Monday, May 14

Preparing for war

I was out later then intended on Saturday and when I awoke the next morning, I had aged a disproportionate amount of hours, perhaps years. No longer feeling like the 24-year old who had enjoyed fine scotch with friends only the night before, I felt I was receiving a glimpse of things yet to come. I dragged all 35 years around the house going through a convoluted pre-run ritual based largely on the comfort level of my stomach. Sunday was supposed to be my first long run since London, also, the last long run prior to Ottawa, and as such significant on more then one front. I was torn between ensuring proper recovery (not digging myself a hole to wallow in) and conversely, wanting to gain as much benefit as I could. When I started through town carrying a weary body over the Johnson Street Bridge and onto the Goose, in only a few short miles it appeared it was going to be one of “those” days, and any fear that I might go too fast was tenuous at best.

Despite being sunny, living on the ocean presents some unique geographical conditions. This morning I was blessed with the cold ocean breeze. I ran the first 35’ hovering around 6:58 mi/pace content to shuffle along. After leaving the Goose and jumping on the Lochside Trail (see photo) northbound, it seemed I’d been given a second chance, my stride had quickened and I felt I’d been fortunate enough to received one-of-those-beers that Floyd had taken prior to his miraculous comeback. The next 60’ was great, but as I clipped along, I continually reminded myself to slow down and relax. Should I feel this good toward the end of the run, I might consider treating myself to a quick 3-mile MP tempo on the homeward stretch.

Unfortunately, exactly 1h30 into the run, my left calf starting acting up. I’d noticed it was sore on Saturday, and can only guess Friday’s session must have been the culprit. With my calf aching I quickly became aware of how my sense of wellness had changed. With my head-bone connected to my leg-bone, it wasn’t long before I was second guessing myself. Why did I go out for drinks last night (ya bastards)? What was I doing considering racing after so little recovery? Can my body cope? With the intense interrogation raging in my mind I was only just comforted by the fact that my legs were content to continue along, regardless… it was a mental victory of sorts. If I’m to race well in Ottawa I know I need to ensure a) I don’t spend the days leading up to the race marching around the city sightseeing and b) my mental game is on and equipped for battle, because ready or not, and war will be raged.

Monday: day off
Tuesday: 1:01:43, AHR 139
Wednesday: 1:00:11 with 8x 20” strides, AHR 135, MAX 162
Thursday: 1:01:51, AHR 131, MAX 158
Friday: 1:19:24 with 8x800m on 2:40 (90"), AHR 138, MAX 172
Saturday: 39:25, sore achilles
Sunday: 2:04:42, 6:48 mi/pace, achilles fine, sore right calf


Marc said...

Be gentle on that calf. Not much to do now before you wage war in Ottawa.

Just curious, what is your avg HR at 6:48 pace?

Michael said...

Sadly, I didn't wear my HRM on Sunday. I wanted to make sure that I went "easy" and didn't want to feel pressured into something faster b/c my HR was low. I still feel pretty fit (at times) and I was scared that I’d push the pace if my HR was low… next time.

Love2Run said...

Great run Michael! The undercurrent tells me you're ready for revenge in Ottawa but need to hold back till then. A cool cloudy day will be the ticket.

Thomas said...

And don't drink to much whiskey the night before the marathon.

Cliff Tam said...


Look forward on hearing you ripping through the Ottawa Marathon.

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