This long distance training is fun. The slower, low intensity effort is quite different from the short and fast efforts to which I have become accustomed. As a result, I am able to remain more relaxed. I am also capable of better recognizing and appreciating the chirping birds, sprinting squirrels, cowering cats, lumbering turtles, bristling leaves, statuesque deer, and gurgling creeks while cruising along. Another inherent advantage of these LSD efforts is the calming, defusing effect from the "in no hurry" attitude. The only drawback is the time commitment.
I can easily, on any given day, squeeze in an 18-minute 3-mile run or 26-minute 10-mile ride. While these efforts are fine for keeping me fit, they do little to prepare me for half iron du's or 50-mile mountain runs. Thus, I am morphing the training to fit the goals. If you have been following this blog lately, you know that my primary training transition has been BS - Big Saturday. Yesterday was pure BS!
Pure BS in that I had little time to do anything other than train and nap. It was cool (60's), mostly cloudy, and very windy. The wind helped to cool me on the run - until it blew against my back and heated me until a substantial quantity of salty water (9 lbs or > 1 gal.!!) poured from my pores. The sweating did not keep me from enjoying the run and, amazingly, it did not cause me to tighten or cramp. Having decided to push it a little more than last week, I passed through the first 13 miles in just over 89 minutes (6:52 ave). Then I eased back to about 7:05 pace. The goal was to keep the HR at or below 140 (about 70%), so I had to slow a bit in order to offset the dehydration drift.
What a great run! I covered 24.1 miles in just under 2:49. I even pulled off the shoes and ran a K's worth of barefoot strides on USI's carpet-like soccer field at the 2:35 mark. The way my legs responded to the fast pace this late in the run was a pleasant surprise. It seems that all of the experts say we should keep our long run at or below 25% of our weekly mileage. That may be true for big mileage machines, but not for little ole me. Those 24 miles gave me 33 for the week. :)
A 1000-Calorie protein/fruit smoothie followed the run. Then I napped a bit before climbing on the bike for a 2:23 48-mile ride. As usual, the wind tormented me much more at the biking speeds. It was still a fantastic ride. I am very happy to be able to cruise along (HR = 125) on what, for me, is a very long ride. It is worth mentioning that a red-tailed fox ran down the road in front of me for about a quarter of a mile. Watching it nonchalantly stride along at my cycling speed made me envy its efficiency. It was a cool way to end a long day of training.
BS #3 was quite fulfilling. I wish I had an "extra" day each week of the year for BS. Yeah, eight days (in) a week! Oh, well. I am a teacher and summer is almost here. . .