Anyone else who lives in the NE can understand the horrible weather for training that we had this weekend. It has been raining nonstop since Friday evening. There are puddles, dead worms, and squished snails EVERYWHERE. Rain is forecasted to continue like this through Thursday.
I had a large weekend on tap: 5.5 hour ride/30 min run on Saturday and 3 hour run/1 hr recovery ride/30 min recovery swim on Sunday. One of my regular riding partners was on a rest week and the other is tapering for Triple T this coming weekend, so I was on my own for the majority of the weekend.
Becuase it is mid-May and because my first triathlon is in 3 weeks and my first Ironman is in 6 weeks, I was training outside come hell or high water. People (non-triathlon people.. yeah.. those freaks) keep saying "oh I guess you didn't get outside on your bike this weekend, did you?" Hell-to-the-YEAH I did!! Rain.. does not stop me!
I had some company for the first part of my long ride on Saturday from my German friend, Matthias. True to form, it was raining when we headed out (as it was last time). At least it was in the 60s on Saturday so I was just wet and dirty and NOT cold as well. He rode with me for 90 mins or so and then he headed back and I forged on alone. My main goal for this ride was to work on capping my HR at 155 (per Mary - more on this in a later post) even when climbing hills. I chose a route with a lot of big rollers (the dreaded 5/20) to try to simulate what I think I am going to see in Coeur D'Alene. (Because I have never been to Idaho, I am just doing guesswork based on what I have read on slowtwitch). The HR cap worked fine when I could spin up the hills, but failed miserably when I hit hills that maxed out my gearing and I was stuck wobbling up the hill in my smallest gear. I ride a 12-27 cassette so I guess my only option here is to just suck it up and get stronger.
My main issues with riding in the rain is just being soaking wet for so long. It's gross and it promotes chafing in unpleasant areas. Also, I dislike drinking out of water bottles when they are covered with grit because god knows how much cow crap I ran over (5/20 goes through cow country) and then subsequently got in my mouth because it was on the water bottle. GROSS. Everything that went on the ride with me was disgusting by the end, and I cleaned my bike off using a water bottle and water from a spicket in the park where I left my car. Apparently Matthias put his bike in the shower to clean it off!
After riding on Saturday, I had to turn around and run for 3 hours in the rain on Sunday. It was colder on Sunday!! I wore shorts, a base layer, a tech t-shirt, gloves, and a running (baseball) hat and was ok but not great temperature wise. Thank god for base layers was my mantra over the weekend! I was worried about this 3 hour run because when I did it a month or so ago, I had running partners, my legs were fresh, and the weather was ideal. This time around I was going solo, in a windy rainstorm, on tired-ass legs. However.. I managed to run the same exact course FOUR MINUTES FASTER than last time! I am PSYCHED about this! I ran 19.4 miles in 3 hours, which I believe translates to a 9:17 pace!
This is my testament to Mary. It's all about patience. In my year and a half with Mary, I have PRed at the half-IM distance, PRed at the half marathon distance, had the race of my life at the mini-Mussel sprint triathlon, have successfully completed a full Ironman, and I am now confidently running (and pacing myself) for 19 miles with no issues and no dying at the end of runs. Could I have done that without her? Doubtful.
So here is a giant middle finger to this weather. You can't stop me stupid rain! I will ride though you and run through you!