Saturday, October 08, 2011

On Long Rides and Long Runs

Last week I rode 100.0 miles in 4:59:30. On my training wheels. That was a tremendous adventure, full of memorable events, including a frenetic last 29 minutes where I started 50 seconds off a 20 mph pace and somehow rung 1:20 out of the last 10 miles despite plowing through two knee-deep puddles and doing some almost Lance-worthy off-roading.

Today, I ran for 2 hours. Map My Ride gave me some questionable, on the shoreline gps data (a lot of workouts show up short her on the shoreline). I ran a solid negative split of nearly three minutes after running a very solid 1 hour and 1 second out before turning around and coming back. I drained a bottle of hammer nutrition and one flask of EFS nutrition.

I never felt bad. I never had to take a dump (yes, this happens on some long runs), I never felt bloated, and I never faded. I do have to shout out to Bear McCready. His music was the fuel for my run today, as I just listened to BSG seasons 1-4 the whole run, and damn, that music makes me solid. It's the perfect blend. It doesn't send me off the deep end like Linkin Park, and doesn't lull me to sleep the way Alannis does.

The point is, the 5 hour ride was an adventure and an effort. The two hour run ? Just another workout. I went out, I ran, hit the head, grabbed two scoops of Hammer Nutrition Recoverite, then went to my son's soccer game, where I had to convince him that yes, he wanted to play, not just watch.

Now, I've done some three hour runs this year, so I know what even longer runs feel like and it makes me stop and think.

I've come to the conclusion that as an athlete, I'm a better cyclist than a runner, and maybe that's true. But my running has really come together in the last month and maybe instead of fighting the idea that I'm a good runner, I should go with it, what with IM Florida coming up next month. After all, the Ironman doesn't end with a bike loop, it ends with a marathon. Maybe being a runner is a good thing. Maybe being a good runner is an even better thing.

So the fact that I can go out and run for two hours and it's just a punch the clock effort, that's a good thing. Let me save the aggression and the passion for the bike, where I need it, and let's run like a professional at IM Florida. I'll have a better race, maybe even turn in that 3:20 my coach thinks I'm capable of...

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