Ok, so I think they say you have to do something consistently for a few weeks before it becomes a habit, but i've managed to make something into a habit a little sooner. Getting up EARLY. I've been doing great! I've made it to masters swim twice this week and this morning I knocked out my easy 45 minute run before work. I'm actually finding out that it's not as bad as I thought. I wonder if I was just wiped out for a few weeks after travel and it took me a while to find my groove again. I'm glad to be back in the mornings especially because I typically have about a 2.5-3 hour training day each day now so it helps to get "done" with some of it in the morning.
SO! I promised a recap of my ride with Juls last Sunday, but i'm kinda stretched for time these days with my work hours being tight I don't have much time for blogging! Brief recap: we met up at 7:00 a.m. with great intentions of starting our ride on time. Well, we rolled out at about 7:15-7:30 and let me preface this by saying that Juls lives off of Mount Soledad and it's just that a "mount"......it's straight up hill, so you're climbing from the second you leave her street, so my legs were already a bit worn from my 20 miles the day before, but it's a different sore when you're riding, that is the one thing i've realized, I can be wiped from running but i'm not sure if I use totally different muscles while cycling, but somehow I find the leg strength! And..keeping up with Juls requires some speed. We're riding and flat......she flats......jumps off, whips out her magical tools and peels off the wheel with ONE tire lever (I USE THREE) =0, and pops it back on, but in the midst of all this we realize my back wheel has a huge gauge in it and it may not last, so we decided to ride quickly back to her house to throw on a spare tire. We were riding for seven hours so the last thing we wanted was to get stuck out in East county where our only option for tires would be the size of a John Deere tractor. So we start riding and ........pop, Juls flats again! This is not going well, we haven't even started our ride. At this point, we were like "oh, let's just walk back to the house," since we were close by....we're walking....downhill, in cleets...walking. Later Juls said "you know, I don't know if you realized this, but our decision to walk wasn't even an option, we didn't HAVE anything else to fix my tire with!"........we fix tires and we were wheels down again..by 8:45. Fast forward. It was chilly and foggy in the morning, I was cold.
We spent the ride going up and down, up and down, lots of climbing, and there wasn't much time for a reprieve from speed because as soon as we crested the hill, Juls would zoom up and hit race pace at like 22 miles an hour and I was like "ohh, my thighs....and I want a snickers bar." I just kept pushing. It was truly a testing day for me. A taste of Ironman for sure. We get out to East county and it was hot...like sticky, sweaty hot. We went through many water bottles. I nailed my nutrition on the ride which was good. But, after hours of just carbo pro, water and nuun tablets, shot bloks and a cliff bar.....I started to just wilt. I was having a great time with Juls and let me tell you there are VERY few people you can ride consistently with for that long period of time and make things that smoothly. Juls led the ENTIRE time. Most of the time when you ride you take turns.....um, I don't know if I didn't offer to lead because I was afraid I'd get lost, um, ok, so, no, I'm sure it was because I was afraid she would see how slow I was really going and barely keeping up when she was up front!
It was great to ride with her because she's patient, motivating and she helps me become a better rider! We finally got back to Pacific Beach around 4:30. Juls says "we're at 6:07." My first thought: F***, I need seven hours. I almost cried. I just wanted to be done, my legs were so tired. She says "do you want to go up through mission beach and we'll just add on." I quietly said "sure." I knew I needed the extra time in and I knew I needed to not be wussy. So, we rode through PB and Mission Beach and ended up finishing UPHILL (no surprise there) and done at 5:00 or something??
The funniest thing was my bathwater that night......so nasty. My glasses were so distgusting, I couldn't even wipe off the dirt, they had to be washed. My bike looked like i'd ridden cyclocross.......but, you know, mentally, even though I was drained, riding with Juls made me push harder and I got done what I needed to!
I had Monday off. I've had people ask me "do you train lightly on your days off?" Or people who don't take rest days. The thing is people, physically, sometimes yes, I need days off. But, the truth of it is, I work well with a reward system. I will work hard and train hard for 20 hours a week......but you need to reward me for my hard work (and I don't mean just the "joy of finishing a race.") Mentally, I need a day off. So, yes, I take most every monday off and no, I don't "train" lightly....I have other days in the week built into my schedule that are lighter days, so my day off is OFF. I like having a day where I don't have to pack a bag, put on sunscreen, take 2-3 showers, figure out if my lunch has too much fiber for running later and last but not least a day where I don't look like I have swimmers hair!
This week has been a fun week--training going well..I talked to Amanda about the next few weeks of training. I realized I want to go harder in my long runs, so she's built some more speed work in my long runs and i'm getting more specific in my distance for swimming now, so that will be good.
The SOMA half ironman is in 3 weeks, I won't be tapering for it really, Amanda will give me an easy day Wed, Thurs, Fri and then Sunday i'll race. Dave isn't able to come out for it like we initially thought, but his parents will be there to cheer me on, and they're super cute so i'm thrilled to see them and Dave's dad has a cool camera so maybe he catch some pictures of me!