It's really sad when I think 30 miles of biking followed by five miles of running is lazy. Perhaps it's because I was supposed to bike 50 miles and cut it short due to frustrating circumstances and total lack of motivation. Let's take a step back and look at what I've been up to the last few days.
Friday was a big training day, a 14 mile run and 3,200 yard swim. It was pouring rain. Not showers, but a full on downpour. I know I have to train in bad weather since there is no guarantee it won't be pouring on race day, but it's still not fun. I ended up wimping out a bit and did the first five miles on the treadmill before heading out into the cold and rain. My legs got stiff about 10 miles in from the cold and my feet were sloshing around in my shoes. I started thinking about getting in the pool afterward and all I wanted was to be dry. My pace was good in the beginning but really died off toward the end. The cold and wet got to me. I seriously hope it doesn't rain on race day.
I spent five minutes in the steam room thawing out before braving the pool. To add to the fun, the pool heater has been broken for weeks so the water is rather shocking when you first get in. I got my cap, goggles and HRM all situated on the pool deck so I could hop in and immediately get moving to stay warm. The swim went really well. I stayed on pace, was comfortable and only lost count twice. By the end I was dying for a hot shower and some time to dry out.
Because I'm spending my birthday at an Ironman training camp in Lake Placid, I decided to go out this weekend and spend some time with friends celebrating. I kicked it off with a fun night out on Friday that unfortunately made me feel miserable on Saturday. I had a 9 a.m. appointment with a mechanic to have my 12-27 cassette put on my bike in preparation for Horribly Hilly. I rode to his apartment and back plus a quick spin around the park to be sure everything was in working order, but decided to do my actual ride later since I was carrying a small backpack. Later would never come due to my 3:00 brunch leading to afternoon drinks, dinner and more drinks. I spent the day with two really good friends and can't tell you how good it felt to be just a normal person for an afternoon. We sat in the sun, talked and laughed, it was the perfect summer day. I felt guilty about missing training, of course, but I wouldn't trade the day I had for another two hours in the saddle. Life's too short.
So that brings me to my lazy Sunday. I slept until 8 to catch up a bit after all the celebrating so it seemed too late to try to ride out of the city. There was a race in Central Park so that was out. As much as I hate it, I decided it would be best to do as much of the ride as possible in Prospect Park. I figured if I got really bored I could finish on the trainer. The ride started off great, it wasn't too crowded, the weather was good and I was able to ride relatively fast. But on my second or third loop I noticed a massive group of cyclists up ahead. Literally hundreds and hundreds of them. Next thing I know I'm caught in the middle of this sea of slow, casual riders out for a stroll. Apparently the Tour de Brooklyn was passing through the park just as I was attempting my ride. I had to immediately exit the park to keep my sanity and ended up taking a small detour ride to kill time. Luckily the group had cleared the park by the time I returned. I rode a couple more loops with a friend and had only made it 22 miles when I decided I'd had enough. I did another eight miles on the trainer and just couldn't keep going. I felt fine, I wasn't tired, but my head just wasn't in it. I can't explain it. I got off the bike and sat on the floor for about five minutes trying to figure out what to do. I had already blown off a training day and the thought of missing more worried me. But I literally couldn't keep going. So I got up, went out for my run and called it a day.
The social time this weekend was supposed to help me mentally recharge, but I think it may have also made it hard to bounce back to training today. I was longing to sleep late, go out for breakfast and stroll around the neighborhood rather than be on my bike for three hours. It goes to show that the mental challenges of training can be just as big as the physical challenges, and all of it combined will make me stronger on race day.
Distance - 14 miles
Time - 2:03:55
Distance - 3,200 yards
Time - 1:05:33
Time - 40:00
Distance - 30 miles
Time - 1:58:12
Distance - 5 miles
Time - 43:14