Monday, April 6, 2009

Training recap week #14

Sun 5 Apr - I ran a half at race pace today. I felt good before and after. My HR stayed in a controlled range and I was not at all out of breath. It was really fun to cruise at this speed all the way to Vaudreuil-sur-le-Lac and to pass other runners and walkers - it was gorgeous out so I guess it drew more people than usual to the roads in my neck of the woods. I crossed a cyclist and then a walker on my way out (mile 3 maybe) and I crossed the same cyclist again on my way back. As for the walker, I passed him at about mile 10. We have no sidewalks on this stretch of road so I went by him pretty close in order to leave room for oncoming cars. I don't think he was too pleased because he must have heard me when I was about 6 feet away and closing in and he turned his head and looked at me as if I were about to jump on his back or something. I just ran by and lifted my hand in a friendly rearward wave. I wonder what he was thinking...After that point, I had my usual 5 hills to the end of my run. I picked up the pace in order to make up some time and finish strong. Plenty of juice left in the legs and I motored to the end with ease. I had to run in a headwind for most of the second half of my run but despite that I managed a negative split by a few seconds. Although I was shooting for a time of 1:37, I actually finished in 1:41 but I am happy with that considering the wind and hilly conditions of my route.

Mon 6 Apr - no run today. I switched out one of my older pair of shoes for my weekday runs to bring my race shoes home and have them for Boston. I have worn them for about 80 or so kilometers now so I know they will be fine come race day. I will be driving to Beantown with my family so I'll probably also bring along my old shoes to wear if it is raining so that I can put on my new (dry) ones only minutes before the start and then leave the old ones for charity.

Tue 7 Apr - Funny how things change in an instant.  I was on the train on my way to work this morning and I started feeling ill by the time we passed Pointe-Claire.  I disembarked and nearly passed out on the platform.  I held on to the fence and aimed for a garbage can if I was to be sick.  After what seemed like a long time, it passed but I knew I was fighting a fever (both Chantal and ChloĆ© had a flu only days before and I suppose now it was my turn.  All I could think of was how this was going to impact my weekly training - not so much in preparation for Boston, but rather for Vancouver.  I should have run yesterday...I checked the train schedule and the next train back was more than an hour away, so I walked to find a washroom.  Believe it or not but it was actually snowing today and I didn't have a warm coat or a hat.  The treck to the McDonalds was only about 200 metres but it was windy and I felt like crap.  I finally arrived and made a b-line for the washroom - I'll spare the details...Afterward, I called the office to cancel my meetings and called Chantal to let her know I was going back home.  I then noticed that I was the only person in McDonalds under 60 (apart from the staff).  I seems that at this time of day, this is a rendez-vous point for retired folks.  Anyway, they were just drinking coffee and chatting but every once in a while someone would eat an egg  McMuffin and the smell was just too much to handle so I had to move to a table closer to the washroom, just in case.  Chantal offered to drive me home so we headed back to pick up my truck at the Vaudreuil train station.  I got home and headed right for bed - I slept for six hours!  Tonight I drank some Ultima electrolyte replenisher and kept it down.  I took a couple Motrin and kept that down too.  I can't say I caught this because of overtraining, but I am glad it happened today instead of next week.  Anyway, time to adapt and ease back into my training plan.  When I was in the army we always used to say that by the time you finish your plan, you have to adapt it when comes time to execution - and the mark of a good plan is one that can adapt.  Keep on running ;-) 

Wed 8 Apr - Still under the weather today.  Half-day at work and slept most of the afternoon.

Thu 9 Apr - Had to work today, I was a guest panelist at a healthcare conference.  Didn't have much of an appetite most of the day but I felt fine.  Thought I might go for a run in the afternoon but I started to get a headache at around 4 pm so I thought better of it.  Should be  good to go tomorrow, though.

Fri 10 Apr - Good Friday indeed!  I hit the road at around 3pm and churned out a 9-mile race pace run through the hills of Hudson.  I didn't have my Polar HRM or footpod so I am not exactly sure of my pace but I was running based on how I felt and judged my pace accordingly.  It was sort of strange at first to not be able to know my pace in an instant but after a while, I really tuned into my breathing and cadence, and I developed a rhythm that I knew was right on.  I even knew I was belly-breathing properly because I could feel the air move as my abs contracted and relaxed.  It was good to be out running again after a few days on the sidelines.  I seemed to have a spring in my step for the entire distance.  At about the 8 km mark, I was running up a 100m hill with a 15 degree slope.  There were two cyclists out for a leisurely ride that turned onto the road just ahead of me.  They weren't going fast or anything but I decided to see if I could run up the hill faster than they could ride it.  As the grade increased, I could see them slowing down.  They didn't shift down their gears so their cadence was slowing down and they worked harder for each pedal rotation.  I, on the other hand, was gaining speed.  About halfway up, I felt like a freight train.  I was concentrating on the road about 10 feet in front of me.  There was no hill, there was no crest.  There was only me and the road, and my rhythmic breathing.  I passed them with a strange feeling of satisfaction that I had beat them (even though they weren't racing against me).  And I was on a roll!  I continued up past the crest and down the other side without slowing up, took a sip of Gatorade and continued on my way. At the halfway point, I turned around and headed back. The rest of the run was pretty uneventful.  When I got home, I stretched in the basement, took a shower, and had a protein shake.  It felt good to be back.

Sat 11 Apr - no run today.  I watched some videos of the Boston marathon.  9 days  to go!

Total weekly mileage : 36 km


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