"Hey Everyone! Welcome to June-uary!"
10 degrees and pouring rain. This, my dear friends, is what we call pathetic fallacy.
The Iron Knee is a great race. There was great weather (last weekend, prior to the fours day of grey and rain). A new course record. And Simon did a great job as race director. I had a decent race, about a minute slower than last year's time, a result of going out with the leaders (or at least close to them). I got my heart rate up a little too high too early and I paid for this in the last third of the race, where I was passed by two fine runners going up Powerline Hill. With my quads carrying your share and my share of lactic acid, I wasn't able to push on the downhill like I wanted and thus was not able to retake the positions I had lost. I ended up 6th overall, which is fine, but I was disappointed more in my time. I had perfect conditions and was not able to have a great day. But that is why we race - the search for the elusive perfect day. The true problem is finding that day, for after that the desire to replicate the day becomes overriding, and the results that are posted are compared against said day. Having had that day at the Comox Half-marathon, I have been searching and comparing since.
With that said, I have spoken to a good friend (who happens to be a remarkable runner) and discussed what my last three performances. His thoughtful recommendation was to take 10 days off. I was hesitant at first, and agreed with his assessment that our first instinct is to do more when things are not going well. We begin to think that it is our training that is wrong, we are not running hard enough, long enough. He astutely pointed out that I have had good races this year, so the fitness and strength resides within me at this point. Rather than go beat myself up more, he suggested to rest. Allow the body to recover. Rejuvenate the mind. Rebuild the desire.
The fact that the weather is awful has weighed on me as well. I can put my mind to getting through four, even five, months of Vancouver grey and wet. However, when winter extends into summer, my fight is reduced to flight. Thus the ten days off will serve me well. I am going to run when I want for as long as I want as fast as I want. As the rain has been falling steadily for 3 days, with the thermometer hovering between 10-12 degrees, I have had a few days off. This has been good to help reduce a burgeoning plantar fasciitis in my right foot. I am also skipping the Gutbuster Half-marathon this weekend, which is too bad as it is a great race, but I just don't have it in me to make the trek to the island to race.
And speaking of races, stay glued to www.triathlon.org this weekend as the ITU World Championships are in Vancouver this weekend. There are spots for the Olympics up for grabs for Canadians, so it should be exciting - and it is in my backyard (figuratively, of course). I am going to head down on Sunday to watch the elite races, but good luck to Jay Macdonald and Stefan Timms who are racing in the age-group races tomorrow!