Last week it was very obvious that I have started training for a marathon. I ran 35 miles from Thursday to Thursday (rest days). The best part is that I felt pretty good. On my midweek tempo run I found my inspiration and even though my legs were tired I made each and every mile count. I figure if I'm going to be sore and run I might as well make it worth while. So I ran my tempo run as with full focus and it was great.
Ok so the running is not a huge surprise since I do have a marathon in October.. But last week I agreed to ride on Saturday with Laurie and couple of other teammates who are doing IMC. Now I agreed before actually knowing how long the ride would be... When I asked Kainoa if it was ok that I move my long run to Friday so I could ride on Saturday she asked if I was riding Laurie's entire 116 mi ride.. I figured why not esp if I got my long run done on Friday since it is more of the priority.
Friday I headed out of work early so I could run a bit earlier.. Well that was the plan until my cat Toko talked me into a nap. I woke up at 5pm and headed out on my favorite 7 mi loop. My plan was to run it twice, lap 1 take it easy and and find a good rhythm and try and maintain the same pace for lap 2 on tired legs.
Lap 1 went by pretty quickly. I had the amphipod 12 oz hand bottle and drank all teh gatorade, I took a gu rocktane at around 3 mi and 6 mi so that i would have plenty of fuel for lap 2.
I finished lap 1 and refilled my bottle, grabbed another 2 gu's and headed back out. The first mile is pretty flat , then a mile downhill which of course felt great. Then I started on the hilly part of the loop. I ate a gu before the first uphill as would be expected my legs felt heavy but i stayed focused and kept my pace up. Even on the downhills my legs started to hurt a little bit. I dug a little bit and managed to finish the 2nd lap 1 min faster than the 1st :) For a total of 14 hilly miles in 2:00 flat. I figure since I choose a hilly marathon I should train hills.. I am so happy with how strong I felt and I was hold on for th second lap even though my legs were still tired from the week of running.
Saturday morning I met Laurie, Jodie, and Greg at 7am to get started on the 116 mile ride to Arlington. I had my bike fully loaded. 7 plain Gu's, 3 bottle of Gatorade endurance, salt sticks with both salt and sport legs, garmin... I was ready as I could be. Especially since I had my jersey pockets filled with 3 mini cliff bars, 3 more bottle worth of gatorade power, some cash, ID, and iPhone (like I go anywhere with out it). The weird thing was we all had our arm warmers on and I actually had socks on which I have not worn either for almost 2 months. Laurie (master route planner) had maps and que sheets just in case we wanted them.
We were on the road at about 7:15a heading north. It is great riding with this group because we are all pretty close to the same pace and well they are all training for IMC and thus they all want some time pulling so I got to just draft along behind them. My goal was to just hang on the entire ride. We picked up Bruce, a friend of Laurie's along East Snoqualmie Valley (17 miles in) which was great because he knew the area we were going and he was was a strong cyclist as well.
We stopped at a park in Monroe around mile 25 to grab some water and potty break the were back at it pretty quickly. We kept heading north towards the Lake Stevens course (I think). To be completely honest I had no clue where exactly we were most of the ride which was added motivation to stay on their wheels.
In Granit Falls we stopped and grabbed some more water. Well I grabbed a Starbucks Double Shot and a gatorade.
Then it was back on the road heading further out to the middle of nowhere..
I focused on keeping up on my nutrition which since it was not very warm was kind of hard. Just did not think about drinking as much.. I did eat a Gu an hour and a mini cliff bar every 2 hours. But I was behind on the gatorade big time - I usually drink a bottle an hour and was averaging a bottle every 2. I had a bad headache that would not go away and the toe on my right foot that had been stung hurt pretty bad being crammed in the bike shoe.
At some point in the middle of nowhere we came across a mile or two of fresh gravel roud :/ Which completly sucked. We were SO LUCKY no flats, no slips, nothing. Just a bit slower.
We made it back to Granite Falls again and I got another Starbucks Doubleshot to help me along. Of course the gas station store lady remembered us and thought we were crazy.
I was starting to hit the wall so the sugar was good but only lasted so long. I tried to eat more but it was just not helping as much. The last 30 miles or so I had to dig pretty deep just to stay on their wheels. It did not help that there was a head wind so if I fell off the back there was no way i was getting back on. Everyone was nice enough to not completely kill me and Kept an eye out for me. Bruce stopped at his drive way where we had met him on the way out.
I managed to stay with them most of the way back until the last long climb back over Novelty Hill in Redmond took me way over the edge. I fell back probably only a minute but it hurt to stay that close just so I could see if and where they turned.
Once we were about 5 miles from being back at the start and I knew exactly where I was I let go and slowed down. It was hard enough just to keep pedaling.
I got back and they were all getting ready to head out on their hour runs. I called it quits and was done. I figured the 3+ extra hours on the bike kind of equalized the :30 min run I was supposed to do.
I'm glad there are no pictures because I must have looked pretty bad. I certainly felt bad. I immediately took off my bike shoes and grabbed a chocolate milk and added it to the recoverite I had brought with me. Then rinsed off and waited for them to get back from their runs.
I have to say I was a bit bummed I was not able to finish the ride strong but then a friend Cathleen reminded me I was ridding with 3 athletes that have been training hard to be able to do an ironman canada so with that realisation I was just happy I survived the ride at all.
Later Laurie sent us the ride profile.. No wonder it was so hard.. Just a few hills.
And because I ran on Friday I got Sunday off completely. I had a big breakfast, took a 3 hour nap in the middle of the day, only woke up because I was hungry for lunch and went to bed early :) It was a hard couple of days but I have to say even though it hurt I LOVED every minute of it and kind of wish I could do it again this coming weekend.. Oh well I will enjoy a recovery week and on Saturday I will do the exact opposite and race a local sprint triathlon..