I mentioned in the last post that this was going to be a big week of training. And today was definitely a big day: 6-1/2 hours of biking followed by a 35 minute run. But let's back up...
With a bike ride of that length there's a lot of logistics that goes into it. I leave from home in the beginning of the ride, but don't return until the end of the ride. That way I'm not likely to stop in the middle of the workout. Instead I usually make my parents' house my base to work out of. This allows me to have a real bathroom, water to refill my bottles, ibuprofen when needed, etc. Yesterday I decided to take over supplies so I wouldn't have to carry as much. When I got to their house last evening I couldn't get the garage door code to work. The numbers weren't even lighting up. We had a power outage earlier in the day so I thought maybe they didn't have any electricity. But we were able to look inside and see that the power was indeed on. So Dave tried the keypad again and this time the numbers lit up but the code was still not working. I remembered my mom had said something about the keypad getting a new battery the week before, so I called them to ask them what was up with it (my parents are on vacation). Of course, they couldn't help me and doing a quick search on the iPhone it looked like the code needed reset but it couldn't be done without an additional code that was provided in the manual that was located somewhere inside the house. In addition, my key only works in the door inside the garage so I was out of luck using my parents' house as my base for this long ride. My sister lives 20ish miles away from us and I could use her house except all the roads around her have been recently chip-sealed so I didn't really want to risk a flat tire riding out to her house. Also, I knew my bladder wouldn't be able to make that trip early in the ride. Instead I decided I would need to carry all my junk and use the school for my bathroom (port-a-john, YUCK!) and to refill my water bottles in the drinking fountain.
I have to admit, I really wasn't looking forward to this workout. It's not that I've checked out of training, I'm just a little tired of training. Yes the race is close, but it's still far enough away that there's still plenty of training to go. I knew the day would be long and hot and I was just going to have to settle in and just go with it. And I did. I got into a zone, focused on nutrition and pace and just cleared my head of the bad stuff. But the day got hot quickly and the wind started picking up and my mood quickly soured. It was going to be a long struggle. The ride didn't go badly, it just wasn't a happy experience. I rode the same roads again and again to try to keep the wind at my side. Throughout the day I noticed my pace slipping and my heart rate going up, which I knew meant that I was dehydrated but I also was drinking tons. By the end of the ride I had drank (drunk?) 7 bottles of sports drink and somewhere between 3-4 bottles of water. And I covered just over 105-1/2 miles. Not as fast as I would have liked, but the pace has been consistent through all my training.
When I returned home to start my run I was feeling really shaky. I even had trouble tying my shoes. I got started, though, settled in and things were going well. Pace was good and I was feeling better than I thought I would. Sixteen minutes into the run, I started to feel overheated. Very overheated. I stopped my watch, found some shade and took a short break. I poured some of my water on my back, on my face, and over my head. And then it hit me. I started feeling really bad, really fast. I walked over to the side of the road that didn't have any houses and started throwing up. Lots and lots of gatorade vomit along with some snot and many tears. A few minutes later I was done and decided it was time to walk home. I was feeling better, though, and thought, "Meredith, you're tougher than this. Finish the workout." So I started running again. At the two mile mark I took my nutrition and kept on going. Gosh darn it, I finished that run! It wasn't as fast as I would have liked, but I think I earned some "tough" points.
It was a long day out there. I battled my demons and won. It wasn't my best workout and I certainly hope race day goes better. After my breakdown in Louisville last year, this workout was a huge victory, vomit and all.