February 20, 2012

Invincible, except on Sunday's long run

In New Zealand clouds (2005)
After setting a personal record for the half marathon distance on Sunday for the first time in four years, improving it by 46 seconds to 87:27, I have been running on clouds the past week. I felt that the training I've been doing - bigger volume and less intensity - suited me; I'm very much enjoying the training and I've been feeling strong.

For the first time I am running every day. I've been doing so since the start of the year, which is 50 days now. I had wondered if that was a smart thing to do but by now I feel that the three weekly recovery runs are very beneficial.

And to get confirmation of my fitness through such a big PB has of course been extra motivating. (Thanks to the Squamish Chief's Ben Lypka for this article on the race.)

On Monday, the day after the First Half race, I did a double run, with 11K in the morning, followed by 5K in the afternoon. "Felt good. Beautiful day. Don't feel like I ran 87 yesterday. No more tired than I've felt recently, less actually after the past week of recovery [a week of 108K]," I wrote in my running log.

Tuesday was a lactate threshold session; a total of 18K including 8K at half marathon race pace. I managed a 4:10 per K average for that 8K, which I was happy with. "Felt decent given Sunday's effort," I wrote in my log.

On Wednesday I did 24K at 5:00 per K average. "Good run. Felt great," my notes say. I took a couple of gels and a bottle of water. After the run, I felt very tired. "Solid nap," according to my log.

Thursday had 11K at recovery pace. I'd forgotten to charge the Garmin and ended up running 12K. "Was tired, not surprisingly. It was nice to run in the afternoon, knowing it was the shortest and easiest run of the week," I wrote in my diary.

Friday called for 21K. The Garmin hadn't been on my mind, so it was still out of juice. I did a version of my standard out-and-back route that I knew to be at least 10.5K, so I ran at least 21K, perhaps closer to 21.5K. It took me 1:43, again I felt good. "Good frame of mind, time went by fast, positive thoughts," my notes say. "Tired afterward."

Saturday's easy 13K including 10 100-metre strides. "Felt awesome, nice easy run. Felt good too, if somewhat tired during the strides," I wrote. "Noticed how I either have a better feel for how long 100m takes me, or that I run them a little quicker, as I used to check my watch typically after 80m."

On Saturday afternoon I went to the final session of a very cool six-week project by Jaimie, a Quest University student. Called “Me and You”, the project involved sharing life stories through creative means: 

"Each session, we do creative exercises exploring events in our lives. Between sessions, we work either from prompts or from our own ideas to express and understand our lived experiences. Then, we come together and share our stories with each other—not to critique, but to find resonance. The medium, whether oral storytelling, writing, drawing, interpretive dance, or another means, is up to the individual."

It was another inspiring afternoon with beautiful stories, drawings and three original songs. I had a couple of afternoon coffees, which I normally don't do, and a few of the yummy snacks everyone brought.

Afterward, Tim, Luka and I went to Nexen Beach where we walked and chased sticks across the beach (Luka did most of the latter). Then we had a glass of red wine, and dinner. Perhaps I ate too much or too fast. I felt a little off by the time I went to bed. I didn't sleep well, and when I woke up the next morning, I felt completely exhausted. Even my coffee didn't taste good, always a sign something is not quite right.

As I walked Luka before Tim and I were heading out for a long run, I couldn't imagine covering the 32K I was supposed to do. My stomach didn't feel right, and neither did the rest of me. But skipping the session entirely didn't feel good either. Tim was planning to run 24K, so I decided to try for that and see how that would go. I could always turn around. I could always do a second 8K run in the afternoon.

It was hard work to run 5:30 per K. I was glad to run with Tim, who entertained me with stories from Chris McCormack's book I am here to win. When we made it to 12K, I was so happy I could turn around and start on the home stretch. Tim went ahead, picking up his speed, and I watched him disappear in the distance. I knew I'd be fine running home, as long as I took it easy.

At the pool, another 4.5K from home, I ran into a neighbour, an Ironman triathlete, who'd just been to the pool with her two little kids. She offered me a ride home. I declined quickly before I could give in to temptation. It took me 2hr 16 to cover the 24K distance. That's an average 5:42 per K.

After 90 minutes of couch time, we ran some errands and took Luka to the beach again.

I didn't feel up to another 8K in the afternoon, as I still didn't feel 100 per cent; and 128K for the week was solid, even if it was short of the 135K I was meant to do.

All in all, an awesome week that concluded with a reminder that I am not invincible:-).      

I am feeling much better this morning. Today has another double session, 10K in the morning and 6K in the afternoon, both recovery pace.

1 comment:

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Nice article mentioning your PR! Interesting to see how you ran this week!