Thursday, March 08, 2007

Called out again...

I will from now on await my anonymous conscience, calling me out to report on my training...

I have been pleased with my running of late. I have felt a little tired at the beginning of runs, but they have rounded out nicely, finding form as they progressed.

Sunday began early. Very early. I was scheduled to do a talk for a Times Colonist Clinic beginning at 9:00am, and wanting to get a Jasper-esque run in, I decided for the "before talk" rather than the "after talk". So it was with great regret that I awoke to my alarm at 5:30am. I had laid out my clothes the night before, I so rolled into them, grabbed some food for before and after the run, and headed out the door.

I pulled up to the Elk/Beaver Lake parking lot at 6:00am. The parking lot at the lakes always seems to have someone there, but it was this morning that I became that "someone". I am now privately proud of the fact that for one day, I was the first one to the lakes. However, my pride quickly dissipated when I realized my miscalculation. I had thought that I would start my run by 6:10am, thus allowing sufficient time to get to the talk for 8:45am. It was as I was exiting the car that I realized I had not accounted for the fact that it is still dark at 6:10am.

My warmup consisted of careful foot placement in the trails, trying to not go too slow, but not wanting to risk an injury of any kind. I made it to the main trail and was pleased to see that light was making its way through the cloud. It was less of the rising sun as it was the lightening of blackness to greyness. I finished my warm up and started the workout.

90 minutes of tempo (holding 3:50/km pace).

This was a workout that I had done with Jasper last summer. These sustained tempo runs had been very valuable to my training, having noticed marked improvements in the weeks following them. They are tough runs, but beneficial. I decided that 24km should be about the right distance, and in preparation for the Around the Bay run in a few weeks, this fit nicely.

I was alone when I started into this run. I was alone when I ended, although the number of people on the trails and the number of cars in the parking lot had increased exponentially during that 90 minutes. The first loop was good, finding my legs around 4km, but holding pace the whole time. I was starting to feel a little laboured around 12k, but surprisingly was not losing any time at all. In fact, I was going a tad faster for each of the kilometers as compared to the previous lap. Wondering how long this would last, I continued to push, until about 19k I saw the end. It was here that my HR started to dip and my times started to climb. I was running out of steam and motivation. Pushing through and convincing myself that I was tough enough to finish the workout, I ran through the Zero KM marker and ran our to the 2k marker (over the big hill for those in the know). Trying to recreate the ATB course, which has a killer hill at about 27k, I wanted to run the big hill twice in the last 4k. I dragged my sorry butt back up and over, finishing the workout a little ragged, but overall pleased with the past four days.

Monday was an easy run and Tuesday was off. Wednesday saw my playing with my clinics and tonight was a recovery run. I ran into Bruce Martel, a great massage therapist at the clinic in Cook St Village (near Starbucks), and we chatted, thus helping me get to an hour of running tonight. With the Bazan Bay World 5k Championships this weekend, I will not do too much work over the next couple of days. I also need to determine what I am going to do about my taper. Discussions with the likes of Jim, Rumon, and Mike have lead me to rethink dropping too much volume over the next two weeks. I don't think I am going to load up too much or anything crazy like that, but I may not do the complete unload thing that I have in the past. It is also supposed to be -4 degrees on race day, so nothing else may matter if that is the case.
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