Sunday, March 24, 2013

2 in 1 (race reports)

So I did this little experiment - race a 10k running race at 8am, drive an hour, race a 58 mile bike race at 11:45am.
I should have just listened to my reason and my friend. We both knew that the bike race will suck because even if I run quite easily it will still impact my legs, and then 3h between events will just make it worse.

Let's start with the run. It was pretty good, I felt pretty good, strong. I did not really race, it was like a tempo run, I just went fast enough to win:) I did wear a watch but forgot to stop it so I do not have a precise time but it was around 43min. Pathetic, I know but what can I do?
I don't really know why I did the race since I had no goals, no expectations, no plan. I guess I just did it because the whole idea sounded totally batshitcrazy and I loved it.

Now the interesting part. The bike. So I knew that the combination of me training like a triathlete and not a bike racer (no peak power), 10k race in the morning (eventhough I ran pretty slowly it still had an impact) and racing in women cat 1/2/3 (those cat 1/2 women are f* beasts) would mean that I will suffer big time.
The race was two 28mile loops, around 30-40 women and I immediately knew that I am totally out of my place there. I had no idea what orange line rule meant, or why people started yelling on a girl when she started to pass. I did not understand what was going on around me so I decided to stay at the back of the peloton because I guess I was a danger to everyone.
Bike races are weird. Slow, fast, slow, fast, crashes (only one small one), yelling, f*bombs. So different than running. My friend Mad, who used to be a runner too and now switched to biking said "it's like you don't have control over the tempo, like you do with running. it is very difficult." Exactly!

So I pretty much wanted to drop out after the first 15 miles. (To be honest the only reason I did not drop out was that one of my male friends knew that I was doing the race and he told me that I was an idiot for doing both run and bike but he still said he would check how I did and he sent me a good luck text in the morning so I decided to finish that damn thing. Just because of him. I kid you not!) I was miserable. But then my quads have loosened up a little bit so it got better.  But it still sucked.

I was getting dropped every time someone attacked and then clawed my way back in. Every single time! There was a pretty big hill at the end of the loop and a lot of people got dropped there, including me. I knew it was too soon to be all alone so I stared working hard to catch the main pack again. I eventually did and actually most of us did because pro men were passing us and we were ordered to pull over and wait for them to pass (wth?). The a few miles later something happened again and a lot of us got dropped. Fortunately I managed to get together with 4 other women and we took short hard pulls to catch the main pack again. It took us around 10 miles to catch them but we did. Actually I got dropped from that group too towards the end but I again just went hard steady pace (like a good triathlete) and caught the main peloton. Phew. But then with 5miles to go I got dropped for good. It was into a headwind section and I was pretty much spend.
So I rolled in around 2min40sec after the main peloton. I was not last, which makes me happy, because during those first 15 miles I was 100% sure that unless I don't drop out I will finish last that stupid race.

Let me tell you, I did not enjoy it. As I said I had no idea what I was doing and I do not like those fast/slow/fast/slow "tricks". I does not make any sense to me. But I think that I can do much better (by much better I mean not get dropped every time someone attacks and not get dropped at the end) if I raced on fresher legs.
Therefore I hope that next year, these two races and not on the same day. Because I want to break a course record (it is 41:something, which asks to be broken) and I want to race this bike race fresh.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I feel like a runner again

It has been a while! But there is nothing exciting going on and nobody wants to hear me complaining about being at work 12+ a day, now would you?

So yeah, I feel like a runner again. At least today. I did my usual long run on a road and my legs hurt. Like runner's legs would hurt. Like my own legs used to hurt. Part of it just plain fatique caused by running, other part is cause by constant pounding on a hard surface for 10miles. So part of it is good, part of it not so good but it does not matter because I feel like a runner today and that's all that counts.
The last ~7min of the run were torture because my ankles hurt and my right hip and ITB were starting to get tight and my quads are trashed. I love it! Although I was seriously worried about my ITB. But all is good.
All the aches are normal because I have not run this far and on a road for 2 years so of course everything is going to hurt until I adjust. And I am getting there. 1h is no problem, 1h15min is allright but anything longer and my body still protests slightly. As of now I cannot really imagine running 13.1 miles on a road but I have 3.5 months to get used to it.

As far as other training goes it is going allright.
Biking is good. I am able to hold 240W average for 20' at the end of a decently paced 1h ride. So that's good.

Running is allright I guess. I run 3-4 times a week, all easy but 1x faster stuff. I do not wear watch for easy stuff because I have my routes and I know approximately how long they take me to run. I really do not care whether I run 58min or 63min instead of 60min. I am still in the run-whatever-just-keep-building-your-base mindset but I wear Garmin for faster stuff now because otherwise I would be slacking completely. I did a 25min tempo on Wednesday at 4:22 pace which was not that great but I did that 1h ride with 20min at 240W at the end plus 50min off the bike run Tuesday night so maybe that's why I ran that tempo so slowly. I am looking forward to doing some real timed workouts that actually feel like workouts instead of just faster stuff to keep me from becoming a one-gear runner because that's what intervals/tempos now feel like.

Swimming is a struggle as usual. One day I can swim 400s at 1:30 pace no problem, a few days later my fast pace for 200s is 1:35. I learnt to not let it bother me too much otherwise I would go crazy, and I live on faith that the race day will fall on "a good swim day". 

I might be racing next Saturday. 10k and/or a 56mile bike race. All depends on whether I receive my UCI licence on time or not. If I do I can race a 10k at 8am, then drive an hour and race a 56 miles at 11am and spend the rest of the day sleeping in my bed (well, on that mattress of mine. I still do not have a bed. I am still working on that). If I do not get the licence is either a 10k or 28 mile bike race in cat 4. And since racing in cat 4 is a huge waste of time in my opinion because honestly, riding a bike for 28 miles with other 5 women ( because that's what I anticipate in bike races in these parts) with no reward at the end does not make any sense to me. So I will probably do a 10k, which is totally scary and I have no idea what I can run for a 10k.

Ok, I am off to bed so I get up at 5am to go to work....