Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Trainer entertainment

This was my cool down, helping Luka beat the bad guys on Lego Star Wars. I actually did put some effort into this "long" ride. Long these days for me is anything over an hour. Since I've been running on Saturday mornings there's no one to bike with on Sundays. As beautiful as the weather is, I'd rather not go out alone and have to worry about fending for myself should a stray dog come along. I guess after group riding for so long I got spoiled. But it was nice to be home with the kids Sunday morning and hang out. Nada read, Luka played Playstation, and Milan went to Hot Springs to say good bye to the priest at the Serbian church there. The trainer to me is just as hard, if not harder than riding outdoors. There are no down hills!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Columbus Day!

I never thought I'd like this holiday so much. It's pretty cool to be home ALONE and getting paid for it! My first paid holiday, and after only 2 weeks of working. The kids had school today, they're off this Friday and next Monday for parent/teacher conferences, and Milan's company doesn't offer this as one of their paid holidays. Oh well, guess I'll have to deal with being lonely today!

I promised I was not going to waste my day away and wonder at the end of it what did I do with my time. I also promised I was going to sit down and enjoy the quiet time, at least for a short while. I really don't have much on the agenda. A little laundry, a trip to the library for books for Luka, and maybe a stop at Academy sports, just for fun.

After the kids got on the bus this morning, the bus that seems to be arriving a minute earlier each day, I headed to the gym. Since I didn't swim at all last week (and loved it!) I decided I better go suck it up in the pool. I refused to go swimming at 5:15am last week when most mornings the air temperature was barely 60 degrees. I made that mistake one morning a few weeks ago and realized how stupid it was. Fortunately, the "bubble" is being put on Thursday so I won't have that excuse anymore. Nothing exciting that I can say about my swim, and definitely nothing I can brag about.

I watched bits of the Ironman on Saturday, just like everyone else did. I decided that I do want to go to Kona some year. But I don't want to compete, I just want to hang out all week people watching and then cheer at the race. Hopefully some year one of my fast friends will qualify and ask me to come be their sherpa. I would bring my bike and actually pretend to be a triathlete while I'm there. I would even get in the ocean (accompanied by some fantastic swimmer that could save me if needed) because it would be really cool to see pretty fish while swimming and not just blackness...maybe. I'm not sure about the jellyfish though. Maybe that's something you get used to. Or maybe I'd say forget this, I'm going to get coffee at Lava Java. Maybe someday I'll get ART certified and be lucky enough to work at their booth (or whatever it is) and do the technique on a bunch of buff triathlete men. That would be pretty cool. I just decided that even if I never compete at Kona, it would be really fun to be there.

The Chicago marathon was yesterday. I thought about that a lot. It's such a great marathon, in a really great city. Can't believe I was lucky enough to live there for 3 years. Made me think I might want to go back and do the marathon, but then I remembered that now I live in Arkansas and training for a fall marathon sucks! It's pretty funny because I trained for the Boston marathon while living in Chicago, which meant training through the winter. I vowed I would never do another spring marathon ever. Now it's the opposite.

Had another great run on Saturday morning. Instead of going down to the river where it's flat I decided to run in my hilly neighborhood. I knew it would challenging and that I might feel bad about it, but I did it anyway. Heartbreak hill is nothing compared to Rahling Road, and I'm lucky enough to have it almost in my back yard. I was surprised, and happy, that my 8 mile hilly run was actually 3 minutes faster than my flat run the previous week. The downhill must have helped, but that's OK because it's great for leg turnover too. There is just nothing like a good, hard run. I rarely feel that way about a bike ride, and surely not about a swim.

Off to enjoy my "holiday"!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The best run ever!

I just got back from a run, and it was definitely the best run I've had post-Ironman. Seems like my legs are finally back! I decided last weekend it takes me a full 30 days to really recover from Ironman and feel as good as I did before it.

After sleeping in this morning, which was so wonderful since I got up every morning this week at 5am, I headed down to the river to run. My plan was 8 miles in zones 1-2 for most of it and then "tempo" pace the last 20-30 minutes. I felt pretty good the first 4 miles, but was worried about the last 4. I also had some GI issues half way into the run, of course when there is no port-a-potty in close proximity. I finally had to head for the trees. It was to the point where I didn't care who saw me. Whew! Feeling 10 pounds lighter after that little detour really helped pick up my pace. It was hard, my HR was high (it hit 194 today), but my legs wanted to go so I sucked it up and let them. I just wanted to stay sub 8:00, and I was doing a pretty good of it as long as I stayed focused.

OK, so here's the best part of the run. At about 1 mile left I heard some voices behind me. I thought it was cyclists, but they weren't passing me. Then I realized it was a group of guys running. Well, I wasn't about to get passed by some guys the last 1 mile of my run (Mel, I thought of your last "training" race). I had no idea who they were or how fast they were running, but it forced me to keep up my pace and not fade. With about 200 yards left to my stopping point (my car) one of the guys passed me. He must have been about 17 years old and super lean. I think I could have picked him up and tossed him over my shoulder. His pace looked effortless, which made me try to mimic him, and I think I actually felt my own pace feeling a bit easier too. I saw him look down at his watch, so that made me wonder just how fast are we running? 6:49 holy cow! I don't know if I was relieved or disappointed that I was back at my car. I know I was relieved I wasn't going to run over the bridge with these guys 'cause I don't think I had that in me, but it sure was fun having these guys to motivate me. When I stopped the rest of their group went by, probably 5 of them all equally as young and lean as their leader, and I said, "Good job!", to which they all replied, "You too!". I swear I detected surprise in their reply, but it was probably pure sincerity. I think I gave them a run for their money! Either way, I feel really darn good that I was able to hang with these young running studs. Wish I could join them every Saturday morning for their training runs!