Yesterday I completed my last "Death Brick". This one could have been the easiest because I had completed the distance plenty of times before, but the fact that it brought me to 300 bike miles in 6 days made me see stars (and spiders) by the end. I had been looking forward to this workout as a celebration and I had originally planned to do it with the company of 2 CREWmates, PJ and Phil next Saturday. Alas, travel plans change and John and I ended up staying on Block Island through next weekend. I was sad to have to cancel plans with my friends (and especially my sister) so John offered to cheer me up by doing my last ride with me at my pace. The best day for this was Wednesday. Less than a week after my 120 mile ride. The way to prep for the ride was with one word... "DigDeep".
My plan called for a 100 mile ride then an hour run. John planned to add mileage for himself and ended up riding 132 miles (can you say psycho?). There were blustery winds and rolling hills here and there, but not too tough of a ride. Our pace was fun and relaxed and at one point we were joined by our friend Brooke (badass 14 year old Ortel athlete) and we barely noticed the 20 miles we rode with her. Brooke is the coolest and she's my bff on BI. It wasn't until about mile 70 that I started to feel the physical exhaustion seep into my brain. I started to feel that slow decline of cognitive processing and I felt worse than I had on any training ride thus far. To me, this was a goal. If I trained until I couldn't keep going I would know I did all I could. It was awesome because I was feeling a cumulative effect of 2.5 heavy weeks. I was tired and proud.
John noticed me starting to fade mentally and he immediately turned into the Coach/Comedian version of himself. He decided that would be a perfect moment to study for my final exam for my SLB and CREW Coach Certification. He threw me a bunch of multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank questions and I got them all right! It was hysterical. Keep an eye on his blog (www.johnhirsch.org) for a summary of the study session.
Before I knew it I had finished my 100 miles. I LOVE brick runs and normally can't wait to get started. Yesterday was the first time I wasn't sure I could do it. I asked John if an 11 min/mile pace was acceptable for me for that run and he said, no. He said I didn't have to run the full hour but I had to run 15 mins away and then decide whether to turn around or keep going. That seemed reasonable. So I headed out, ready to stumble along. But I wasn't stumbling! I felt amazing and light. I barely noticed the rolling hills and I was loving what I was feeling. First, I thought I had officially gone crazy. Then, I looked down at my watch and saw that I was running the first 3 miles at a sub 7:30 pace. I thought my watch had to be broken. But I pulled back, just in case. I ended the hour run with 7.95 miles. Then I checked on the distance. My watch measured it correctly. I'm a fricking animal.
I feel more than ready for IMLP. Tick, tock, tick, tock...
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