|Week's Training - Now With Funky Tan Lines|
Two weeks ago I was plagued by a deep ache in my hip. It was as if someone pulled my femur out of my hip socket, rubbed sand all over it, and jammed it back in the socket. Knots in my piriformis, tension in my hamstrings and pain in my sciatic nerve served as a swift reminder to chill out, stretch and take it easy. Fortunately it eased up a bit after a long massage and several rounds with the at home percussion massager we got from our local CVS pharmacy. By the end of last week I was feeling on the mend even though it meant shortening my workouts a bit. I was amped to get back into my workouts but I woke up Friday with a sweet stomach flu that kept me on a short leash from the bathroom. Determined to hit this past weekend hard, I kept shoveling in hydration and nutrition hoping some of it would stick for the weekend.
Luckily I woke up Saturday ready to go! It was going to be a hot one out, so I made sure to wait for the heat to get started a little bit. St. Croix is hot and humid, and I don't do so well in the heat. The more I can acclimate to hot now, the easier it will be then. My plan for the day had a easy paced 25mi ride with 3 repeats of Modjeska grade. If you're not familiar with Modjeska, it's a 1 mile section with an average 10% grade and sections up to 20%. It's no joke! Previously, I've only done it once per ride, and I was a little unsure of how I would do three back to back repeats. It took some mental fortitude, that's for sure. It's easier when other people are out there with you, but when you're alone, you have to be accountable to yourself. I was reminded of something Jason at Cook Train Eat Race wrote in his post, Mental Toughness Thursdays about taking it easy when you're training alone. Those thoughts creep in, "Who would know if I stop? If I don't do all three repeats? If I take a little breather?" and his answer, same as mine, is that I WOULD KNOW. I would only be cheating myself. So up I went, again and again and again!
What came after the ride was a character building 5 mile transition run. From Canyon View park, it's a slight uphill incline that changes into a steeper incline for the first 2.5 miles. I had 1 easy pace mile and then had to turn up the speed as I started mile 2. It was hot. It was difficult. And I pushed as hard as I could. Before, in training, I've struggled with this run, so it meant a lot to me to give it all I could in hopes that this time I would nail it. I knew that the way back was downhill and I clung to that thought as hard as I could. I also knew that my coach and teammates were suffering in 98' weather at The Rage half ironman in NV. I knew I had it in me, and I let all five miles have it. Saturday left me with a huge feeling of accomplishment!
I really have no idea what's in store for me in St. Croix, but based off race reports from years past the swim will most likely be choppy with a current (and not going in the direction I want), the bike may or may not be rainy, the Beast rises up at mile 20 with an average grade of 14% for 7/8 of a mile and a max kicker of 26%. I know that the rest of the ride is comprised of heat, humidity, hills and lots of wind. The run will be hot, exposed and humid and hilly. I'm pretty sure it's going to be the hardest race yet, but I'm committed to showing up and putting one foot in front of the other until I cross that finish line!