A.M. easy (relaxed) 39:28
P.M. strong rolling 56:27
Although I can recall my first jaunt like it was yesterday, spring 1990, it wasn't until 2004 that running became something verging on obsession. Life has changed immeasurably since that inaugural step; yet I still welcome that carnival of pain, loving each and every stride.
If I was clunky yesterday, today my legs were tied-up and unresponsive. I’m not too surprised given yesterday’s workout amidst arctic conditions, and a complete lack of stretching on my part. Quickly recognizing the state of affairs, I worked in a few seat kicks and a couple 400m strides but couldn’t shake the lethargic sensation, and so settled in for the long haul… every stride feeling a Herculean task. I’m thankful I wasn’t wearing a GPS as my pedestrian pace would’ve forced me to unnecessarily question my training. Rather, I decided to stick with the trails leaving Rithet’s Bog and weaving my way towards, up, and around Mount Doug.
Training: sluggish 1:43:08
Posted by Michael at 9:20 PM
I don't have much time this evening so I'll be brief. It was wet, and very cold, two of my least favourite conditions. Regardless, I decided to go ahead with the workout. I don't think my calves ever warmed up and I felt rather clunky; it didn't help with my head not being in the game, too many other distractions.
Training: 1:11:24 with 10x800 tempo (30")
I was running home from work this evening, the sun slowly setting over the Olympic mountains, as I weaved my way through the old neighborhood allowing my mind to freely wander, truly unconstrained, when it dawned on me that “I” was “running” and loving it. My legs were clicking along like a piano metronome, tick-tock-tick-tock, shoulders relaxed and my breath at ease.
It seems I started training only yesterday and although I don’t feel fast, or remotely race ready, I’m content (and surprised) with how my body has responded. Compared with my previous three builds which integrated weekly speed work (5k-10k pace), I’ve decided to incorporated slightly slower paced tempo (10k-HM pace) workouts into the current program that I’ve constructed. Unfortunately, there are too many other variables that have changed to draw any comparisons but this evening as I sit here, I feel okay, and that speaks volumes.
A.M. easy 37:26 but cold, -1C… and damn icy
P.M. easy/moderate 1:06:09
Posted by Michael at 8:07 PM
Waking up this morning, I was subjected to a voice far too cheerful for that hour of the day and who didn’t posses half the ability that Ella did, but unfortunately shared the same message, “baby it’s cold outside”.
Today’s long run had some intensity early on to start the ball rolling, 3x2-miles tempo (2’). After putting on a toque, gloves, both long and short sleeved shirt and half tights I was out into the bitterly cold day (-2C). I made my way over to Rithet’s Bog where the undulating trail around the marshland is +/- 3k, not 2 miles but close enough. I started the first interval trying to rein things in but found myself questioning the pace after not too long; I recall my watch reading 5:02. The second time around I focused on keeping my strides light, quick and smooth, and was amazed to shave off 5”. The last lap I paid attention to keeping my effort consistent and was further surprised with the last lap being the fastest (10:53, 10:48 & 10:45).
I’m pretty happy with how my week shaped up, the total being 10h20’52” (roughly 148k or 92 miles).
Saturday: easy 1:10:21
Sunday: 2:14:16 with 3x2-miles (2’)
And tonight, to facilitate easing everyone into the holiday season, I’ll leave you with these few words:
“The neighbors might think - Baby, it's bad out there
Say, what's in this drink - No cabs to be had out there
I wish I knew how - Your eyes are like starlight now
To break this spell - I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell
I ought to say no, no, no, sir - Mind if I move a little closer
At least I'm gonna say that I tried - What's the sense in hurting my pride
I really can't stay - Baby don't hold out
Ahh, but it's cold outsid”
I’m in the midst of a busy day so I’ll be brief, I’m tired. Remember yesterday when I mentioned that I wasn’t physically or mentally fatigued, well I’m still mentally in the game but during both my runs today my legs felt as if they’d been put through the wringer. Just now, for a brief second I contemplated having an epsom salt bath but I wouldn’t have a clue where to begin searching for the salt and I know that we don’t have a bath plug… two more items for the list.
