Spurred on by Shay at Socially Fit, and my buddy Grateful Jim I turned in a stellar performance today in preparation for all kinds of fun events coming up. The weather was absolutely spectacular from sun-up. The temp started out in the low 30’s at sunrise but by the time I left at 9, it was well into the 40’s. With my backpack and jacket over an underarmor shirt and a cycling jersey I set out. To start, and with all of that gear on, I really wasn’t into setting records on the ride down. I turned in a slightly better than “take it easy” pace for the first 12 miles at 18.6 mph and really regretted wearing that jacket by the time I was half way there – it was just too hot. When I got down to the running club, I kicked around just going back out on my bike… I was in full justification mode. After all, I’ve got a Metric Century coming up so I need to get my bike miles in. This was only a justification though – I’m having so much fun on my bike that I just wanted to enjoy myself today rather than mess with running too.
In the end, a little prompting about cross-training from Grateful Jim got me out the door for the run. I was only off my personal best pace for the 5k I ran by 15 seconds – and I started out slow (I was going to run with another guy from the club). I ended up with all three miles under an 8 minute pace (7:41 overall) and was exceptionally pleased with that.
After my run I had a little spaghetti with meat sauce for lunch and headed out for home, leaving my backpack, jacket and running shoes at Jim’s house. I chose the semi-long return route of 18 miles and hit it hard from the first crank, repeating my new favorite mantra of “Don’t Quit”, short for don’t quit 5 minutes before the miracle happens, on several steeper climbs. I concentrated a lot harder on getting my shifting down so that I could carry more speed up the hills and then pushing big gears hard on the way down to work on building up my legs a little more…and on not resting for more than 10 to 20 seconds after pushes into zone 5 (there were several). Otherwise, I was easily in zone 4 the rest of the way. I started tiring out a little at about the 14 mile mark and started thinking, “how deep can you dig”, over and over to battle the fatigue. I ended up shooting past my driveway at 54:15, or 19.77 mph average. I did a short 1/4 mile cool down and checked my splits – my slowest mile was 3m:11s and my fastest was 2:45. With all of the climbs I had to cope with and the fact that I was into the wind for most of the trip back, I was exceptionally pleased – especially when I take into account that the average is better than my group ride average by more than a tenth of a mph.
I’d love to go into greater detail, but it’s off to the kid’s friend’s house for a birthday party…
WOOHOO!!! I found my heart.
I don’t post much about golf even though it was at one time my favorite sport. Fred Couples has, yet again, given me reason to cheer about golf – he is my all time favorite golfer. He’s got Jack’s class, Arnold’s determination and the Haagen-Daz of golf swings – sweet, smooth and the epitome of awesome. Of course, he’s been in this position before, only to fall in the last round or two, but at 52 having a share of the lead at the Masters on Saturday morning is kind of a big deal. For the record, Fred has one of those swings that’s so smooth, it defies logic that he’s one of the longer strikers on the (gulp) seniors tour.