Thursday, March 15, 2012

Today...I CAN!

Spring break week for me usually means I am in Florida basking in the sun on a beach.  This year, we decided it was in our best interest to stay home and relax on spring break and spend our money on house updates this summer.  So that left me here to train and relax.  However, we did head to the Dells on Sunday and Monday and had a really nice time with the Conway's.  I also have to share a funny story at the Dell's.  After a good day at the water park, we went to the Moosejaw Restaurant.  As we were waiting for a table, I was holding my daughter.  I was wearing my Live Uncommon pullover and it has my name on it.  As I was standing there, I here the people at the table right behind where I was standing start reading off information that pertained to me.  Things like, where I worked, Live Uncommon Race team, Bettendorf Middle School.  I was like what, "did they take my wallet?, how did they know this about me?"  As I turned around, they did not say hi or hello.  Instead, I see the guy looking up the information on my shirt on his phone.  He must of thought that I was someone important with the Live Uncommon gear and my name on it.  Kind of freaked me out at one moment, knowing he got all that information, just from my shirt.  On the other hand I was proud to know that one more person knows what Live Uncommon is about and what I am about and what we stand for!  Kind of a fun story!

That leads me up to today.  I decided I would try and put some brutal miles/workout in this week since I was off work and especially since it is nice out!  Who needs Florida with this weather?  (ask me that again next December!)  Anyway, I feel like I have accomplished the killing myself part of working out.  Since Tuesday morning, I have put in almost 70 miles in biking, swimming and running.  Most importantly, I have accomplished some things I have not done before make this and "I CAN" week!  On Tuesday morning I set out on my first solo run for the first time this year.  I struggled mentally but did pretty well training wise, finishing 6 miles with a 7:44 pace.  I did get a swim in, the biggest yardage to date after my run and still felt pretty good.   On Tuesday, I also decided I was going to meet Jeff Paul and the Trek Store riders  for my first outdoor ride.  I was not sure what to expect on this ride.  I did know it would be an interval workout of some sort.  We ended up doing hill repeats on the bike.  It was a good ride for me.  I was able to push and stay up with the front group for the most part.  It was also good because I was able to ride amongst other riders, getting me used to having people around me while riding.  I felt really good after this ride.

After that ride, my sister was nice enough to grill some steaks out and enjoy a nice bonfire!  Nothing like a great meal after a healthy day of working out!.

I will admit, I slept in a little on Wednesday, knowing I was going to have a big day again.  I started in the pool on Wednesday.  I wanted to get a good quality pool swim in.  I was able to do this with my biggest swim yet.  I was able to rip off 3500 yards/2 miles.  I even did the dreaded 200's during this workout and was able to hold a 3:05 or under pace for all of them.  I really felt good, again, eclipsing some old marks for yardage.  Once again proving, I CAN do a lot of things given the time and courage to get out and do it! I also snuck a little lift in after this, and I will admit the quality of it was pretty low but did get in six lift.  Mostly because I wanted to get outside and enjoy the day.  However, I really did not get to get outside, but did get some much needed errands done.

