Monday, January 19, 2009

Training recap #3

Sun 18 Jan - I am finding it extremely convenient to plan to run on Saturdays but to always have Sundays to fall back on. This way if the weather is too bad or if there are other reasons that prohibit me from running, at least I could find a way to get the run in on the Sunday. Today, I hade to split my run into 2 segments around other commitments; after bringing my girls to their skating lessons, I dressed and grabbed my snowshoes and headed out to the trails. I ran on the trails in snowshoes for an hour so I will log this as the equivalent of a 10km easy run (even though I was working much harder than on an easy run...). Then, after lunch, we were off to the slopes for ski lessons. At 3:30 it was time to head home. I changed into my running gear and ran home from the ski hill (15km). It was snowing mildly and the roads were mushy but it was a great point to point run with several hills. When I arrived home I felt invigorated, and hungry. I drank a bottle of Ultima and bathed the girls while supper was cooking. By suppertime, thirty minutes later, I was feeling the chills again and noticed I was running a mild fever. I drank some more water and took some ehinacea. I also ate supper even though my hunger had passed. By the time I went to bed, I was feeling much better. I think I finally beat this cold...
Mon 19 Jan - TI training today. I did my 8 half-mile intervals at threshold pace after a half mile warmup and did a quick cool down to fit it all into a 10km workout. My pace was about 3:26 per interval. I felt strong today for a change. I forgot to bring a performance T so I worked out in my cotton undershirt. Of course, it is old and worn so it was kind of embarassing but what are you gonna do - by the end of my workout, the thing was soaked from top to bottom and weighed a tonne. This is why cotton is not the way to go for workout gear.
Tue 20 Jan - Day off. Good thing - my thighs are a little tender today. Probably from the showshoe run on Sunday.
Wed 21 Jan - TT run today. One mile warmup followed by 3 miles at Threshold pace (I had to take a minute walk break at mile 2). After that, I rounded out my run at a more comfortable pace to cover a total of 11km.
Thu 22 Jan - Cross-training today: 20 minutes rowing, 3 sets of chinups, core exercises, and stretching. Felt good today.
Fri 23 Jan - 6 miles at Race Pace plus short cool down for 10km total. Felt good, I covered the 6 miles in 45 minutes flat and could have done more. My heart rate was averaging 150bpm which is very comfortable for me.
Sat 24 Jan - Headed out the door at 6 a.m this morning. I was dressed appropriately for -20C weather and had my trusty headlamp to guide me. No footpod or HRM today - They are still in my gym bag I left at my mother-in-law's house last night, forgettting I needed them this morning. Oh the logistics of it all...but that is for another post. Anyway, luckily I had another iPod at home...So after convincing myself to get out of bed (that is the hardest part), I head out the door and start walking to the corner of my street. The roads are snow covered so my new studs are getting good grip in the snow (see my post on shoe studs). I hear the familiar "crunch, crunch" of my footfalls which is an indicator that it is pretty cold. I start to run at a comfortable pace and contemplate the route I will take - without my footpod, I need to stick to a known loop so that I can adequately judge the distance. I contemplate the options available 1. run a 3 km loop ten times. Close to home but I don't see this as a very pleasurable alternative. 2. run a 10 km loop three times. A bit less redundant, but it does take me along Main Road for a significant portion of each loop, which is not the best place to run since it is narrow and also a main thoroughfare - if there is such a thing in the country...3. extend the 3km loop to 6km and do that 5 times. This seems more manageable as far as the mundane meter goes and it keeps me away from Main Road.

By the time I decide on option 3, I am already 2.5 km into my run, I know where the 4.5 km mark is and could then head back around that block to create my 6km loop. I feel like I am dressed just perfectly at this point and the solitude of tbeing the only person on the roads is somehow comforting. I am running with a purpose, I have had a great training week and now all I need to do is log some easy miles. I can feel the heat I am generating, and hear my rhythmic breathing (in through the nose, out through the mouth). It is different to be running without a heart rate monitor and distance calculator. Although I don't monitor my HR when I do have it on my long runs, I do find myself checking my pace and distance quite often - not now. It's back to just me and my feet. I reach the turning point and on a whim, decide I will run out and back to my 10km mark, that way, I will tack on 11 km before going back into the loop repetitions. Main Road is deserted, I smell bread cooking at the bakery, but there isn't a soul out yet. There are three snow removal trucks idling in the commercial centre parking lot. They must be in the Convenience Store getting a coffee. The exhaust is making huge plumes of smoke I must run through - it seems to just hang there, heavier than the air. I wonder why they don't turn off their engines...As I reach the 10km point (it seems to have come awfully fast), I trun around and head back up the hill toward town. I get the distinct impression that it is colder than before. Normally when I run in the mornings, the temperature rises as the sun comes up and my run progresses. Today it seems the wind is picking up instead. At least it is at my back. By the time I make it back to town, I am sure the temperature has dropped 10 degrees, I make sure my headlamp is off as I run by a storefront window and continue on my way. I have my Fuel Belt under my jacket (a lesson I learned last winter) so I take out a bottle to drink some Ultima. It is already half frozen...I am now looking forward to doing the loops because they are on side roads where I'll be sheltered from the wind. But I have to get there first - I still have 4 hills to ascend, and the wind is biting cold. I am thankful I wore my clear-lens glasses this morning because my eyes would be tearing up. I enjoy the climbs with my newfound traction and turn to start what will now be four 3km loops. Halfway into the loop I decide that I have a good idea of my pace, so I will just extend the loop a bit more to swing by my place when I think I have covered the 30km distance. Also, if I do see somebody along the way, I will ask them the time as a double check. I should be done by 9 a.m. I head down Cote St-Charles and loop back toward the town to hit my four hills yet again. I pull out a Power Gel, and it too is almost frozen - it has the consistency of cold peanut butter. I suck it out as best I could by squeezing it like a toothpaste tube into my mouth. At least it doesn't taste as sweet this cold. I take out my bottle to wash it down and it is completely frozen. Oh well, at least I don't feel thirsty....The second time around on the hills is much more work than the first. The wind is biting cold and my fingers are actually getting cold. It seems the fleece gloves were wet from my sweat and now the wind is freezing them. Only a few more minutes to go so I loop around my block and head home. I walk up my driveway and head into the house, it is 8:55 - Pretty darn close, I think to myself. My wife and kids are up and just sitting for breakfast. She tells me the wind is coming from the Arctic and is making the temperature drop to -33C with the windchill - but I am done. What a great way to start a weekend!

Total weekly mileage : 86 km (I did a long run last Sunday which is also in this week's total)

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