Have you ever had one of those runs where everything was just right?This morning I had one of my greatest long runs ever. It was one of those nearly flawless runs where everything just seemed to click. I awoke before even the butt crack of stupid (4:15 AM). I was to meet up with my running peeps at 530 and it takes about 15-20 minutes to drive there. I had a breakfast of 2 Cliff Z-bars and did about 10 minutes on the foam roller. The plan was to get in about 9 or 10 miles in. We would head out at 530 for 5 miles, regroup at the starbucks and head back out at 6:30.
I headed out at what felt like a super easy pace. I was surprised to look down and saw my pace down under 9 minutes and my HR was staying down at like 150-155. I thought no way. Usually at this pace I would be up in the 160s. My running was really feeling effortless. My plan was to try and keep an even pace through the entire run and maybe attempt to run the second half faster then the first. I have been running my midweek base runs like that the last few times. I wasnt sure if I could do it on the long run. I finished the first five miles with an average pace of 9:08 and my HR averaged 160. It took about 15 minutes for the early group to regroup and head back out with the later group.
For the second half, my plan was to push harder. I was going to allow my HR to rise as far as 170 before I would back off. I had wanted to try to push to run the second half faster then the first. Unfortunately, the route that had been chosen for today was new, and I wasn't completely familiar with it. This meant there were several times that I had to either stop or slow down to allow someone more familiar with the course to catch up. Once I knew my way back, with about 1 or 2 miles left to go, I picked it up. My last mile was actually my fastest at an 8:49 pace. I finished my 2nd 5 miles with an average pace of 9:12 and an average HR of 170.
Overall, I did 10 miles in 1:31:59 for an average pace of 9:12 with an average HR of 166. After the run, I actually had a new member of the group tell me she would like to be able to run like me some day and one of the regulars said she wants to try and start running up front with me so she can try and get faster. I was shocked. Like Who Me?? Never would I have ever thought I would have heard things like that about me.
I really feel like things have started to click. Last weeks race felt great, and I was able to pick right back up on Monday and get back to training. After 10 miles averaging 9:14, I didnt feel bad at all. No aches and pains whatsoever. I thing the big thing I have left (besides losing at least 20 more pounds) is to work on cycling endurance, especially hills. I felt good on the bike at last week's race, but that was only 8.5 miles, and I lost many positions on the ride. I also need to think through my transitions. I feel like if I can get my bike leg better, I may finally be able to place as a clydesdale.
So after the run, I had to rush home and shower/change to head over to the Iron Girl expo where Cathy and I were going to volunteer with packet pickup. I got to meet Kate and Marni, as well as Kellye. We were there at 9:30 and worked till 1:30 when Cathy and I were both starving. I actually began to feel light headed. I really hadnt had much to eat. I had the 2 bars pre-run, a bag of shot blocks mid-run, and a starbucks reduced-fat coffee cake post-run.Needless to say I needed food. Cathy and I got the green light to leave. We found a Subway and scarfed down lunch. We stopped back to drop off subs to two of the ladies from the tri club who were sticking around to the end. While Cathy was dropping the food off, I saw Wes and Dee Dee who had just dropped off Dee Dee's bike and were heading back for the talk on the race course.
We headed home to relax until dinner. We met up with the gang at 5:30 at our favorite local Italian restaurant.It was Wes and Dee Dee, Robin and Scott as well as a friend of Robin (whose name I cannot remember), David and Mendy and her friend Denine, Lauren, as well as Cathy and myself. We had a great time. Lots of triathlon talk as well as talk of a future get together when several of us do the SC 1/2 in September.David even showed off his new "Cocktail Pants" he picked up at the Ralph Lauren outlet.
I want to wish all the ladies doing Iron Girl good luck tomorrow. I am sure you will do great. I also want to wish Stef good luck tomorrow in her 5K open water swim. Congrats to Nat for completing her first century ride. Cant wait to hear the details.
Tomorrow I may sleep in for really reals and then I have a 2.5 hr ride, probably on the trainer, followed by a 15-30 minute run off the bike depending how I feel.