Wednesday, December 7, 2011


So very true!
Another long week of running and I'm beginning to remember why I'm a triathlete and not just a runner. I've logged around 90 miles these last two weeks and my legs are not exactly happy with the distance. Every morning when I roll out of bed...ow! I'm not exactly sore, I just feel a little like I've been hit by a lorry. Yes, this is what marathon training is all about... right?! It must be temporary insanity that keeps me running the long stuff in the off season. Now don't get me wrong...I don't mind a 26.2 as long as it's after a swim and bike  ;)

 Anyway, I 'really' do remember the reason that I am doing this and it's because I actually love it. I love endurance sport. I love pushing my body and mind to places I never knew existed within. I love the sense of accomplishment through every drop of sweat that falls from my body. I don't feel normal unless I'm swimming, biking or running. A three mile run...I used to only do those a few years back. Now a three mile run has become just a cool down.  I don't feel as if I've had a good bike ride unless it's over thirty to forty miles and my swims...they have to be at least 3k. Is that insane? With this goal for my upcoming marathon, I had decided to concentrate solely on my running. Still swimming along with running, I had almost completely given up on cycling to save my legs for more run training. That's all come to an end. I was going through major withdrawals people and all of the running is simply taking a toll on my body, so last week I told coach I had to act more like a triathlete than a runner and just like that...I feel normal again.

I have to thank my coach as always for his patience. After another long talk with him about goals, I've decided to get back to all three disciplines while training for the upcoming marathon. Rich after all had his best marathon performance while triathlon training with just under 2:20 marathon result. When he was only marathon training he was six minutes slower and he, like me, said his body was just shattered from all the running. No brainer...we are triathletes. So last week it was back to the other good stuff.

After loads of running last week, I still swam around 10k and back into cycling and spin. On Tuesday I went to a heart thumping spin class for an hour and loved every second of it. Then on Saturday, I hopped on the Kestrel and took off. I felt like a kid in a candy store on the bike. I was over the moon. As soon as my feet hit the pedals I felt like I'd been injected with sunshine. My cycling withdrawals were gone. I rode and rode and rode and smiled the entire time.  It was amazing! AMAZING!! I can't just marathon train. It's not who I am. I have to swim,bike and run. With that being said...I'm willing to take the chance on my run performance in January. My plans are still the same for the race but I'm simply not going to put everything I have into running anymore. It's too blah!

With the changes last week, it really didn't seem to affect my running, at least on the shorter stuff. I felt a bit run flat the early part of last week and on Wednesday, Rich had me to do a 10k tempo run at my intended marathon pace and lo and behold...success. I ran that 10k above my BQ goal marathon pace all completely in my aerobic zone which we call E22. That's awesome and I was ecstatic. The rest of last week was more running and like I said the cycling as well. Two days ago my training called for a 90 minute run, I went out pumped and after the first mile felt completely dead! UGH! I felt awful the entire run. With Ironman training or marathon training, there are just some days when you feel flat. You're just not going to feel great on each session and that's that. Anyway, I got through the run and was very happy when it ended. I felt blah after, so yesterday coach took me to do a 5k tempo run on the dreadmill. The goal push as hard as I could and try and stay E22 (aerobic) and see what I could do. There is a 5k this Saturday and would like to shoot for the Sub 20 minute club, so this tempo run would be a good test. On the dreadmill, incline set to 1%...I did a three minute warm up and then started off as instructed below my goal pace. The first .35 would be done in 6:44 and after that it was all systems go! For the rest of the run I felt like I was absolutely flying. The dreadmill pumped up to 9.4mph! I was surprised in my heart rate readings for the first 1.5 mile...I was still aerobic. I pushed onward and after mile 1.5 the HR tipped just over aerobic threshold by two beats. Not bad. I was running a sub 20 minute 5k pace and just over my aerobic threshold (which technically means I could go harder, but try telling that to my legs.) By 2.5, I started wanting to pull back. This is a mental barrier and not a physical one. I've been working hard to push through that mental barrier but it stopped me on this run and I fell short just of my goal for the 5k by 31 seconds. Here's the result of yesterday's 5k tempo:

I know that in training it's very hard to simulate what you can do in a race. There's something magical when you are in a race in which you somehow have an extra gear that you never knew that you had in training. I hope to find that gear this weekend. I would love to go sub 20 minutes in the 5k. We shall see. I'm going to go out there to try and see just how hard that extra 31 seconds will hurt. Either way, I'm happy and thankful just to be able to do what I love to do. Unlike my dear hubby, racing is not my job, it doesn't pay the bills and I don't have to impress anyone with my results. I have no pressure, nor will I ever put pressure on myself. Where's the fun in that? I'm just out there doing what I love to do, competing with myself and always trying to do my best. I admit it....I used to say "I'm not a runner." I used to say that. I was wrong. Everyone has it in them. Anyone can do it. In believe that in life there are no limits. You can do anything that you want to do. Believe it, feel it, trust in it and you can do it. I have and so can you :)



Kacie Darden said...

Nice work and a killer time!

Tonya said...

Thanks Kacie :)

Colleen said...

Holy smokes... that's awesome girl!

tribirdie said...

I definitely see sub 20 5k in your near future!! I'm with you, I train for a marathon like a triathlete too, and it's just more me :D Enjoy your upcoming 5k!!