Monday, September 17, 2007

Riding the Rollercoaster

First and foremost, a huge thank you to Mallie who is the Rockstar of blog designs!!! She totally has pimped out my blog and I am soooo lucky she took the time to apply her mad skills to this site which was definitely in need of some TLC!!!

So last weekend and most of the week, the cold definitely had me down. The half marathon was rough and I felt crummy. I took Monday off entirely and my chest felt too tight to run on Tuesday, so I hit hard bodies class. I made it through class that day although my cold had me sweating as if I was working out in a sauna!

Wednesday I ran a whole 3 miles still feeling off. I just had no motivation.

I was starting to feel a bit better by Thursday however I still just had no desire to get in a normal workout so I did 1.5 miles on the treadmill before a hard bodies class at lunch and then another mile in the evening before hitting a interval aerobics class. I had such a nice time just doing something different although my calfs screamed for the next 3 days from doing so many toe raises in class.

Friday things started to finally turn up. I met a couple friends for a gorgeous 2.5 hour bicycle ride through some very hilly roads. The weather was just perfect and again I was rejuventated by my training which I had been lacking all week. As the evening rolled around MT called to see about the weekend long run. I hated to risk not performing well on Sunday but I figured we could just do an easy long run Saturday. So we met at noon out in Mantua to run the soft, flat Headwaters Trail. The temps had cooled and we easily picked off the miles at a decent pace. I felt great and 18 flew by so fast!

Sunday I awoke early to head out to the Akron International (Portage Lakes) Duathlon. My muscles remained a little sore from the prior workouts and the cold was not totally gone, but I was ready to go. I had signed up for the short course du. It was a crisp morning and I was thankful I would not be doing the swim as the transition out of the water to the bicycle was going to be a cold one! I lined up next to a fellow teammate who was doing the long course du (& she incidentally went on to win it!!!) and I said that I was going to try to pace off of her if I could keep up. I must be a cold weather person as things felt good. Mile one 6:32. Mile 2 was pretty much an uphill grade 7:11 and then Mile 3 was back down 6:14. Last 0.1 mi was 38 sec. I felt good and stayed within 5 steps of my teammate the whole way. It had to be one of my best runs of the year and then I headed into transition for my bike.

I had started the morning which was around mid 40 with a tri top and shorts and arm warmers. My hands had been cold all morning so I put on the only gloves I had which were big thick fleece ones. I thought I might need them on the bike but after the first run my hands were so sweaty that I had them off at the transition entrance and rode with no gloves at all. My legs felt incredibly tight on the bike but I was keeping a decent pace through the rollers. Over the 13 miles I never saw another female and passed several guys and several guys passed me. I have been having trouble getting my bike sensor to stay put on my wheel and of course it did not work during the race so I was guessing my mileage as the miles were not marked.

As I pulled into transition, I quickly changed shoes and headed off on the run course. I thought I was in front but there had been one girl (who I think ended up a DNF) ahead of my teammate and I on the first run and I was not sure if she was doing the sprint and might be in front of me. So I took off. The legs were tight but I plugged away increasing turnover and feeling generally good. After all the international du's this year, it is a huge mental boost to only have a 5K to run! As I passed the first mile I was close to 7 min mile pace which I was happy with. I was passing men as I ran the course and as I started up mile 2, I was happy to not see any women still as the the course has 2 out and backs and you can see who is in front and behind you. As the downhill mile 3 started, I saw the sprint tri female leader about 3/4 of a mile back and knew even she could not catch me. I came across the line holding around a 7 min mile pace for 5K #2 and finished with a total time of 1:23. I was the first female across and was so excited that for once I had felt pretty good during the race.

I was a little upset that as I tried to save all my splits that I took perfectly, I managed to clear them. Ooops! I hung out for a little while cheering on fellow friends before I had to head out for the day. It was a fantastic day and I left Portage Lakes feeling totally re-energized in spirit! It was just what I needed after having such a dismal week!


Curly Su said...

great race, awesome new blog look!

E-Speed said...

glad the du went so well for you! Perhaps the rest was just what you needed!

Kate said...

Love the new look!

I am so amazed you managed to do all that training with your cold and still race that well on the weekend! (sure it's less than you usually do, but my cold completely floored me- I need to get a bit more base strength and take a leaf out of your book!)

JenC said...

I LOVE the new blog design! Mallie rocks!

Great race chica! You are incredible as always!

triguyjt said...

love the blog look. being a newbie blogger, I can barely get a photo on my header.
best to you in your racing