So, tomorrow is my last day at this job. I'm pretty happy about that. I decided to take a contractor position with NML. They like to hire good contractors, so I am hoping this will turn into a full-time job. If not, this contract will most likely last a couple years.
NML is a solid company, they value PM's and from what I've heard is a good place to work. My current employer is none of those things.
Anyway, I am happy and hoping I will enjoy this position more than my current role.
Training has been going very well.
Friday I felt a little crohns attack coming, not good. So I took that morning off. I was planning a race simulation that weekend, so one of the days was going to be recovery either way. So, Sunday became the big day. I was recovered and felt fine.
Originally I wasn't going to be as rested for this workout, so I was only going to hold 260 watts and then do a hard run at an 8 minute pace to see how that felt for an hour.
As I got out there I made the decision to really push things and see how I would hold up. The weather was near perfect in the high 70's.
I started up and my first loop was a bit above 270 watts. I was feeling very good other than my left glute hurting. It has been bothering me on the bike for a couple weeks. I think it is related to my fit...but have been working to keep it stretched out. My fitter thinks I may be sitting on the saddle unevenly...causing this. But I have to go in to find out...and I haven't had the time during the week. I will have to figure something out. Anyway, I took 30 seconds to stretch it out and got moving on the 2nd loop. I don't like long transitions, I have water bottles all prepped so I just open the car door, dump the old, grab the new and go.
The 2nd loop felt really solid...and I held 270-275 watts the entire way. I finished the 2 loops in 3 hours even with an average of 273 watts and a little over 20mph. Considering the hills, turns, and stop signs that was very good for this course.
I took in 4 full water bottles, 1 bottle of 600 calories and electroylytes, 3 saltstick pills, and 1 caffinated gu.
I pulled in, dropped off the bike, grabbed my fluids for the run and took off. The first thing I noticed was feeling really good. I started off, looked down and was a touch under 8 min/mile. I hit the drumline trail and was off to the races. Next thing I knew I was holding 7:30's for a couple miles. Everything was going really well...although it was heating up. There wasn't much shade. Hit the halfway point and was still doing really well. Turned around and started hoofing it back and was still doing well. At about mile 5 I started to feel it. At that point I came to the realization that the way out had a slight decline...which I was now climbing. It wasn't much, but it was enough. Mile 7 I slowed down a bit and did an 8:10 pace as the wheels started to come off. The final half mile was warm-down.
I may have been push a sub 8min pace for mile 8, I doubt I could have beyond that. But I do think I could have held close to an 8 minute pace for a while longer. That pace felt pretty good during the warmdown. All in all, the workout in general were really good. I was extremely happy with how things went. It was a great confidence builder and will help me determine where my limits will be down in Myrtle Beach. My nutrition seems to be in good shape as I have not had any problems in races or training.
What did I learn from this workout? A couple things really. First, given good conditions 270 watts come race day is not outside the realm of possibility. It is probably a little too high, but given how fast I was able to run off the bike, I can certainly go faster than 248 which I did in Racine. I still have four training weekends to practice my pacing and get in some really tough workouts.
I also learned that I can run pretty fast after a hard ride. Perhaps faster than I realized. In Racine I rode 248 watts and forced myself to run around an 8min/mile pace. I purposely slowed it down. Sunday I didn't slow anything down. My legs were turning over at their pace. I knew it was only going to be an hour run, so I didn't worry about suffering. And I was a lot faster as a result. My final pace for the entire run including warmdown was a 7:48. Even if I had slowed down to 8:20's like I did in Racine my average pace would have been closer to 8:05 instead of 8:20. That is a pretty significant time drop, roughly 4 minutes. A bump in power on the bike from 248 to 270 is worth another 5 minutes (depending on conditions), and my swim should be 3-4 minutes faster as well. Given similar conditions I could possibly approach 4:40. Breaking 4:40 is doubtful, but if I break 4:45 I'll be pretty damn happy.
This weekend will be a longer, slower ride. I want to hold about 250 watts and go for at least 3.5 to 4 hours followed by an easier run. I need to get in an interval run and it is about time to pick up the swimming again.
I've decided to do the lake Country half marathon Sept 4th. Aimee is going to walk it, I'm going to run it. I've never done a stand alone run race and figure it is about time. But as a result I don't know what to expect. According to my 5k time of about 20:00 I should be able to hold 7:10's for a half marathon. I'm not so sure about that! That seems awefully fast. But I also figure...this is the place to see what I can do. My fastest half marathon ever was a few weeks back in training when I held 7:58 the entire way.
So I think as a guage I am going to start off running 7:30's like I did on Sunday after my ride. We'll see how long I can hold that for. If I hold strong, great. I'll end up breaking a 1:40. Perhaps I can pick it up at the end...I really have no idea what to expect in a race situation. Should be fun.