After working towards Ironman Florida for a year, it’s over. I couldn’t eat or sleep for several days, and then I couldn’t stop eating or sleeping. My legs never felt sore after the race, so I followed the advice of my training plan and eased back into running five days later. My legs felt a little flat, but otherwise everything was fine. I swam a couple of times, put the bike on the trainer for some indoor rides, and started lifting weights again. Other than being hungry all the time, I felt like I came through the race just fine.
We ran our traditional Turkey Trot 5K and when I lined up I had intended to take it easy. The course is kind of hilly and the race was packed with people, although it was a gorgeous day and perfect for running. The first mile went by at a reasonable pace, around 8:50. As my legs started to warm up, I started passing a lot of people. The next mile was 7:50 and I realized I had a chance of beating my PR. My legs felt great so I continued to move up and finished in 24:20, 59 seconds faster than my PR which was from 2007. I was 2nd in my age group (45-49) out of 100, and 7th out of 299 women aged 40-49. I’ve never finished that high in a race before. Here is the whole family after the race:
My teen-aged son who runs cross country decided to run with me which was really nice. I was breathing hard the whole way and he was just jogging along like a puppy dog. Here we are after, flashing #1 since I PR’ed by so much:
With running a PR and my legs feeling great, I started re-thinking my plans for Rock ‘n Roll Arizona. Months ago, Mike signed up for the full marathon and I signed up for the half figuring I would be pretty trashed from the Ironman. My marathon PR is relatively slow compared to my usual half marathon and 10K times. The thought that I could PR at the R&R Arizona marathon is pretty enticing. I won’t have a chance to run another marathon for at least a year, and I would only need to train for 10 more weeks. I decided to sign up for the full, giving myself the option of running either one.
Of course, as soon as I signed up for the full, things started to fall apart. I’m guessing that, even though I wasn’t sore after the race, over the following few weeks I tightened up as I have a tendency to do. That with the increased mileage that came with marathon training was a recipe for pain. My left hamstring and right glute started to hurt. Not a lot, but this is supposed to be the off season when I’m trying to heal up, Aggravating existing problems or coming up with new ones isn’t on my list of things I want to do. All last season it felt like I was riding with a knife in my backside. Although it was fine on race day, it was not fun to ride a few thousand miles like that. I can’t tolerate going into next season without trying to get it to heal up.
Besides the annoyance of the pain, the injured glute last season prevented me from riding hard all season. I couldn’t do intervals or hill work, and as a result I rode all season 1.5 mph slower than I had the season before. I know I can do better on the bike and still be able to run well, but that is going to depend on riding the bike trainer through the winter. Although Ironman training doesn’t officially start until April, the time to get faster and stronger is February and March.
I’m pumped up to give the marathon a go but I need to balance that with getting healed up to do the biking that’s needed to set me up for an improved triathlon season. What to do? I got some treatment for the glute and hamstring last week and now I’m really sore. I’ve decided to take a week off from biking and running and see if I can get them to settle down quickly. I’ve started hitting the weights pretty hard at the gym so I’ll keep doing that and I’ll swim more consistently. Hopefully I’ll know better after the break if I can stick with the marathon or if I should just run the half. I really don’t want to do the marathon unless I think I have a reasonable chance of running a PR. It’s not worth it to me to risk an injury and also take the recovery time after to just run for fun. Running the half with a good finishing time and being ready to train hard on the bike would mean more to me. Either way, I’m excited to go to Arizona and then see what I can do during the following months on the bike.