Wednesday. Well I made it through another terrible Tuesday although not so terrible this week. I read the workout plan and as I suspected it was a hard one. Run up westside to do 6 repeats of the westside hill on the path at hardest effort up, recovery easy down. Then run up Strawberry Hill 3 times Hard, 3 recover, then once around the lower loop. I did a similar workout with the team awhile ago — that was the night the team magically disappeared as I was finishing my 3rd hill repeat. I figured there was not much point in going at night in 20 degrees just to do hill repeats by myself so I told the coach I would do the workout during the day by myself. Then I had a brainstorm.
I called up two of my friends who I knew might be around and willing to suffer through a workout with me. Imagine how lucky I felt when both of them said okay! Charlee and Mo both agreed to come out and help me do my hill repeats. Mo hasn’t been running a lot but agreed to come out and do an abbreviated version and lend moral support. I asked Charlee to coach me and push me through the workout and wow did she do a super job. Both of them helped me so much that I feel so blessed to have such good friends to come out and help me with such a torturous run.
Charlee has done the Ironman twice and has trained with trilife twice so she is more than acquainted with the training methodology. She was a great source of information and it was really educational to go through the workout with someone reminding me to constantly check my heartrate and times. It was great to have someone push me through each and every hill repeat. It was truly a luxury. It was like having a private coach — edit — not “like” it was having a private coach run me up and down each hill telling me when to press a little harder and not letting me give up even though all the working classes in my legs were screaming “stop!! you are killing us all! Capitalist pig!”
The first repeat I bonked. I went out way too fast. It was a total revolution by the proletariet. It was weird because I actually have not totally bonked on a hill repeat before. I had a temporary lapse communication within the union. I thought everyone was on board with the plan — let’s just push as hard as possible. I never anticipated a total strike. I couldn’t keep it up by willpower alone and totally bonked half way up the hill. Not too good. The second and third time I got a little better, I was cajoling the workers little by little as Charlee mediated by my side. Of course I’m still looking for higher output and it bums me out that I can probably walk faster but I’m in for the long negotiation and as Charlee says trying to educate my muscles to understand we have levels of output. I think labor is still in negotiations.
We had one major concession. Our big reward came when I hit 161 on my heartrate. HUGE! Before the last training camp the highest heart rate on record for me had been 155. At training camp I found 157 and thought I was going to die. Today I hit 161 three times!!! Yes I thought I might puke (but nothing came up) and yes I had some internal organs implode (Charlee thought perhaps it was merely a cramp but I think I understand now what ‘bust a gut’ means.) All forces united and the union hit a new max heartrate. It was quite exciting for all parties.
As much as I was surprised to find myself continuing on the hill repeats, I was equally surprised to find Mo riding my butt! Every time I turned around there she was coming back up the hill for another repeat! Hey, I thought this was the person who said she hadn’t run since the marathon in November! So I had motivation next to me and behind me. Mo wasn’t quitting so I couldn’t either. We all finished the six repeats and headed down to Strawberry Hill to do three more. The run down to strawberry hill I found my energy waning and I was thinking that this would be a good time for a gel if I had thought to bring one with me but I didn’t so I just plodded along.
Finally after finishing a total of 9 hill repeats (6 on the trail and 3 on Strawberrry Hill) I set out to do my lower loop. Charlee had been encouraging me to go just a few degrees harder on my Steady State run and I decided to try it. I managed to stay at 148 for over a mile and I was definitely going faster. She told me to try to go just slightly out of my comfort zone, not too far but just not be comfortable. Hmmm. I’m going to have to work on that. I usually have so many aches and pains that any pace I go is uncomfortable, but after an hour most of the aches and pains are gone. That’s usually when I go into the blank-out zone and go into my i-can-do-this-all day trot into la-la land. This is where Charlee is telling me to watch my heartrate monitor. So the 145-148 is just north of my comfort zone so now I have something to shoot for. This is good. Something concrete to work with. I want to go back and rerun that trail in New Paltz, I could have run that at 148 I bet I was at 140.
Go figure. I actually ran faster around the lower loop than I usually do. Who’s legs are these? I kept trying to think about the little hip flexor muscles as Charlee told me to stop thinking legs and start thinking hips. Hips, Hips, Hips I kept calling out to those tiny little muscles that I don’t ever really use. I’m not sure if they really know who I am because I kept ringing the bell and but nobody answered the door. But I kept running and I think I was doing well. I ran until I met Charlee and Mo coming from the other direction and then we declared workout complete. I had given it 101% and ready to call it a day. Without a doubt one of the better running workouts I had done and even had a little milestone in there to boot. I feel greatly indebted to both of my dear friends for turning a terrible Tuesday into a terrifc one. I really feel like a welcoming door was opened for me.
I think I was experiencing runner’s high because when I got home I still felt very motivated. I emailed my coach and told him how everything went and he was very pleased and said that the workout was as much about that steady state at the end as it was about the hills and that we did a great job. Of course that made me feel even more high. I still had 40 minutes due on my bike so I hopped on my trainer and pounded that out too! I was a machine!! I felt really good and really proud of myself for putting in a good effort. I will say I was overcome with a desire for a mound of spaghetti for dinner which I made (I tried that Ezekiel pasta — eh, not that good).
I woke up this morning feeling very, very grateful. I just think it was so great that my friends came out to help me through this difficult part of my training. Not just Mo and Charlee but all my friends who jump in with the right word at the right time. Those who pick me up when they see I’m down, those who say good job when they see I’m lagging and those who scream “MOVE IT” just because they love me.
funny aside. the USA Triathlon Organization just published the official “Rankings” for 2006. I’m actually listed in the rankings. Yep. I am 1,035th in my age group (female 45-49). That’s out of 1,195. ROFL, how could there possibly be 160 people worse than me in my age group — what are they doing during their races? Coffee breaks? Naps? I must get the points just for entering because I certainly don’t rank anywhere. I don’t know why that strikes my funny bone. I’m going to make my goal to break into the top 1,000 in 2007. R.O.F.L.!!!! Those other 1,034 45-49 year old women better watch out, ’cause I’m on their collective asses!!!