Well, the last two weeks have been freezing and warm. After my Polar Swim in the last post, Houston was hit with an ice storm that shut the city down for a day. It was a great time to stay in my pj's and watch movies. The weekend thawed out but the temps were still chilly for the training weekend on the IMTX course with Coach Carrie, Shawn, and Greyhound. By the time we got 7 miles into our run on Sunday, we were ditching extra clothes in the car.
So things warmed up in the 50's and the sun was shining. It was almost spring-like. And then we had another cold snap. The weather man was hoping there would be only cold temps and not ice this time around. The swim club sent out a message that Wednesday night and Thursday morning practices were cancelled. Bummer! No Polar Swim II. I had to go out for a cold run instead.
Last weekend it was time for another tasty serving of IMTX bike course. Greyhound and I waited until the sun came up enough (and hopefully the temps to warm up) and we hit the road. The first 20 miles were PAINFUL because it was so cold. I had two pairs of gloves on and my fingers were so cold that they hurt. I had 5 layers on top and two layers on the the bottom and I was not sweating. On a few down hills I was shivering from the icy wind blasting my face. I ended up pedaling along with only the use of my right eye for about 10 miles. My left eye was burning from the wind and started to water up. I shut my eye to ease the burning sensation, but when I tried to open my eye back up, the eyelashes were frozen together! WTF!!! I had tears streaming down the other cheek and burning with the cold wind. UGH! And because you don't sweat in conditions like that, it means that your kidneys go into overdrive. By the time we got to the first pit stop at mile 25, my bladder was so huge and painful that I could not stay down in my aerobars. The bathroom scene from the first Austin Powers comes to mind when I hit the gas station.
Here is the funny part, when we finished the 77.6 mile ride we stripped off all the layers for a transition run and it had warmed up enough where I ran comfortably in a pair of shorts and a racer back Nike top. It had warmed up to about 60. That was a temperature change of about 34 degrees! The temperatures did a funny warm up the next morning when we did our run. We started out all bundled up in gloves, skull caps, jackets, and run tights. At the end of the 9.5 miles we were half dressed.
This week, spring has returned to Texas. It has been in the 60's at night and in the 70's during the days with all the moist warm air being blown in from the Gulf. I LOVE IT!!! I have had the windows open during the day and have kept one or two open at night.
So that brings me to this weekend. I have to be Swim Team Mom tonight and in the morning for Bud as he swims the Spring Championship Meet. His times have been fantastic and he is swimming in Lane 1 since the last meet. As soon as I see him do a few events tomorrow, I hit the road to head to Austin for the Livestrong Marathon and Half Marathon. I am on tap to run the Half. My coach is not part of the school that one has to run a full marathon before an IM race. Whew! However, I have to run this half marathon for time. This should be a challenge. Austin is kinda hilly. I will channel all of my Seattle Marathon memories to calm my nerves about this. If I did a full Marathon in Seattle and ran a PR, I think I can run a half in Austin and do ok.
So here are my race goals:
- First mile is EASY. (Cuz, it's hilly!)
- Mile 3-6 is STEADY. (Cuz it's all up-hill!)
- Let loose on miles 6-9 on the downhill.
- Mile 9-11.5 is STEADY. (Up-hill again!)
- Don't go ape crazy in the last mile and a half. Hills again.
- My Half PR is a 1:55 so far. We shall see what happens.
I have to get to the side of the road, turn up the tunes, and become myopic as I shut myself up in my Personal Pain Cave and just go. The hardest part will be to ignore the thousands of other runners all around me and to not get caught up in the race pace of the first few miles. This is not a 5K so I have to resist the urge to go out hard like I have been doing for some races. I have to channel my inner tortoise rather than my inner hare. Slow....not so much. Steady....yes.
Check back on Monday for an update, or if you can find me on Facebook (Elizabeth Garcia-Snoopy avatar) I will post the results.