A.M. easy 30:12
P.M. easy 39:49
Posted by Michael at 4:36 PM
With the weather increasingly more frigid in the morning I thought I’d try a different form of commute, and so late last night I was down in the basement rummaging through unpacked boxes searching for a small rucksack that I could squeeze some clothes into.
On the tail of a restless sleep, and after fueling the body with two pieces of peanut buttered toast, I strapped on my pack, laced up yesterday’s saviors and set out the door. In short, a) running is just as cold as cycling, b) takes almost twice the time and c) was surprisingly efficient, even if my body wasn’t.
Late in the day I dreaded the journey home as my lunch at Earls wasn’t sitting well, fortunately, and uncharacteristically, my stomach settled and the uphill journey verged on pleasant.
A.M. easy 41:09
P.M. easy 38:45
Posted by Michael at 6:37 PM
I had to pop into work this evening only unlike the mornings this time I had the luxury of our car. Without anything else to do other than listening to Bruce Springsteen’s Santa Claus is Coming to Town, I decided to time the journey. The result, car ride = 15’, my bike commute in the mornings = 20’ (not taking into account the post-cycle change).
Coming home, I couldn’t help but notice that every second vehicle appeared to be driven by a complete idiot. When did I drastically age?
I had entirely forgotten about my sore foot until I was lacing up my shoes, when the shoe wall instantly aggravated my ankle. I found the sore point and it was definitely tender to the touch, but didn’t feel muscular. I decided to switch footwear and lace up my old adistars minus the top eyelet but this didn’t seem to work. Undeterred, I left hoping that I wasn’t doing anything foolish. My ankle was intermittently sore for the first 15’ after which things improved. On the back of yesterday’s long run, I was actually quite surprised at how good my body felt which is comforting given the week ahead.
With that, I’ll leave you with some fine words from Theodore Roosevelt, “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”
Training: 1:01:14 with 5xstrides (1’)
Following Thursday’s workout, I wasn’t surprised at the weariness in my legs come Friday; what did surprise me was just how heavy, verging on cumbersome, they were. I jogged down the dirt hill from our place and onto the trail, taking note as I leisurely passed the first kilometer marker… 5:02 later I decided not to press the pace, but rather convinced myself that today, merely moving was an accomplishment.
Yesterday was uneventful and the pins felt particularly good as I stretched them out with a few 30” strides towards the end of the jaunt.
This morning I wrapped up an easy week with a not-so-easy long run. I was hoping to cruise through feeling graceful and in control; unfortunately, this was not to be. The first hour passed quickly enough but my perceived effort was very much real, with emphasis resting unhappily on the effort. As misery loves company I begun the up-tempo session fully expecting he worst but was pleased to discover that with the pace quickening, and efficiency gains realized, that same perceived effort remained the same.
On a disturbing note, my left foot was giving my grief toward the end of the run. It feels as if a bone has become jammed resulting restricted movement and some discomfort (the camber of the terrain being influential). I noticed it first yesterday but didn’t think much of it at the time, perhaps it’s a result of Thursday, the twenty quick accelerations?
Friday: slow 29:37
Saturday: easy 43:30 with 5xstrides (1’)
Sunday: 2:07:10 with 60’ up-tempo (4:10 to 3:48 pace/km)
This afternoon amid grey, wet and dreary conditions, Ally and I went to the ultrasound clinic. Minutes after arriving, we were ushered into a very comfortable room with soft indirect lighting and a warm soothing colour on the walls; it was a room that couldn’t be more conducive to long winter naps. A moment later Ally was up on the bed, after which all I could think of was one of the original episodes from Star Trek. My center of attention on a monitor showing glimpses of white among a black background and then… we had contact. A human head, mouth slowly opening and closing, the unhurried raising of an arm followed by a indolent stretch only to recoil into a position that would make a sleeping cat envious. I don’t remember talking for ten minutes, my world full of pictures of our daughter; even now you might think I’m blasé but you’d be mistaken, for an endless reel of images and corresponding emotions is running through my mind.
