A Humbling Training Weekend Indeed

And just when you think you’re ready…

Saturday, April 1st

The Barton Springs Pool Parking Lot on the weekend is a lot like a Race Morning…Cars with bike racks are lined up early at the Pool. Cervelos, Kestrels, Quintana Roo, Litespeed…you name it and they’re there on Xterras, Elements, Civics, Audis and any other car imaginable. Just pulling into the parking lot gets your adrenaline moving. You can feel the energy of people training…Ironman Arizona in April, Cap Tex Tri in May, Danskin in June and an endless list of other events in and around the Austin area. My goal for this morning was to swim 1 mile in my wetsuit. Nothing fancy, just 4 laps in Barton Springs. Well, I was quickly slapped into reality as I started my swim. There were some fast fish in the pool this morning. I felt like a whale swimming in a school of minnows! My form felt pretty sloppy even though I was talking myself through it the entire time. **breath every 3 strokes, touch, pull roll, elbows high (ha ha)** The Springs were also pretty crowded this morning only reinforcing the race day anxieties. I had to swim around one or two people and God knows about a dozen people had to swim over me. Rest breaks included (probably a min or so), it took me about 42 minutes which isn’t impressive at all. I’m finding out that I much prefer swimming without my wetsuit. This week’s swim workouts will be back to drills. I finished nonetheless and met Shawn for a quick cup of coffee before heading off to look at paint colors. My main daunting task still awaited me later that morning.

I met Amy and Clint at Runtex at 11am. This was our Boston Simulator run–14 miles of hills (including the infamous climb up Mt. Bonnell) in the heat of the day. They weren’t kidding. It was definitely between 80-85 when we started. Unfortunately, we went out too fast. I knew it from the beginning when our first few splits were like 7:54, 8:14, 8:03, 8:13, 7:55 and 8:10…At that time, I told Amy and Clint I was backing off. My legs were sore from Friday’s 20 mile bike ride, it was hot, I was thirsty and we still had 8 miles to go and a climb up Mt. Bonnell…I slowed down a LOT. Mt. Bonnell was a huge bitch. I had to walk for about 15 seconds…9:53 mile…Gilbert was supposed to have gatorade at the top. There was none. We all caught our breath for a minute or two and began to descend. At that time, Gilbert’s car was coming up the hill so we stopped and downed Gatorade like it was the last bottle on earth. Unfortunately, I forgot to stop my watch…11:57, 8:44, 8:09, 8:56, 8:30, 8:41…So much for negative splits. I was exhausted by the time we were finished and lagged behind Clint and Amy by a couple of minutes. My legs were pretty shot…I couldn’t tell if it was lack of electrolytes, sore from bike ride, etc. As I sat down to stretch, I got the biggest charlie horse cramp in my left foot. You know the kind I’m talking about…Your toes curl up and hold on like the jaws of life. Amy literally had to push my foot and toes backwards so that I could stand up!! Wow…I drank more gatorade and the cramp eventually subsided. All in all, I felt pretty beat up after Saturday’s workouts. It definitely made me rethink any Boston strategy of running for time. If the weather is anything like it was yesterday, I’ll definitely be running for completion and survival!

Sunday, April 2nd
So we lost an hour of sleep last night and I made sure I gained it back by sleeping in this morning to about 9:00am. I completely missed Austin’s Capitol 10,000 10K race taking place today. I wasn’t running, but was thinking of cheering my friends who were. Maybe next year. Today, I needed rest. Today’s workout was a schedules 2 hr bike ride. By the time we had coffee and fixed up the bikes, it was 11:30am. Shawn and I took off from his apartment on 360 near Spicewood Springs and headed South to Southwest Parkway, 71, Bee Caves, back to 360 and North back to Shawn’s place…It was hot, it was windy, it was hilly. We completed 38 miles in 2hrs 38 min. It was longer than I was supposed to ride, but it was definitely a confidence builder. My legs were a bit sore (imagine that!!), but I felt good otherwise, especially on some of the brutal climbs into a headwind. I’m noticing that I’m a lot less fatigued these days on the new bike. Couple of hypothesized reasons: my new bike is 5 lbs lighter than my old bike and I’m also probably about 5-8lbs lighter than a year ago (I won’t get on the scale to find out). We finished by throwing on our running shoes and jogging for about 10 minutes inside his complex. He wanted to run 1/2 way up a hill and all I could say was, “Screw you…I’ve done enough hills in the last two days!” I’m done!! We never did make it to Barton Springs for a swim, but that’s ok. I consider our “brick” good enough. It wasn’t a fast ride, but considering the conditions and the time of day, the 14.5 mph avg was good enough for me even though I swear we were riding faster. I wonder if the Garmin accounted for our rest time as well. Who knows? Who cares…

While I feel confident about finishing both the Boston Marathon and the upcoming triathlons, this weekend was a good reminder that you can’t always predict weather conditions or even your own body conditions. I haven’t cramped in over a year and it was humbling that I needed someone to pry my foot open after my charlie horse. So many things are ultimately out of our control! Such is the beauty of sports…If we knew the outcomes every time, life would be really boring…

Let the Boston taper begin!! Two weeks from Monday.


2 thoughts on “A Humbling Training Weekend Indeed

  1. I swam at Barton Springs this weekend too!! My first time out there. Pretty neat place to work on sighting and whatnot. Great work this weekend.

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