Think of all the good hard things in life – hard cheese, hard muscles, hard cider, hard rock and whatever other hard things float your boat. Now get your mind out of the gutter and think training. Training a lot of hours a week is hard and as we have just established, hard is good.
So I had a good week. Stats:
Swim – 2.5 hours for ~6800 yards
Ride – 6 hours for ~ 79 miles (again, too bad I didn’t do the math first or I would have done that extra mile!)
Run – 2.25 hours ~ 13 miles
That’s a really respectable week for me and it was supposed to be a recovery week and yet – I don’t feel recovered. I feel beat up but in a good way. My run on Saturday sucked eggs and I was most definitely the hydrant and not the dog but I ran Saturday so I could ride Sunday with the Sunday FoMo Foxes, a favored riding group. This ride is lead by the fabulous Monica Mozzacco who is a very respectable cyclist and triathlete. She rides with Chris Lieto and his training group on Wednesdays. No other foxes showed up but we had what we lovingly refer to as a dingo which would be a man on the Sunday Ladies ride. This particular man just did IMAZ last weekend where he rode his bike an astonishing 20 – 23 mph the whole time and asserts that the ride was awesome. I don’t think I heard that from any other athletes.
So there i was, riding with these 2 very accomplished, highly competitive and skilled people. I also brought my friend Meila who has 4 Ironman races to her credit and she does them in about 14 hours. This was my riding group Me. Oh my. I knew what we were doing, too – we were climbing Mt. Diablo to the junction which is about a 2,000 ft. climb and I was soon to re-discover just how good it is to ride with people who are much better and much faster than you are.
It was cold yesterdayn so I was dressed in Sushi hat, arm warmers, cycling jersey, and shorts over running tights with gloves. About 1200 feet up the mountain my sunglasses fogged up and when I tried to pull them away from my face to let them clear one of the lenses popped out. I took the glasses off and stuffed them into my pocket – and failed to zip it back up.
When we got to the ranger station I went to put them back on and they were gone! All I had was the 1 lens. Joe and Monica to the rescue! They thought nothing of riding back down to find my glasses and bring them back to me. Monica told me to stay put and then added, “you’re not getting out of getting to the junction!” because she’s mean like that (tee hee). A couple of minutes later they were back with the glasses and it was onward and upward. And I made it to the junction, denying my burning thighs any more than a moment’s rest I regretted taking because the hill before me was steep but very short.
Here’s the elevation profile:
Once we hit the top we all parted company after a really great conversation about doing what you do for yourself because it brings so much personal satisfaction. I also got some great training advice from Joe that he says will really help me prepare for Vineman. My fox and dingo couldn’t be more generous, positive, encouraging people if they wanted to be. It was great. They headed back down the south side of the mountain to get back to where they live and I headed down the north side to get back to where I live and I think we all pretty much froze to death on the way down. It was only about 30 – 35 degrees out and with the windchill it was way colder than that. When I got to the bottom I wasn’t sure if I still had feet because they were definitely not reporting to duty but eventually I found them I finally made my way home, very sore but very satisfied and more confident than ever that this racing season is going to be a whole new story from last year’s rookie season and I’m looking forward to experiencing a more trained, harder, faster, me.
So training is hard and facing up to training with rock star AG athletes is hard but hard is good – it sends to you places you’ve never been before.