Monday, April 27, 2009

A good weekend

So I had a good weekend. I got up at the crack of dawn on Saturday and went for a run in the pool. I haven't done that since I was preparing for IM Arizona (because it's mind-numbingly boring, and no sane person would do it unless they were desperate to rehabilitate on an extremely tight timeline), and I was a little nervous, since I wasn't sure how my knee would hold up. The knee seemed OK, so I ran for two hours (without even losing my mind!). I figure that's equivalent to a 13 mile run at 9 min/mile pace (I actually kept my intensity pretty high, even though I was actually running at a 240 min/mile pace). I was pretty excited when I had finished, because I think I've found (rediscovered, really) a non-destructive way to train for the marathon at the end of my IM. I won't be fast, but maybe I can go into it uninjured, and with a chance of finishing (which is actually what I did at IM Arizona last year- I did no actual running (only pool running) in the two months leading up to the race (though I did run a 10K with my family the week before), and IM Arizona actually went really well. My run was slow, but I finished. It's such a joy to discover a light at the end of the tunnel, or in my case, a way to harness my motivation without tearing myself apart.

After my "run" I drove down to a spring-fed lake south of town and swam about 1800m in my wetsuit, and managed to identify a couple of the issues (even if I haven't totally addressed them yet) that plagued me in my swim at the Lone Star Tri a couple of weeks ago. So I managed to spend 3+ hours of my day immersed in water. After that, I went home and spent a couple of hours fixing some of the piping associated with my pool pump, without which the pool had turned a delightful algal shade of green. Perfect for frogs, but a bit off-putting to sunbathers and houseguests. It is now a beautiful crystalline blue, so my hard work definitely paid off.

Sunday morning I roused myself once again at the crack of dawn, and met some Houston Racing friends for a bike ride. Most were riding 44 miles or less, but a number of us (those training for IMCDA) did more. I ended up riding 85 miles in 25-30 mph winds. It was brutal. Really brutal. At some points, I was in my lowest gear and yet decelerating, wondering how I was going to get back to my car if I couldn't get my bike to go forward. It was great mental-toughness training! The tough part was riding as hard with the wind at my back as I did with the wind to my face, but I did a pretty good job of keeping my intensity high, and finished with an average pace of 18.3 mph, which isn't too shabby for 8 weeks out from the IM.

After my ride, I went back to the lake (with a friend who missed the Saturday swim) and got in another, shorter wetsuit swim. It was a beautiful day, and I had a fantastic weekend! I didn't really put myself to bed at a reasonable hour last night (sometimes it's hard to remember how much more sleep I need with higher training volumes), and today I am groggy and pretty much useless. Note to self: Get some sleep, dummy!

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