Sunday, October 25, 2009

3kms of Torture and 30kms of Turmoil

It was a tough weekend of training once again but well worth it. I was having some biomechanical issues last week, my achilles was acting up and my hip flexors were really tight and sore. I spent most of the week working out on the trainer and it was a nice change, I had a chance to still push myself but didn't have the high impact of running. My body appreciated the change and I felt like all my little issues had subsided.

I was on the road for a couple days this week so I spent an hour on the treadmill in Peace River. I'm trying to make sure my trips turn into mini training camps so I stay focused and prepared. I came home on Friday night and took Harley out for a 10k around Crystal Lake a couple times. He was running fast, so I went with it and used him as motivation to run a little faster. The first 5k we did in 18:42 and the second 5k in 18:35 (no pee breaks on the second lap), 37:17 for the full 10k and it felt pretty good. Amber and I had a good time Friday night and finished a couple bottles of wine, which was one bottle too much.

Saturday we met a couple guys from the run club to do our usual run and post run coffee. It's better running with some other people when you're not feeling 100%. Later Saturday afternoon Robert, Paul and I were part of a team for the last Wolves x-country race of the year, it was a 3 x 3km relay. I wasn't too concerned about racing for 3kms but after running 13kms hard on Thursday, 10kms hard on Friday and another 10kms easy Saturday morning I probably should have been. The race was a lot of fun but I have never felt 10 minutes of torture like that before. The route was beautiful, through the trails of the GP Nordic Centre. I was the anchor and Paul and Robert had set me up perfectly, I had a lead and all I had to do was maintain it. I started out so fast that I thought the muscles on my legs were going to fly off as I was running downhill. The first half was all downhill and the second half was all uphill. I hit the bottom and was completely out of breath but struggled to just keep moving as my lungs were ready to burst and my body filled with lactic acid. It's very hard to explain how you feel when you're running beyond your limits. I kept having this thought creep into my brain that I needed to just stop and walk, I know that this is just a defence mechanism but it's so hard to overcome. I did manage to hold on and ran my best 3km ever, 9:49. We won the team race by a km!!

Sunday was a long run with Amber's group, they were doing 16kms and I was doing 30kms. The first half was hell, I was struggling but Harley kept me moving and we completed the first 16kms in 1:02. I didn't want to go back out but somehow found the strength, I think it was the thought that Amber's girls were still out there running hard. I soldiered on and shuffled through another 14kms, one of the toughest 30km runs I think I have ever done, 2hrs of turmoil. It was a great "mental training" day for Vegas, there is always a point after about 35 or 36kms when you want to just stop and walk and I needed to put myself there in training and overcome that feeling. Now I'm ready for some rest.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Preparing For Vegas

I know it's been a while since I posted anything but not a lot has been going on other than a lot of hard work. I've been very busy at work and trying to fit in training has been a real challenge. I still managed to run about 50kms with Harley on the weekend and my achilles tendon flared up so I was massaging my calf for hours on Saturday. This week I've been biking a bit more and it's definitely helped, cross-training always seems to create more of a balance.

I'm away from home for the next couple days but I'll be back with Amber and H-dog on Friday. I was asked to be a part of a team relay on Saturday, it's just a short 3x3km race but it'll be a lot of fun for us old guys to go out and kick some college runners butt.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

34:25, new PR!

It's been a long time since I raced in a 10k and I was really excited to see if all this hard training over the last few years has helped my speed at this distance. The Grande Prairie Fall Classic 10k was today and it was great race with about 125 people and a lot of fantastic people organizing it. Amber had all her 'Women of Strength' running and they looked fantastic decked out in matching gear. She was there to support them and they were all so excited to be out there competing. I love that energy from new runners who are just out there to finish and have fun, it makes me want to just go out and enjoy being with other athletes and run as fast as I can.

I definitely ran as hard and as fast as I could, right from the start I was in a lot of pain. I knew I was running the first 5k very fast, maybe a little too fast but I was determined to set a new PR and I didn't care how much suffering I was going to go through. Well I didn't care before I started but I definitely cared while I was running. I finished the first lap in 16:40 and I was struggling to try and hold my pace. During the second lap I could tell I was slowing down but I had absolutely nothing left to give. I really, really wanted to just stop and walk but I knew it was just my mind trying to convince me that this is not normal pain. Usually you feel pain and you do everything you can to stop it as soon as possible but an athlete cannot give into that suffering, I had to stay in my "pain cave." I suffered through the remaining 5k and finished with a PR of 34:25!! A great way to kick off my training for the Vegas marathon, hopefully I have one more PR in me before the end of the year.