A few Saturday nights ago, I ran the Midsummer Night 5k run in Lexington. That morning, I ran 6 miles and swam for about 20 minutes. I wasn't sure how this would affect my performance in the race, so I went into the race with the goal of just having a good time. It was pretty weird running a race at 8:30pm - I am definitely more used to running 8:30am races. I tried to rest my legs that afternoon, and ate a light dinner at 5:00pm. My friends picked me up about an hour before the race start and we made the quick drive into Lexington. The sun was still out and blazing, so I knew we would be in for a pretty hot run.
The gun sounded at 8:30 and off we went down Main St. It was extremely crowded - tons of walkers and people with strollers - so I did my best to dodge and weave around them for the first mile. As we ran the sun began to go down, and by the 2.5 mile mark it was totally dark outside. This was my first time to run this race, and it was kind of nice not being familiar with the route. I never knew when we were going to turn next, or at what mile we were at. I just kept surging along with the crowd - trusting that everyone around me knew what the heck they were doing!
I felt great the entire race, and when we turned back on Main St., I knew that I was relatively close to the finish. I was able to pick up my pace and give a pretty good final surge, finishing in 26:48. My watch said 27:03 - but I later realized I started my watch when I crossed the starting line sign, not the starting mat. So I was pretty happy to see that my time was a little better - even if only by a few seconds!
After crossing the finish line, the first thing I saw was people puking. It was absolutely disgusting! I guess the heat combined with dinner combined with a 3.1 mile race wasn't a good mix. After finishing, I walked over to the water station and ran into one of my co-workers, whose son was running the race with his high school cross country team. She was taking pictures, and snapped a picture of me. It is a little frightening, but it is quite an indication of how hot it was that night - I was pouring sweat! (Gotta love the sports bra outline.)
As far as triathlon training goes, things are going well! This week I have started to incorporate "push running" into my training. Brett from the Zen and the Art of Triathlon podcast
invented this workout as a way to incorporate both anaerobic and aerobic activity in one workout session. The basic premise of a push run is that you run for 10 minutes, then do a set of push-ups, pull-ups or squats. Then you run for another 10 minutes, and then do another set of push-ups, pull-ups, or squats.
On my 4 mile run on Monday morning, I ran for 10 minutes and then did a set of 5 squats. I ran for another 20 minutes (forgot to stop after 10) and did another set of 5 squats. Then when I got home I did 5 more squats. The idea behind push running is that incorporating squats into your runs will help with your cycling, and incorporating push-ups and/or pull-ups will help with your swimming. I am going to try to make at least two of my weekday runs "push runs" (incorporating both squats and push-ups) to see if it helps with my swimming and cycling.
Speaking of cycling, I went on my longest ride to date last night - 26.6 miles. We were aiming for 18-20 miles, but a semi-wrong turn added on a little more than we had planned. I also experienced what can only be described as a successful flying dismount. I was coming down a fairly steep hill, when I realized that I was quickly approaching a very sharp U-turn in the road. I knew there was no way I could slow down enough to make the turn and survive with any skin, so I made the executive decision to unclip my shoes and unseat myself. I pretty much just jumped back off the seat and watched as my bike slammed into a cattle fence. Luckily, there was no damage to the bike, but I was definitely a little shaken up! My friend Cody took a look at my brakes and realized that they were way too loose, so helped me tighten them up. I could immediately feel a huge difference with the tighter brakes, which really helped me get some confidence back.
We finished the ride in 1:56:50, and I was dog tired and very hungry. I ate a peanut butter, jelly and Frito sandwich (so good!) and some watermelon, and then immediately fell into a deep sleep.
I have a 5k coming up Labor Day weekend, and then my tri at the end of September. After that, I have a 10k and some 5ks on the schedule in October. It is shaping up to be a pretty fun, race-filled fall!