March 13, 2011

Another 3-hour run done

It was time for my second 3-hour training run in the lead-up to the 2011 BMO Vancouver Marathon, held on May 1. A steady rain was coming down, and none of my running buddies showed. (I just had an email from one saying he did come to meet me at the usual time and place -- I wonder if the time change had anything to do with it?)

In any case, I set off alone at 9am, with a fully charged iPod that still has the playlist I used in the final 54km of the 2010 Haney to Harrison 100km. (That ultra was the first race ever in the more than 100 running, triathlon and duatlon events I've done over the years that I listened to music.)

I love running to music if I'm doing a long run on the road on my own. Since moving to Squamish, I've been doing a lot of my training on trails with my loyal four-footed buddy Luka whom we adopted from the local SPCA in April 2009 as a puppy of about four months.

Puppy Luka at the '09 start
The 2009 BMO Vancouver Marathon was the first race Luka ever watched and he decided then and there to become a running dog when he grew up.

Both tired at the' 09 finish
Luka even made it into one of the 2009 BMO Vancouver Marathon newsletters.

Now that Luka's a little over two years old, he loves to come for regular runs on the trails and I love the positive energy and sense of excitement he brings to my sessions. He joined me for an 80-minute run on Friday, and a 35-minute one yesterday afternoon.

With the pouring rain today and my plans to run much of the session on the road, Tim took him for a morning walk instead while I ran a pacey 95 minute pacey. Triathlete Tim was keen to do a 90-minute run and had agreed to join me for the second half of my run.

Going back home at the midway point also allowed me to quickly change into dry gear as I was already soaked for those first 95 minutes. Then we set off for a loop along dirt roads from Valleycliffe toward Quest University, along the golf course, the swimming pool, and then back home. Instead of cutting through Hospital Hill, we took the longer option and ended up back home after 1hr 42min at a solid pace.

It was so nice to have Tim's company for the second half of the long run. He had many cool stories from the Victoria Masters swim meet he did yesterday on Vancouver Island with other members of the Squamish triathlon group the Titans. Squamish-based swim coach and elite triathlete Jan Francke had suggested they go, and organized it.

It was a superb experience for many reasons. All Squamish Titans swimmers did very well. An 80-year-old Texas-based swimmer broke a world record in the 100 metres (which he swam a few seconds faster than Tim, who's pretty decent in the water and placed in four of the five events he did in his first-ever swim meet!)   

Besides changing clothes for the second half of the run, I also changed shoes and wore the Hoka for the second part. I've only had them for a few weeks, reviewing them for IMPACT Magazine (courtesy of Kintec). The more I try these shoes, the more I like them.

That brought my total running time for today to 3hr 15min, pfew! Back home I first changed into dry clothes, had a big glass of water topped with orange juice, and then lay on the floor with my legs up against a wall to help speed up recovery. 

Luka, my training buddy
Luka thought that was his cue to bring over a ball. Perhaps I should have brought him on part of the run, as he'd be lying up with his legs in the air, too, asleep on his couch. Next I had a sandwich with margarine, plenty of ham and cheese -- toasted.

Then I felt recovered enough to have a hot shower. Afterward, I applied a layer of Voltaren to my calves which always get tight before wrapping them in Glad wrap so the cream has a chance to work its calming and relaxing magic (a tip from my Active Release Techniques therapist in Sydney gave me years ago to recover from hard and/or long sessions).

I remember the time when I dreaded the long runs, afraid I'd give up before they were complete. Now they're my favourite sessions and I love doing them: two 3-hour sessions done, three left to go before May 1!

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