Well, it's happening, and it's happened. I have been hoping, and praying it would come for quite some time. I'd heard about it, on the forum, on other blogs, and from other team members, but I can now say it is officially here, and it is pretty amazing. My body has become some sort of aerobic low-heart rate-machine. My heart rate is lower than it has ever been before on my rides and runs, and I have entered a new era of training.
Pre-Mark Allen, and pre-St. Croix, I had done some heart rate training with my previous coach, but it was nothing like this. In January I started my new training system, and I did a lot of walking. That's right, I said walking. I walked up hills, I bitched and cussed out the training and coaches, well, not really, but I thought about it (even though it was not their fault my heart rate had been high for years & was used to running that way). Eventually, it got to where I could do a long run and could slow down enough to make it over most of the hills within my zone, but I still blew out the top of my aerobic zone at least 3-4 times by accident, so I would get mad again and wonder if it would ever happen for me. "JUST ONE" I would say, "Just one long run where I could get through it in the heart rates I was supposed to be doing!!" I wanted to do what they were asking, and they said you would have to be patient, and put aside your pride, and be completely commited and it would eventually happen. Well, I was, and it did.
By the time Mark had spent a couple of years training this way, he could run 6:00 min pace, at a heart rate of 130. For those of you with monitors, you know that is pretty dang impressive.
I've waited for this day, and with the colder temps that we had this past week, I wasn't sure if I was glad it was here, or if my legs would actually fall off I was having to work so hard to get my heart rate up on Saturday during my long ride...
Of seven hours..
That's right.. I'll say it again...
It's more than I sleep sometimes. That was actual ride time, total time 7 hrs 42 minutes (yes, we did some stopping). In fact, here are the stats:
Start time: 6:05am
Degrees at start time: 54
Miles on Saturday - 120-123 (odometers were conflicting but it was at least 120)
Bathroom stops - (one in weeds, two in stores) - 3
Time I took off my turtleneck because I finally wasn't freezing - 11:00am
Time I took off my arm warmers - 12:00pm
Deer running in front of bike - 1 (It's Moraine State Park, what can you do)
Rabbit almost getting run over also in front of bike - 1
Gel incidents - 1 (spilled it all over me, the bike, my handlebars, sticky mess!!)
Times I thought my female parts would shrivel up and die - 2 (hrs 6.5 & hr 7)
Flat tires - 0 (yippee!!)
Average heart rate (this is the kicker, and I was trying for higher) 140
Average speed (hilly course) 17.0 mph
Finish Time: 1:42pm
So, that about sums it up. I had to push really hard for the early, early morning to keep the heart rate up. I know it's because I am getting fitter, but geezzz! I really have to put the hammer down or I would be grossly under what I am supposed to be for these rides! My poor training partner is getting run into the ground! Sorry kid!!
Other than the crazy low heart rate that I always wanted, and finally got, things were wonderful. It was a great ride and I was tired after, but in general, felt great. I almost fell alseep driving to Clarion, PA for a wedding but thankful Beth was there to talk me through it, and it was a god-send!! Thanks Shutt!!
Saturday night Kyle and I attended my cousins wedding which was beautiful & interesting. On Sunday I ran my three hours and had great legs for the first 9 miles, not so much for the rest of the time! That's the breaks!
I'm thankful for the shift, I think it will make the next two months interesting, and on race day, hopefully, I will be able to sustain the heart rates I need easily, and over the duration of the 10-12 hr day (obviously, this is what I am hoping I will be in, who knows, as long as I finish!!). That's the story, that's the goal, that's the plan, and I'm sticking to it! Rock on Mark Allen, I think you may be a genius...really, I do.