Monday, March 8, 2010

Marathon Recovery Week

The week following the marathon has been easy. I played racquetball and swam and did a P90X video one day. I did not do anything grand. I have been careful to try and recover before putting in any big training. Last year, one week after I did 70.3 New Orleans I did a century ride. Although everything seemed fine at the time it set me back. So this time I tried to stay off of the legs. The racquetball was probably pushing it but it seemed okay.

The weekend was a different story. I met up with a couple of guys early Saturday morning for some running. I met Keith and Phillip at the gateway of the Long Leaf Trace. Keith had already done 4 miles around campus. We did another slightly hilly loop and then headed out on the trace. We ran at a conversational pace and the miles flew by – I ended up with 14 miles. To be honest, my legs were a little tired towards the end.

A few hours later I met up with Lance and JD at Jackson Station for a ride. This ride was not too difficult but I was on the back of the pack. I would really like to get some of my bike fitness back. I just don’t have my ride right now.

Sunday was an easy run down to Jackson Station with Jodie to do some pull ups and stuff. I ran into Sheryl and Don and chewed the fat a while. We talked about Sheryl’s new time trial bike that she has been building for a year. Don was also selling a single speed Fetish Attack. I was tempted but I need a new “road bike” like I need a hole in the head.

I knew that there would be a fast group ride at 3:30 and I also knew that the regular Sunday group ride would be leaving at 1:30. Silly me, I decided to do both.

I put on my Ironman Louisville bike jersey. I got it on clearance in the fall. I normally do not buy anything with logos or pictures. All of my prior jerseys are just plan solid colors – no graphics or funny sayings or anything like that. In fact, I don’t like to wear anything that has large or blatant logos. I do not want a little horse emblem on my breast or someone else’s name written across my chest. But, this jersey was a little bit different. I bought it for me. It was to remind me of the race that I did in Louisville. I bought it to bring back those memories.

So I wore my Ironman Louisville jersey today for the first time. I was running late heading to the gateway to meet the group ride. I saw the group coming towards me so I made a quick u-turn. I jumped on the front of the pack and tucked in behind Steve (the postman). He congratulated me on the marathon and we talked about racing. It was a comfortable pace and the weather was fantastic. This was the first time that I did not need at least arm warmers (most times I need a whole lot more).

I rode with the Sunday group for 15 miles to Sumrall. It was fun and I was having a good time. I took a couple of good pulls and I was feeling strong. My effort was high for the speeds that we were going but it was acceptable – I was not going to blow up or anything. I turned and headed back towards Jackson Station to meet up with the faster group ride. I had a couple of extra minutes and swung by the house to trade bikes. I knew that most of the guys would be on their time trial bike so I wanted to grab mine. I got to Jackson Station right at 3:30. We left immediately.

The warm up pace was high but sustainable. After a couple of miles we left the Trace. We were going to do a rolling hilly loop around a lake. After we left the Trace the paced picked up some. I was off of the back but I was able to keep up. Jersey or not, I did not feel like an Ironman today.

Once we hit the loop I was doomed. I got dropped early, often, and hard. With my legs having 30 miles in them before meeting up with the group did not help matters. Everyone was riding well and fast – I have not been dropped like that in years. This is exactly what I needed. I know that to ride faster I need to ride with faster people. I am ready to get my bike legs back under me. I knew that a build up marathon would hurt the cycling. I just hope that I can build them back quickly. I have signed up for 70.3 New Orleans – 7 weeks away.