I did no training this week. None. That isn’t to say I didn’t run, but I didn’t have one day of just workout training. Let me explain. Tuesday I had my Navy fitness test that I have to do twice a year. Because I had to do it at 5:30 AM on Tuesday and because I am 41 years old I elected not to do any hardcore triathlon training on Monday. You know, so I could be ready Tuesday morning. Why I still think like this I have no idea. I mean I know I will pass the fitness test, and I also know I will not break any records. So why do I care enough to rest my body the day before? No idea. One of these days reality will hit me and I won’t let a 1.5 mile run, and 2 minutes each of pushups and situps alter my days leading up to the test. So Tuesday morning I was out there with about 8 other Navy folks, all considerably younger than I, doing pushups, situps and running in the dark. 10 years ago, when I was a doc with the Marines I had no trouble banging out 70 pushups, 100 situps (2 minutes for each) and then run 1.5 miles in 10:00-11:00. As time passed those numbers have changed. I am now only doing 40 pushups, 80 situps and my run last fall was near 12:00. I had hoped my training would bring my time down. As you may recall I was originally hoping for 10:30 but had altered that goal to a more realistic 11:00 last week. Well, the training helped. I ran 10:38…… My best time in nearly 5 years! 6 laps around the track and I was able to stay with and pass all the youngsters running with me. Felt good about that that. Still, my 45 pushups and 78 situps needs some work. Maybe I will set a goal for those for the fall test this year. 60 and 100? Why not? Let’s get nuts!
Wednesday I was too sore to train ( don’t do pushups that often and I felt it Wednesday) and Thursday and Friday I held off so I could be ready for the Perimeter Relay on Saturday morning. This is an annual race here on Guam that begins at 4:00 am with a team of 10 runners and a course that is 48.6 miles long. There are preset handoff points and each runner on each team has to run 2 separate legs of the relay. Zinnia and I were on a team with several of her friends from her running group and a few others who were friends of those friends (See pic below). Great people and we had a blast. Getting up at 3:45 to run is not what I would consider exciting, but with 60 other teams out there running and cheering and having a good time it made the day enjoyable. We had a van and we just drove from handoff point to handoff point with the team, transferring runners and staying cool and hydrated. My first leg of the relay was leg 9 ( of 20). It was 4.2 miles and had a long downhill stretch followed by a slow, mild incline. By the time I ran it was around 6:00 am and the sun was rising. Perfect weather to run (75-80 degrees, slight breeze, although a bit muggy). Running downhill was brutal on my knees but I made it through ok. Finished my leg in 32 minutes. My second leg was #17 of 20 total and it was a killer. Only 1.8 miles but the last mile or so was straight uphill. And I mean the type of hill that requires you to downshift your car into 2nd gear just to get up it. My legs were still a little weary from the first leg I did. It was now about 9:30 and so the temp was into the high 80s and the sun was beating down on me. I got about halfway up the hill and hit the wall. I felt like I was unning at a 45 degree angle! I actually had to stop a few times just to keep my legs from falling off my body (I was pretty sure the burning in my quads was going to cause this to happen). I eventually made it but it was brutal. I failed to time myself on that but I am pretty sure it took a looong time! So for the day I did 6.0 miles with some big hills. Today…….as a result….I am sore. I imagine this is how one’s legs would feel if they were hit several times in the legs with a baseball bat. That kind of sore. The distance didn’t get me but the hills did. I was using muscles to control my downhills and explode up the uphill that I haven’t been using much during my tri training. I am paying for that today. Zinnia did very well and actually had the anchor leg for our team finishing the last 1.4 miles. We both enjoyed ourselves and are planning to do it again next year. Overall our team time was about 6 hours 35 minutes. Not bad I thought for a bunch of fairly amateur runners on a hot day. The winning time, by the way, was 4 hours 36 minutes. 2 full hours ahead of us! Those guys ( a few of whom I know) were crazy fast and held 6 minute mile pace throughout the race. Amazing.
So that was my week. Always fun things going on and fitness activities are usually at the center of it. Such is the life here on Guam. I plan to get back to swimming and biking this week. I need to start hitting some training milestones in the next 1-2 months. For now, I just want my muscles to stop hurting!
Here is a pic of my team as well as members of another that all run and train together on the Navy base. Our teams finished within 5 minutes of each other. I am in the top right corner and Zinnia is 3rd from left in the front row. This pic was taken after 6 1/2 hours of running by us all!
**UPDATE** Just saw the final standings for the Perimeter Race. There were 17 team coed teams that participated. Our team finished 5th in 6 hours and 40 minutes. The other team from the picture above was 4 minutes ahead of us and finished 3rd! There were also about 40 all men’s teams and 7-8 all women’s teams.