It arrived early, in the form of an 8 a.m. 15-mile uphill run on the dirt Mulholland trail. Literally, most of the run was uphill. After yesterday's 58-mile jaunt through the hills of Malibu Canyon, I can only describe the last 3.5 miles of this morning's run as "haggard." Then, the giving continued in the form of a 3,000-swim featuring two sets of 1,000 yard ascending and descending T-pace intervals.
All that said, the run was a beautiful one. I experienced a new trail, a route known as "the Westridge run." It connects with the Nike missile site and descends all the way to Mandeville Canyon near Santa Monica. The problem, though, is that what goes down must come up. And the ascent back to the top of Mulholland from the base of the Westridge trail point is a real grind. But the view is spectacular. Truly one of those "wow!" moments that stopped me dead in my tracks. Literally. I came to a complete halt taking in the staggering view from Santa Monica clear through the South Bay and even downtown LA.
The rest of the run was less beautiful. Primarily because of how steep and occasionally painful it was on the legs. Fortunately, my Fortius friends made the experience far more enjoyable, with lots of jokes and banter (as you can see in the top image with Christina and Ray goofing off). Without them, training would be a lot harder.
Like my solo swim, for example. Going back-and-forth in the pool almost immediately after the run without any support takes a lot of willpower. It paid off though. I learned that now I'm routinely able to drop below my 2:05 threshold pace and can consistently hit two minutes or even less. My fastest today was 1:54, and that was on my last timed 100 of the day. To be able to pull that off after such a grueling weekend of training is something that this blog allows me to cherish for just a bit, before heading out to the pool tomorrow to do it all over again.
Accomplishments don't seem to last very long in this sport.
Hopefully the memories last longer.
I suppose, then, that this blog is my gift to myself.
Happy V-Day, me.
282 days and counting.