I love the first few miles of this bike course. Fast and down by the water, I felt great. What hundred miles? I was thinking. Haha, oh how soon things change. The overcast and cool weather was quickly giving way to a hot day. The middle of the bike course is hilly, and the end this year was challenging in that we had to battle numerous railroad tracks, traffic, and a few good hills. However, it wasn’t the hills or the railroad tracks that was getting to me. It was the fact that in the last 10 miles of the ride, I felt like mini steamrollers were attached to each of my quads and rolling over them. There was no way around it: my legs were shot. I kept putting the questions to the back of my head: did I have anything left for the run?
Both of my transitions actually went really well this race, and I hit the run looking strong. That lasted maybe a half mile to “the hill.” If you’ve ever been in Providence you know the hill that I’m talking about. That hill seemed to suck all of the life out of me, and from then on it was aid station to aid station, mind over matter, forcing myself to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Had I had fresh legs and run the same (or close) as Eagleman, I would have been on my way to a 3: 25 and a 10 minute PR for the course. Instead, I was struggling to get those 13 miles in under 2 hours for any sort of PR. The sun was in full force, and the temps were at 87 degrees. It was hot and I was not happy. Needless to say, the end was in sight and I managed a 35 or so second improvement from last year. Both my swim and bike were faster, while my run fell about 4 minutes slower.
If this were an ordinary year, and I was using this race as my last tune-up before IM Louisville, I’d be pretty worried. However, I am well aware that this is not an ordinary year for me. My training is at a new level, and I did run 100 miles 2 weeks prior to this race. An improvement of any sort – even a matter of seconds – shows me that I truly am at a new level of fitness, and I am ready to take on Louisville in 6 weeks. This past week was all about the rest. I will not forgot how bad my legs hurt after that race; without rest they would not make it through another hard 4 week training phase. So, I took a lot of time off, got some more time in the pool, and fine tuned my training plan for the weeks to come. My training leading up to the race is coming straight from beIRONfit by Don Fink, so hopefully that will go well.