Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hellloooo oooutttt tthhheerrreee

People, this summer has been nuts. Since my last post, it has been one marathon-training destroying weekend after another. I can't even recap it all, so here is the brief summary:

7/17-7/18 Seattle To Portland. Me and my bike and 205 miles and 10000 of my closest friends. We split it 135/70 and that 135 was tough. I did one century ride in training. Skipped my long run that weekend.

7/23-7/24 (yes, six days later) Ragnar Northwest Passage Relay. My friend Genn recruited me at the last minute for her relay team, which is also entirely composed of scientists. Genome scientists to boot, so I was totally the odd man out. I got the easiest legs (4,4,3) and I hauled ass, running them at a 9:30, 9:10, and 9:20 paces respectively. Van 1 is totally easier than Van 2. I didn't know what I was missing! I was supposed to run 14 miles the day after, but I only managed to squeeze out 12 - long run destroyed again.

8/1 (yes, one week after that) Troika Half-Ironman. I signed up on a whim the day before Seattle to Portland. I figured I was doing all this biking and running, I might as well just do it.

I did one 1.2 mile swim for training, along with a few dips to get used to my wet suit. It was a small race, so I was one of the last people out of the water (in 50 minutes or so).

I brought out Aqua Velva for this race. I had done one 20 mile ride on her this whole season, then I raced her 56. She held up and I caught several people and finished in about 3:25 (16.5 mph or so).

My only real goal was to finish under 7 hours. I got off the bike at 4:25 so I had 2:35 for the half marathon. It was doable, but I knew I couldn't walk. So I trudged through it in the heat, stopping at every water stop. I still didn't get enough down (I didn't finish my water in my Camelback on the bike, so I went in low). By mile 10 I had chills and I was beginning to wheeze (didn't bring my inhaler). I told myself I had to do this all again if I didn't get under 7 hours, so I kept going. At mile 12, the volunteer at the water stop started running with me to ask me if I was feeling okay. I told him there was no way in hell I was stopping with 1.1 miles to go, so I wasn't going to tell him the truth.

I came in at 6:56 and was immediately swept into the med tent, mostly because I had sprinted to the end and I was wheezing really badly, but then they realized that I was covered in goose bumps so they wouldn't let me leave until I had sat and hydrated.

Needless to say, I missed my long run that weekend as well. But I am not sure when I will ever be in this biking condition again, so I decided that the Half-IM goal was more important than a good marathon.

8/13-8/14 (wow, a whole two week break!) Spokane to Sandpoint Relay. We had a last minute drop out, so the team was reshuffled and I ended up with harder legs than intended. My first 8 miler was hot and hilly and kinda sucked. The second 4 mile leg was still hot (despite it being almost sunset) and kinda sucked too. The last 3 mile leg was one of those pure bliss nighttime relay legs. I had a sweet downhill for the last half mile as well and pulled out an 8:59 pace on that leg. Our team was speedy and came in 9/56 in our division and 17/100-something overall. The roller coaster in the middle of the night was pretty freakin' awesome. What was not awesome was that a bike escort got killed by a drunk driver during the relay. I feel kind of remiss for not doing a real race report on this, but honestly, it was a month ago and I barely remember shit anymore.

Missed my long run that weekend as well. I got back from the relay and the next morning flew out for my first ever faculty interview. I was working on my talks on our breaks during the relay. Good times!

Exhale. I have been home since and managed to do some of my marathon long runs. I did 15 the weekend after the relay. I was supposed to do 18, but my hip flexor acted up and I started limping. I think my body was just yelling at me "You need to take a freakin' break!" Never one to actually listen to my body, the next weekend I jumped 5 miles to 20 miles. It was slow, but I got it done with no weird aches and pains. Then I have been tapering. And by tapering, I mean no runs more than 7 miles. Despite the fact that my horoscope says that 9/23 +/- 4 days will be good good for athletic achievement, I don't care at all about this marathon. I'm going to go to Berlin, have fun with Lisa, and run this race with her. If she is in better condition than me (and I think she is, but she has had a crazy training period as well), then I will send her off into her first marathon glory without me.

In other news, I beat my 10k PR by almost 3 minutes on Sunday, coming in at 58:25. I was pretty ecstatic about that. I didn't even want to die at the end. My short run times have really gotten faster recently (I usually run about 9:30s-9:45s comfortably instead of 10s these days), so I think after this marathon business, I am going to focus on getting sub-27 on my 5k. Me and the track will become friends.

In other other news, Team BOMIAS has been challenged again by Girls Heart Rockets to the Sinister 7 in Alberta next July. Registration fills by January, so I am trying to find 6 other souls to do this with me! Let me know if you are interested. The logo alone is awesome!

Pretty soon I will start planning for the next relay season. I am thinking that since recruiting in the PNW is so easy, that I am definitely going to stick with PNW race. That leaves two races at two very different times of year. If you want to do either one of these, let me know! I will pick one or the other (probably by a vote) at the beginning of next year.

6.17-18.2011 Oregon Prelay Tualatin, OR 177 mi

8.5-6.2011 Cascade Lakes Relay Diamond Lake, OR 216 mi

Okay, time to do some work. I'll try and post more regularly, but life is a lot less boring here than in Iowa.