Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Constant Variables

It feels like my entire training schedule has been turned inside out. I can’t remember a time since the fall where I’ve had back-to-back days off mid-week. Car problems side tracked any running on Wednesday and a chiropractor appointment in the morning and social gathering on Thursday night precluded getting in a run the next day.

Friday morning, I opted to run along the North Branch of the Thames on the multipath. I think the last time I ran this part of the park was the CSF 10K race at the end of October.

The run almost didn’t happen, for the first five minutes both legs hurt. The ankle was stiff and my left shin ached. Looking at the Garmin heart rate monitor result for the first few minutes of the run I was up over 170 bpm, my theoretical max for my age is 170 (220-age). Very strange. I made a concentrated effort to avoid going out too fast at the start.

The weather finally seems to be co-operating; it was already over 50F at 8:30 in the morning. I still had tights and gloves on to start but the gloves didn’t last very long with the warmth of the sun alternating with the cool of the river meadow. At times I was almost too warm, but that feeling passed as most of the route in under tree cover.

About 10 minutes into running I started to feel better and was able to loosen up. I followed the path all the way to Huron Street and doubled back. On the approach to Killaly, there was another runner heading north up Highbury. I could hear his feet slapping the pavement behind me on the uphill so I pushed the pace a bit. He followed me west on Glenora so I really opened up. Under normal circumstances I would have just cruised home happy with completing the run. This time I wasn’t going to let someone running in a grey cotton T-shirt pass by me in my own neighbourhood. If this guy wanted to chase me down, he was going to have to work for it. (Besides, I had the advantage of knowing I was almost finished). Mr Grey was about 50 meters behind me when I pulled in to home. He kept going past and I chuckled to myself as I walked around the block to cool down. It seems there is nothing wrong with my competitive spirit. AND it seems that I can push the pace a bit harder once I have warmed up. All in all a very good run that almost never happened.

My left hip tightened up quite an bit after the run. I stretched it out by letting the leg hang over the side of a table in our basement. At one time I was contemplating using ankle weights to deepen the stretch, not this time. It was difficult to lift the leg back up on to the table. I opted for a Toradol after finishing my stretching to see if it made the recovery any more bearable.

During Thursday’s chiro appointment, I enquired about my goal for this week’s long run. The Mississauga training group has 33km on their schedule, while the Ottawa group has 29km. Nicole suggested that I should consider keeping my run shorter, around 24 km.

It wasn’t an overly large group that started out Saturday morning. All the usual suspects were out in front, and Rebecca stayed up front for the first 8 km. The funniest moment of the past month had to be Marc pointing out the dog poop on the sidewalk to Rebecca. As Marc stepped over the poo, it hopped right towards Rebecca. Apparently toads do not like to be mistaken as poo, and Rebecca’s do not like to be charged by incensed toads. We really need a videographer with us on some of these runs.

The group splintered at Home Depot (potty breaks for some). I ran with Kim and Juliana until Richmond where they went north to Sunningdale and I ran up the hill on Fanshawe to Wonderland. This was also the end of the 10:1’s, I opted to run the rest of the route and use the stop lights to refuel.

I had no problems with the hills on this run, and there were plenty of hills during the rest of the route between Masonville Mall and the University. I didn’t quite make 21.1km in less than 2 hours but it was within 10 seconds. I felt like I could have run further, which is a good thing. I have a lot further to run, almost twice as far. The distance was just about right for the day. I'm happy with the result.

There was no ankle or shin pain on this run. The next day (Sunday), I felt fine.

Monday morning back to Nicole for another adjustment, I’m not sure I was as relaxed as I could have been, but I seem to be making good progress. Afterwards, I did an hour on the elliptical. Only 7.5 miles, I was tired but not sore. Stretched out some more.

Today, I feel like I thought I would have on Sunday, tired and tight. It’s a rainy day, I’m achy. We’ve got a tempo run tonight. I’ll see how real the aches and pains really are. Some are normal. These feel normal. Time will tell.

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