This week's long run was a good one

16 miles at a 10:36/mile pace (2:49:20 total)

First, I have to ask "What sort of mad coach says 'Well, he needs some rest, so I'll have him run a shorter distance this week; 16 miles sounds short'?" And, what kind of mad athlete goes out and posts a time that's way better than expected?

This is what I felt like the last time I ran 16 miles, 4 weeks ago

And this is what I felt like today

So, the last time I went out for a 16-mile run was 4 weeks ago, and it took me 3 hours, 2 minutes, and 36 seconds, for an average pace of 11:24/mile. Since I was supposed to do that same distance today I did the same route to see if I'd do any better at it, and I really surprised myself with how it went. Today's time was nearly a minute/mile faster, and when I checked my time at the 13.1 mile mark I discovered that I'd cut nearly 12 minutes off my previous best half-marathon time.

Apparently continuing to run long distances makes it easier to run long distances.

First ride on the new bike

As mentioned in last week's post, I have a new triathlon bike, and this past week I got out on my first (and so far only) real ride on it. Our overall time wasn't terribly good, but I think that was mostly due to the bad traffic we were fighting much of the time. The downhill and flat sections certainly felt faster, although I haven't tried to really measure any difference. Also, this bike has bigger gearing on it, which means it'll hit a faster speed for a given rate of pedaling, but it also harder to climb up hills than my road bike. So far it hasn't been a problem, and since our Ironman race is not terribly hilly I think I'll be OK. I'll have to see how it goes when I go for a ride near home where I virtually never have to stop for lights.

Random anecdote from high school athletics

I've heard from one of my readers that she "sort of skims the postings, because they tend to be 'I ran down a hill, and then I ran up one, and they all sort of blend together.'" And since I always listen to my wife's advice I'm attempting to avoid doing too much of that. That conversation reminded me of a story about how athletes tended to describe trips for away games.

Teacher: So, Jethro, tell us about the latest football game against our arch-rivals Kiski.
Jethro: Well, we had to get up at Oh-dark-hundred and get on the buses. I sat next to Bubba Jones, who snores like you wouldn't believe. We had to stop at a gas station on the way, so we all got to get off and buy breakfast; I got a burrito called "The Meat Bomb." Bubba was sorry he was sitting next to me after that, I'll tell you.
Teacher: That's fascinating. How about the game?
Jethro: Well, we got there a little early, so we figured we'd check out some of the local talent. It turns out to be an all-boys school, so the scenery was terrible.
Teacher: Riiiight. I'm not sure the rest of the student body is interested in these details. Could you come to the point.
Jethro: Sure. So, after the game we had to get back on the bus and ride home. Fortunately, we managed to stop at a McDonald's to get dinner - you know we don't have any fast-food restaurants here at school [ed. note: it was the early 80s in a tiny town]. They've just come out with this awesome new sandwich called The McRib. It didn't have any actual ribs in it that I could find, and I got three of them just to be sure. Great eating!
Teacher (left eye twitching uncontrollably): The big rivalry, Jethro! How did the Game - The Football Game that was the point of the trip - go?!?
Jethro: Oh, we won 28-7. No big deal.

Hopefully at least some of these postings are more interesting than that.