I'm officially in taper now--sitting here all sweaty after my long run but have to get this down before I forget.
Yesterday I had a long ride--Coach Emily wanted 50-60 miles. I was dreading it, to say the least. I tried calling everyone I could think of who lived near me to ride with me, but they were either doing Ironman Kentucky (Go Martha and Iron Johnny, GO!), coaching cross country (that's my awesome buddy Laura, who was JUST awarded TEACHER OF THE YEAR in my district--very deserved!) or in New Orleans for a bachelor party (Lapo, my buddy from a few weeks ago). All good excuses, but nonetheless, I was bummed.
I decided that since this would be the last Saturday for a while to relax and make pancakes, I wanted to do that. So I did. We all ate and it was delicious.
I finally got to push off around 1:45pm. Not really ideal on paper--it wasn't early, and I was alone. But you know what? It would be good mental practice, I thought. Riding in groups goes fast. This was a pretty structured workout with some time at goal half ironman wattage. I have to do this alone in 2 weeks, so why not practice now?
I did give myself permission to quit at 2 hours if I needed to. The kids were napping so I wouldn't miss too much time with them, but naps have been shorter lately so I felt like I should get home before dinner for sure.
I started off, a little bitter that I was alone and it was a beautiful day and I could have been at the beach or pool (wahhh wahh wahhh.), and headed west to Lorain. And I was flying. I was convinced there was a tailwind, but from what the flags showed, if there was one, it was minimal at best. I was just clipping along, and doin' it and doin' it and doin' it well.
Made it back to the center of my town and refueled at the pool. I took a Gu Roctane (AMAZING stuff. I have been converted.) and made some more nuun. Vowed to take my family to the pool when I got home, and decided to keep on going.
Because I was kicking so much ass.
Yeah, I said it. KICKING ASS.
Headed east some more into Lakewood, and turned around. Decided I wouldn't go the full 3 hours, but I would hit a nice even 50 miles and call that a compromise. Passed my street and went back west into Avon Lake.
Still kicked ass.
Made it home in 2:41 for an average of 18.7 mph EASILY. Watts were at 135 including my pushes and recovery. And that, folks, was the best ride I've had since Steelhead.
I am so ready for this. At the very least, I should have a decent ride.
Today, I had my last long run. I told Coach E that in my dream world, a perfect race day pace would be somewhere around 9 minute miles. So, I was to do this:
30 minute warmup
20 minutes at 9:00
5 minutes easy
10 minutes a little faster than 9:00
15 minutes easy
Nailed it. Finished with a little over 8.5 miles.
I wasn't sure if I should do this race, and truth be told, I didn't even sign up until about 2 weeks ago. I know now that I can do it, and do it well. I don't know if it will be enough for a PR, or if it's really realistic to even think of a PR right now, as I'm still up about 8 pounds (but 52 down! yay!). But I know now that I will show up--body and mind. I've successfully made the transition from dreading this to looking forward to it. I still don't think I'd recommend this to myself version December 2009, but what's done is done. And I'm going to make the best of it. And kick some ass.