The calm before the storm

Today is a REST DAY!!!!!  I am so, so very grateful for it.

This past weekend was my last big weekend of training.  I had a 5 hour IM pace ride on Saturday followed by an 18 mile fast run on Sunday.  I’ve been obsessing about my training schedule for the last 3 weeks with my eye on Sunday.  I just needed to get through Sunday, AND I DID!!!  I am so happy the volume is OVER. 

Both workouts this weekend went well, too.  I needed that mentally.  I’ve still been freaking out about bailing on last weekends long ride.  I didn’t feel invincible on Saturday, but I got through it.  I was having some hip and back pain, but I was also riding on my old, original bike with a road bike setup.  Lil’ Roo, my tri bike, is already on her way to the Big Island.  The change in bike and position alone could account for the discomfort.

I feel now is a good time to clarify some of my common cast of characters to alleviate any confusion:

Old Blue: is my original bike that I got when I first started into tris

Lil’ Roo: is my tri bike that I ride regularly now

Roo or Roo Roo: is my dog.  Yes, I named my dog after my bike.

 Anyhoo,  I’ve been having some pretty severe hip pain lately that I am almost entirely sure is muscular in origin.  It’s at the very top of my iliac crest and responds very quickly and positively to stretching.  I first started getting it early this year while training for the National Marathon.  I think it might have been a parting gift from last years Stone Mill 50.  At any rate, I got a massage from Sabine Hutto on Friday that helped a lot, then I tortured myself all weekend and it came back.  I’ve done yoga for the last two days now, though, and it’s simmered down a lot.  Yoga and stretching are key for me in the next week and a half.  Especially since sitting a lot (while traveling) seems to inflame it as well.  If you’re interested, the Spinervals folks have a yoga video that has a flexibility sequence that is amazing for opening up the hips.  If the hips are your issue, this is a fabulous video (http://www.spinervals.com/products/item68.cfm).  Another resource that I use is www.yogajournal.com.  They’ve got great free video sequences that they always update.  Of course, maybe in the off-season I can just go see my favorite Yogi, Emily Clark, at Down Dog Yoga in Herndon.  I’ve never been there, but seriously, it’s Emily and Yoga.  It’s got to be amazing.

A strange thing happened after Sunday’s run.  When I woke up Monday I was about 2.5 lbs heavier than I usually am and my legs were visibly larger.  Today when I woke up, my legs look normal again and the weight is back to normal.  Strange.  I usually get that after an Ironman, but not after training sessions.  It was a toughie workout, though, so I guess that could explain it.  I talked to my coach about it and I think my problem might be too many electrolytes.  I need to be more mindful of adjusting my electrolyte content down if I’m running in cooler conditions.  Not that that is going to matter for next week. 

So, this time next week we will be on a plane heading to Hawaii!!  I seriously can’t believe it.  I don’t think I’m prepared at all for how overwhelming it’s going to be mentally.  I don’t really mean the race part, but actually just having sensory overload from everything to do and see.  It’s going to be difficult to balance it with the need to stay off my feet and prepare for race day.  I’ve tried to explain it to non-triathlon people like this.  Imagine your favorite sport is football and you got the opportunity to go to the Super Bowl.  All week long leading up to it you were surrounded by professionals.  You were rubbing shoulders with Tom Brady and Ray Lewis (don’t ask me why those are the two I came up with).  You even got to be on the same field as them throwing the ball around.  I expect that all to be an amazing experience, but on the flip side, you’ve also got to prepare to do an Ironman.  What a strange balance.

Speaking of pros, did you hear that Chrissie Wellington crashed her bike!!!  The good news is that it seems to be all superficial.  The bad news is that it looks like it hurts like hell.  I’m hopeful that she can bounce right back from this because she is one of the biggest reasons I am so excited.  What she has done for women in triathlon has been unbelievable.

road rash aside, have you ever seen a more perfect leg? Geesh.
 

I guess that concludes this stream of consciousness blog.

oh, wait, did I tell you that I’m heavily contemplating a tattoo after this thing?  something like this.

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