Last Thursday, I had my longest run workout ever. Yes. My Longest. Run. Ever. In. My. Life.
I got home from work and hit the road as soon as I could - knowing that I'd probably need all the daylight I could get. I wore my new De Soto shorts and jersey for two major reasons. First, I'm planning on wearing the same kit for the Ironman and wanted to get the best simulation I could for race day. Second, the jersey has 3 big pockets, and I needed to carry half a dozen Power Gels to keep fueled for the run.
The route I picked out started by heading West to Medicine Lake. Then I did 2 laps around the lake. The good news was that I only had to carry one 12-ounce water bottle since there are several parks around the lake with drinking fountains when I needed a refill.
The map is courtesy of my Garmin FR305 and SportTracks.
The run itself was definitely a learning experience. My goal was to average 10-minute miles as long as I could and then just wait to see what happened. Things went fine for about the first 10 miles. It got a little weird from about mile 12-15. My heart rate started to drop and I felt sleepy. My best guess is that even with a gel every 30-minutes, I was low on calories. For future long runs, I'll likely have to up my gel intake to 1 every 20 minutes.
In the end, I ran for 3 hours and averaged 10:17 per mile. It's not nearly as fast as my run leg during the Liberty 1/2 Ironman. But, I didn't have adrenalin on my side this time around. My goal for Madison is a sub-5-hour marathon. A 10:17 pace puts me in at 4:30. There will be no way to know for sure if I'll break 5-hours on the run, but I'm still optimistic.
Oh yeah. And as a reward, I treated myself to Kentucky Fried Chicken for a recovery meal. Take THAT nutrition plan.
Friday was a rest day, as in 'butt in recliner, watching TV and going to bed early'. It felt freaking GREAT.
The plan called for a 5 1/2-hour bike. This coincided perfectly with Tour de Tonka, a great community ride that leaves from Minnetonka High School and continues on to a few different route choices ranging from 16 to 100 miles. Of course, since I'm in Mega-Miles-Mode, I did the Century. Here's a photo of me just before the ride started all dolled-up in my Twin Cities Spoke jersey.
This is my 'excited' face.
The weather was a little dreary for the first half. By 'dreary' I mean, it rained from mile 2 until 49. It wasn't terrible. The rain helped cool things off - just don't ride immediately behind someone with your mouth open. Eew.
The skies magically cleared up for the 2nd half of the race and we were treated to a beautiful 50 miles. The wind was even at our backs once we made the turn and started heading East towards Waconia.
This is my 3rd year doing Tour de Tonka. They always seem to do a good job. One would think that a community ride with half-a-dozen different routes and over 2000 participants would be a logistical nightmare. But, these guys pull it off well. The courses are well marked, rest stops are well stocked and there are volunteers everywhere - even on the Century course. Well done.
Sunday was a simple open water swim. I drove over to Lake Independence. It's the same lake that held the swim for the Liberty 1/2 Iron. They have a long stretch of beach that is protected by buoys, so I was safe from playing bumper-cars with the speedboats and jetskis.
The swim was nice and relaxing. I put my Garmin in a zip-lock back and tucked it into my swim cap to try to track my route. It worked out pretty well -
I wanted to swim for 75 minutes - which would have brought me pretty close to race distance for the Ironman. But when I saw lightning on the horizon I decided that maybe Mother Nature wanted me to go home have some leftover KFC. Thanks Mother Nature, you're a real pal.
Today was another long pool workout. It was a combination of a ladder and some 100-yard repeats. For the most part, it was uneventful - except for the parts when the lane lines kept coming unhooked from the edges of the pool and floating into my lane. Bah.
I'll be hitting more heavy-duty hours on the road, in the water and on the bike this week, but I've got a recovery week coming up, so I suppose I can tolerate just a little more suffering.