aka “The Comeback Trail is Full of Lactic Acid”
It’s seems like an eternity since I took that picture of myself in the hospital last May, but I can honestly tell you that not a day goes by without thinking about what happened. It’s not a fear thing, just an awareness thing…making me ever so much more grateful for all the people and things that I have in my tiny life (thanks everyone!!!).
As I have started training for the 2011 season, I have been thinking back to my pre-May 2010 fitness as a benchmark. I was in pretty solid shape, having come off of a sub-3 marathon and I was riding well. For a long time those numbers seemed like a dream to me as I simply haven’t had the fitness to even come close.
Then a few weekends ago at a local TT I put up the equivalent of a 342 watt effort, pushing my Functional Threshold Power on the bike to a lifetime high. And then this past weekend was my first repeat race, a return to the Hyannis Half Marath0n which I ran in 1:23:03 last year on a beautiful day. I have been doing some longer runs for Boston on top my OutSeason plan, and after an 18:21 5k a few weeks ago, I felt fit…but the race would tell the real story.
Anyway, enough of the sappy stuff…on to the Race!!
I was pumped for this race as it is really the first time I’d be able to compare my fitness pre/post accident. Everything else I have done has been a “first time” event leaving me feeling good about my fitness but not so sure about where I stood historically speaking. I was hoping to run 6:20s, with a dream of beating my 1:23:03 time from last year on my mind for sure.
Am on the Boston Marathon hack, so have been suffering through some longer miles and just trying to hang on during the bike workouts. We awoke to low 30s, with light wind and a wintery mix of snow and rain. Would have been perfect if not for the moisture, but as Mike Graffeo noted: everyone has to run it. We did a nice warm up together and then it was to the starting line.
As the gun went off, I took off and fell in with a good group. The first few miles were easy (save for the snow/rain) and I chose to ignore the fact that I was putting in 6:15 miles…it just felt so good (more on that later). Seeing the outlaws and our two angels cheering with pom-pons on the side of the road was awesome. It was about this time that my Boston Buddy, Dave, caught me and we proceeded to put in some good miles. We came though six miles at 6:22 pace, which told me that I was already slowing down.
The remainder of the race was uneventful, as the weather got better and Dave and I continued to push each other. He eased off at the 10 mile mark to save his calf, I pushed on but quickly found I had no gears left. I had managed to run myself into a corner over the previous 10+ miles and was resigned to just hanging on.
I tried to pick up the pace a few times, but there was no juice in my legs. I crossed the line in 1:24:07, just about a minute behind my 2010 time. I am insanely happy with the outcome, but know that had I executed properly over the first 3 miles that I probably would have bettered my 2010 performance. I am grateful for this reminder now (vice at mile 18 in Placid!).
Again, thanks to everyone for your love and support. I enter March 2011 actually fitter than I was in 2010…a mind-blowing situation considering just how low I had fallen. Can’t wait to see you at the races!