As I sit at the edge of the ocean with my last date with Cuban coffee, I found myself getting a bit teary eyed. Not because I only ran 9 miles of the Half Marathon today, but for what I was leaving, for what I left behind nearly a decade ago. I spent a lot of time thinking about my life I once had here on the beach; the freedom, leisurely laid back, not a care in the world feeling you had every day. It was a more simple time in my life, and for a moment as I sat on the edge of the world I know today, I was missing the world I knew then.
Friday started with terrible winds and very dark clouds. I made an executive decision to hold off on the long ride and do a shorter training day. So I swam 1 mile, did a 6 mile run and a 30 mile later in the day ride. Perfect.
Saturday morning started with a wonderful breakfast with a friend on Ocean Drive followed by my 100 mile bike ride. I dreaded the thought of doing it by myself, but 30 miles into it – I was saved! There at a stop light I found my single serving friend Sergio. And for the next 70 miles he pushed me through my ride at an unrelenting pace average of 20.3 mph. At the halfway mark we made a little rode-side stop for a café con leche (that’s right – coffee stop). I gladly made the stop knowing if I didn’t I might loose my riding buddy. My lungs felt great, my legs felt strong – this ride validated all the training I have been doing throughout the winter. I will have to say that my ankles are achy now from the 21,000 pedal strokes – but that is normal given it was my first long ride outdoors for the season. I got to test out my new Guru bike fit and my new saddle, which I was told would have to be broken in and didn’t become aware of it until about mile 85. It was a perfect ride and met all my expectations. I felt so good I actually ran a couple miles after the ride, making Saturday a very successful brick workout.
After the success of my Saturday 100 mile ride, I could have gone home that night feeling great about a successful training week in Florida. However, I still needed to get in a long run, which was to be done by running the Miami Half Marathon. How I got selected to start section ‘F’, I do not know; but my first mile was stuggle battling it out with 10 minute/mile pace group as I tried to maneuver myself through a moving wall of slowly moving bodies. With the first water stop causing hundreds of runners to come to a halt at the trough, I was able to slip by the wall and move into my own pace. Dropping down to a 7:48 pace, I was getting into my rhythm and feeling very comfortable. For some reason I only slept 4.5 hours that night and started feeling the fatigue of no sleep by mile 6. Then the fatigue in my nagging hamstring started to settle in too around mile 7. I pushed to mile 8. This is where I decided that holding my strong pace, getting to mile 9 and calling it a day would be the smartest decision to making this training week a perfect success. And that is what I did. At mile nine, I hit the stop button on my watch, turned around and started a very easy 2 mile jog back to my hotel.
Disappointed – I am not. How could I possibly be? The purpose of my training trip has been achieved.
Wednesday: Ran 5 miles
Thursday: Swam 2 miles, Ran 8 miles and Walked 6.5
Friday: Swam 1 mile, Ran 6 miles and Biked 30 miles
Saturday: Biked 100 miles, Ran 2 miles
Sunday: Ran 11 miles
Total: Swim – 3 miles, Bike – 130, Run – 30.5
In my eyes the week of training was simply PERFECT
1. Our colada stop on the 100 miler ride
2. Toll Bridges were a problem – got stopped at every single one of them!
3. At packet pick-up for the race
4. Race Ready! Sporting my bun hugger’s and very bright Chicago Flag-njoy racing singlet
5. 6:15 a.m. – race start
6. Running down Ocean Drive in Miami Beach