Ok, I thought that the extra time off was going to afford me a bit of time to update the blog more regularly, but it would appear that was an incorrect assumption. It seems that the more time I have to lie around on the couch, the more time I spend lying around on the couch, rather than updating the blog. Go figure.
Since Ironman Arizona, I've had some pretty easy times. The first five days after the race went by without a lick of swimming, biking, or running. It really felt good to sit on my butt, but to be honest, I don't think I could have done much even if I had wanted to. My legs were more beat up after this Ironman than any of my previous races. I realized that the long taper, combined with nailing my nutrition, really enabled me to push myself like I've never done before. And the consequences were two sore legs, and the need for a lot of sleep.
A week after the race, I found myself in the water for the first time. It felt good to move, and I had a decent amount of energy stored up by then. I actually had a great swim, albeit a short one of only twenty minutes. I eased back into the riding and a bit of running the next week, but I was definitely feeling a bit off. My legs were really taking their time to come around.
Three weeks after the race, I was feeling a bit spunky, so I jumped into a local race. I figured it was time to start the speed work, and what better way than to do a little five-miler. Amanda and our good friend Cassie were doing the 30k race, as a training day, so we all headed down to the Rez for some fun. My goal was just to run a nice tempo for thirty minutes or so, and I figured the company would push me along.
I was very unsure how I'd feel, after all, I'd done very little running for three weeks. And my top speed during the previous couple months of training topped out a bit underr six-minute pace. My goal for this season was to do base training from January to April; to do speed work in May and June; and to rebuild the base in July. I figured this would be a nice way to prepare myself for a shorter, more intense block of training for Hawaii. Well, it was time to start the speed training!
5:10 for the first mile. "My" lead biker informed me that I had crossed the mile mark in 5:10. I was in the lead, I had about a 100-meter gap on the next runner, and I was flying. It felt good. I was just thinking about how nice it was to run fast. I was just thinking about how many 5:10's I could do before it started to hurt. I was just thinking how much fun it was to be in the lead again; I was getting used to it! I was just thinking all of this when my legs and arms and hands and wrists and earlobes started to go numb. I belive it was from the lactic acid. I think I got a bit ahead of myself.
I notched it back to a more manageable 5:30, but the damage had been done. I had just run my fastest mile(s) since my pre-Hawaii training.... seven months ago. Ouch.
Ok, so my winning margin was about thirty five seconds: about the same time I put on everyone in that first mile. I suppose it's an ok strategy to win a race, but it wasn't exactly the quality tempo run I was shooting for. Ah well, I enjoyed my return to training, and to pushing the body again.
It's been a week since that race, and I've tried to stay consistent with the training. I have about two weeks until I race again: Baja 70.3, unless I do another speed work race! I'll try to be more conservative; to practice restraint. Who knows, but I am back to training, so I might be back to updating the blog!