To start a recap of the week so far.
swim - 2 hours - 2950 yrds
bike - 1 hour on trainer
run - 2 hours 37 min - 18.27 miles
pilates - 2 hours
Now today Col had 12 miles on my schedule with the instruction to find a hill route similar to Mercer Island and to practice race nutrition. The weather was perfectly sunny and even warm for this time of the year, I felt good. So rather than try and figure out another route I decide I wanted to run the Mercer Island course. In ski racing we always do a course inspection before a race so that you can be prepared. Now mercer island is a loop course so even though Col only had 12 miles on the schedule I choose to do the full 13.1 - I wanted to prove to myself that i could do it under 2 hours with no pressure. I figure if I can do it in training I can do it in the race. So that is what I did.
I slept in to try and get as much rest as I could after a very very stressful week (at work), I had hair appointment and afterwards I went to Mercer Island. I had 2 fuel belt bottle of cytomax, 4 gels, 2 salts. It took me a bit to figure out which direction to go from the start (which seems to be already marked). I sent Kyle a txt message when I started and off I went.
I had to check I map a few times with in the 1st coupe of miles before I got on the main road around the island. The course is generally up hill with a few short flat section or downhills. It is shaded by trees but even so with in a couple of miles I had shed my long sleeve shirt and wished I had worn shorts instead of capris. There are very few shoulders -more than a few time I was scared by drivers who did not want to share the road with me.
I had a gel at mile 4, 8, 11, and drank the cytomax to help get the gel down and between gels. I worked at running while eating which I'm still getting used to - it takes longer and is messier but i was able to do it. I was surpised I had no issues, no foot pain, no hip pain, nothing. It was great.
At mile 7 I was under 60 min so I knew I was going to be under my goal time of 2 hours and it made teh next 6 miles easier knowing that I was doing so well. I was abl eto average a 8:30 min miles with only a few exception on some of teh larger/longer climbs.
Kyle surprised me and rode his bike out the course in the reverse direction - he caught up with me at about mile 10.5ish and barley recognized me (I went a bit more blond with my hair this morning). He was surprised at how far i already was :) He rode along side of me the last 3ish miles and kept me company.
The last 2 miles are rolling hills which were kind of hard but I tried to pick up the pace a little bit (not to much just a bit). I knew I would be sub 2 hours but I wanted to really prove myself I could do it. To get the full 13.1 I had to run down into the park a ways. But in the end i finished 13.11 miles in 1:54:06! I was/am sooo excited and happy. I did it and it was not as hard as I thought it would be. I feel ready to do it again in the race in a couple of weeks and now I don't have to stress it as much I know I can do it which is the most important part :) I'm soo glad I did a dress rehearsal and/or course inspection.