Monday, April 14, 2008

Running and Riding

Obviously taking some time off to mentally get away from the marathon helped -- running the Yakima River Canyon Marathon April 5th was like I had found myself all over again. I was relaxed and confident in my training and fitness and consequently was able to cruise to a 3:38 finish and qualify for Boston and guarantee me an entry to the London was an even sweeter victory to win my age group and place 8th female! It renewed my love for the distance and encouraged me to run the Tacoma City Marathon in a few weeks as another training run leading up to IMCDA. I'm feeling ready and excited! The best part for me was that there was no taper, in fact the weekend before I had run a 15 miler Saturday, followed by a 5 hour bike ride and 7 mile run Sunday! Maybe if I taper...

The thing I've learned the most is that each sport compliments the other. I firmly believe that it wasn't just the reduction in training miles (I ran between 22-30 miles/week) leading up, compared to my usual 40-50, but it was the dramatic increase in cycling and swimming that helped me along the way. I am now a fully converted triathlete, if for nothing other than the training benefits it gives my running. Ok, I know the physiological reasons behind the science, but to actually experience it rather than write about or discuss it was something else!

This weekends ride of the Lake Stevens 70.3 was some of the best times I've had riding. I started from home (Seattle Hill in South Snohomish) and rode into town, collecting a good friend, Nikki, along the way who wanted to come and meet the team. The ride itself was great: fun, friendly, relaxed, and encouraging. Regrouping and moving into small groups along the way. It was fun to chat with different folks and to share stories. Over the many hours I got to talk to so many different people.

Of course the weather made it even more enjoyable, but some of the highlights for me were: coming to the top of a hill and seeing Serosha sunbathing with what looked like war paint all over his face, no matter how sore, tired, or thirsty people were they never, ever gave up, seeing a "peloton" streaming down the trail at 9:30 on a Saturday morning and being a part of it, flying down Dubuque and clocking 42.6 mph (a new PR!!!), laughing and telling stories, riding loop two with Stacy, Nicky, Nikki, Clarise, and Serosha, and, when stopping to regroup half way around lap two managing to fall off of my bike while standing still -- what was actually cool about that was that a guy drove past and told the folks up ahead that one of their team had crashed (somehow I'm really glad I "crashed" while not moving!!!!) and the fact that then people turned around and came to check on me, regardless of their own training needs! You are all the best!

Clarise and I finished by riding north on the trail before turning around at Getchell and heading back through some of the run part of 70.3, before I headed home on bike. I made it 100.1 miles and felt like a million dollars, and in appreciation for all of those who didn't realize how much they helped me achieve that: THANK YOU!

Here's to more sun and companionship, Britt :)