Sometimes you get a sense that everything is fine, and that’s how I felt after Saturday’s 110 mile ride on Natchez Trace. It was my longest cycling experience by nearly 40 miles, but for some reason I wasn’t nearly as wiped as any of these much shorter rides. I have a feeling it had a lot to do with nutrition, but also increased mileage an fitness.
As we ate the post-ride meal at Corner Pub, I could tell I was tired, but it wasn’t one of those beat down exhausted moments. Robbie, Jim, Allison, Wasky, and Marc chatted around me and I had a renewed energy for Ironman Wisconsin. It started with a break-thru swim on Friday, now 110 miles (half in pouring rain) on the Trace, what would be next?
On to Sunday.
Those first few steps out of bed can be telling. I shuffled to the bathroom and was amazed I could stand. I fully expected to put off my two hour “easy ride” to the afternoon, but I felt surprisingly good at 8 am. Let’s do this.
I started sipping Perform and did so for about an hour until I clipped into the bike. Then it was off to Zone 1 (I’m still not quite sure what that is) for a trip to the Dam and back. Rebekah joined me and it was nice to take in some scenery after yesterday’s blazing ride that glued my eyes to a rubber tire.
I didn’t “push it,” but did do a little slow climbing to work things out. I felt pretty good and as we coasted down the street toward home I realized I had been sitting on my Adamo race seat for 8 hours in the last calendar day.
But it wasn’t over.
I was gonna do a straight up brick, but was advised to take an hour, so I ate a peanut butter/jelly sandwich with some chips and salsa. (Triathlon cravings are ridiculous).
Then, I had a big decision. Which shoes should I wear?
Most of my runs have been in Pearl Izumi Streaks (which are now out of print) but after a problem at Muncie, I bought Mizunos that I thought I liked, but am not so sure after a few runs. The Pearl’s were my main squeeze until Muncie but my feet started burning like nobody’s business and I dropped them like they were hot, literally. THEN, I got the same burning sensation from my bike trainer ride a couple weeks later and realized I was wearing the same socks that I wore in Muncie. Hmm… could it be the socks??
The Mizunos felt great at first, but after a few runs they seemed a little too stiff and my left foot would start slapping the pavement after 5 miles or so. Something just wasn’t right, so yesterday, I pulled out the trusty Pearls and set out on my two hour run.
This was supposed to be a build/feel run. 30 minute easy, 30 faster, 30 faster, then cool down for 30. My Garmin didn’t charge so I was relegated to a chrono watch and this process was not easy. I tried to use the mile markers on the Greenway, but kept forgetting times and whatnot, so I just worked on a steady pace with small gains in effort.
I have no idea how far I ran, but it felt far and my legs were dead. This was the indicator day for me. This is how it will feel on September 8th . . . probably worse. Legs shot and all you have left is your mind to carry your marathon. I’m guessing I hit 13 miles and the thought of another 13 was daunting . . . but didn’t seem out of the question.
So, now, I put my faith in the conditioning that is left and the taper that will follow. How will 112 miles and a marathon feel with strong and fresh legs? The same, better, worse? I guess time will tell.