Monday, February 3, 2014

Don't Ask Me...

Over the last few days I've made a few teeny weenie mistakes, all of which were harmless and only result in some good entertainment.  I've never claimed to be an expert of any kind, so if you ever think of coming to me for advice... don't say I didn't warn you.

Don't ask me how long it takes to ride a bike for 8 minutes.  Okay let me back up a bit.  Last month I joined a triathlon club, MRA Multisport.  I know I have a lot to learn and these club members are more than eager to share their expertise.  Trainer Road seems to be the drug of choice... It's a software program for cycling that gathers all of your vital stats to create a personalized workout.  I'm not really a gadget/data junkie, and wasn't planning to participate in this, but supposedly this is the single best way to improve cycling so I figured I'd give it a shot.  Plus, Kristen signed up for it, so that was the kick I needed.  She posted on Facebook about how she completed the 8 minute test, and how difficult and yet awesome it was, and how quickly the time went by.  I mean... I don't want to say anything, but really Kristen, 8 minutes is a very short period of time.  Of course it flew by.
On Saturday I had done my long run (more on that later), so Sunday was going to be an easy day.  I did a yoga workout on my BOSU to get in a lot of stretching, and then decided to finally go for it and sign up for Trainer Road.  Since I have triathlon training starting soon (more on that in a future post) I knew that this program would be ideal to help me conquer those long rides.  And even though this was my rest day, I figured what the heck... it's only 8 minutes.  So, how hard could it be?
Well, I'll tell you.  The 8 minute test is actually an hour long.  I should have investigated this more thoroughly before I started.  I should have noticed something was up when it said to start off lightly spinning for 5 minutes.  As it turns out, it was a series of short sprints, followed by periods of recovery, followed by a series of 8 minute intervals where you are supposed to pedal just about at your maximum effort.  All the while the program is capturing all of your statistics to make it an interactive experience.
It was the hardest "eight minutes" of my life.  The amount of sweat rolling off me was dangerous.  There was sweat on my bike.  On the floor.  On the couch.  On my phone.  On the laptop.  On the cat.  On the TV.
After I finished the workout, I realized I made a fatal error and forgot to set the power meter, which was a critical piece of information it needed to give a complete performance assessment.  So guess what, now I get to take the test again!

Don't ask me how to get to Boston from Hopkinton.  On Sunday, Ronnie was running the marathon route to get in one of his long runs.  He had expected to meet up with other runners on the course but ended up being alone, so he asked me how to get to Boston College from there.  Here's how it went:
Ronnie: Do I just stay on 135 all the way to BC?
Jill: Well no, you stay straight on that road all the way to Newton, pass Newton Wellesley Hospital, go over 95, then when you see a fire house on the right, take that right, and go up Heartbreak Hill which is really only a slight uphill and probably won't really even look like a hill.

Fast Forward 2 hours, Ronnie calls me from the side of the road, lost in Wellesley, who insists he's still on 135 but doesn't think this is the right way.  I pulled up a map and realized he stayed on 135, which took a right, instead of staying straight and merging onto route 16.  Luckily I navigated him back on course, so when he then got lost on Heartbreak Hill, he has only himself to blame.

Don't as me what the current weather conditions are, at this very moment.  Because that would require me to look out a window, and if I had looked out a window before I dressed for my lunch time run, I may have seen the awful road conditions and thought better about heading out.  But once I was outside, in my running clothes, there was no way I was going back in.  Today's 4 mile lunch run was probably the worst road conditions I've ever run in, and I felt like an idiot for being out there.  I'm pretty sure everyone else was calling me an idiot and worse.  At one point a police officer drove by me, and I expected to be pulled over and ticketed for being an idiot.  Cars were sliding and skidding everywhere, and I had zero traction because the roads hadn't been treated yet.  The only cool thing about it was seeing all my foot prints on the way back, and having the nice soft snow to run in was a cool bonus cushion.

Week 7 recap
Staying right on track...
Total miles ran: 19.25 (long run 10.25)
Total miles biked: 27.25
Total yards swam: 1,900 yards
2 Bosu ball workouts

The highlight of this past week was definitely my long 10.25 mile run, which is my longest distance since training began.  It seemed so easy compared to last week's 8 miler!  The coolest thing was when I was running down a side road in Upton, and I passed a lady walking a dog.  As I passed her, she asked me if I was training for the marathon.  "Yes, I AM!" I responded.  She wished me good luck.  That added a little pep in my step!

This week is shaping up to be a bit more of a challenge, trying to squeeze in my runs in between snow storms.  As long as I don't have to do a 12 mile run on the treadmill, I think I'll be okay!

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