Get on the treadmill and run while someone points a hair dryer directly to your face on high heat. Then maybe you'll get a clear understanding of just what it feels like to train in this heat and humidity. You can't breathe deep; in fact, you're lucky to be ab;e breathe at all. And you pretty much feel like you're going to collapse once the sun comes out or you lose cloud cover.
Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but it really does feel like the whole hair dryer thing.
This weekend was a long run on Saturday; 3 hours. I haven't gone the half-marathon distance since last year's half marathon, so I asked the coaches if I could push long to get 13.1. Nice (Good Cop) Coach thought maybe I shouldn't because my quad was really fatigued earlier during the week, but Mean (Bad Cop) Coach thought, "Sure, go for it." So I did. I even did 14.2 miles at a staggering 15:23 pace. I know. I know.. I know... hold your applause. LOL
The point is I got through it. My body now recalls what it feels like to go the distance, and then some. That was actually my longest run ever!
I met up with Hombre and his GCRC peeps to run Kemah. We didn't do the bridge, but instead did a few loops in and around the boardwalk and Clear Lake Shores. It was nice to be running on the water when the sun came up. I enjoy running in different areas. Originally I was just going to run the roads in and around my hood; I had mapped out a quite boring route.
The run itself was okay. I hydrated and fueled as appropriate. By mile 9 my quad was a little tired but not hurting. The funny thing was, my glute was fine! Generally on my long runs my glute starts giving me fits by mile 8/9. I have to admin I almost stopped at 12+ miles when I ran into Hombre finishing his last loop, but reconsidered and had to finish mine. I couldn't let the negative mentality win. I headed back out... if not for the distance, but for the mental win. 3:40 was my total run time.
For our next trick, it was a 4 hour bike on Sunday! 4 hours on the bike is way better than 3+ hours of running so I felt pretty positive. By the 3rd hour I hit a little bit of a slump for about 30 minutes, but then all of a sudden I got a quick burst of energy and made it through the last hour. Sometimes I wonder if that slump happens when my body needs to start converting fat for energy. That process can be draining in it of itself, never mind trying to ride. We actually rode 3:44 (yeah, we cut off 16 minute avoiding detours we took on the way out) for 54 miles. A long, slow ride. Neither Hombre or I expected to have much to give to the ride after the run on Saturday, so we were just out there for the endurance.
On the way back I was "done" though. Each time I had to stop for a light or stop sign I just rolled through if it was clear (that's not like me; I always obey the lights traffic signs). It was like the moment you stopped a hair dryer was blowing you in the face with high heat. Headwinds all the way back to my house down LCP left me muttering, "Really?" and laughing, because that's just how my training rolls... it's never easy. I know, I know... makes me tougher though, right? Right.
I choose to do this. I get to do this. Some people can't even think about doing this. Some people physically can't do this, but would love to if they had the chance.
This weekend I'm headed to Louisville. My coach, Mel, has her unfinished business this weekend with IM Kentucky. I'm volunteering in the women's changing tent so I should be able to catch her coming out of the swim, heading to the bike. I know the tent is going to be crazy, but I hope to catch her. After the volunteer gig is over, I've got the rest of the day to root her on out on the course.
Long story short, Mel did her first IM last year in Florida. She made it 138.something miles (the total miles for an Ironman is 140.6 -- that's how close she was!) before the medics took her off the course. She's been training so hard and has had some injuries to deal with, so we're hoping for the best. Mel needs all the good vibes possible. She so deserves this finish.
Oh, and in other news, I've already rode enough miles this month to ride more than once the island of Kona 220 miles, according to DailyMile. :)