I told a small lie when I mentioned the previous weekend was the last hard weekend. There is still a full four weeks before Ironman Western Australia, and I must admit I gave in to pressure after reading about fellow participants logging in their long miles on their blog writings and Facebook status updates. It also helped that Li-Ann was entertaining some visitors, friends of her mum on Saturday. So I took this opportunity to clock another 5 hour plus ride.
Once again, the weather forecast played me for a fool. It was supposed to be mild in the morning, with 8kph winds and only meant to be pick up in the afternoon. It was pretty calm, but the winds got strong at about 9.30am. It wasn't long until I could hear the them rushing through my ears.
A slight misfortune, a piece of nail busted my rear tyre just after 2/3 of my ride. And I had problems getting air into the new tube from the hand pump. Hence, I was riding with a soft tyre for the remaining of the ride. Also, I rode to meet my helmet seller and I rode home through the traffic, which slowed my pace considerably. I completed 148.3km in 5 hours 21 minutes, a leisure pace of 27.7kph.
On Sunday, for my 13km run, I decided to use my current Saucony Fastwitch 3 instead of the Asics GT 2150. I also opted not to use my orthotics. The Asics have long worn out, and I'm beginning to think that prolonged use of the orthotics is starting to result in over correction in my running gait.
The impact from wearing the lower profile racers needed a bit of getting used to, but soon I was enjoying their lightness. I ran hard but not crazy, paying attention to my running form and being wary not to overstride, by ensuring my foot lands no further in front than my nose. I read an article from Ironguides coach Shem Leong here which made a lot of sense. Also, the aqua running sessions early last month did help me practise good running form such as tall posture and mid foot landing.
The end result? 13km run in 55:11 (average 4:15 per km) still about 1.5 minutes off my best, but pretty satisfied with the effort. And I ran pain free this time. Though the swell on my right shin is stinging now, I reckon it will pass within a few days. This has definitely put my confidence back, that I should be able to run the marathon leg of the race without too much problems.
I'll try a 21km run next weekend.