My run this evening was good although my right calf remains a little to-ight! I decided to wear a small headlamp, which interestingly enough turned yesterdays Sleepy Hallow into today’s Creepy Hollow. I followed the Lochside trail out into the farmland perusing my 1’ intervals, the rate of the first few akin to my 800m pace (standing tall, long relaxed strides with an effortless turnover)… this changed, my pace settling, but my form remained true. I’ve been very happy with how my body is responding but the real test will come next week.
Training: 1:22:23 with 20x1’ hard (1’)
Nothing of note tonight, apart from enjoying a brief moment alone while out on the trails. With the rain clouds having settled in for the season, ruling out all possibility of a setting sun, the darkness creeps up slowly while changing through mottled shades of grey. At this time of year, running home along the trail at the base of our house is like threading a needle through Sleepy Hollow, tall overarching trees creating a claustrophobic corridor lined with a veil of shifting fog.
I’m going to have to find another way home.
Training: easy 21:54
Posted by Michael at 11:16 PM
This afternoon I decided to stop pretending and register for the damn race, and with that, I was in. I found it exciting; as I’ve mentioned previously I thoroughly enjoy this part of the build where possibility & hope thrive. Where the destination is far enough away that nobody can question your path and yet close enough to feel the gravitation pull. My next act was to email the elite coordinator to see if I could still be seeded in the preferred coral. As the deadline had passed I wasn’t optimistic so I played the my-wife-is-pregnant-and-have-had –to-change-my-race-schedule card (not to be used lightly) and through the compassion of Heather everything looks like it will work out just fine (I’m forever grateful).
Now, as I type, my run this evening couldn’t seem farther away. I remember feeling okay, I had an upset stomach but my legs were fine. And, as the light faded and then the twilight weakened further still I remember feeling even better, my pace and confidence crept up leaving a trail of complete and total satisfaction.
I now wallow in fatigue with only self-pity and lethargy as company.
Training: 1:11:05 with 5xstrides (1’)
P.s. Mike, thanks for the code, much appreciated!
Posted by Michael at 9:43 PM
A prudent person would be forgiven for thinking that that with only nine weeks left to train, and having only started last Monday, that it could conceivably be a tad premature to schedule a recovery week. Regardless, that’s what I’ve done.
My body feels solid (perhaps better than it has in months), my motivation for this race is at an all-time high and most importantly I have a deep burning desire to train, that yearning you get when you’ve decided to focus all/most of your energy on one event. That said, after reflecting back on my training throughout the last five weeks, coincidently beginning with my most recent race on October 7 (the RVM where I ran a 1:20:40 half), the timing couldn’t be better (week ending, time, approx. km):
10/14/07 6:31:25 92
10/21/07 2:32:18 36
10/28/07 1:17:50 18
11/4/07 5:35:09 80
11/11/07 7:22:39 105
This next week will be relatively light then, the focus being on maintaining my motivation and preparing for the following two weeks. I’ve scheduled one VO2 max workout for Thursday and a long run on Sunday, the rest, gravy!
Training: scheduled day off
Between running errands, watching the CIS Cross Country Championships and preparing for my mothers visit, I had only a 30’ window of opportunity to run and ended up pushing the boundaries at that. I savored every moment while out on the trails and my body reacted correspondingly, each stride feeling effortless and more powerful than the last. I began comfortably, heading out along Lochside and into Broadmead, only to slowly wind things up to on the return to a relaxed 6:35 mile/pace.
This morning, with heavy grey clouds threatening rain, and wanting to give myself enough time to make it back for the Thetis Lake Relay (observing only), I didn’t hesitate for a second and was out the door earlier than usual. With necessity not allowing any room for contempt, I felt unexpectedly comfortable throughout the run (however cold), with the first hour passing quickly. Given the abbreviated training schedule (and I know the risk in trying to make up for lost time, you can’t) I decided to add some up-tempo segments to the run, 1x10’ (2’) + 2x5’ (2’) + 5x2’ (1’) + 10x1’ (1’); if nothing else they helped keep me honest and made the second our pass in seconds.
I was surprised that I was able to hold form throughout the run, expecting the combination of the intensity and distance to force a more pedestrian effort.
