I can only say this to those who commented last night and were like "go for the beer!":
AND YOU CALL YOURSELVES TRIATHLETES?!?
Sheeeeeeesh. I thought you people were HARD CORE. This is the off season: in other words, time to get ahead while everybody else is slacking and drinking beer, right?????
Anyway, I liked the beer idea myself but I had to go to the club meeting AND I didn't think it was very smart to go drink beer and then get in my car and have to drive 60 miles north. Especially because I get sleepy driving in the dark.
And Rachel, if I knew I'd be bumping into Andy P. at the pool...well then, I just very well MAY have gone swimming (oh what the heck, I'm not biased...if I had the slightest inkling I'd bump into ANY studly pro triathlete/pro cyclist/pro HOTTIE at the pool...well let's just say there'd be no contest as to where I'd have gone).
BUT in the end, I picked the trail run. It was such a nice warm evening and I knew I'd be running back to the parking lot at sunset. It promised to be a great workout.
And even though I didn't get my butt kicked in the pool, I certainly got it kicked on the trail! PHEEEEWWWW!!! Those Empire Runners are FAST! And maybe if I keep running with them, I'll get fast(er), too!
The plan was to run out on the trail 3.5 miles 'moderate' and then run back hard. Given that as I tried to keep up with everybody on the way out my HR was at like, 170, I decided to dial it back a little so I could go hard on the way back. When we regrouped at the turnaround, I was saying (in between breaths) "wow, if that's your 'easy' pace...I (gasp) hate (gasp) to see what your (gasp) FAST pace is (gasp)!"
So off we went. I ended up running back by myself since all the other rabbits in the group were tearing it up. I made a slight wrong turn which added a tiny bit of distance but since I still made it back in less time than on the way out, I was satisfied that I'd gone back faster. After Tuesday's track workout which nearly killed me, my legs were SCREAMING.
I thought of Devon and all her miles she runs and her fantastic marathon race report from last week. I thought of JP and Beth in their marathon training. I thought of JT and his ultra training and the peace he finds in his runs. I wondered how these people lay down such fast times and never seem to complain the way I do.
And I thought about how inspiring ALL of you runner people are. And as I did that...the pain began to dull. I dug a little deeper. I went a little harder.
It wasn't so bad. My heartrate was skyrocketing. I only had like 5 minutes to go. I found two guys on the trail up ahead to catch and pass. I passed them and thought they were long gone, then I could hear a set of footsteps getting louder. I looked only to the side to gaze out at Lake Ralphine to my right, the red sky above it, illuminating the calm and glassy water through the trees, and I was able to see that one of the guys was trying to catch me.
Oh, NO you don't!
I picked it up. It HURT. I didn't care, this was about finishing strong, nevermind the pain.
I pushed a little harder and before I knew it, I hit the main path and was seconds from the parking lot. There was the group, waiting, a few people gave me some "well done!" encouragement. And I beat that guy. :)
I went home, showered and rode my bike over to the club meeting (felt good to spin out my legs a bit) and got there just in time to order some pizza and beer.
It was a nice evening!