Sunday, March 02, 2008

Poker Star

To enjoy my Friday off, Sonja and I went to a co-workers house for a BBQ and poker.  Having watched Sonja play her share of online poker (and win a few tournaments - she is quite good!), I gleaned some strategies.  It was only a $10 buy-in to play with our friends and there were seven of us.  My luck from finding my key in the snow on Wednesday transformed into some beginner's luck on Friday where I was able to come away winning the whole shebang!  In doing so I realized that poker is all about winning a few important hands and folding a lot.  Also, there may be some bullying involved.

We were up quite late on Friday so Saturday morning came with an abruptness that wasn't appreciated.  I made my way out of bed and met VFAC down in Stanley Park.  I really have been impressed with Vancouver this past week.  After complaining about greyness and wetness for the past three months, it was absolutely beautiful this past week, Saturday being no exception.  The weather was perfect for running.  Ynuk made it back out to workout, knee still intact.  We had an interesting conversation about running track this summer - he may have convinced me to buy some spikes and run a few 800's or 1500's.  I haven't been on the track in a race situation since grade 11, so it would be fun (read: pull my heart out of my chest to stomp on it kind of fun).  
Paul and Jay met us at the start of the workout which was to be 5 x 800ish uphill.  The hill was very runnable, but definitely uphill.  The recovery was to run back to start, with a 200m stride in the middle of it.  Ynuk looked good again and the four of us stayed together very well, pushing each other to stay on pace.  We started out conservatively (I opened with a 2:48) and then descended throughout the workout so that my last two were 
2:40.  It was a very good workout for us.  I felt much better at the beginning of this workout than I did on Thursday, so that was encouraging.

Today I went for another long run.  Again, it was supposed to be 32k, but my time was 2:30, so I am hoping that some small wrong turns and slight route deviations caused me to get to 33k (or 34k). 
 
The map is for my 36k long run next week, but I followed the same basic route, just turning toward the middle of Stanley Park at 17k instead of at 20k.

The run went relatively well.  It is always hard in the last 25 minutes, especially when I was expecting to be done at about 2:10.  It wasn't a fast run, that much is for sure, but it is somewhat comforting knowing that come Boston I should only be running for 15 minutes longer than today and 7 minutes longer than last week.  The time of my feet is important, but I sometimes wonder if I am going to be able to hold pace (3:55/km) during the race.  However, that is what these long runs are for, not to mention a taper!

I also went a visited with Gray Taylor tonight, he of Brooks Running fame.  Gray is the rep for Brooks around here and the gentleman who has graciously sponsored me again this year.  We looked at and talked geek talk about shoes (there are 7 different Brooks shoes I would like this year - Glycerin 6, Ghost, track spikes, cross country spikes, a marathon shoe and a shorter racing flat, not to forget the absolutely amazing Cascadia trail running shoe).  He also passed along this year's racing kit and it received Sonja's approval ("Way better than the grey colour from last year!")  I am fortunate enough to have a few people who support me in my running (Frontrunners, 7systems Endurance Sports Supplement and Westcoast Orthopedic Laboratorys being two others) and I am very grateful and appreciative of their support.  I am also very proud to represent these companies as I believe fully in their products and will continue to use them as long as I run.  I don't do a very good "sell" job on them because I don't want the perception being that I am using them because I am receiving money (which I am not).  I read some reviews of products by sponsored athletes and they seem disingenuous and that is the last thing I want to project.  I do sincerely believe that the products of these companies are helping me to run faster than I have ever before and I would love to chat to anyone interested in any of them and how they might work for you.  

Now, if I could only hook up a sponsorship with Garmin so that I can get their new Forerunner 405 when it comes out!



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