When the gun went off, I took it easy and decided to use the first 3 miles to warm up and get a rhythm going. I opted to not look at my watch for splits. I used the clocks at every mile to do some quick math and get a rough idea what my pace was. By the time mile 4 rolled around, I felt a little more comfortable running. I was zipping along until mile 10. Then my legs started getting tighter from the effort the day before. I had to walk a couple of times so I could stretch my legs. Starting to run after a break was excruciating. Each time I swore I would stop taking the stretch breaks.
By the time mile 12 rolled around, I told myself that this was it. The last mile of running and all I had to do was to keep one foot moving in front of the other. I could see the finish in the distance. When I finally crossed the line, I was so happy that the running was done. My quads were like rocks. I collected my medals and put on some warmer clothes. I walked back to my hotel to shower and change. It was nice to achieve this task of a back to back run and pull off a hard 10k the day before.
On my flight home, I realized something had changed. I was now able to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Yes, that sounds weird. But if I wanted to achieve bigger goals, I needed to race on that edge. I had to be uncomfortable when racing and not let up. I was texting back and forth with Sinead after my races and she commented:
"Getting stronger every time you dig deep"
I gave those words some serious thought on my flight home. I have to continue embracing being uncomfortable if I want to get better, faster, stronger..........
I had two bike workouts scheduled after my short recovery from the races. For my workout Saturday, Danielle gave me a choice of two bike workouts based on how I felt. I felt a little cocky and opted for the harder one. I looked up my power numbers from the last time I attempted it and decided to try and put out higher numbers. The workout was called "9 Hammers" and that's exactly how you feel during and after the workout. I turned myself inside-out and outside-in while riding. I worked so hard during the VO2 sections that the Threshold seemed 'easy'. When the workout was done, I was in a sweaty, crumpled heap sitting next to the bike trying to take my shoes off. When I stood up, my legs felt like jell-o and my arms were rubbery too. The workout was a success. Or was it? I uploaded my power numbers from the workout and compared them to the prior workout. All 9 Hammers were higher than the previous 9. Yes, it was a success!! The fatigue in my legs was totally worth the effort. Once again, I was able to stay in the 'uncomfortable' zone and not back off. These are definitely things to build on!