Whoa. Starting to put in some real work now! Coach had given me a heads up that more mileage was coming, but he managed to sneak it in and I (almost) don’t notice.
My schedule was atypical this week — I actually only worked Tuesday and Thursday. Monday was the holiday, then Wednesday I had two separate appointments to get my braces off and pick up my retainers, so I ended up taking the day off so I wasn’t spending the whole day driving back and forth. Friday I was off because Chris raced Saturday and we had to drive up there (more on that later).
So Monday holiday meant I was able to meet my friend Amanda downtown and we ran across the Big Four Bridge and through her high school haunts in Clarksville (she won the Indiana XC title and they have a sign for her by the Greenway!). About halfway through it started raining, but it was pretty nice until we were coming back on the Second Street bridge — then it was more of a windy, stinging rain. But it was a nice, relaxed run to start the week and nice to have the company and a change of scenery.
Tuesday was a for-sure ass kicker. I’ve had some tough Tuesday workouts the past few weeks and they haven’t been helped by the temperatures. This week was 1 mile at 90% max then 8×400 at 90% max with 200m recovery. Holy moly. I put down a nice mile, 5:51 — and the fastest mile recorded on my two-year-old Garmin FR15 — but I still had all those 400s to do. And I don’t like 400s. I was hoping after my solid mile that maybe this would be the day I started to like quarters … but it wasn’t. They were hard. I was hot. I stretched out the recovery — coach had said the recovery could go up to 400 if needed, and I should’ve just taken the longer option from the start. My splits were okay (1:25, 1:24, 1:28, 1:30, 1:32, 1:31, 1:31, 1:25), but I think they would’ve been more consistent with the longer recovery — and that the weather probably warranted it.
Wednesday was an easy 7 recovery session with my friend Rebekah at Floyd’s Fork. Company definitely helps the recovery runs go by faster and keeps me from just thinking about how tired my legs are the entire time!
And it was the day I got my braces off!
I had mile cutbacks early Thursday morning for my second workout of the week. Basically a 4-mile progression run but with a half-mile of recovery between each, so not as taxing. The goal was to go out around 75-80% max HR and increase the effort each time. Splits (time/avg HR/max HR): 7:14/156/163, 7:09/154/167, 6:57/162/171, 6:49/164/171. There’s some variability in the pace and HR correlation due to elevation — not much elevation but the first mile actually started with a hill so my HR got higher faster.
This was also my first Thursday this season going up to 10 miles, making for three double-digit days in the week. I suspect that figure will not go down between now and Nov. 5!
Friday morning I met up with a couple of fast guys who were both on the New Balance team with me. They’ve been running more trails (there’s some sort of trail trend happening all of a sudden around here) and I love running trails so I thought it would be a nice way to mix up the week and get off the pavement. I ran 5 miles with them, scored a bunch of Strava segments, then put in one more mile solo.
Hubs and I headed to Muncie, Ind., around noon so he could race the half-Ironman on Saturday! Not being a triathlete of any sort, I can’t give much of a race review … but I can tell you the race is a half-hour or so away from anything, and the things are pretty meh. Most importantly, if you are considering this race for next year, book your hotel now. There aren’t many of them nearby, and you might find yourself stuck in a smelly Quality Inn that charged you $120 per night for the privilege.
Saturday was obviously an early wake-up call — about 5 a.m. We loaded up the car and headed out around 5:30 and got all Chris’ stuff in transition by 6:45. His wave went off at 7:39 a.m., at which point my real adventure of the day began. First, I ran his warmup gear and sandals back to the car and logged a few miles while he was in the water. I caught him as he came out of the water and then again as he came out of transition.
I had studied the maps and had a decent idea of where I wanted to go, but I wasn’t sure how many miles I was going to get in for the day. I could easily get in 6 if I just ran an easy straight out-and-back to the bike course. Or, I could try to get my 16 miler in. I knew I’d have to play it by ear because I wasn’t sure If I’d be able to run on the course itself.
What I should’ve done, though, was bring my dang handheld water bottle. Kids, don’t try this at home.
So at mile 6.3 I was on the bike course and almost right on time. I only waited 5 minutes or so before Chris came by the first time, and then I waited for him to make it to the turnaround and come back. Meanwhile, I had noticed a trailhead on my way out and used Google Maps to figure out where it would take me and how far it would be — 3.5 miles to another spot on the bike course. That meant I would miss Chris as he started his second lap, but I would get there early to catch him on his way back in. Or at least that’s what I was hoping, but the map didn’t have the mile markers noted so I was winging it a little bit.
The Cardinal Greenway was great — way more shade than I had running to the bike course, and way flatter! Both were major positives since I didn’t have any water. I had saved the first part of my run when I stopped on the bike course because I wasn’t sure how long I’d be waiting and I didn’t want to run out the battery.
Since I knew I wasn’t going to make it to catch Chris the first two times he came past where I was going (it was mostly an out-and-back-and-out-and-back), I wasn’t in a huge hurry. I took some photos, texted some of the other people I knew there cheering on their friends and family, and refreshed the athlete tracker. I was also trying to keep it relaxed and not exacerbate the hydration situation.
I got in a solid 10-15 minutes of cheering before Chris came by, and then I headed back down the Greenway. Once I got back to the road where I started, I was basically on the run course. So I caught Chris one more time just past the first mile. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do much more spectating on the run course because it was an out-and-back with no shortcuts. If I stayed to see him again, I risked not getting back fast enough for the finish. Also, because Chris was in wave 9, that meant some people were already heading back on the run. The road was only two lanes, no shoulder, and there were some 2,000 athletes plus spectators also going back and forth! I figured I should head back and get out of the way. This worked well except all the people who thought I was the winning female, lol.
I cheered for the first two guys as they came by, very close to each other. The guy in third wasn’t too far back, and he asked me the age group of the guy ahead. I hadn’t caught it, but I told him I’d find out. I had to throw in a pretty solid 6-minute pace surge to catch the guy! I stopped and when the guy in third caught up, I gave him the news.
“I’ve got to catch him then,” he said, and took off. I wish I knew the result of that!
I was able to grab a cup of water from an aid station (pretty sure they thought I was a competitor but I was in dire need; I had walked all around a church on the run course looking for a spigot). I finally made it back to the car, downed all the water we had and my Recoverite. (Recoverite made with lukewarm water is not ideal.) I had about an hour to kill before Chris finished, which mostly involved trying to procure more water.
Chris had a solid race. He competed at Ironman Louisville four consecutive years, ending with an involuntary DNF in 2010 when he passed out with a few miles left on the bike leg. Since then, he’s done one sprint triathlon a couple of years ago. This was a pretty big jump back into things! He had a great 12 week training block, shorter than he would’ve liked, but I was impressed by his consistency. I’m excited to see how he does at Monumental if he’s able to put together another four months of injury-free training.
With my 16 miler out of the way, Sunday I kept to an easy 4 with the middle miles on trails. The time/pace is a guess — my watch died at mile 2. Whoops!
Totals: 63.5 miles run, .4 miles walked and 45 minutes of Pilates taught!