Monday, June 15, 2009

Pedicures, Training and Racing

Last weekend was a fairly big training weekend for me. With no marathon training necessary, I changed my Saturday run to a Saturday brick - the first one of the season and long overdue. I rode the only route I am comfortable with these days (I am such a wuss) but it incorporates a loop of nice hills - so I did the loop five times. Total mileage was only about 34 miles, but with the hills it counts for more. (Right? That and dragging my lard-ass around, that counts for more, too. Right? You people need to cut a guy a break.)  Below are the profiles from my bike. You can really see the profile of the hills - both by elevation and heart rate. Kind of crazy.

I rode home and had all my running stuff laid out and quickly got off the bike and into running attire. I decided to run sans socks knowing I would more than likely get some rubbing somewhere from my fairly new shoes. It started almost immediately, but it never got very bad. It was rubbing right under my ankle bone on both feet. Better to find out now and be able to lube it up than to find out during a race. My legs felt crazy-weird. I don't remember them feeling quite so weird last year, but I also don't think I hammered a bunch of hills and then decided to run. 

The run really went pretty well. I was clicking along pretty comfortably at a 7:30 pace (yes, I know I am not setting the world ablaze with my speed.) Four miles in just over 30 minutes. Now, I have been working on my running economy lately. I am a natural forefoot striker/very mild supinator so I have been working to take advantage of my natural gait and trying to become more efficient. I concentrate on not over-striding (which I used to do last year) and keeping my feet underneath me, staying light on my feet with a quick consistent turnover. It seems to really be helping as evidenced by my fast half-marathon and my consistent marathon recently. It really made a big difference on the brick as I don't know if I could have run that pace at that effort last year. I am probably doing way better than I figure I am.

The rest of Saturday was super lazy. We had no plans. We got outside and did a bunch of work in the yard and played with the dog and the kids. A decided that she needed a pedicure so she went up to the little Vietnamese nail place in the neighborhood. E decided she wanted to go with. I thought E was just going to hang out and talk while A got her toes painted. E came home with this.

This is cute on so many levels. First, the color she chose is the most attention-getting green. Second, she got a flower added to her big toes and third, she has the cutest little sausage toes ever. (The pictures are slightly out of focus because E took them herself and couldn't stop laughing.) She has been wearing flip flops everywhere to show them off.

My first race of the year is on Saturday and now I am having all sorts of anxiety. I am a middle of the pack age group type guy (OK, maybe more first quarter of the pack, but still) so it's not like I have a whole lot of pressure to "win." I do want to go faster and by "faster" I mean "fas-ter". I just hope I have enough bike legs and run legs - I should have more than last year just by virtue of experience and additional training. We have yet to get out for an open water swim this year and I am somewhat concerned about that, but not too much. It will be a wetsuit legal swim, I should be able to go sleeveless and the swim course is a point-to-point with the beach to the right the whole way. Since this is a sprint I have been paring down the crap on my bike. I switched to the small Fizik bag that clips to my Fizik saddle. Lost the seat mounted water bottle holders and will probably ditch the bento box in favor of tape or carrying gels in a pocket. I want transition to be simple and fast, but I have yet to practice a bike mount. Maybe Wednesday. Anything will be better than last year when I put on socks because I hadn't run without them at all and I had just put my aero bars on an wasn't comfortable with them so I was only in the drops. I also ran in my bike shoes in transition instead of leaving them on the pedals. Novice!

Today was the third day of Masters at the outdoor LCM pool. Monday is distance day so we had a bunch of 200's. I am feeling better, although I was just hanging on at the end. I have put myself in the fast guy lane and have been brining up the rear, but not out of touch with the super-fast leaders. These guys are younger and they are "swimmers". I don't hear much talk about marathons or tris from these guys, so I guess I should feel good about my situation. I hope each session gets better - I'll keep working at it. 

This week looks a little rainy, but I will need to get on the bike - I can run and swim in rain, no problem. Saturday is supposed to be sunny and clear if not a little warm. It should be a beautiful day to race - I hope the weather man gets the forecast right. Off to bed - run tomorrow.


Maggs said...

I'm going to have my toes painted the exact same way.

Roo said...

I was so looking forward to some bizarre story about you getting a pedicure! Come on, don't you want to match toenails with E?

And don't be giving Jesse any ideas about shooting off fireworks from the kayaks! He'll shoot his eye out!

Charisa said...

Those are some awesome toes!!! The color matches my commuter bike, which of course rocks!

Good luck this weekend - you will be faster and have fun, guaranteed!