Monday, June 22, 2009
Running, Biking, and a great bookstore
I know that I say this every Monday morning right around this same time, but what a GREAT weekend for running and biking.
I’m still working on bringing my mileage back up as part of my marathon training, so I did my long run on Saturday. Last week I did a 7.5 mile run, so this week, I did nine miles. It was a great run mostly in zone 1, or my easy pace, and then around the 45 minute mark, injected a 7 minute per mile pace to break up my run a little and then finished with an easy cool down. My legs felt pretty strong throughout the run. I was trying out some new orthotics that the podiatrist had given to me and I made a deal with my feet. I promised them that if they cooperated with me on the run, they could take the next few days off from running (they didn’t need to know that I had a long bike ride on my schedule for Sunday…I would argue with them when the time came). They agreed and off we went. The orthonics felt weird at first and it took a little while to get used to them and I still wonder if I have them in the correct place. I am supposed to look for a product called Superfeet from my local running store and ask for the ones that have the metatarsal insert. Oh, the things that we have to do in order to keep our feet happy so that we can sadistically run them over many, many miles of hard pavement. Rick suggested that I just go ahead and cut my legs and feet off below my knees and just start over with a good set of titanium prosthetics.
Anyway….I finished up my run and then went home and recovered with some Silk chocolate soy milk and a banana. I did a few light stretches and then got cleaned up. My total mileage for the week was 21 miles. I was averaging around 26 miles for my half training, so I’ve got a ways to go, but the race is still months away.
We headed downtown that afternoon to hang out, have an early dinner, and go to my favorite all time bookstore, The Tattered Cover. The Tattered Cover is a huge three story book store, which has a coffee/sandwich shop and I could spend hours in there if I could. Rick’s mom had given me a gift certificate to the bookstore for Christmas and I still hadn’t used it yet. I bought a couple of Anita Shreve’s books (can’t remember the titles, but I love her books), The Poisonwood Bible, which I have heard is a phenomenal read, and one called The Art of Racing in the Rain. The last one is narrated by a dog (everyone knows that I love dogs) and I have heard good reviews on it, so I thought I’d check it out.
Sunday, we loaded up the mountain bikes and went out to explore new trails. It was going to be a hot day, with temperatures in the 80’s, so I took the big camelback and filled it full with ice cold water. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! It is so much easier to recover from hard exercise when you fuel and hydrate correctly. Yep…. I learned this from my coach. I used to just go out on a long bike ride and I would maybe have a little water and a jelly bean or two. If I was doing really well, I’d take a half of a gel. On my long runs, I would do nothing, no water, no fuel and then I definitely wouldn’t stretch afterwards. I now try to hydrate and fuel properly. It’s made such a difference.
We got to the trailhead around 9:00 that morning and I was delighted to find that the trail went DOWN! Most trails out here head straight up for the first few miles; this one went downhill for the first few miles. After about 10 minutes of downhill action, I began to get scared. When would this trail start to go up? It had to go up at some point; how bad would it be once we finally found the uphill? It finally came, but wasn’t so bad, and then we headed downhill again. What the hell, this is my all time favorite trail! We came upon a group of riders and they confirmed that most of the way that we were going was indeed downhill. SWEET! They gave us a couple of good trail options. None of them sounded too bad, with the exception of the trail with “that hill”. This particular trail had great views, but you had to contend with “that hill”, they even looked at each other with wide eyes and kind of laughed and shook their heads while they were talking about it.
Of course that is the option that we chose when we came to it….the trail with “that hill”. I have learned that when a group of riders look at each other, laugh, and shake their heads while talking about something they have labeled “that hill”, don’t take it. This hill was basically a hike a bike for miles and miles. Our nice, relaxing bike ride, turned into a four hour excursion. I was never so glad to see our car in all of my life.