Following my Thursday night Alumni Mile, I braced for another long weekend. Friday's swim was a straight 2200m as the main set, and since I was pretty tired, I started out a little slower and worked to negative split. I was pleased with the effort. Later in the day, Hollywood came by and ran with me before we went to DC for the bachelor party of Jack Manner. Outside of the handful of TNTs that Hollywood makes each year, this was probably the first normal run I've gone on with him in a few years. We did the 7 mile Wednesday Night Loop and, despite some foot pain from last night's race, I felt pretty good. Hamstrings were sore from the track.
We then departed to make it to NE DC and celebrate our friend's last weeks of bachelordom. We met a crew of GRCers, including the Red Fox himself, Jarrin, PMurph, Wiggy, Snizzow, KDuse, Dickson - the list goes on. After eating, we made our way to another local H Street establishment, where I made it until about 10pm before feeling wiped. It wouldn't have been so bad, but with an hour's drive home, not to mention a 6am wake up on Saturday, I just couldn't hold on much longer.
Saturday's timing of the MAC Half Marathon was...interesting. I anticipated being out there for a little over 3 hours. 3:05 was the last finisher last year, and I just didn't think one could go much slower than that for a half. It was a beautiful morning that far up on the NCR Trail (almost at the PA line) and the crowd of about 160 runners took off just after 8am down the trail. Around 2:40, the runners were trickling in much slower, but we were hearing reports of two walkers that were on allegedly a 4 hour pace. No way on earth, it's not possible.
Sure enough, at just after noon, the last finishers came strolling across the line, in 3:58. The last finisher before that was 50 minutes earlier. Now I was hungry, tired from standing most of the morning and still had to ride home. Because I knew I wouldn't ride if I drove back to Baltimore first, Alyssa had driven me up, with my bike, and all I had to do was ride home. I figured it would be a good ride, because you're almost 20 miles away from Hunt Valley (straight down York Rd) and then another 20 to get home from there. I of course made it a little longer. The sun was shining and the temperature was good, so it was a nice day to be out for a chill ride by myself. It was also nice to hit the Hereford Hills fresh, as opposed to 80 miles into a 115 mile day. I felt pretty awesome riding and got home after 2h45m and didn't feel like I had done anything.
I had just about 90 minutes before I needed to get down to FH for the 3rd Annual Beer Mile (timing/coordinating, not participating). The event has grown year after year, and it was another good time had by all. Following the race, most went out for a while. I made it until about midnight before crashing. With a hard effort planned for Sunday, I didn't need to exhaust any additional energy.
Sunday was amazing - one of the nicest days of the year. I met a great crew down at Centennial Park just before 10, and we headed out for our ride. The Chickenest of Tender Runners and Michelle had driven up to meet myself, Pat and Alyssa. The plan was about 40 miles, so we were going to do the course plus an additional lollipop section, and then add on from there. Within the ride we were going to do a few 10 minute efforts. These went incredibly well, and I felt really good about how Frankenstein handled the day. It was undoubtedly the best I've ever ridden out there outside of the race, and actually, if you took our time from the ride (subtracting one of the lollipop loops) it was faster than the first time I did the race in 2001. Side note: hard to believe it's been 10 years since my first race, at Columbia!
Following the run, CTR and Michelle had runs of 20 minutes scheduled. Unless I cut off one of his legs, there was no way I was keeping up with CTR, and even running with Michelle isn't a given. We did 10 minutes at race effort and then 10 easy, and man, the first 10 minutes felt hard. Hopefully it's not that hard on May 22nd. We finished up and like some kind of magic, a Shaved Ice truck came rolling through. One of the flavors was Tiger's Blood - no joke - and he said he had it way before Charlie Sheen ever used the term. It was Strawberry and Coconut, so I got that and Watermelon and had a tasty, super frozen treat before heading back to Bmore to swim. That did not go so well, but I guess I shouldn't have expected it to, as my shoulders were fried from riding the TT bike (which was weird because honestly I didn't even ride that long in the aero position). I guess I just don't ride that way very often so it took its toll.
All told last week was a pretty short week by volume, at just 9000m in the pool, 125 or so miles on the bike and just 28 miles of running, but it was full of some good efforts. With just two weeks now until Columbia, I'm going to try and rest a little more, taking easy days super easy (as if I haven't been already) and make my efforts focused, but likely a little shorter. Track tomorrow, Wednesday Night Ride, probably do a workout on Saturday and all the rest is just fluff.