That was the question from one of my young co-workers as we left a meeting on Friday. She knows I'm a runner/triathlete, but she's also like most average people when you tell them you're running a marathon and they ask, "How long is that one?" She also likes to call me Grandma. Yes, this broad has the nerve to call my 34-year-old ass Grandma. (She's a whopping 26)
As we're in my car, that she made very clear smelled like a locker room, she asked me if I had any BIG plans for the weekend. (I suspect she was wondering if I was going to go out and get hammered)
"Yes," I said, "But I guarantee that my big plans have little interest to you."
"Oh Yeah? What are you doing?"
"Well, I'm doing a 50-Mile Bike Ride on Saturday and a 20-Mile Run on Sunday. In between, I'll watch some football and go to a dinner party on Saturday night."
"You are not going to do those distances. You're Lying!! Shut up!! Have you ever biked 50 miles before?"
"And you've run 20 miles before?"
"Remember that Marathon in Columbus I ran a couple of weeks ago? That was 26.2 miles. So, yeah, I can run 20 miles."
"And I love it. Now you know why this Grandma's car smells like a locker room."
So, that's what my weekend looked like.
On Friday morning, I went to the T3 Strength and Conditioning class and followed that up with a 1200 meter swim at Barton Springs. Gotta love that open water practice. Unfortunately, my arms were still so damn sore from the Vasa Trainer that it wasn't a very smooth swim.
Saturday AM: Shawn, Katy and I met for the T3 50-Mile group bike ride. We did the Bee Caves Loop followed by 2 South Mopac Loops for a little over 3 hours of cycling. It certainly was our first taste of some serious wind gusts which slowed us down and tested our mental reserve. We also hit a patch of rain on 71, which also slowed us down for a bit. My glutes were sooooo sore from the T3 workout from the day before so I was really struggling up some of the final hills. Fortunately, the conversation was good (and deep), which made the last 16 miles cruise by quickly. While I know we can go faster, it was good to just hang in the saddle for a while.
Sunday AM: Today was an interesting day. I really wanted to get 20 miles today in preparation for my Sunmart 50K which is looming in 4-weeks. I had also signed up for the "Run For the Water 10 miler" benefiting the Gazelle Foundation. So, with special thanks to Thon, I concocted a scheme to run about 10 miles before the 7am race start. I ended up running a little late, parked at the finish line and ran from there to Thon's apartment for about 2.5 miles. We started our "warm up" run and in between port-a-pottie stops, water breaks and saying "hi" to people, we got an additional 5 miles down. So, as the race start gun was firing, I was beginning phase two of my training run with 7.5 miles already under my feet. My goal was to just take it nice and easy, especially through the hilly portion. I've got two goals right now: run a smart 50K and race a strong Ironman. Everything else is secondary to me. EVERYTHING, including speed. It's very hard to contain the urge to try to "race," especially when I know that I have it in me. I just can't risk injury or burnout right now. It also takes a humble ego to be able to slow it down and keep the lid on the effort. That's tough for me, especially when I see other age groupers that motivate me to run fast (i.e. people I like to try to beat). Plus, I just like to challenge myself, but this is not the time for that. Anyways, Thon helped me simmer through the first few miles. My legs were feeling beat up from yesterday's bike ride and I could definitely feel the early pre-race miles that I had already laid down. Mile 3 went right by our house and sweet hubby was right there ready to jump in and run with us for a bit. Even he made a joke about "how far back we were." Well, his fresh legs served as a motivator because we started picking it up through the Pecos and Scenic hills. I was really proud of Shawn because hills are not his thing, but he was hammering right up them, definitely a confidence booster for his training. We broke away at the corner of Exposition and Lake Austin so with one final kiss goodbye, I was on my way for the last few miles. I decided to "drop the bomb" or let's just say, "Light a Match." It wasn't blazing, but my last three miles hovered around 7:30s. I was still very cognisant of the fact that I had 2.5 more miles to run AFTER I crossed the finish line, but I was feeling damn good for someone who had a couple days worth of mileage on their toes.
My chip time for the 10-miler was 1:24:25 for an overall pace of 8:26 The first 5 miles averaged 8:56 per mile and the second 5 miles averaged 7:57 per mile. Nice negative split.
I waited for Thon at the Finish knowing he was only a minute or two back, but never saw him. I was being chatty with Frank, Rachel and other Gazelles who raced and volunteered for this awesome race. Our plan was to run back to his apartment and then I would either run back to my car or he would drive me. Unfortunately, our lines crossed and after about 15 minutes, I knew I had to get moving before the muscle atrophe kicked in. So, this is the funny part that I have to download here on the blog. I just basically started doing random loops around the downtown area like I was in some cycling criterium. Down 6th Street to Whole Foods, back to Republic Square Park and down to Congress Avenue where the Veterans Day parade was beginning. Run down to 1st Street and loop back up. GO back down to Whole Foods and run around the block where my car was parked. I felt like a little video game avatar bouncing around just looking to get those extra 2.5 miles without venturing too far. Of course, I was getting funny remarks from other runners. "The race is over girlfriend. You can stop!" "You're not supposed to have this much energy," "The race is THAT way. You're going the wrong way!" I actually was one of those people I hate who keep running after the race is complete. Well...after a silly nonsensical route, my Garmin finally beeped at 20 miles for a spectacular energy-filled 3:00 hour run. I could've easily kept going if I had to, which helped my confidence level of knowing that I can complete 31 steady miles in a month. I really think all of my long runs should have a sanctioned race built in the middle as it does make the time and miles just fly by!!!
So tomorrow when my co-worker asks me if I did all of these workouts this weeked, I'll just reply, "Hell Yeah. Not bad for a Grandma, eh??