My legs are feeling it tonight. I had some solid workouts this weekend. I am feeling strong, sore, tired and ready for a nice rest week now.
Saturday mornign I woke up at 4:10 and hopped in the car to Portland.
I was excited to spend the morning with friends for a long group ride. Trainer ride that is. And because I live in Maine, and awake to temperatures like -8 with snow covered roads, trainer rides are all we have.
I was so happy to be there with this group. Most are good friends and in fact, most will be doing Ironman Lake Placid with me.
We rode for 2:45 and worked hard. I loved it all. But the ride was a solid hour + longer than any ride I've done since November, so I was tired!
After changing, chatting a bit, grabbing a coffee and a bagel, I hurried home. I was off to my oldest son's basketball game. As soon as that ended at 11:30, we rushed home for me to change, again.
We were off to the mountain for a 1/2 day of skiing.
After a huge effort with 3 small boys, we only fit in 2 measly runs. The wind was whipping the lifts around and it was under 10 degrees so unfortunately, it wasn't too fun out there. My legs were secretly happy to stop!
Today was my long run. I admit that I was not entirely into it at first. I was so tired. My 2 littlest boys were up at 5:45!!!!! Why is that? It was the Only day All week for me to sleep past the 4 a.m. hour and those little buggers were running down the hall before 6!! I did go back to sleep, bu tnot for long. I was sad.
I finally got my energy and mood up and decided to head out. The forecast had been for sub 10 degree weather but surprisingly it warmed up to about 20! And there didn't appear to be any wind. No treadmill for me!
I had 3 warm layers on top, running tights with another looser pair of pants over those, gloves, neckwarmer, and a headband. I was set. Oh, and my MP3 player.
My first 1/2 mile is uphill. I felt So heavy. My legs were like lead. I took it slow. I was chilled but knew I would warm up.
Before long, I was fine. Toasty really. WArm. I had too much on! I stopped and took 1 pair of pants off and burried them in a hole in the snow with a pine branch over them. Seems like overkill but I had a vest stolen once. I ran on. I felt better. Looser. My HR was solid in z2 and I knew this run would improve my mood and fatigue.
Mile 3, the MP3 died. Darn. No problem. It's a good time to think and get used to silent running. I do like that sometimes. Mile 3.5 had a Huge hill. I was SO warm. I took off the 2nd shirt, tied it around my waist, and motored on.
And then, the wind.It changed. Miles 5 and 6 are on a different road so I figured it woudl go away when I turned back again. I had my neckwarmer over my face, my fingers inside my gloves and just kept going and hoping. Hoping those temps weren't going to drop too fast.
I turned onto the road I thought woudl be better and was hugely disappointed. It was Worse! the wind was whipping in my face. My core was starting to chill. My hands. My hands were getting really bad.
I saw No cars for the final 5 miles. Nobody. Nothing. I was out there. I live in rural Maine and this was a quiet, cold, windy, winter road. Brrr. That's all I can say. Brrr. Pure cold. I actually enjoy cool running air. But this was starting to get frigid. Painful. NOt. FUn. At. All. My hands started to have these numb tingly painful feelings. I took my glove off to look and my left hand was so puffy and white but red in spots. Oh no. Not good. I took my headband off, put the hat in my pocket on, and wrapped my hand in the fuzzy headband andstuck it in my pocket. I had to run with my hands in my pocket! I had no choice but to run and run and run. if I slowed down, it would take Longer to get home. longer to get warm. I grabbed hte pants in the snow and wrapped those around the other hand. My eyes were watering.
It just wasn't pleasant at all.
Here's what I got out of it.
Another session of mental training. I have decided to focus on that this season. I have learned through several race situations just how Key your mental toughness and focus can be.
If your head gives up, it's over. Of course you need your physical strength and endurace, but you really have to have your head on.
I did make it to my house and after stripping the cold stuff on, sitting around in a fuzzy robe, and then enjoying a hot shower, I survived. Of course. I had visions of freezing on the side of my remote beautiful run route. But no, I lived. :)
But best of all, I had another situation that forced me to continue on despite the pain. One little babystep towards Ironman.