Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mid-week Update

It is Wednesday, so it must be time for a post.  

In truth, Wednesday has nothing to do with it, but I always tell my students to have some sort of an introduction, so that was mine.  Not great, but that is ok.  It is mid-week.

Since my last update, I have have a poor race at the Penticton Half-Marathon, where I ran 1:18:xx.  It was 30 degrees at 8:30 in the morning, so I melted on the course.  But more than that, starting out holding 3:22/km with Graeme Wilson was also not the smartest start to a race.  Needless to say that made it two tough races in a row.  

I went to the Sasquatch! Music Festival last weekend where I saw R.E.M, The National, The Flight of the Conchords, The Cure, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and Rogue Wave to mention but a few of the many bands playing at the Gorge in Washington.  It was a lot of fun and I got to run in Small Town, America, which was an interesting experience unto itself.

This week I have felt normal again.  I went for 54 minutes of fartlek on Monday and just over an hour as previewed the beginning of the Iron Knee course on Tuesday.  Tonight I used my new push lawn mower to cut down the burgeoning jungle that was the front and backyard, and tomorrow it is VFAC again.  Last week's VFAC felt alright as we did 1 7/8 mile, 2k and 2k (10:06, 6:03, 6:10), so my legs seem to be back under me after a little hiatus.  As a result, I am looking forward to the Iron Knee race this weekend (that and it means I am finally back in the trail racing season!).

So, while tonight was on off night, I am feeling good about running again and I am looking forward to getting back on track (or trail! ha!).  

Thursday, May 15, 2008


There was sun and warmth today.  

While my run was satisfying, it wasn't as great as Liam's pre-Ottawa jaunt.  I went out on my normal evening run route, along the Trans-Canada Trail and put in the loop of a public par 3, 9-hole golf course.  I also threw in some pick-ups in preparation for the half-marathon in Penticton on Sunday.  Things felt ok, but I am coming to the end of my cleanse now and I am excited to eat some comfort food and to start my 7systems recovery supplements again.  It is surprising how much I felt the difference not having them, and it is a testament to the importance of having the right minerals, vitamins, and other stuff in your body to allow it to recover well, thus allowing peak performance.  I am curious to see how I feel as I reintroduce to my daily routine.  With all that said, I will quote the quotable Mr. Trevor Millar - "It doesn't matter if you feel good, just run hard.  Feeling good is a bonus."

I guess I will have to run hard.  We'll see how things feel as the race I really want to run well is two weeks from now - the Iron Knee 25k.

As I am camping I will not have internet access for the long weekend, so be good out there.  

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Weather - 1, Brad - 0

OK.  I admit it.  I lost.

I mean, I wanted to.  Honest.  It was in my plan from the time I woke up.  

My first (good) workout post-Boston.  I hadn't decided on a tempo or a fartlek, but I was leaning toward the latter.  Some 1 on, 1 off type stuff.  Maybe a pyramid, or not.  It wasn't important what I did, but I was going to do it.  Especially since I have a half-marathon this weekend and I have been starting to feel good on my runs.  I wanted to tap into some of the speed that I haven't been using in the past few weeks.

But, alas, I am only a man.  Not made of metal, but of bone and spirit.  And it was my spirit that could not weather another rainy 10 degree day.  It was just too much.  I was tired from teaching and cleansing.  The Pittsburgh-Philadelphia playoff game was on and I wanted to nap.

So I watched and napped, warm and dry, conceding this day to the elements and the relentless Vancouver winter which is to break tomorrow as we head to 29 degrees this weekend.  

Maybe I will run in the morning.  

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Feeling better...

This Sunday saw Simon and I meet up at the end of the Iron Knee course, in Deep Cove.  We had run together last Thursday, just a scant few days after his Vancouver Marathon effort (which landed him "first into the aid tent, last one out".  He didn't feel so hot out in the trails of the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, but it was a run of necessity as I was leading a clinic for him that coming Saturday (read: yesterday) and I needed to know the route they were to follow.  Like me, Simon was a little cocky out of the gates.  "I think I am going to run three hours on Sunday."  Hmmm....I seem to remember doing a workout that fried me only 10 days after my marathon.  However, by the 45 minute mark of our run, Simon's three hour Sunday run had turned into three hours of watching running movies.  So, I was quite impressed when he suggested a two hour run this morning.  I was game.

The weather was a little grey and wet when we started out following the Iron Knee course in reverse direction.  We ascended the Baden Powell trail and talked about running, movies, and Flight of the Conchords.  I asked about strategy for the Iron Knee race in a few weeks and talked about hill running.  Simon is the not only the race director for the event this year, but he is also the course record holder, so there are not many better minds to pick about how to run the course well.  After coming up with a strategy that we think will work for me, we decided to climb "Powerline Hill", the monster second hill of the Iron Knee.  This is a hill that I have never even attempted to fully run, often being reduced to a hike by the end of the first third of the 2k climb.  Today though, we decided that if I was going to run it in the race, I had better run in training.  And run it we did.  The 2k took about 16:00 of quad burning effort.  For those that know my running, it is definitely the downhill that is my friend.  When I look at great climbers - like Adam Campbell, Jason Loutitt, and Simon - I am a big guy (I think that their combined weight is 200 pds).  Running uphill takes a bit more out of me than some of the lighter guys, but for me to more competitive in trail races, I need to be able to run more hills.  Today, I started that training.  It was good, but man, if Simon wasn't there I wouldn't have completed it.  I asked about four times "Is this the turn off?", starting half-way up.  Eventually, we made it to the top and while pleased that I had completed the whole hill running for the first time, I also quietly wondered about what that would feel like mid-race.  

We finished off the run in beautiful sun and passing many families out hiking the trail for Mother's Day.  It was an easy descent for us and we took moments to really remind ourselves of the beauty of flowing mountain streams surrounded by green, illuminated by sun filtered through the leaves.  A reinvigorating run to be sure.  

In other events, Sonja and I are about 10 days into a 15 day cleanse.  This is something that my friends have done since I have been out West, and while I have not done one yet, I have been interested in it for awhile.  Essentially, it means that we have cut sugar, dairy, and wheat from our diet.  In addition to that we take some supplements each day to help clean out our intestines.  I have not noticed any of the adverse side-effects that others mention (huge cravings, having to be within 10 ft of a toilet, really low energy, etc.) which is a good thing, I think.  But I have lost a little weight (a couple of pounds), but that may be to me eating healthier as much as anything else.  Regardless, it has been good for our menu as we are making our food (I have made Dal and Hummus, neither of which I have made before) and we are considering what we put in our bodies and how that affects us.  It has been an interesting, and at times enjoyable, experience, but I am looking forward to some Ben and Jerry's ice cream later next week.