Thursday, February 18, 2010

Perception Isn’t Everything

It’s been another one of those weeks where how I feel and what I’ve achieved don’t mesh.

Tuesday’s clinic talk was on Heart Rate Monitoring. This is the second (possibly third time) that I’ve heard Chris speak on the subject. He changes up the presentation each time but since I’m an HRM junkie there’s not too much new this time around.

I’ve always tracked by heart rate. It’s a more reliable indicator of effort than my ability to judge what’s going on by RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion).

For instance, Tuesday night’s run was a 6Km(ish) Tempo run. Same route been using (as messing up) from the beginning of the clinic. Bob (the Sockologist) was back from his vacation and ready to run.

Right from the beginning, Bob set the pace. Juliana and Marc were hanging back a bit so I went up and ran and chatted with Bob. We hammered the pace. The sidewalks were good, the temperature warmer than the past few weeks. All in all, a good night for a run.

Crossing Oxford and up Maitland we had opened up quite a bit of space. Rounding Regent to Waterloo nobody had joined us. We almost got tangled up by a dog walker, quickly followed by a couple of young padawans practising with their light sabres.

Reaching Oxford the light was against us, so Bob continued along Oxford. The traffic not letting us get across until Wellington, finally ducking along Piccadilly back to the store in 26:29 for the 5.65km. That’s a 4:42 pace!

Wednesday was an hour of hockey and a 10Km run.

Before hockey I had my large double-double and bagel with cream cheese. I also picked up a bottle of Powerade to leave in the car for after the game.

It wasn’t a stellar hockey performance but we won the game. I didn’t score but I didn’t totally suck either.

Driving in to run, I had about half the Powerade, two bananas, and about 8 sugar gum drops (mixing up my fructose and sucrose). I likely should have drank the whole bottle but was more concerned with “what goes in, must come out” during the run.

After much debate, a minor coup, and a show of hands we agreed to run lasts week’s 10km route in reverse.

Bob and I were back a couple spots for the first kilometre or so and then eventually made it to the lead. Whoever organized the palace revolt to run the route in reverse neglected to look at the topology and learn that we ran downhill on the way in last week. Westbound on Oxford to wonderland is all uphill past Cherryhill.

Luckily, Marc joined us at the bottom of the hill. Misery loves company.

Heading north on Wonderland to Sarnia Road is also uphill and Sarnia Road is up and down until Western Rd. The last three kilometres are relatively flat.

Holly, and her husband, Dave, joined us. Dave picked us up at the overpass on Wonderland and Holly joined us shortly after the turn on to Sarnia Road.

I was gassed after the hills but kept plodding along. Holly loves to chit chat and it was great to have her with us. Being rather monosyllabic having to structure sentences seemed to stem to rigor mortis that descended in to my legs.

I knew I was dehydrated by the end of the run. I was expecting it.

I think I was the last one of the lead group to finish but I wasn’t too far back. I lasted about 60 second outside after we finished. My hips and calves were totally seized up.

I drank some and stretched some, but just getting out of the cold seemed to help immensely. After loitering for 15-20 minutes, I was fine again.

Due to playing hockey I was running with in my contact lenses. I need bifocals to be able to read my watch so I really paid no attention to it during the run. Dumping the data into Garmin Training Center I had a bit of a surprise.

I didn’t play hockey last week. It was cold and windy. The sidewalks weren’t the greatest. It was a bit better this week. So the difference between the two runs was …. drum roll please …. two seconds. Reversing the course, making it harder, playing hockey, and running on empty for the last 3K. The cost was two lousy seconds. So much for rate of perceived effort.

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