I love weekend workouts. I can actually say that I enjoy the long ride...and on occassion...I enjoy the long run. It can clear your head, get the endorphins rushing and give you a good feeling overall. Im pretty whipped when the workout is over but the accomplishment is a feeling like no other.
Yesterday, I started out at Lakefront Park in Clermont to tackle a ride course that was a definite challenge for me....the Hilly side of Clermont. As I rode around Lake Minneola, it reminded me of the race where I met Hector for the first time and he helped me finish. I was having a terrible time climbing the hills on the course during that race. I never got off my bike and pushed but the thought cross my mind that day as I attempted to complete a 40K bike course. As I approached those hills yesterday, I could feel myself getting nervous. Was it going to be the same??
I made a left onto Jalarmy..a small road with a nice little incline and came out of my saddle. Much to my shock, I was at the top in no time at all. Hmmmm?? Could these bike trainer sessions really be working?? I followed Cherry Lake Road to another set of rollers and one more intense climb...and the same thing happened. I climbed it without issue.
In the first hour, the climbing was fairly easy. What a shock!! I joke with EVERYONE that I am a flatlander. I don't like hills, don't want hills on the course and if it were possible, I would "iron" the course flat the night before!! But here I was, climbing...not fast..but without feeling like I couldn't breath!!
By the end of the second hour, I was starting to feel the hills in my quads. I focused on my nutrition and continued the course. I past some beautiful homes, an incredible tree farm and traveled to some areas I had never seen before.
The mental side of training seems to play more of a role as the rides get longer. Into hour 3, I was ready to get off the bike. I know this is nothing compared to the 100+ mile rides I will be doing soon...but for now mentally, I was learning how to
deal with being in the saddle for awhile.
I returned to my car to find my Team in Training teammates done with their workout. They applauded my arrival (isn't that cool...to have people cheer you on like that) but while they were headed to breakfast, I was headed out on the run. Bricks are always hard for me. As soon as I rack that bike up on my car, everything in me wants to jump into the car and go home. I switched shoes, grabbed my fuel belt and made myself head out on the run.
My transition muscles are a major stumbling block for me. They don't fire as fast as most people I know so walking the first 2 to 4 minutes is essential. I try to focus on getting the legs to run and usually, after a few minutes, I get moving on my "oh so not pretty run".
I shuffle. I tell alot of people - for me - triathlon is swimming, biking and stumbling instead of running. With large short legs, running is definitely not my strong event, but I am really trying to get a little stronger. Yesterday, my legs felt like lead after all the hills...but this is a good thing. Train Hard. Race Easy.
20 minutes into my 1 hour run, I started to get very scared. The sky was black and the thunder started to rumble. I was hardheaded. Instead of turning around and heading back to the car, I was determined to get my 1 hour in. I continued to run
and the heavens opened. I didn't mind the rain so much ... but the lightening? That's another story in itself.
I found an overpass and took shelter as the lightening lit up the sky around me. As I tried to stay safe, cyclist and runners alike dashed for the shelter of this overpass. I have to say, it was one of the scariest times I have had training.
The rain let up a little so I headed out again, saying a little prayer for safety in the weather and to just let me get back to my car. As I arrived at my vehicle, I noticed I had achieved a negative split. Hmmm...running from lightening can be a new training tool!!!
As I headed out of the park, it started to hail. It took me 80 minutes to get home when it usually take 45. So many of my friends said "Why didn't you just pack up and go home when you saw the rain coming?" I guess that would have been the logical thing to do ... but then again....Ive never been a logical person. You don't know what your Ironman day will bring..you might as well train for every condition...including rain and hail!
Another brick accomplished. One more solid stepping stone to Ironman.