Friday, September 23, 2011

TRIP TO SPAIN!!! Training week Sept 18-24

worked locally all week
Ryan's BIG RACE (Duathlon World Championships) in Spain

Sunday, September 18: 20miles as a pace group leader with Jill for the CARA 20miler
Monday, September 19: 3miles easy, KRISTINA's 20th birthday!
Tuesday, September 20: 6x2000 workout
Wednesday, September 21: 6miles easy in MADRID, Spain!
Thursday, September 22: 2x4mile at Marathon Pace in GIJON, Spain!
Friday, September 23: easy 6miles in Gijon
Saturday, September 24: planned 10-15mile run during Ryan's race

Well, this week was a little crazy to say the least.

For the CARA/Newton Ready to Run 20miler, I had signed up to be a pace group leader. Long story short, I got to the race with only 8 minutes to spare...and without wearing my pace group leader shirt (Nic had to pick up my packet since I was in Milwaukee all week for work and asked the worker if there was anything he needed to tell me; he was told no, so when he showed me the shirt (front side only) I said, "Aw, it's purple, Grandma's favorite color" and forgot about it... yeah, it said Pace Group Leader on the back and I was supposed to wear it). Oh well, at least I showed up and did my job.

Jill and I (Rickster too, but he blew past us at like mile 14) totally rocked our pace group and finished just under the 7:30 pace (7:28 to be exact). It's amazing how easy that felt! It was nice to run with Jill as we had only ever really talked via Facebook and random races we'd see each other at. My only "problem" was my hamstring feeling a little fatigued at mile 15 for just a bit. I did take mental note though, as you'll see this week...

After the 20 and showering, Nic and I went to church where the priest ironically was talking about remembering the anniversary of those who passed (um, Grandma Swift passed away a year ago on Monday the 19th, so that REALLY hit home and brought the tears). I definitely felt Grandma looking down on me and Nic and the rest of the many lives she had touched through her time spent on Earth.

While I was pacing, Ryan was racing (kind of) the Malibu triathlon on his Nestle Powerbar team. He was the runner, the team ahead had a mile long lead for Ryan to make up and he actually got to run past the Goo Goo Dolls' drummer to win the race! I told him he should have asked for tickets since he beat's only fair, right?;) And then, he got to meet pretty much the entire cast of The Office and even talked with Oscar for awhile. So jealous.

Unfortunately, his flight ended up getting SUPER delayed. I was staying up so that I would go get him at 10:35pm and then still get my 8-9hours of sleep after a long run.... and then his plane got in at 1am instead. So let's just say I knew Monday and Tuesday would be rough.

Again, I pleasantly surprised myself. Tuesdays 6x2000 with 2min recovery went really well. These were supposed to be at 10k pace which I believe is right around 6flat (I haven't run a 10k since my triathlon days!).

Cari had told me after my long run on Sunday to be smart as that is what prevents people from getting their PRs at their big race, so I knew I'd be monitoring my hamstring all week (despite having Dave Davis rub the crap out of it on Sunday).

5:55/1:30 (7:25)
5:58/1:28 (7:26)
5:58/1:28 (7:26)
6:00, hamstring

I did this on a 1.85mile loop with a few inclines just to get my body used to it in case. I did the first three one direction and was planning on doing the next three in the opposite direction. It was a good plan, until my hamstring started actually feeling a little tight (not just fatigued like Sunday). Knowing a few friends with injuries lately, I decided to call it. Right now, it HAS to be quality over quantity and I need to be smart.


Wednesday, Ryan and I arrived in Madrid, Spain! We got to our hotel, really just wanted to sleep, but decided to run 6miles easy together instead. Weird thing is, in Spain, drivers don't stop. If they have a stop/yield sign and pedestrians are walking across the street, it's almost like they speed up. And, pedestrians don't move out of your way. At all. We were literally zigging and zagging throughout town until we finally got onto a little path that we could run on. SO different.

Our run felt awful. Like, "OMG, that marathon I did yesterday took a lot out of my legs" awful. Except we didn't do a marathon the day before. So I guess that's the whole "jet-lagged" thing. We didn't let it bother us and went into town and explored downtown Madrid: the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor and of course, a recommended ice cream shop:)

Thursday morning, we woke up and went to get Ryan's dad from the airport. He arrived ahead of schedule, but we opted to take a (more expensive) taxi than the subway to ensure we would get to the train station (to take us to Gijon, Ryan's race site) on time. GOOD THING. We stood in line for what seemed like an hour and finally got tickets. If we wouldn't have gotten tickets, the next train was sold out and we'd have to wait around for 7 hours. We were also VERY lucky as duathletes who had bike cases were not allowed on the train. Ryan uses his own custom box that is decorated in Toy Story wrapping paper, so it's a lot smaller, he doesn't get charged for it on airplanes, and got on the train just fine. On the train, I did eat a ham sandwich....but the ham was more like bacon/prosciutto than ham--not bad!

We got to Gijon and started walking toward the apartment that Ryan and the Team USA Pros were sharing. We were super lucky as the guy who arranged it all was literally coming out of it as we were heading into it! We relaxed for a bit and the I decided I needed to get my run done.

2x4miles seems a lot easier when you're in a familiar area. I knew there was a track at the race site so tried to find my way there. In Europe, street signs are on the corners of buildings as opposed to having actual signs on the corners, so that made things a little more difficult. I shocked myself when I found it! I did some drills and strides and then started my run on the track....until I got yelled at 1.54miles in ("You can't be on here! You got an email about it last week!" Um, yeah, I'm not competing in Worlds this year so would have no idea what you're talking about). So, I rushed off and continued on this crushed limestone/sand path. I figured I'd probably slow upon hitting the path, so just told myself to stay under 6:30s. I think I did a little better than that:

6:22, 6:21 (on the track, not even really looking at Garmin!), 6:17, 6:23.

6:15, 6:12, 6:10, 6;06.

I wasn't even trying to run fast for the last four, but honestly thought I was going between 6:20-6:30 pace. It's nice that I can run those splits despite feeling like I'm going a lot slower. I'm hoping this is a sign of good things to come..... :)

Ryan's race is tomorrow. I truly believe he could be a top 10 finisher (yes, in the WORLD). If you get a chance, please say a prayer that he mentally stays tough, physically gets proper nutrition, and mechanically has no problems on the bike. Thanks in advance, and I'll post on Facebook ASAP!

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