Life is full. A little too full to be honest, but that's ok. I'm working on creating a little more space for myself. Unfortunately, this means not as much blogging of my adventures as I would like. Hopefully that will change as I create space!
So where was I....right I need to post about my adventures from Sunday on. Okay, here it goes. I'll try not to blather on too much, but then again this is me we are talking about so I make no promises!
Last Sunday I met up with my good friend Keith for a tour of the bike course that I, actually we, will be riding Saturday June 20. Keith has done this race before so it was really cool to get a guided tour of what it will be like.
Let's just say there are a LOT of rolly polly hills. Holy hannah banana, this is going to be the hardest half ironman course I've been on. That statement is not to be taken negatively, au contraire on frere! I'm excited about it. I would like to push some mental/physical boundaries so this will be a good race to do so! I've been practicing that push in my training too.
Overall the ride was good. My legs are pretty schwacked from training lately, so my hill climbing was still a bit sluggish, but in general my legs felt strong and I was happy with the ride. I was also very thankful the wind was out of the southeast as we were riding west/east. Made for a bit of a dodgy ride in some sections where there was no shelter, but that was when I would tuck behind Keith who is over a foot taller than me!
We didn't ride the full route due to time constraints of the ride, but later on I drove the rest of the way. It kind of flattens out near the turnaround, which will be nice. I'm already starting my visualization practice of how I'm going to be the mountain goat on all the hills!
On Monday I had a fantastic swim! Keith sent me a video link of Dave Scott teaching about how to correct your swim faults and Julie had talked about high elbows in swimming. I set about applying all that I had learned as I did my swim sets. I had a warm up, 6 x 50 m build, then 15 x 100 m sets at race pace, then cool down.
If you recall, my race pace time nearly killed me last week - I was a gasping mess and it was hard to hold 1:55 minutes per 100 m. I started to question if I could really hold that pace during a race! This Monday was a different story, I applied the techniques and low and behold my time went down by 5 SECONDS to 1:50 min/100m!!!! At first I thought it was a fluke. (Behold the confidence I have in myself!) But I kept doing it, swimming at that pace.
The best part was although I was definitely working, I didn't feel nearly out of breathe as last week. Proof that swimming correctly equals swimming effeciently.
My run that afternoon was a short one, but I felt good. My legs are adjusting to the heavier workload I think. It was a recovery run so I ran around my neighborhood and enjoyed the sights and smells. The lilac tress are finally blooming here and smell wonderful. Even with the snow/hail spurts we've been getting the flowers are fighting back and blooming as well. I just enjoyed being outside for this run.
Tuesday it was back to the hills. I had my bonus hill climb to do. (Luckily it was scheduled for Tuesday because on Wednesday construction crews had half the road torn up so they could fix the lumpy bumps that I am ever so cautious about flying over.)
I set the intention to push myself through this workout, and I did for the first 6. I even took 20 seconds of my climb time...unfortunately my legs gave out on the 7th set and my quality went in the crapper. I was ok with that though. Well, I wasn't 'ok' with it, but I accepted it and after some thought and discussion with Greg, I now know that I should be resting a bit at the top. I wasn't other than a quick sip of drink.
Also, I do these back to back, and I learned that easy meant being able to talk while riding up the hill. I took easy to mean easy gear so was pushing hard for every set, just in an easier gear. No wonder my heart rate was constantly 160 bpm going up! ha.
On one of my sets there was also a group of young boys who were running like mad. I assumed they were warming up or this was part of their soccer practice as I ride by the soccer fields. I recognized the first young'in running along as the son of one of the local triathletes. I gotta say this kid was fast, fast, fast. He had the other boys beat by a mile and his little clomp, clomp, clomp pace never slowed one bit even when he started running up the bonus hill! It was so cool to see - oh and to have an ounce of his stamina and energy! He is also involved in triathlon so it will be great to see what he does at this Sundays Kids of Steel triathlon here in town.
Okay, that's Sunday, Monday and Tuesday covered. Phew! Wednesday was another swim/run day. Again I had a great swim and really watched my technique. This wasn't a timed event, but I made sure to keep the effort up.
In the afternoon I met up with my friend Esther, who's like my sister. She'd been away on vacation for a week so it was great to be able to meet up and go for a run. I was to do a hilly route so we ran around the town...it's hilly. I had so much fun being out there chatting and running - it was brilliant. Not to mention I liked the juice and chocolate she fed me for energy before I had to run up the bonus hill!
Oh, a funny thing happened as I left my place. I was running along the sidewalk and about a half a block away I could see these three little tykes on their tricycles and mini bmx bikes. The one little girl, about 6 yrs old, yells to the other little girl, about 4, 'look out! someone is coming behind you!' Remember, I'm half a block away at this point. They, along with a little boy on a tricycle all bail like quail onto the driveway. Then they all start waving at me.
It was so adorabley cute and funny to have them waving like mad as I slowly ran towards them. As I went by they all said hello, which I replied in kind, and the little boy asked me my name. I told him but unforutnately was past him at that point so couldn't ask his. I would have stopped but was meeting Esther so didn't want to be late. Hopefully I'll see them again so I can say hello and ask names.
As I ran up the bonus hill at the end of my run I realized that perhaps the juice box wasn't a great idea. Urgh. The chocolate was giving me a bit of a boost though as I've been off that habit for a while now. The construction crew was still there as I ran by. It was a little unnerving to have about 10 guys standing there as I ran by...at the same time I made sure I was giving it my all without sounding like I was having an asthma attack.
The flagman was standing there having a smoke and commented I'd been running for a long time! Why yes, yes I have...and the smoke from your ciggy is not helping me in my attempt to run up the hill without puking a lung. Still, you are a kind man and just doing your thing so I will let it go, smile, say yes I have, and continue running. I made sure I didn't stop until I got around the corner and no one could see me practically fold over as I gasped for air. Am I vain or what?!
So that's what's been going on in this gal's training life! All really good stuff. I continue to push myself more, learn, and enjoy being out in mother nature.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful week too!
Peace out my fabulous friends!