Sunday, August 24, 2008

Back in the Saddle

Because I trained through Lake Placid for Block Island, I started my two weeks of downtime late. Since a 2 hour ride six days after LP, I haven't been on the bike more than about 90 minutes.

I had a 30 minutes- 3 hour - 30 minute brick Saturday. I headed out after the first run with two bottles of gatorade, 4 packs of cliff shot blocks, and a plan. 40 minutes before the first blocks, which would put me at 1:10 into the workout. That was a bad plan but I had only limited food. So was two bottles of gatorade, but that's all I can carry and I hate to stop during my ride.

It was a hard day. Weird win, a much longer workout I was stepping up to, and I kept thinking about the kitten I had to leave behind at the hospital Friday night, turned over to Project Purr because I simply couldn't afford the care for it, which will be provided.

Still, the ride had its moments. I rode well most of the ride, despite my morning fuel being an apple, half a grapefruit, a banana and some coffee and the ride part of the workout starting at noon. On the way back from Madison, about 2:15 into the ride, I found myself riding next to a car with Massachusetts plates, still with no computer- I haven't had one since the ironman, where it shorted out. I looked over and happened to make eye contact with the woman in the passenger seat. She smiled and I asked how fast we were going. She looked at the speedometer and said 32. That was sweet. It was a pretty flat section and I was taking advantage of drafting a line of cars, but still...

I felt like the ride was pretty good, but the last half hour I started to lag. I'd wanted water for the last hour of the ride but just wasn't willing to stop in Hammonassett. I started out on the run and to be honest, I felt like I hadn't done a four hour workout in- well, since the Ironman. I really was not, in my opinion, running all that well.

And about half-way through, I realised something. I put a lot of pressure on myself during the run ofd these long races, especially the Ironman. And I am capable of running a good leg in long races. But the pressure I put on myself doesn't help. I thought about it as I ran into the wind along the water.

There is a difference between feeling bad and running poorly. You can't feel good in an ironman, late in the run. People like me- we're amateurs. Can we have a great race ? Sure. Is it going to feel good ? No. It's not.

I ran up onto my porch at the end of the run, stopped my watch.

The time of my second run was within 10 seconds of the time of the first run. Had it felt slow ? You bet. Did I feel like I was struggling the first half- hell, the first two-thirds ? You bet.

Did I run any slower ? No.

Lesson learned. After all this time.

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