-day-a-week policy? It's just so hard to take a day off during IM training! I have found active recovery days to be wonderful ways to sneak in workouts and allow some recovery. But, I'm only human (I am?); apparently, I still need a complete rest day every other week.

After logging 22 hours last week and almost 200 miles (150+ of which were on the bike), I hit a new all-time record for highest volume EVER...in my life (and I don't count weights). And I still have 1 more week of "The Final Push" before I can relax. So at least 1 day of rest was in order. Still, I was stubborn. Monday, I felt great, of course. I always feel good the day after a hard weekend. I swam at lunch and motored through 2800 meters at lightning speed. I felt like a superhero. It all hit me on Tuesday.

I woke up, put on my workout clothes, heart rate monitor, set up the trainer, put in the Spinerval DVD and started warming up. It still hurt to sit in the saddle after Saturday's crazy century (http://amateurtrigirl.blogspot.com/2009/07/santa-cruz-mountains-challenge.html) but my butt warmed up after 10 minutes. The rest of me, however, was not so lucky. I felt sluggish, naseous, achy, and couldn't get my heart rate up. After 15 minutes, I got off, put everything away, and went back to bed. Yes, I took a nap...at 8:00 am. I struggled through work and took another nap that afternoon, hoping to make it for my 5K "speed" workout I had arranged that evening. When I woke up (after the 2nd nap), I knew it was not to be. I called a friend and appointed her workout "leader" and pouted the rest of the evening. But I knew it was for my own good.

This morning, I feel 100% better. I enthusiastically hopped onto the trainer and pounded out a solid effort to Coach Troy's "Muscle Breakdown" Spinerval DVD. I rocked it. Take that, Coach Troy! I followed it up with an awesome session of serious weights. I feel great. It's amazing what 24 hours of rest can do. I'm ready to tackle this final week. Only 1 more week!!!

(Aside) Sunday Long Run:
Of course, after my epic century Saturday, I had to follow it up with a long run on Sunday. I eeked out 16.5 miles on the Los Gatos Creek Trail. As always, the hardest part was putting on the running shoes. I woke up and groaned. There was no way I could do this. Brent was going to run 6 with me, and I totally dependend on him to get me out of bed and into my running shoes. We started running, or some motion of the legs moving up and down that sort of resembled running at an agonizingly slow 11 min/mi pace. My legs were shot. They didn't hurt; they just felt floppy.
Three miles later (after a few bathroom stops...or were those just excuses to rest?), I started to fall into a rhythm. I sighed, relieved. At least the whole run wouldn't be agonizing. To my pleasant surprise (as usual), the farther I ran, the better I felt. Brent waved goodbye and wished me luck at mile 6.
Only 10 more to go. Somehow, that seemed so much better than 16. Left to my own devices, I fell into my zone and picked up speed. I always seem to run faster when I'm alone. I was ecstatic. 9:30s...my goal pace for long, slow runs. Even after the beating my legs had taken yesterday, I could still fall into 9:30s (after a long warm up). My training was working.
Two miles before the turn-around, I caught another girl running very well on the path. She had been ahead of me for awhile but had slowed on the downhill. I charged ahead, passing her. It hadn't really been my intention to race but slowing on the downhills just hurt my quads too much. She thought we were racing. I could almost feel her breath on my neck. I took the bait. I watched my pace on the GPS carefully, making sure I didn't blow up. Listening to her footsteps, I ran just a hair faster, making sure I stayed just slightly ahead. I was still going only 9:00s. I knew I could manage that for several miles (2 to the turn-around) without blowing up. Besides, after the turn-around, I knew I could slow and recover. I focused on my cadence and breathing as I picked up speed. I felt fantastic. Guys running the other way looked at us curiously. I guess it was kind of obvious we were racing. I reached my halfway point and pulled over to the side, letting her blow by. I know she was probably irritated (I always hate when someone races me and then stops before I'm through) but we had different routes fated for us that day. I'm only sorry I couldn't thank her for giving me such great motivation and entertainment on what could have been a torturous run full of drudgery.
My pace slowed after that, and I had a difficult time motivating myself to run 9:30s. I settled for 9:45s. However, mentally, I knew I could do it. I was over halfway done. The miles flew by at an alarming rate. During the last 2 miles, "It Hurts" by Angels and Airwaves came onto my iShuffle. I smiled. It does hurt! At least someone understands. For some reason, it made me feel better, and my pain went away (my feet had been hurting a bit, par for the course on long runs). I reached mile 16 at the trailhead, still 1 mile away from my parents house. I had run too far (probably from racing that girl) and was going to end up doing 17. I could have walked but walking a whole mile? That would take forever! I wanted to get it over with. I kept running. I knew there would be hush puppies and an ice bath waiting for me at home. When I finished, I threw my arms up in the air triumphantly. A few tears rolled down my cheeks. I was exhausted and exuberant.

8 comments:

Wes said...

It's just so hard to take a day off during IM training!

Ummmmmm... No, its not :-) You EARN those rest days by working hard and training smart.

Terrish B said...

I am very proud of you, good on you for taking that rest day and I enjoyed reading about your run :-) you inspire me!!

Diana said...

Nothing like a little friendly "silent" competition!

Renee said...

Great job on your run and knowing when to take a rest!

SinGal said...

You gotta take rest days, I learned that the hard way! ::looks down and black and blue ankle::

Your body will love you more for it! :)

Colleen said...

Rest days do a body good... :)

Glad your run went so well. Getting out the door is always the hardest part and who can complain about some untold competition! :)

Grey Beard said...

\v/ .... you just have to have a little faith that rest is a good thing and won't undo your training. I think this is "the next big thing" for your performance improvement. You go (rest) girl!

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