Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Long run... Wednesday???

Today I did my long run. Yeah, on a Wednesday. Weird, huh??

A few weeks ago - or maybe it was last week, my days are running into each other - there was a discussion on the Augusta 70.3 FB group about doing the long run before or after the long ride. I've always done my long run the day before my long ride, so that makes it on Friday. I did it before the ride for 2 reasons. The first one is that it's too hard for me to get in a really long ride on Sundays. My friends I've been training with do their rides on Saturday. The second reason is that it's too hard for me to get in a long run on a Sunday. LOL Additionally, I read in The Triathlete's Training Bible that folks who are prone to running injuries should do the long run before the long ride.

Then someone on the message board posted that the best bang for your buck is to separate them out - do one midweek and the other on the weekend. Most folks cannot do this. But I can! I have a number of hours to kill on Wednesdays while my daughter is in dance rehearsal. So far I've done a brick during this day, or a run and a swim. But I could do my long run. And maybe that would improve my long ride performance?? Well, it can't hurt to try.

The only complicating factor is that the least non-boring place to do a long run near the dance studio is Stone Mountain. Hills. Yuck. And it's not the flat terrain I need to train for on race day. But it's really just for a few more weeks, and if doing this helps me with my remaining long rides, then I'll deal with the hills.

I have to admit I was pretty scared. At the last minute, I scrambled to try to find an alternate location but couldn't get the directions to pull up and I didn't want to waste my time. So I went to the Mountain. And it was HOT. 88 degrees. 45 percent humidity, which was nice, but really - almost 90 is hot no matter how humid it is or isn't.

I had to do 3 laps, plus a little more. The first lap was HORRIBLE. Why are all of my runs so awful until the 4th or 5th mile? It's ridiculous! After that lap, the remaining two were actually quite pleasant. I was taking it easy and even walked a little more than my 4/1 intervals. There are a couple of hills in particular that are strenuous, and I didn't want to push it. So I just walked up them! No biggie! When it's cooler and I don't have a huge race coming up in a month (from tomorrow! GASP!!!) then I will tackle those hills!

What cracks me up the most about running at Stone Mountain is that no matter which direction I run around the mountain, or how many miles I am running, I always end up having to finish by going UP a hill like this:

This isn't even one of the bad hills!! Sheesh!!
 I started off this run really apprehensive because I've never run more than 10-11 miles at Stone Mountain and that was almost 2 years ago and we ran lots of the trails instead of just 3 times around the rock. I really wasn't sure I could do it! By the last lap, I was feeling so excited and proud of myself! When I looked at Garmin, I was even prouder! I actually finished this 15 miler TWO minutes FASTER than my 15 miler at my completely flat park!! WOOHOO!

Yes. I took a picture of the Garmin. Because I'm silly like that! Go me!!
I finished just in time to stretch a bit and leave to pick up my daughter. Good thing she was sweaty after dance so neither of us had to gross out the other! I came home and did a cold water soak for my legs. It felt SO good! Also did plenty of stretching and rolling to encourage my legs to recover. Tomorrow I do have a bike ride, but it's 'only' 25 miles... not 50+ like usual after my long runs. I'm so excited to see how my long ride goes on Saturday! I think I'm doing a local ride as another race simulation. I need to experiment a little more with the Generation UCAN before race day!

Race day... a month from tomorrow. In case you missed it!

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