Today was long run day — 10 miles this week. Off Bryan and I went to the jungle trail, sunny today and temperatures were warming up. I started my run slowly, as usual. And when I say slow I mean slow — like an 11 minute mile. Next mile was a 10:35, and as always I was thinking about my own training and my coaching. I thought about swimming with the tempo trainer and how we are all learning to swim with gears. How about running with gears? I decided that I would take my 10 mile run and try to steadily descend throughout. I was thinking 10 seconds per mile, but that was a bigger jump than I planned in the beginning. Going from 11 to 10:35 would come back to bite me at the end. But, I continued to think about the comparison to learning gears in swimming and learning gears in running, and how much that would pay off in running, and especially in longer distance triathlon.
So, continuing along I went from 11 to 10:30 to 10:20 to 10:10 to 10 to 9:50 and now it started getting tough! I was barely able to hit 9:44, 9:37, 9:41 for miles 7, 8 and 9. I was determined to make the last mile faster — and pushed through for a 9:32 mile, but I didn’t feel as good as I wanted to. What did I learn? If I make a plan stick to it, and it reminded me of what I always say to my athletes — if you are running long the early miles should feel easy. All it all it was a good run though, and I’m going to continue to work on gears in all my training.
It would have been very easy to just sit and lounge for the rest of the day. I had committed to doing a practice that Terry Laughlin, the founder or Total Immersion, had emailed out to all of the TI coaches. And I can’t let my virtual swim team down, so off I went to the North County Aquatics Center. I am getting used to the spectacular facilities to swim that are available. I paid a whole $16 for access for a month to this beautiful pool! So far, I’ve only had to share a lane once and that for only 5 minutes.
Monday’s swim practice turned out to be a breakthrough. I felt as though my stroke count, time and overall feel in the water was coming back. I did cut the original practice a bit shorter though, I started getting cramps in my calves (from the long run I’m sure). There is so much to focus on while swimming, and it is rewarding to see the instant feedback by way of improved stroke count and pace.
I never get tired of watching the sunset, no matter where I am. Tonight there was a beautiful sky to close out the day. I am forever grateful and truly blessed.