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Countdown to Worlds 70.3: Week 5

I nearly choked last Saturday when I pulled up my training plan Derek had posted for the upcoming week. It seems he understood my second goal in this countdown to Worlds: focus on my run. It was with great pleasure that I've embraced what that means, as he'd scheduled a total of 6 runs for me to pursue. My Clifton 2's by Hoka One One and I have never had so much time together. After one week in this budding relationship, I have never felt so comfortable with any pair of running shoes. (Bryan feels no jealousy. Believe me.)

I hit Riverside's newly paved trail section, just a five minute run from my home, early Monday morning with my two best running partners, Maci and Ryder. (Again, Bryan doesn't loathe this at all.) Not quite light yet, I felt grateful for smooth asphalt because after just a 10 minute warm up, we embarked on a 30 minute interval at my 10k race pace. Initially, the only thoughts running through my head were that just 30 minutes ago, I remember how it felt to have just woke up. This seemed like one heck of a way to start a Monday morning.
Ryder and Maci, my pacers and protectors. 

My girls didn't seem to mind, though. In fact, they relished the opportunity to shuttle me through the
woods, each taking their turns in front and behind. They had no plans on letting me cupcake my way out of this run.

This run hurt. Each subsequent run and workout this past week has built upon the other. Yet I marvel at how I feel and hope I've found new strength. Not just physical strength, but mental confidence, also. I had several mind-numbing workouts, especially in the pool, that left me so dazed I felt I'd better find a quiet place for a nap at just 2 o'clock in the afternoon. I apologized several times to coworkers and patients alike for yawning like we'd already watched the clock eclipse upon evening hours. When concerned patients asked if I slept enough at night, I assured them I did and that it had more to do with my fitness goals. The looks on their faces, combined with the exclamations of disbelief (the Oh dear Lords and You are nuts), started to serve as interesting entertainment. In fact, I much preferred to hear patients call me crazy instead of characterize me as a physical torturer, vulture, and as one woman confidently called me on Wednesday, a Butt. 

One thousand yard intervals and 200 yard intervals, hill repeats, a two hour bike ride, and then another day like Monday, but this time, on Friday. Today, Bryan and I made the emphasis of our 4 hour ride about finding any and every hill on the north side of Spokane. Heading out on highway 291 this morning, we had scaled three large hills before 45 minutes. By the end of the ride, we'd found about 15 significant beauties that left our legs fried. After our quick transition run, I'd say the rest of the afternoon will have to serve as recovery time because tomorrow, a track workout filled with 400s and another 30 minute interval at race pace awaits us.

This 131 pound (yes, I continue to embrace raw foods and subsequently shed weight) frame looks
forward to another challenge. Sometimes I wonder if the effort is completely physical because I have picked up a psychological game that involves determining whether or not I really need more food. It turns out, water does the trick. When it doesn't, I excitedly slice a beet and eat it with almonds. My garden has started to put out summer squash, zucchini, and cucumber, too. Have caution, though. Bryan and I learned the hard way about the substance in the skins of cucumber, called cucurcamin, that causes significant havoc upon the digestion system of certain humans (ahem, taking ownership here). Thursday night, I loved Simethicone. From Friday onward, I peel cucumbers. Trust me. You'll never fall asleep when gawd awful smells trickle out from underneathe the covers.

I'm sorry, but this is highly overrated.

 Let's move on to Week 4, shall we?

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