The plan called for a swim today and I've avoided the pool for the last couple ,um, weeks so on this beautiful sunny temperate day I'm off to the community pool to stare at a black line and bubbles for 30 minutes. 1600yds in 32:30 a little more than 4 minutes per 200. Same as my swim pace two months and two years ago. doesn't matter how many laps I do and what condition I'm inI swim 4 minutes per 200 is my pace. I'm a little tugboat - slow and steady. Alas, with less than 90 days before my first iron distance I have to start taking this task seriously. So I've signed up for a Master swim program. This won't be pretty. In preparation for this colossally bad idea I dusted off my old friend the flipturn. Haven't seen him since I last swim in a speedo over 18 years ago. We parted on good terms but it has been a while - I hope he still recognized me. As I closed in on wall I reach out and touched it w/ my hand (am I supposed to do this?) held my breathe and stuck out my arms as some ancient muscle memory threw my body in a spin under the water. i opened my eyes and noted I was facing an open lane and pushed off the wall and was on my merry way. good to see you again my friend.
Thursday and Friday turned out to be nothing days was way too busy with family stuff going and was dead tired so I promised myself i'd be good this weekend. Saturday came quick and I really didn't want to get out of bed but luckily the car had to get to the garage by 7AM so that at least got me out of bed. I brought my MP3 player for motivation cause my tank was empty (as was my stomach cause I forgot breakfast) It was already plenty warm and sticky. I shuffled along looking for something good on the local radio. no luck. By Byerry Hill I found my running legs and Guns N' Roses was on the radio. Things clicked into place after that. 90 min run avg hr 148 probably around 8 miles all together.
Sunday is a day I promise to sleep in with the family and we had our big breakfast and I ate more of daughters leftover PB chip pancakes than I expected to. Around 10PM when everyone was asleep I crept into the pain cave and did a quick 30 min spin/15 min ellitpical brick
Monday had to do some errands so lacking any common sense i figured this would be a good time to get a run in. The Heat Index is 97. small dogs have burst into flames. 60 min run all together probably 9 minute/mile pace. Really a miserable run but feel great now that it is over and the AC in my office is working so wonderfully.
I haven't done anything really stupid in a while so I decided today would be a track day at lunch. When I left my car it kindly stated that it was 91 degrees. About 45 minutes previous I ate my lunch of trail mix, fignewtowns and pepperoni (with a couple diet cokes) So i would get a chance to train my stomach as well as my legs today. the warm up was hilly but shaded. the track however was wide open and the heat waves coming of the black track surface was less than inviting. Overriding my common sense I headed to track and started my first 800. I restrained myself the first half of lap (pretty easy to do when you have a science experiement brewing in your abdomen) the first lap was an even 90 seconds. NICE. the second lap my stomach settled down and finished in a total of 3:08- faster than my 5k pace. Double NICE. the first half of rest lap I struggled for my breath and questioned if I'd be able to continue. The second half of the rest lap I was recovered and debating on doing four 800's instead of my planned three. The second 800 was smoother and my stomach was much more agreeable. 3:02. repeat of my schizophrenic recovery lap first half doom and gloom, the second half insanely optimistic. Now however I am leaving a disgusting trail of snot and spit. This is a close I can come to a blood sacrifice to the gods of the track to keep me safe. The third 800 was very hard and hot but somehow smoother. 3.01. I bargained with myself that I'd do a fourth. If I went over 95 for seconds for the first lap I'd call it quits. I think I was sabotaging myself but I completed the first lap in 95. oh well too bad 1 lap more to go. the fourth 800 was compete in 3:08. I know this workout pales in comparison to my race in September but definitely a confidence booster. If I can do this and not poop myself I think I can handle 140.6. I returned to my car with some time to kill so i hit the trails/steeplechase and woke up 3 fawns from their nap and saw a red tail hawk up close. fantastic end to a great run.
Denise developed an ear ache and was up most of the night in pain and awake so I got to play Mr. Mom hustling the kids downstairs for breakfast and clean their teeth and get my daughter dressed for dance camp. So I arrived at work very late and spent the rest of day playing catch up. After work we had a fabulous BBQ and red wine w/ friends. By the time we got home it was late and my inner cry baby was not in the mood to spin in the pain cave for an hour. After a long discussion with myself the cry baby was given a time out and I rode the trainer for an hour. To help w/ the boredome I watched a couple episodes of the Daily Show and threw in single leg drills and out of the saddle time during commercials. I was back in bed by 1AM feeling tired buty very pleased w/ myself. I'd be dead tired tomorrow morning but I would also bit that tiny bit stronger on raceday. a good trade in my book
overlsept this AM in honor of the longest day of 2010. At Lunch I ran a little over 5miles in 47:30 avg HR 149. heat and hills were a factor today. I hit the trio of hills by wings field again and attacked as my plan says I should for 5 1/2 minutes. The whole time the Voice in my head (today played by oscar award winning Louis Gossett Jr. a.k.a Gunnery Sargeant Foley) yelling at me go just 1% harder. Near the top I alternated visualizing the finish line clock at 12:59:59 (my iron distance goal) and 19:59 (my 5k run time goal). nothing like mental games to get you through a tough day.
When you are running at midnight on a dark country road and recalling every disembowelment scene from every horror movie ever made it is very important to not be wearing headphones with the music jacked up to 11. There are two reasons for this:
Because it is vitally important that you hear the chainsaw wielding maniac as he primes his weapon and not be surprised by his sudden appearance
Because you need a long run in the pitch black of east bumblef#$k PA with only the sounds of your feet clomping as your only companion to be able to hear yourself answer the question ‘Why am I out here doing something so monumentally stupid?’
It’s a question all triathletes have asked themselves since the dawn of the Tri-Age. That is what I was seeking Friday night. The big WHY will become vitally important when I am at Mile 18 of the marathon of my first iron distance tri and my left ITB burns and my right foot feels like falling off and my stomach is bloated and about to reverse gears. The WHY will be the only thing to keep me moving forward. Mile 18 is no place to start asking why. I need to have that answer long before I reach the starting line.
‘To Who?’ Mile 18 would reply ‘you could call a cab and go back to bed and tell everyone at work you won the damn thing and they wouldn’t care.’
‘It’d be for me proof that Diabetes can’t stop me. It may slow me down but it won’t stop me from doing what I want with my life. That at the end I made my days count and didn’t shrivel up and hide from life because of my lazy arse pancreas not working hard enough’
That seems to be the WHY for now. I’ll keep pushing and prodding myself to try and be sure but we’ll see if that answer is enough on a dark lonely country road in September.