I BRAKE FOR BUNNIES
and other small creatures. Saturday morning, I got a very early start on my bike/run workout, trying to beat any possible storms brewing out there. It was like tour de rabbit on the trail! As I rode along on the path, it was like coming into Paris at the end of the tour--only with bunnies lining the road. I have never seen that many rabbits in one place at one time! They were lined up along the path, like coming into a straight-a-way lined with bunnies. It was incredible! Of course, they are just as stupid with bikes as they are with cars. They stop, look at you, and then dart in front of you. I can't tell you how many times I had to brake or swerve to avoid those pesky rabbits. And what's with that anyway? I thought they were mainly nocturnal creatures. Hello! Its time to go to bed!
So I dodged the bunny brigade for 25 miles, then got ready with my running gear and ran--get ready for this--8.1 miles! OMG, I never thought it was possible. My legs actually felt better this time than they did without biking and doing the same distance a couple of weeks back! And I pretty much kept an even pace the whole time.
The rain started just as I was heading out to run, but it was just a shower, and actually felt pretty good. I don't know what the temperature was, but it was very humid and totally overcast, so it was quite do-able.
Sunday, I again had to work around the weather. Since I haven't been able to get to Lake Michigan to swim, I opted instead for a 1+ mile pool swim, hopefully to be followed by a 40 mile bike, inside or out. When I left the pool though, it looked totally promising to bike outside, so I headed to the path again.
The original plan was to bike 40 and run 4. The rain started just as I was pulling into the parking lot, so right there I didn't know what I would be able to do. Again, it was a light shower, but as I pedaled along, the rain let up and eventually the sun came out. Now it would be hot, I knew. The plan was to bike 20 miles and then turn and go back.
But what do you know? When I got to 20, I forgot to stop, since I'm so used to doing the whole 50. By the time I realized it, I was almost at 22 and then its only another 3.5 miles to the end (just another 10 miles total), so I might as well go to the end.
I was maintaining a good pace, I felt good, so why not?? I got to the end, at 25 miles and turned back, no stopping this time like usual. Might as well try to simulate race day as much as possible. In doing this, I also wore what I hoped to wear race day, and brought nutritional stuff I hoped to use. But, I made one tactical error--originally I planned to go 40 miles and had a gel and a bar to eat along the way, but adding the extra 10 without another food item, I paid for it later.
By the time I got to 33 miles, I was really starting to feel a little light headed and woozy, so had to completely stop and regroup. After a couple of minutes, I went on and was fine the rest of the way.
Saturday and Sunday, I watched my average speed only--no time, no distance, just speed. The ride seemed faster this way, and it helped me determine what I had to do to keep my pace and how I would feel. My pace went up and down, within a reasonable increment, but I really wanted to bring it up at the end, and fortunately there was a long straight-a-way to do this. Final ride: 50.04 miles, 3:31, 14.2 mph. I think this is the fastest I have ever done on this course in a couple of years!
Then, I had to decide: run or no? I really didn't want to. By now, the sun was blazing, and it was probably about 80 degrees. I peeked at the path again, seeing it was mostly in the sun. No, I'm not going to do it.
But then something in my head nagged: you have to run. You have to see how your legs will feel. Before I made any decision, I answered all my cell phone messages, went to the bathroom, and got something else to eat. Then? I ran.
I was negotiating over and over with myself: 3 or 4? But amazingly, I felt so good I opted for 4. That proved to be a little much, as the last mile I was pretty much on a run/walk cycle. It was very hot. My breathing was very hard. So I just paced myself: run 100 steps, walk 100 steps. That got me to the end, so I can't totally complain.
Sunday's workout then was 55.04 miles! Only 15.26 to go!