Friday, October 7, 2011

Kona Envy and Hot Yoga

Facebook has been blowing up this week with pictures of Kona. Some from people that live there and are still racing the Ironman World Championships, others that are just there for the big race. The pictures are all amazing. I can't imagine what it takes to qualify (especially in my age group) or the logistics to get all of your equipment out there and compete in the event. Everyone I was tracking did really well, even better than they expected in most cases.

Of course I've tracked friends in years past but with my first ironman coming up in only 25 days it puts an entirely new perspective on it this year. Bree Wee didn't compete in the championship this year because she's doing IMFL. I'm also doing IMFL and didn't race Kona, so obviously I'm exactly like Bree? I actually feel good about this because in 2009 when I did my first half at the Beach 2 Battleship, Bree was there racing as well. I didn't know who she was then, but that's ok. First half, first full, she must be some kind of good luck charm for me.

There were a lot of really good races back on the mainland this week. Chicago marathon, Portland Marathon, Victoria half marathon. It was great seeing all of my friends putting up PR's and breaking their own expectations. It really was a fantastic weekend for racing. I haven't had a race since the OBX half in early September, and it really made me miss the environment. I know typical race distances don't coordinate with Ironman build phase training distances so it's not a good idea for me to race much right now. With 16 races done this year and only one more to go, I know I've already had a full calendar. So congrats if you raced this weekend!

Saturday I had a lot of family time. Bigun had her first sleepover at her BFF's house. This should bother me because she's 6 and her bff is a boy. But it doesn't. I like the boy. We had to keep the Evil Genius distracted the entire day to keep her from feeling left out. That's when the fun started.

I have never tried hot yoga before. Kelley found a groupon friday night for a $5 hot yoga class at a gym in North Raleigh. Saturday EG got up about the same time I did so we had breakfast together. I made it out the door and to the gym just as the class was starting, found a good spot and tried to make it look like I knew what I was doing. I've never actually been to a yoga class before period, much less a hot yoga studio. The heat only got up to about 85 supposedly, but the sweat was constant and intense! Overall the class was great, I got a really good sweat on, and a really good stretch on. During the relaxation phase at the end, all I could visualize was EG's face smiling at me so I really wanted to spend some time with her. I drove back home with a huge smile on my face and was the happiest and most relaxed I've been in a long time. Hot yoga gets a big thumbs up.

I gave EG a few choices for the afternoon's activity. Kelley would take Bigun to meet the boy so I needed to keep EG otherwise occupied. She chose to go for a hike on the Appalachian Tobacco Trail (ATT). This is great. So we put the top down on the convertible and rode out there about 2 pm. Of course, what's an Evil Genius going to do in this kind of situation? Fall asleep on the drive out there. Now if you wake up a sleeping 4 year old to go for a hike (she likes to run the trail), she's not going to be energetic enough to actually go anywhere. So instead of fighting it, I leaned my seat all the way back too, and we took a nap in the parking lot for about an hour. Then I drove us back home. That's when she woke up. Of course, that's when she woke up. Sleeping outside = yes!

We all made it home in time for me to get out for a 5 mile quick run (~37 minutes) before the evening's activities. Yoga and 5 miles running is not what the training plan called for, but it's what I got. And I really enjoyed all of the family time.

We took EG to her favorite burger joint even though she only eats the french fries, then to see Kung Fu Panda 2 at the dollar theater. She had a blast, and was only minimally evil.

Sunday I was really sore from the new yoga. Sore in places that yoga doesn't normally make me sore. It was really unexpected. Still, I wanted to get outside and get a nice long day of training in. After napping in the White Oak Church Rd parking lot for the ATT on saturday, it seemed like a good destination for a nice long brick. That public trail access is on my bike route anyway, so I figured I could park there, hit the roads for a longish bike ride, then hit the trail for a nice run. You may remember a few years ago I ran a full marathon on the ATT so I knew it would be an ok place to put some miles in.

I got there a bit later in the day than I had hoped, but it was still gorgeous out. 75 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. Roberta had spent the week in the bike shop getting a final tune up before traveling to Florida (including replacing the rear brake cable), and she was ready to be ridden hard.

After 21 miles around Jordan Lake, I think she was finally satisfied. Actually I wanted to go back out for another loop, but Sunday is Runday so I needed to hit the trail. The rolling hills around the lake are creating some great resistance, and I'm really enjoying riding around that part of town. I was pleased with the speed (about an hour and 10 minutes, so over 19 mph still) but could have been faster. Really I was trying to just make sure the bike was ready for the race.

I changed clothes in the parking lot and hit the trail. I was carrying a bike bottle in each hand, one with Accelerade and one with water, and I had two gels. The trail was pretty crowded, and I got plenty of strange looks running with two water bottles. My only plan was to go out for a certain amount, then turn around and come back. I started out pretty fast.

In trail math, I realized that I ran 5 miles on saturday, and biked 21 already on Sunday. So if I ran out for 8 miles and back for 8 miles, it would give me 21 miles of biking and 21 miles of running on the weekend. A bit low on the bike, but I liked the symmetry. I should have thought about that before I took off.

I am also starting to watch the sun get a bit low, and the shadows are getting long. The leaves are also starting to change here, and sunset is around 7 pm. It's an absolutely perfect day to be on the trail. Then I remembered the sign saying the parking lot gates will be locked at 7 pm. I hit 7.5 miles on the trail at around 58 minutes into the run and decided to turn around. More trail math told me I needed to be done around 2 hours to make it out of the parking lot before the gates close. And that sun was really starting to get low.

Then around mile 11.5 I took the last gel and realized I was out of hydration and nutrition, and still 3.5 miles from the car. This is why I like to run inside on the treadmill. Yes it was beautiful on the trail, but my car won't get locked in the gym parking lot while I'm dying of dehydration beside a vacant path in the woods with no lights or water fountains if I was on the treadmill. Then the Running Is Stupid committee convenes a meeting in my head. Why am I out there? What in the world possibly makes people want to run an Ironman. This is only for the criminally insane. I walked a lot. I ran a lot with the motivation that if I didn't hurry up I was going to get locked in.

Eventually I did make it back to the parking lot, chugged water and took off. I left at 6:50 pm. The 15 mile run took a total of 2:07 so I'm going to call it a positive split. That's got to be the opposite of a negative split, right? I was glad to make it out of there alive.

Have a great week! This is the penultimate week of my Ironman Build phase before the 2 week taper kicks in. A 12 week build has been bananas, so I'm going to try and finish it strong. Week 11 should be no easier.


Colleen said...

It was a great weekend for racing! :) I was in Chicago, but glued to my phone (what did we ever do before smart phones and computers???)

A sleepover at a boys house??? :)

Great job with the run! Can't wait to cheer you on in PCB!

Alecia@tincantreader said...

It's a always dilemma when the kiddo falls asleep in the car on the way to something fun. Deciding whether or not to wake them up is like deciding to cut the blue or red wire. I'll bet you can't wait to taper! Glad you didn't get locked in the park.

Sophie @ threetimesf said...

That sure is a lot of races!

I second Colleen - a sleepover with a boy?! :) At least you like him!

Ha, I love workouts like the hot yoga where you ache in places you didn't even know excisted - I always take that as a good sign?!

Keep at it with the training - you're so close now! Eeeeeekk!

Katie said...

I love love love hot yoga! That is all. :)

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Whoa - you've done 16 races this year? Dang, that is impressive!!

I have never really been to a 'real' yoga class. I took some yoga classes at the Y which were kind of meh. I want to try yoga, but it's also very expensive and I just don't think it is in my budget right now...