The new bike came in Monday afternoon at 4:30 PM. It arrived at the office where I was waiting for it, patiently. I don't usually work from the office on Monday, but this was important. The door had hardly closed before I was dragging the box down the hall ways towards the elevator. If everything was to proceed as planned, I needed to be in Roswell, GA for my fitting by 5:30 PM.
Curtis is a master virtuoso when it comes to cycles. Despite a non-cooperative seat post, he had the bike assembled and fitted in about an hour and a half. We still need to cut down the aero bars, but we'll save that for another day. I spent the next two hours driving out and back from Grayson, GA, dropping off the loaner bike. Brian! You totally saved me. I spent 230 miles on your bike. That would have been a huge hole in my training plan. These things we do not forget.
I got to ride the new bike on Tuesday during lunch. She handled pretty much the same as Aerowyn did, except she was a bit lighter, faster, and zippier. She climbed the same too. I liked the way the loaner bike climbed. I'm thinking I need a compact crank on the new bike, but not for Ironman Arizona. I'll save that for some other time. I only rode for about an hour, in anticipation of a fast paced U-17 boys soccer match I had on the schedule that night. I wanted to be in good shape for the game.
and it was hard. I had gotten comfortable reffing the adults, but the kids played with such speed, and they were willing to foul ALL THE TIME. It was tough trying to find a happy medium between allowing play to continue and stopping the game to make a point. I gave out no cards during the game, but at the end of the game, I was frustrated. I don't like feeling frustrated, but it comes with the territory of being a referee.
My Wednesday swims always feel sooooo good on my legs. Dee Dee had to work, there to fore, if I wanted to get my training in, I would have to get up at 4:30 AM and get my swim on, then run at Matthew's practice. The swim went fine. I had a little trouble holding race pace at the end, but that's to be expected I guess. I've been working hard. I used my run at Matthew's practice to loosen up the sore spots in my legs. It's perfectly flat where Matthew practices. I kept a steady pace and allowed my legs to work themselves out. I'm still struggling with this pain in my right heel. So far, it hasn't kept me from running. It's just something that I am aware of, pretty much the entire time I run.
Long run day arrived. I woke up feeling tired and sore. I tried to remember how my training went at this point in 2008, attempting to justify my curtailing my long run for the day. Upon further review, I confirmed that my long run times and distances were steadily increasing. Other, canned triathlon plans I had showed the same pattern. I resigned myself to getting'er done. Some motivational reading from Runner's World helped.
At 5:20 PM or so, I geared up and got out the door. It was a glorious evening in my neck of the woods. Not a cloud was in the sky, and the temps were perfect, which was a good thing. While I remembered my fuel belt, I forgot to bring money to buy a refill. As I often do when my resolve is in doubt, I planned an out and back route, that way, I couldn't cheat :-) As far as pace goes, I decided to just let me legs do what ever they felt like on the hilly course. Time on my feet was what mattered.
I always use the first mile for my warm up, keeping the pace to something reasonable. After that, I settled into a pace that was in the 10:15-10:30 min per mile. Over the first four miles, I run up four hills, one of which is almost half a mile in length. I was pleased that I was able to hold my pace. After the fourth hill, I had a stretch of flat to rolling where my pace dropped into the 10:00-10:15 range. Miles 6-7.5 were downhill, which was welcome at this point. Up to this point, my legs were feeling pretty good. I didn't let it go to my head though.
On the way back, I started out with a strong 1.5 mile climb. Near the end, I kicked it up to a sub-9 pace to make the traffic light. I hate running with traffic. The cars startle me. It was starting to get darker. I was happy that my cadence was in the 86+ range. This is huge for a guy that routinely runs at a cadence of 80-82. Miles 9-12 were sub-10. Yes! I was holding up just fine!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the teen-age girls in the pickup truck. As they were exiting the Walmart parking lot, they yelled at me that I was "looking good". LOL...
With three miles or so to go, I was determined to hold pace for the next two miles. I had no confidence nor desire to run a sub-10 mile up the hills by my house. My legs were really starting to hurt now, but my cadence was over 88. The legs were practically running of their own accord.
At the 14th mile, the Garmin beeped. A car pulled up beside me, and I heard a whistle. It was Dee Dee. She asked me if I was going to make it. "I'm going to get there!", I replied.
That last mile hurt. Mount Doom and Ass-kicker did their dirty work, and I exercised all the power of my mind to keep running to the house. I arrived at 2:35:00, well ahead of my planed 2:45:00. I spent the next 5 minutes or so, jogging and walking to cool down. All in all, I ran 15.3 miles at a 10:28 pace. This was very satisfying for me, and a huge confidence boost. I should have known this.
I've decided on a name for the bike. Right now, it's a closely guarded secret. Only three people know. As soon as I get a good pic of us together, I'll get it posted.
Have a great weekend, y'all!