This morning was a very important day for me mentally. My running has been struggling the last month or so and I have had to scale back a bit some of my run workouts due to some of the pain I had been experiencing in my feet, knees, and hips.
I set out this morning to run 15 miles to prove to myself that I still could run long distance. I needed to run a little longer than the half marathon pace to see how I would feel as I know going into my race after the bike and swim I won't be running on fresh legs. Today I was quite pleased with being able to run 15 miles despite not running double digits since 5/26/12 when I ran around 13-14 miles. It has been a month since my last real long run.
I was up at 3:45 after a terrible night of sleep. I got in my usual coffee and waffles and set out to meet whoever was going to show. Jen P., Josiah, and Emily were all ready to go.
The first loop was 8 miles. We had to head back for Jen to make it home in time for Jeff to leave for a race. It was nice running with Jen. She pushed the pace a little for me and it was good seeing that I could sustain a sub 8:30 pace for miles 3-8. I felt really good. I switched shoes back to my Ravenna 2's. I had two brand new pairs I bought a while back and tried running in them again instead of my tri shoes. I love my Ravenna 2's. This is my 4th pair I have run in and I had zero hip or feet pain. My knees hurt, but that is more from the amount of biking I have done lately.
We made it back around 5:45 and since people don't show up until 6 Josiah and Emily and I ran one more mile while waiting.
At 6 we met up with Jen H., Katie, and Chad. We head back out for another 6 miles. It was great seeing everyone as it has been too long since I have ran with Katie and Chad. I was starting to struggle a little bit around 12.5 miles, but was able to maintain and finish sub 8:30 the last few miles.
This was a huge motivational boost for me. I ran the 15 and felt good overall. I sweated like crazy with the humidity so I took extra water, a GU, and a can of Pepsi. I was glad to get this run in to remind myself that I can endure and run this distance. It was well needed and thanks to everyone for giving me company and conversation.
I came home and ate eggs, toast, and bacon. My legs are shot, but I hope they rebound quickly because I have a 40 mile ride tomorrow.
Speaking of which, yesterday afternoon I rode my trainer in my garage for 40 miles. I wanted to get a ride in with Jay, but my day just did not work as planned. It was hot and humid and no air movement. I went through three water bottles, a can of Mountain Dew, a banana, and two Hammer Eloctrolyte pills.
I had to ride 3 x 10 miles at race pace. I tried to pick the pace up and teach myself to endure when things are tough.
I rode mile 1 as warmup. Miles 2-11 was my first set and I was able to ride at 27 mph or higher pretty consistently. I took another 1 mile cool down and did my second set where I tried pushing a little more. I was able to get several miles at 28-30 mph. It was tough, but I was able to push through. At this point I stopped briefly for more water and I tried eating a banana. I will never eat a banana again. My stomach killed me. I will be trying other food tomorrow and I know bananas are not a good choice for this body.
My last set I worked to keep above 27 mph. I was tired and sweating like no other at this point. I had to really dig. The last 7 miles I just rode easy and it was weird because riding at 24 mph felt so easy after these three sets. I rode easy to get to 40 miles. It was a good workout, but my legs were tired for sure.
I am slowly gaining all my confidence back in myself that I am capable of doing great things in Racine. I have one more day to this week of training and one more big week next week before the taper.
Off to birthday parties and hopefully not too much poor eating. This will be tough because since the run this morning I have been starving no matter how much water and food I consume.