I've trained for 42 days straight now. I view every day as an opportunity. It is an opportunity to get better or an opportunity to get worse. Some days getting better means having an easy day of light training...some days it means running intervals until my lungs are screaming and my legs are jello. That was the case on Friday when I went to Augustana's indoor track for the first time since last February. I love running intervals! I was excited about this workout all day. Jen's college coach, Ron Standley, who is like a drill sergeant in the army made the workout for me. It was an 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, and 800 all to be followed by a 1/4 mile jog recovery. Ron couldn't be there for the workout but told me to try to keep everything at 5:20 pace or 80 seconds/400. My times were just a bit under that as I went 2:35, 3:57, 5:14, 3:55, and 2:32 to finish it off. I ran pretty even through them but had to work very hard over the last half of each interval. I plan to continue running intervals once a week. In addition to the intervals my other semi-hard running day is a tempo run. This week was a 5 mile tempo run and I felt like complete dog crap. I don't know if it was from being a little sick or what but the pace felt much more difficult than it should have. I hit just under my goal of 30:00 by running 29:38 but it wasn't as comfortable as I would have liked. My mile splits were 6:07, 6:03, 5:58, 5:50, and 5:38. I like running the tempo run progressively meaning I get a little bit faster with each mile.
I said last week that it never fails Sunday is the nastiest weather of the week when I have my long run planned. I said it would take a blizzard to keep me off the roads for this run and that is exactly what we had this week. We had snow and 35 mph winds creating blizzard like conditions that made me hungry for Dairy Queen just looking outside. I decided on Saturday night I would do this run on the treadmill...which I hate! The only thing I hate more than running on the treadmill is running for a long time on the treadmill. I did it however. I went 81 minutes covering 11.7 miles. To trick myself into making the run go by quicker I used the incline thing on our treadmill to simulate hills. I kept going up and down although the thing that sucks about treadmills is that you can never simulate running down hill because 0% incline is the bottom. I also threw in 2x 2 miles at goal marathon pace (6:30) although I realize St. George is one of the toughest marathons to finish an Ironman of any out there and I'd be thrilled to run 6:55 pace which would put me under 3 hours. If my memory serves me correct only one pro went sub-3 hours for the marathon there last year and he was the overall winner.
Saturday night I declared a household emergency. I went down stairs to ride on the trainer and Jen asked me how long I was going to ride for. I said somewhere between 1 and 2 hours. When I tightened the trainer to my bike wheel it would not tighten. One of the bolts was stripped and I would not be able to ride. I tried to fix it but it was flat broke! I went up stairs a bit frustrated and told Jen of this emergency. Like all good savers we have been putting money into an emergency fund and this would be the first time we've had to tap into that money since we bought our house 3 and a half years ago. I texted the world's best bike mechanic, Moon Villalobos, from Healthy Habits and he told me to bring the trainer in on Sunday morning. Of course Moon was able to fix it. It didn't even cost me the emergency fund although I did check out all the trainers they have on sale there and I may buy one this week to make sure I don't miss any more rides in the future. This next week will be much like last week with slightly more mileage. I've begun adding some intervals into my bike workouts as I'm now over 600 base miles on the bike. I've also been doing a long swim day which I call my "Ironman Swim Day". I want to make sure that an hour swim doesn't wear me down and I can exit the water in St. George ready to pull back the field through the bike and run. Not a day goes by that I don't think about that race. I knew on Tuesday that I was exactly 5 months away. My mind is focused on the long term goal but also on what I can do each and every day to get myself more ready for the big one. My professional debut...Ironman debut...and marathon debut all in the same day. It's going to be one awesome day and I can't wait to train tomorrow to keep working towards the goal. It feels great to be back into a healthy lifestyle. DREAM BIG!!