Who is Ted?

I'm the father of two beautiful daughters and an amazing wife. For fun, I enjoy the long hours of seemingly endless suffering that endurance sports (mostly running, cycling and triathlon)provide. During my "down time" I'm an avid beer snob and self-described gourmet chef (in other words I like to burn things on a stove or grill).

Sunday, March 17, 2013

From "2" to "Du"

I'm sore today.  My legs (including my calves), back, arms, and neck all have a dull ache.  But this is a good thing.  A week ago, I posted about my run/ walk at the local track and the fact that I managed to make it a couple of laps without stopping.  As the week progressed, I managed to get 2 swims in again on Monday and Wednesday.  Nothing too crazy, just a couple of solid swims of about 1 mile each.  Since I've been swimming in the last few weeks, I notice that much of my comfort in the water is returning.  Then last Thursday, I had some time, and so I went for a short bike ride of about an hour or so.  Again, no problems on the bike and I could even sense that my aerobic conditioning hasn't completely evaporated in the last few weeks.  It maybe isn't where it used to be, but I didn't feel completely spent after the ride either.
So, on Saturday, I joined our local Tri club out at the university for a "practice" duathlon.  The team wanted to test out some new timing equipment in advance of the Ordinary Mortals Triathlon by staging a workout that included a timed 5k run, a 12 mile ride, followed by another 2 mile run.  My plan was to mix in some walking/ running, and to feel free to quit early when I felt I'd had enough.  This was my first time joining a club workout so I arrived a few minutes early and had the opportunity to meet a few  of the members.  Everyone was very friendly and welcoming and there were about 16 people total involved in the practice.  I unloaded my bike from the Element and put it in the transition area where they were also testing some new racks for the upcoming triathlon.   It was a slightly cooler day, but it felt really good to be outside enjoying the fresh air.  I got a timing chip and placed it on my leg and waited for practice to get started.
16 athletes  toed a pretend start line, and we were off running.  I immediately found myself drop to the back of the group, but that was fine.  This was a workout for me, not a race.  While running still feels a little strange, and I was very attuned to my right calf, just waiting for any sign of trouble.  After about a quarter mile, I settled into a steady pace and even passed a few folks that maybe started to fast.  The route we were running was basically the same course as the run portion of the Ordinary Mortals Triathlon.   It consists of several hills and runs around the CSU-Pueblo Campus.  My original plan was to run for about  5 minutes, followed by a minute of walking.  However, after 5 minutes, I felt absolutely fine.  I decided to run another 5 minutes, and still, no problem.  When I next looked at my watch, I'd run about 13 minutes, which was a good two minutes longer than  when I'd hurt my leg a few weeks back.  Very encouraging.  I decided to keep running and vowed to stop if my leg bothered me at all.  That never happened.  After 30 minutes of running, I found myself back at the transition area, and  ready for the bike.  Since this was a "practice," I took my time getting changed out of my shoes and preparing for the bike portion.  Once I'd started I felt surprisingly good, and decided that I'd open it up a little on the ride.  I kept my cadence high through most of the ride and enjoyed practicing riding in the aero position.  In the end I managed an average of about 18 mph which isn't too shabby for an early season ride.  Returning to the transition after several minutes, I hopped off the bike, and made my way  back out to run.  In my heart I wanted to run a little faster, but my head decided that it was probably best to hold back, considering that I'd already been at it for over an hour. When all was said and done, I finished the two mile loop at about the same pace as I'd done the first three, which was somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 minutes/ mile.  In total, the workout took a little over an hour and a half.   I was extremely satisfied, because I'd managed to complete the whole thing without any sense that my calf muscle was in trouble.  I won't say that it's completely healed, but I have to believe some significant progress has been made towards recovery.

So today I'm definitely sore, but thank goodness it's not from injury.  I'm still going to continue swimming and ensure that I have plenty of rest between run days, but I may try to get a longer run done while we're in Buena Vista next weekend.  This was supposed to be my "reconnaissance" trip to check out the Collegiate Peaks Trail Run course, and my feeling now is that I'll still do it (I won't try to run  the whole thing however).  It does give me hope though that I can get some base mileage up in the next 5 weeks to attempt the 25 mile event.  I will take Saturday as a positive sign that this "could" happen, which is much better than where I was before.

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