At 5:00, I decided I would go ahead and go meet some bike riders over off of Ben Butterworth parkway for a ride.  I had been told it was a 40 miler, which scared me to start with but I figured I could handle it. There were two groups, an A and B.  I was a little late getting there due to a accident so I ended up with the B group which was a good thing.  I did all I could to hang with the B group.  We took off and headed west ( I think?).  We headed out into the country on some very isolated but good roads.  One guy in the group kind of took me under his wing when I had told him I was a newbie and that it was really my first long ride I have done outside.  As we talked he thought we maybe would only go 34 miles or so.  Well, to me mentally, I was thinking this is good.  But as we got going, I realized, it was going to be 40 miles.  It was a good thing or as John Byrnes would say, it was a "character builder".  As we rode we did some very close pace riding.  Wheels only about 6 inches from the guy in front.  The pace riding reminded me of Indian runs.  The last guy up to the front and block the wind for a bit, then the next guy moves in.  I was pretty happy as I kept up with these guys for the most part.  We were consistently riding over 20 mph as we trekked through the country side.  Finally we had made it back to the bike path on the river and that is where fatigue set in for me.  It was about mile 34, the wind kicked up in our face and I was struggling.  But, I knew I had to get back to my truck or walk and that was not on option. I pushed through the pain and made it back.  Funny thing was, I was at 39.27 miles when I got to my truck.  Nope, that was not enough, mentally, I had just worked my ass off and I was going to go 40 miles!  So,  I went past my truck enough and turned around to get my 40 in.  Just one of those silly things for me, no reason, just needed to see forty!  For the first ride outside, I went 40 miles and ended with and 19.1 mph pace.  Which I will take considering the wind was pretty strong last night.  Never thought I could do 40 miles, this early.  Once again, I CAN ride 40 miles and finish with the group.  This is a big hurdle for me, when I push myself, I CAN get things done!  I came home and hydrated up with a nice meal and water and sat with the family and enjoyed a peaceful bonfire, in MARCH!  Crazy!  As I knew today I was going to finish out my last of the tough days for working out.
Today, I set out to Meet Katie G., one of my Crazies Group runners.  I had decided since I was going to run a 5k, the CASI St. Patrick's Day Run, I was going to do some mile repeats, two to three of them.  We met at the Y at 7 and had plans of running to the Bettendorf High School and jumping on the track.  I was a little unsure how I would perform on this due to my long ride last night.  The warm up run to the high school was much needed to work some of the lead out of my legs, and my hamstrings were very tight.  Made it to the track and stretched a little more to make sure I did not pull anything.  We set out on the first mile and mentally, I was challenged here.  Took off at a good pace and I was not sure I could hold it.  Fortunately, I ran the fastest mile I have ever run today, 5:48.  Much to my surprise as I have had such a heavy load of training the last few days.  I was really stoked by this.  We walked a lap and jogged a lap in between and set out on the next mile.  This one was tough too.  We headed out fast and again, I was not sure I could hold.  I ended up with a 5:57 this time.  Two miles under 6:00, felt awesome.  I have never run a mile under 6:00 before, let alone two of them.  My fastest mile I can remember to this point was 6:34 last year.  I am pretty excited about that.  I still have a lot of training to do, as I really have not hit a track workout yet and I am much faster than last year at this point. You can see those miles below on lap 3 and 6.
Katie and I then finished up with another 3 miles or so back to the Y for a total of 7 miles.  Even the miles back were at a good pace.  Although, when I got to the Y, I was done and ready to stretch as I was tightening up.  We stretched a little bit and re-hydrated.  What a AWESOME way to start my day.  Doing two miles under 6:00, something I did not think I could ever do and I DID IT!

I finished out my morning with a swim in the pool.  My arms were exhausted this morning in the pool.  I decided that I should probably just drill this morning.  I did various sets, equaling up to 1600 yards after the run.  My arms loosened up by the end and I feel pretty good now.  I ended the swim with a nice relaxing hot tub soak.  That hit the spot!

As I am writing this, I still can't believe what a great start to the day this is.  Two awesome miles for me, a nice cool down swim.  Scrambled eggs, pineapple and coffee on the deck while soaking up some sun.  Maybe it is better that I am not in Florida, look at what I have accomplished this week.  What a great week of training I have had!

On to some rest now.  I have a soccer game tonight that I will play in but might scale it back a bit just to prevent injury!  From that point on, I will rest my body in preparation for the St. Patrick's Day 5K.  I am hoping for some good things from the race.  Not to mention this is the first race in the Revolution Race Series.  This will be the big event for the Live Uncommon Race Team.  Which leads me to my donation page.  If you have not donated, I would love to have your help in helping me accomplish my goal of $700.  You can get to my page with the link on my blog here or this address:

This week I have accomplished some small goals that will all help in my training for this summer.  I have many more to accomplish, but after this week, I know I CAN do anything I want and CAN accomplish things that used to be dreams.  Get after it and see what YOU CAN get done!

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