Finally, it has arrived. After 15 weeks, we are down to a few days. It couldn't come soon enough. Especially after running 13.1 weekend before this last one. I never thought it would hit me like it did. A few days before I ran the 13.1, I read an article online about recovering mentally from a marathon and to a smaller degree a half-marathon. About how it could take a newer runner weeks to recover mentally from running those longer distances. Quietly thought to myself, how could one event so damage your psyche that you would not want to run for weeks. Experienced it after the half and riding 44 miles the next day. Monday thru Wednesday of last week, I wanted nothing to do with running. Didn't feel right until Thursday of last week.
The schedule for the weekend was 4 slow miles on Friday, rest Saturday and 12 on Sunday. We had decided last week that we were going to cut the Sunday run in half to have a good taper for the 10k this weekend. Friday night I did an all out 5k just to see what I could do since I have some 5k races coming up. Ran a 23:13 and was sorely disappointed. That is only 7:29 pace. Thought I was faster than that. Like any good runner, not that I am one, there is a list of disclaimers:
1. I had done speedwork Thursday morning so my mindset was on a slow run and I was sore from the speedwork.
2. There is a 20-25' valley on my 3.1 mile loop around mile 1.4 and again on 1.8. Lost at least 15-20 seconds on that.
3. It was about 80 degrees with 95% humidity so I couldn't breathe.
4. I was wearing a cotton shirt, and everyone knows you can no longer run fast in a cotton shirt with all that dry-fit stuff out there.
Those things being what they are, I am shooting for 22:30 in my upcoming 5k's. That is 7:15 pace, which is blazin' fast for a 5'9" 200 lb slowpoke.
Saturday I had the kids, so it was definitely a rest day. Dropped them off at my parents for the night though and my better half and I enjoyed the first boiled crawfish of the year. They were a little bit on the small side, but they were great. Thanks Big Poppa! Sunday we had an Easter egg hunt at some friends where we met back up with the kids. Then the kids, the wife and my mother went to the Elmo musical, while I went training.
I wanted to go mountain bike riding instead of road riding just to mix it up a little bit. Was a little wary about screwing something up this close to the races, but figured I was good. Ended up going around 15 miles with only one mishap. I was going up the largest and hardest hill out there, maybe 20' tall, when I hit a root the wrong way. The hill is not as easy as one would think being only 20' tall. You are going down the trail and you actually make about a 120 degree turn while going up this hill that has no less than a dozen roots that you have to pick your way through. I would say 75% of the people do not make it up most of the time. This was one of the first times in a while that I didn't make it and I was not happy about it. Luckily I was close enough to the top and somehow came unclipped with my uphill foot and planted it right on top of the hill so that I at least didn't go tumbling back down. In that move I somehow smashed my right inner thigh against my handle bars. Ended up with a nice 4-6" bruise on my inner thigh. Left the trails and went to the LSU lakes to get my run in. Went 6.4 in 58:55 for a 9:12 average. Was saltier than normal after the run due to the crawfish from the day before. Once again thank goodness for construction sites. Felt the stomach getting ready to blow around mile 2.5. Made it to the port-a-potty at about mile 3. Got to the door and it was locked with a master lock. Oh no, this could be trouble. Went around the corner and found another one that was fortunately not locked.
This morning I got up and the thigh wasn't that bad since I had iced it Sunday night. Finally talked myself into going to the Y for my Monday swim. The pool was just right, upper 70's. Warmed up and then did 1500 yards straight. That is 60 pool lengths for you that are mathematically challenged. Felt like I could have gone 40 more if I would have had the time. Put in 2800 yds total. Still slow, barely breaking 2:00 100's on the long set, but at least I feel like I'll be fresh when I come out of the water at Lonestar.
Tomorrow is 3 mile slow and spin. It will tell me all I need to know about my thigh. If I can make it through tomorrow, then I have nothing to worry about come Saturday.