Friday, May 29, 2009

Donut Week

I'm enjoying a week of No Running more than I would have expected. It's my "donut week" because my log is full of "0"s, not because I've been eating donuts. I've actually been eating well, lots of raw veggies. I feel my body healing more each day. It needed this. I'll do a few light runs next week, but won't start training again until I feel ready.

Why did it take me so long to give in to some extended recovery? I thought I was good at giving my body rest at times it might benefit from it more than work, but I guess I wasn't seeing it beyond the micro scale of days and weeks. I haven't had an extended period of sickness or injury in a long time, which is very fortunate, but that means I haven't given my body a really good break in all that time either.

Last week's race attempt snapped me out of my routine and mindset. The first couple of days felt a bit odd, but now I feel liberated from the 'need' to run, and am getting back to the 'want' to run.

This is my favourite poem, it pretty much sums up my philosophy on life (and on running).

Monday, May 25, 2009

Clean Slate

I decided to try a 50 miler this past weekend, figuring I was tapered and ready to go. Turns out my body wasn't ready, so at 15 km I abandoned my attempted race pace. I wasn't feeling good at all for that early on, and my hips had started to ache. My left leg in particular felt like it was dragging, and I didn't want to do more damage. So I slowed down and looked forward to packing it in at the end of the 20 km loop.

No big deal; I feel I made the right call. In fact, I feel relieved and refreshed to just let all of my racing expectations for the rest of the year go; to just empty my head of it all and have fun starting over. My initital plan after Rock and Ice was to try to get more out of my winter training, but obviously my body has different ideas. My revised plan is to not really have a plan, though I do want to do a bit of cross training, get on some serious stretching and hip exercises, and let my achey joints heal up by cutting back on running mileage. In a month or two I'll hopefully feel a lot better.

I'll know I'm better when I start hurdling over fallen trees on trail runs again. I used to love doing that, but for a long time now I've been stepping over them very gingerly.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Week of May 11 - 17

M - off
T - 23' barefoot
W - 51'
T - off
F - 64' J&J trails night before 5 Peaks. Really wish I could race this course!
S - off - Busy day with 5 Peaks. Thunderstorm made things messy. Timer guy showing up an hour and 45 minutes late made things tricky. D had just started giving out backup bibs for manual timing when he finally arrived. Ugh. (An analogy might be like having the caterer not show up to your wedding and you're just about to order pizza.)
S - 36'

Total 2:54

Recovery week. I think I needed it mentally even more than physically. Really needing to switch gears and change up my training.

Here's Siku. I took her asparagus hunting with me yesterday and then she came to Heather's soccer game with us later, so along with her regular daily plays with the rest of the dogs I'm sure she slept well last night.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Week of May 4 - 10

M - am 42' (chinups, triceps); pm 48'
T - am 68'; pm 75' (20' tempo, 5'jog, 5x[2'hard, 1'easy])
W - early am 80'
T - am 60' (trdmill - 5'each @ 6,8,10deg, 90"jog, 5' @ 10deg, 2x[1'each@8,9,10,11,12deg] + chinups); pm 50'
F - am 65'; pm 30' Five Fingers (pushups, triceps)
S - 60'
S - 3:15 Charleston Lake

Total: 12:53

A good week, but tired out for Sunday's long run. Just took it easy and took pictures along the way while Derrick went ahead. It was fun, and nice to enjoy the scenery as spring takes hold. Trilliums are at their peak. I found a rare and beautiful Clif Flower on the trail too, planted by Derrick where I couldn't miss it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Going for it

The three main races I chose for this year have something in common: They all scare me a bit, in a "I'm not sure I can do this" kind of way. I've missed that feeling of taking a risk with my race choices; it's been a few years since I've gone out of my comfort zone. I'm enjoying the motivation it is giving me to train. I love training, but it's more satisfying when it is fuelled by a specific purpose.

Rock and Ice is done, and although it definitely intimidated me, I also felt that it suited me rather well because it was somewhat similar to fastpacks we've done, plus my body deals better with cold than heat. Easy for me to say now that it's over.

With my first 50 miler, my worry is I'll be in a bad place by five hours in, with still such a long way to go. I don't want to do it if it's not mostly enjoyable, so the plan is to train hard and then go in well rested. The race I want to do - Finger Lakes Fifties - is in early July, so maybe I should find a back-up in case the temperature/humidity is extreme. Regular July weather is bad enough, I don't want to try it in a heat wave.

And finally, a fall marathon might just scare me the most because I have a specific time goal. So black-and-white and quantifiable those road races are. Heartless. Best to avoid really, and I'm sure I'll get back to that. At least it is really easy to find a back-up if it's too hot, with so many good fall marathons within an easy drive.

They're all just silly little fears. Definitely worth a few risks.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Worlds Collide

Cool video featuring my brother Jeff's song, sis-in-law Heather's paintings (she produced the video too), and nephew Whit's trip (with Heather) to Uganda last fall with Buy-A-Net Malaria Prevention Group of Canada.

For more info, see Heather's website.
More of Jeff's music.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Week of Apr 27 - May 3

M - am 57; pm 41
T - 65
W am 52 (6' tempo; 8 x 35-40 sec hills); pm 48 (15' FF)
T am 40; pm 43 (+strength)
F am 76 J&J trails before work; pm 30
S 62
S 3:43 Frontenac Slide Lake Loop from Arab Lake Lot (c-clockwise)
Total 12:17

Finally a good week. It was higher than I expected, but the main thing is I felt great. Five Fingers are awesome - same feel almost as barefoot, but no worries re stepping on anything sharp.

Slide Lake was a blast. We had so much fun and the weather was ideal. Downed six gels, a pack of Bloks and a bottle with Sustained/Gu2O mix. Plus lots of water of course. Feet and glutes a bit sore by the end, but not too bad. As much as I love the feel of Crosslites, Fireblades were perfect for me on this very rocky run. Those shoes have saved me so many times. There are countless beautiful views on this loop...Flagpole Hill, Devil's Gorge, nice waterfall between Buck and Slide Lakes, Mink Lake Lookout, endless lakes. Only saw one other person the entire time.

This coming week I'll get into the groove of workouts on tue/thur and a med-long run wednesdays before work. It feels really good to be enjoying training again.