Saturday: easy 38:25
Sunday: 2:15:06 with 1x10’ (2’) + 2x5’ (2’) + 5x2’ (1’) + 10x1’ (1’) up tempo
I don’t think I had been out for more than five minutes yesterday when I knew the run was going to be a struggle. It might have been the four slices of pizza in my stomach, regardless; I pulled the brim of my hat lower (narrowing my focus), dialed it back and continued onward… Cedar Hill, Mt. Tolmie, skirting Mt. Doug and home. It seems that whenever I start to build for a race I invariably have a run like this, one that tests our character and fortitude more than any aerobic ability. I could have easily pulled the plug early on, the depressingly dark grey clouds certainly didn’t aid any.
It wasn’t until I had walked in the door and was grabbing a glass from a cupboard so that I could have some water when I noticed there on the fridge, was v3. What I didn’t realize until then, was that on v3 (unlike any of its predecessors) I had scheduled 2x20’ MPE for yesterday’s run. Who knew?
So today, in an attempt to make up for yesterday’s lapse, I decided to squeeze a (variation of the) workout in on the Lochside Trail. The plan was, 2x4k at MP (approx. 3:36-3:48/km).
14:49 (3:28, 3:46, 3:45 & 3:50)
15:05 (3:42, 3:52, 3:47 & 3:45)
The first interval was okay but I was starting to tie up during the last kilometer. After splitting 3:52 for the second kilometer in the second interval, I considered stopping as I felt, or I thought I did, that I was falling to pieces. I picked up the effort slightly and managed to hold it together, feeling relatively smooth for the last 2k.
Now, we’re off to Zambri’s as soon as I find a way to wake Ally up without disturbing the bear?
Thursday: easy 1:20:06
Friday: 59:12 with 2x4k (2’) at MP
It took a little over a week before I was able to thoroughly revel in what will likely be months of fine west coast commuter weather as today, it rained. And, after looking at the long term forecast it appears I will have plenty of time to adjust to these inclement conditions. No, this evening as I biked home I was treated to an inky damp blackness occasionally riding through a shroud of mist hovering atop the warmer ground.
With it getting dark an hour early, and not being familiar with my surroundings, I was at a bit of a loss as I headed out the door. So, like the creature of habit I am I decided to skirt Mount Doug, detouring through Ritchet’s Bog before returning home. I decided to wear my HRM for the first time in months and was surprised at the relatively low readings I was getting… when I was getting them, 125-135. I decided to ignore the watch, and after convincing myself I wasn’t going to fade, was surprised that my frequency and stride length held for the better portion of the run as I lightly pressed the pace.
Training: wet 1:06:26
Posted by Michael at 9:50 PM
I didn't get the job.
I'm frustrated and disappointed, apparently I don't have enough experience which makes me wonder why I was screened in? Once again, they see so much potential. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, much like asking a girl out and being told, "you're a really nice guy...”
Once home I decided to go for a run in an attempt to release some of the dissatisfaction and/or give me something to really whine about; up Mount Doug I went in an attempt to gain a new perspective on life.
On my ascent I fell, and truly hated myself for realizing the irony as I picked myself back up.
My head hurts again.
Training: an irritated 54:51
The fatigue is so ingrained that a night’s sleep doesn’t manage to wash away the previous day’s filth, leaving me with a deficit that is growing perilously close to complete exhaustion.
My head hurts.
I like change, but, given my tendency for orderly fashion, I like predictable change, change that I have some semblance of control over (whether real or otherwise). But with the moving, renovations, now having to bike to work, preparing a Treasury Board presentation, all the while waiting to hear on a new job (ask me tomorrow)… I’m tired, no excuses, just tired.
And to rub salt further into the wound, given looming deadlines and my limited capacity, last week I decided to put my running on hold and have inadvertently jeopardized my plan to run Phoenix in January.
The pain in my head has intensified now sitting directly above my right eye socket.
But I now see that long looked for light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel. For the first time ever we have high-speed internet, the painting is finished (almost), the renovation (significantly) complete and I have begun to explore my new surrounding. And the kicker, Carter just called and we’re considering the idea of running to work (in the future)… the possibilities are endless.
Thursday: day off
Friday: day off
Saturday: day off
Sunday: day off
Monday: day off
Tuesday: day off
Wednesday: 49:53 easy
Thursday: 39:50 easy
Posted by Michael at 8:47 PM