first things first. congratulations to all my real and i wish they were real blog friends who raced at the Ironman World Championships in Kona this past weekend. Paul, Miss Ross (my blog crush- James likes to joke that I want to make out with Rachel Ross, but I told him I don't kiss until I've known someone on the internet at least a year), Maggs, Pat Baldwin, Caroline G., Katya all put on some inspiring performances. JUST as inspiring (and often more amusing) was the awesome race support from the likes of Kerrie, Bree and all the friends and family out there...one day i want to be a part of that celebration!
and another HUGE thing is that Martha, my best-y from college is running her first marathon this weekend in San Francisco! Now, both of my best friends (and derelict counterparts!) from the good ole days will have run 26.2 before me! awesome. i am so proud of her for what she is about to accomplish AND she just bought her first road bike...you know what THAT means. now, all she needs is a blog :). anyhow, GO MARTHA! i sent her "the stick" as a little pre-race surprise last week- i think she's getting into it!
back in cali- i ran 73+ miles last week and did just 4 hours of biking/swimming. that's a LOT of running miles for me. I had a pretty big weekend with a 50 mile hilly windy bike ride with a 6+ mile brick run on saturday and a 3 hour run on sunday. holy crap. i had never run more than 19 miles in one session....the basic prescription for the run was "no paces faster than 8:00"...and i think i did pretty good! i started out a little fast, but had to get the blood flowing. when i finished 23 miles, my garmin said avg. pace was EXACTLY 8:00....here is the graph.
you can see how good i did sticking to the plan until mile 22 (when i decided to bandit run at what i thought was race pace- i was too curious as to what that would feel like (but ended up 15 seconds faster than my race pace- guess i need to "dial it in" a touch more :) ). I was stoked about the run because the pace felt so simple. my avg HR for the run was 143. My heartrate only touched even close to 160 in that last fast mile. What DID NOT feel easy was the pounding pounding pounding (which I'm sure was coach Mr. Miyagi's point of the run anyway). note to self: I found during the run, that I have a major issue with mental pictures of bone degeneration and what could potentially be physiologically occurring in the lower limbs. by the end, i was apologizing with each step to my legs. but my top half felt great!
The best part of my long run was that I didn't have do it alone! I planned a huge loop around mission bay and Mary, training for IMAZ, was the best running partner you could ask for and accompanied me for the middle 17 miles.
We ran a solid pace and she never gave up. I saw the ironman fire in her! Mary is a college swimmer who KILLS it on the bike too. She thinks running is her weakness, but Sunday proved it is not!
Post run, I got home and within ten minutes was out the door (salt crust and all) with james to the gym for a core session- we do a good 15 minute sequence that alternates planks and strength moves and stability ball. It's fun time we get to spend together- I think people think we train together but that is oh so not true. Sometimes we wave to eachother at masters , but we don't even drive there in the same car. So the core sessions are quality, and since we are in a fixed location, he can't drop me, so that's cool. Then we hit the sauna and try to make eachother crack. I've been focusing on core lately becuase I think when you get tired in a race, you need to have confidence that you can "call on your core" to pull you through (or confidence in ANYTHING that you believe will pull you through)...seriously. I know that sounds lame, but it's exactly how i think when i get tired or want to fall apart or lose form...CALL ON YOUR CORE! Oh, AND only james knows this, but the night before a race, I almost always do a really short (probably useless) "core activation :) " routine- purely for mental reasons. yep, i am pretty pretty cool.