Mark your calendars folks - we are only 19 weeks out of from this year's New York City Marathon, meaning there's only one more "base building" week before the official training window begins. Eek! Time flies by, and I'm not sure that this is a good thing.
Luckily, I started the weekend off right with my first long run with my marathon training group. The group is put on by the folks at the Hartford Marathon Foundation, so the official focus of the group is the Hartford Marathon. But since their race is in mid October and mine the first week of November, it's close enough that I can tag along.
The group meets a few towns over from me in Wilton at 6:30 am (so early!) Our coaches, Keri and Danielle, had emailed us our routes earlier in the week, and I was a little apprehensive since directions are not one of my strengths...but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they had marked the route for us beforehand. I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of pace either - I was a little nervous that everyone in the group would be super speedy, and I would be left behind in the dust. But luckily, I found someone to pace with in the latter half of the run, and it ended up being just fine.
The route was a 9 miler (I ended up tacking on an extra 3 to make it 12) - and when Keri had said it was mostly uphill the first half, she was not kidding - I'm talking almost 4.5 miles on a steady uphill, with a few hills that make those Harlem Hills in CP look like ant piles! I'm definitely a little nervous to be doing all my long runs in such a hilly area...but hey, whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger, right?
Later that afternoon I planted myself in a lounge chair by my apartment's pool..and did not not get up for hours. I had every good intention of getting up to swim some laps...but clearly, that didn't happen.
The next morning it was my bike's club new member ride/picnic. I've been doing some D+/D rides and have been wanting to try out a C pace...so I figured the new member ride would be a good opportunity to try the faster pace. I recruited my friend Alice to join me as well - and although we had some minor hiccups getting there (there was a big tri going on that had some roads blocked off...and you would think that we, of all people, would of known..but no), we made it to the ride in one piece.
The ride was a bit of a challenge for me - 30 miles (my second longest distance) at my fastest pace. My legs were definitely feeling my long run, especially on the hills. Toward the last 10 or so miles, I must of been showing my exhaustion because the ride leader asked if I was doing ok. My reply? "Never underestimate the mental toughness of a marathoner." I guess that gave myself my own kick-in-the-behind, because I ended up passing quite a few people on those last miles, and finished strong.
After the ride we were rewarded with a huge beachside bbq. Burgers, pasta salad, potato salad, cornbread, chocolate chip cookies...so bad, but oh so good!
I also came up with a tentative survival plan for the New York City Triathlon that I'm (supposedly) going to be doing next June. I figure if I can ride once a week this summer while focusing on marathon training, it will be enough that I will be more than comfortable on the bike I think. This winter I can dial back a bit on the running and focus on working on my swim, get a few lessons, etc. And then come next spring, hopefully I can put all three sports together, and get this thing done..and have exactly one week to recover before having to jump back into marathon training for the 2012 marathon. Sleep? who needs that anyways...totally over-rated!
Anyone else have any fun workout stories to report back from this weekend? Anyone else getting nervous/excited to start to train for their fall events?