Sunday, May 3, 2009

Weekend in Chico

I'm enjoying my weekend in Chico, though it's been rainy so I haven't been on my bike because I forgot to bring my trainer with me. (the thingy that turns my bike into a stationary bike when i hook them together.) I'm not thrilled with the idea of riding on slick roads in the first place, but also my rear tire is pretty worn (from using the trainer all winter) and doesn't have much traction left. I should replace it soon, but since I'm considering getting a new bike, I'm putting off buying a new tire.

Yesterday it just rained and rained. I've mentioned before that I like to do my workouts in the morning so that I don't slack off and avoid it altogether. It'd be great if I followed my own advice and rules. Dave's academy class had plans to meet at Bidwell Park for a run in the afternoon, so it seemed like a good idea to combine my long run with his run, and maybe I'd even have someone to run with. Instead of running in the morning, we went to the park with the dog and then headed to the farmers market. Unfortunately the rain never let up and the group cancelled the run. With the lack of a group of people to meet up with for a run, our motivation sizzled out too. We did manage to do some important and tedious grocery shopping though and spent the rest of the afternoon drinking sugary chai tea followed by gluten free beer and gluten free strawberry shortcake. Not exactly a healthy day! I did feel guilty enough about blowing off my run that I forced myself to do a 10 min ab routine I found on netflix. It was something... I really admire all the ironmen-in-training who don't have days like that. I imagine there are some out there.

Woke up to grey skies, but it was dry! Since the roads were still slick and wet, I decided to do my long run today. (The rain was bad enough that the bike races on Friday night and Saturday morning got cancelled for safety reasons.) Dave put an audiobook, Ender's Exile, on his mp3 player for me and I listened to it while I ran. I think I'm going to do that more often. I try to avoid listening to music, or anything really, while running as a general rule. First, I view them a bit as a crutch. Mp3 players are not allowed in most races, and definitely not in the ironman. I don't want to have to rely on listening to certain songs to get myself through a workout. I have to be used to the silence, or voices, in my head. It's important to train my brain too. Second, it's safer to have my ears open listening for cars or would-be felons. But every so often I like to indulge in having something else to focus on while I run. My run went pretty well. I ran by time instead of distance since I wasn't entirely sure of the distance. (I'll check it on google earth later.) I ran 10 minutes, then walked 1 minute, repeatedly. Walk breaks are encouraged by a lot of triathlon experts, especially for beginner ironmen-in-training. (Some weeks I probably spend more time reading about triathlon training than actually training.) The walking gives some muscles a break for a minute, and generally reduces the risk of injury, while negligibly slowing the overall pace down. I followed this technique, roughly, for my half marathon in March and it resulted in a hefty PR. Sometimes it's hard to convince myself to take a walk break, especially in a race situation, but my legs felt a lot better on today's run than last week's. Both runs were close to 1 hr 45 minutes.

One mistake I made on today's run was not eating anything during the run. I consumed 100 calories of Hammer's Heed beverage during the run, but that's it. I felt pretty out of it at the end. I'd brought two gel/gu packs of 100 cals each, but didn't feel like I needed them at first, and then once I only had 30 minutes left it seemed like a waste. It's not a good idea to let myself get so drained though!  I felt like I ran a good pace though. As best I can tell from tracing my route on, I ran the first loop (5.91 miles) in 62 minutes (10:30 min miles), and my total distance was 9.25 in 102 minutes (11 min miles). I had to slow myself down a bit at the end because my HR kept going above where I wanted it. I want to focus on pacing more evenly, but before I get too concerned about that I think I'll try to find the thingy I attach to my shoe so that I know how far I've run. Plotting a route using a satellite image of an area that is covered with trees is not exactly the most accurate way to keep track of my training...

Meanwhile in the rest of the world, friends are participating in half marathons and triathlons this weekend. One of my heroes in the Ironman universe, Sister Madonna Buder, finished the half Ironman course on St. Croix today. She's 79 and she's awesome. And my friend Jennifer finished her half marathon yesterday in a time I can only dream about. I love being able to track my friends during a race. Rose is out on the run course right now at the Wildflower triathlon fest. Go Rose!

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