Monday, May 24, 2010

Purple Ears & Graduation

Well it's official - I'm an MBA!  I now can call myself a Darden alumni; it's a bittersweet end to an amazing  2 years.  I'm ready to return to the "real world," for a while but will miss my amazing classmates, incredible professors and the opportunity to explore intellectual puzzles dearly.  What a 2 year ride it has been, and to close off this chapter of my life with my second Ironman will just be a perfect way to start the next book.  Although this chapter almost took an ill fated turn during a training ride on Saturday monring.

My parents, sister and Moose were in town for graduation weekend.  So I set my alarm for 5:30 am on Saturday to get on my bike bright and early to make sure I finished my hour and 45 minute ride and 3 and 1/2 hour run well in advance of the 25th annual Darden pig roast.  By 7:15 am I was out the door, blood sugars right where they should be for a ride where I was to attack the hills and recover on the downhills and flats.  Attack I did!  I went on a route that has several short steep hills, no climb greater than a 1/2 mile, but enough rolling terrain to really get a workout in.  On three of the longer hills I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest as I was out of the saddle grinding away to get up the hill as fast as I could.

That style of riding was totally foreign to me, normally I look to crush the flats and try to mantain a steady heart rate during climbs.  On Saturday the goal was to have a screaming heart rate on the up hills and a descending heart rate on the flats.  I averaged just about 20 mph for the ride and realized that this strategy worked amazing.  A half mile per hour difference in my speed on the flats led to a 10 bpm lower heart rate - basically into full recovery zone.  Getting up the hills faster led to an overall faster average pace so the riding style worked great, but made my legs super wobbley.

After taking a left hand turn back onto Garth Rd.  I got out of the saddle to get my speed up and waved to a passing rider coming in the other direction.  The next thing I know I'm flying over my handle bars with my face breaking my fall.  Thankfully I landed in dirt rather than the road but I did crack my road cycling helmet and wound up with one of the weirdest bruises in the history of the world.

Yes blog readers, that purple hue that you see is a bruised ear!  I had a bit of cauliflower ear from high school wrestling, but no where close to as ugly as my ear is right now.  I'm seeing an ENT doctor on Wednesday to make sure I didn't break any of the bones of my inner ear.  The picture really doesn't do justice how freaking weird it looks to have a bruised ear.  And how I broke my fall with my ear I will never know.  My neck and shoulder are super sore today, and I have some nice cuts around my eye, thankuflly my Oakley lenses kept my eyes totally protected and my bike made it through in one piece.  I don't have any balance issues and I'm pretty sure I can hear perfectly fine, just a weird way to land I guess....

After I crashed the guy who I had waived to made a bee line to yours truly to make sure I was ok.  I stood up, dusted myself off and assured the older rider I was totally fine.  He made me smile to check to see if I lost any teeth and looked me up and down for any bones sticking out.  At the time I was more concerned about El Bastardo than anything else.  During the crash I remember seeing my bike above my head as I was still clipped in as I went head over handle bars!

While the other rider was talking to me I said "nope I'm fine and that's good news because I have a run after this."  He tried to convince me to put off the run but no such luck, IMCDA is too close to be worrying about bruised ears.  As long as I could walk I was going to get my run in.

I made it back to my apartment, pounded a gatorade to get my blood sugar back up and changed into my running clothes.  From there it was off to a 3.5 hour run.  I was anxious about this run.  Over the past several weeks I've had some major blood sugar issues affect my long run performance.  And as I mentioned in my last post the run I had in the OBX on Wednesday was the first run that I felt confident in since Oceanside.  My goal was to hit 21 miles in the 3.5 hours I had scheduled.  That distnace would be 8 miles greater than any run I've had since the Charlottesville Marathon in April '09 and I knew it was imperative to hit 20 so I had the confidence that my training was on schedule for CDA.

With that I left my apartment and set out at a zone 2 pace for 20 minutes.  After the 20 minute warm up I was supposed to run for 2 hours and 30 minutes at varying paces between zone 1 and zone 3.  I had strict instructions not to spend the entire run in upper zone 3, so I forced myself to vary my pace.  To help pass the time I varied my speeds in 10 minute increments, for one 10 minute set I'd run in upper zone 2, then in zone 3, then bring my pace down so my heart rate returned to the 130s.  The varrying pace worked amazinglly well and kept my mind fresh because I was thinking about stuff 10 minutes at a time rather than 150 minutes at a time.  My endurance strength was great as I was able to run sub 9 minute miles well into miles 18 to 20; I would have had no issues at all running a marathon on Saturday.

The killer part of the workout was 15, one minute speed intervals followed by one minute of a slow jog/ walk starting 2 hours and 50 minutes into the run.  Shockingly, I was cranking out between a 6 minute to 7:05 pace for the 1 minute speed intervals, drenched in sweat.  The Rhino was in full charge during the speed intervals and my muscles felt great.  At the 3:19 mark I hit mile 21 exceeding my goals and finished just over 22 miles in the 3 and one half hours.  This run gave me the confidence I needed in my endurance strength to know that I'll be ready for CDA!

So all in all it was a great weekend, purple ear and all!


Anne said...

wow, Ed, I am glad you are okay. So scary! Congrats on an amazing workout.

jpnairn said...

Sorry about your accident, but congratulations on your MBA!

Scott said...

Congrats on the graduation

Ryan said...

Yikes! No waving to anyone until after the it?

3.5 hour run...holy smokes! I don't think I have ever run that far...even racing---->That's dark.

Train safe!

Lynn said...

That picture isn't even close to doing it justice!! Glad you're going to the Dr! At least it matched your cap and gown :)

Alison said...

Congratulations on graduating, Ed!