Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Make It or Break It Workout

It doesn't matter if it's a running race or a triathlon, I always prep for my event with key workouts, as I am sure many do, but there is perhaps one difference.  There is always one workout that is long and intense or mentally grueling that I make myself complete with certain goals.  If I don't complete the workout and meet the goals, then the race goal changes, i.e. usually the finish time.

When I wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon I new I had to run a 20+ miler at less than 9:00/mile and I had to pull off a half marathon in less than 1:41, not necessarily to meet the running calculator goals (because some of them said I could be slower than that), but for me.  I had to make myself believe I could do this.  Having all the potential in the world and meeting all the calculated run times doesn't mean sh*t for me if I don't believe it. 

Yesterday was one of those.  I didn't per-se dread the workout, but I had a lot of anxiety and hesitation about surviving the workout.  It was a 5 hour ride and a 2 hour run.  Alone. 

I headed out on the Joker (have to elaborate on that further in another post) around 8:30 am feeling like I was ready to rock this mother out (that never happens, maybe it's the steroids I am on).  I felt only a little tight from the threshhold intervals I had done Monday and of course, my left calf and foot were tight too, but that's par for me.  I got about 5 miles out before I though I may have forgotten to shut off the coffee pot so I looped back to check (it was off) and headed out again in another direction and whipped off another 23 miles.  The route got hillier after that and I had to stop at a gas station to buy more fluid since the park had no freakin' water (seems to be the norm this summer at parks).  I was able to cram about 6 bottles of water/EFS/Gatorade down my throat over 5 hours and I peed twice.

Got home and changed (quickly), set-up my little make-shift aid station and headed out for 2 hours of running.  I was a little stiff and felt like I was trotting so very slowly, but my heart wasn't pounding in my head or chest, which was a good sign I wasn't completely dehydrated.  I made my way back for some water and headed out again, but this time as I returned from my second loop (about 5 miles), I was starting to get the thirst.  I jammed ice down my shirt and grabbed my hand held, not worried it would slow me down because I was already going so slow.  I was able to sip on it as needed and even managed to take down some liquid shot.  Surprisingly, the brick was going really well, until about 10 miles when I could tell my stomach was starting to go south and gonna revolt.  Luckily, I had only 2.5 miles to go to get home and voila`....

I "made it."

Bike 90 miles - 5hrs 3600 feet climbed - avg. 18.0 mph
Run 12.5 miles - 2hrs, avg. 9:40/mile

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