Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Understandably, the training log has looked pretty empty, and there were 6 zeroes in a row until this AM. Felt OK, enery levels were good and things are back to normal from being sick.
The calf is still tight but not painful. I'll have to go and get someone to have a look at it before running it through too many more hard efforts.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Oh man, what a difference couple of days make. I had a great three hour long run on Sunday, covered 19+ miles and felt great. Put back a ton of calories after the run and the next day my legs felt awesome. There's something to this MAF training: I used to feel smashed after my long runs because I was running them way too fast. Monday I felt super fresh and ready to go.
On Monday, Gunner and I grabbed the bikes and headed out to Buntzen lake, the site of the Canadian National Off Road Triathlon Championships in September. It was an AMAZING day for a ride. The weather was great and because it was a Monday the lake was pretty quiet. We had planned to pre-ride the tri course so Brian would have an idea of what he was in for come September but that didn't really work out. We caught some of the course, but mostly we just wound up and down the singletrack. What a sweet way to spend a Monday. Man, I was impressed with Brian. That guy can climb like a mountain goat. He had me sucking wind within the first ten minutes. But I would get him back later with the heavy dually on the descents!
We spent most of our time on a trail called Lakeview and this photo shows why its called what it is.
Another peek at the lake. So hard to do it justice in the pictures, but it was awesome.
One cool thing about getting lost is you never know what you'll see. Buntzen lake is actually a BC Hydro reservoir and we stumbled across a tank up on top of a steep cliff with some pipes running down the side of the mountain.
Brian on a little stretch of trail called Academy that will be part of the triathlon course in September.
Remember, its all about balance!
Being out on the bike really got me stoked to sign up for the race there in September. I can't really swim, so the tri is out, but they have a du and a 10K trail run. I'm leaning towards doing the run but I could probably be convinced to do the du! Either way, I can't wait to get back up there.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
146 BPM average
Longest run: 12.80 miles
Shortest run: 8.13 miles
Average run: 9.86 miles
The pic above is a trail I spotted while I was out today. I ran down it hoping to discover something exciting but sadly it was only a shortcut to the back of a townhouse complex. Good pic, though. Ran after work rather than in the morning and it was an amazing sunny day in Vancouver.
Training's a funny thing. I felt like this week was a total failure. I missed another workout due to my own weakness for sugar, then a couple more because of a cranked neck. I only managed 4 of 6 of my scheduled workouts. But as I was typing this recap, I glanced back at my training log and noticed that the miles, times and paces for the previous two weeks was very nearly the same as this week but it took me two more workouts to do it. So, average miles and longest run mileage this week was actually HIGHER than the previous two.
I had set myself the goal of breaking 50 miles a week (something I have never done in any training year) and I really felt like this was the week I would do it. Not getting there really had me feeling like I had dropped the ball with my training but looking back on the log tonight changed that around for me a little. It's been a good reminder that 50 is an arbitrary number and that it's easy to get focused on the wrong things if you aren't careful.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
A pic on route from the airport. This was five minutes from the resort and was about eight lit gravel soccer fields all in one place. These guys are playing a little 'American Football' On the gravel. Hardcore.
This is the first photo I took when we got off the plane. The fog is all the condensation on the lens from the humidity.
Shore break. No swimming, please. I saw one dude try and duck dive these waves for about 5 minutes trying to get out past the break. I wasn't going to go out to save him but it looked like someone was going to have to before he finally gave up.
All in all, Mexico was pretty beautiful but I don't know that I want to do the whole resort thing again. We had a beautiful room, good food, good pools, good booze and the resort staff was fantastic. But while I was out for a run one day something happened that made me rethink who things work down there.
I was running against traffic down a road in the front of the neighbouring resort. A car passed me and turned his signal on to turn left into a gravel parking lot. The driver was a resort staff member on his way to work. The way was clear and I stopped to let him turn. As the car passed in front of me, the driver saw that I had stopped to let him turn and his face totally changed. He started apologizing over and over and calling me sir. He just kept saying "sorry sir' over and over again. He was totally in the right and had no need to apologize at all. But the Cabo economy is 95% tourism and it was obvious he was ready to say whatever he needed to to keep me happy. It felt terrible. After that, I really thought a lot about whether I want to support that kind of social disparity when I vacation. If we go back to Mexico, I'll be pulling for a rented apartment and home cooked meals.
First, let me say that for those of you who haven't heard, Mexico is hot! Today's temperature there is currently 34 degrees Celsius (that's 93 for y'all down south)and 44% relative humidity. To be truthful, I'm not exactly sure what that humidity stat means but I'm pretty sure it means if you exercise in that weather you'll lose 44% of your body weight in fluids!
To contrast, today's weather in Vancouver is 18 Celsius or 64 degrees American after you do the conversion. So, yeah, a little bit different.
I ran five of the seven days we were there (including a short 45 minute scamper the afternoon we arrived) and noticed a huge difference in perceived exertion. My HR and pace stats weren't all that different (a little slower if I recall correctly. Again, data at home but I'll add to the next post) but it felt like I was grinding away to keep going.
I couldn't help but think of the ITU World Championships here in Vancouver this year and how difficult it must be to race in climate that is drastically different from what you have been training in. The weather for the ITU race here was brutally cold and wet for June (10-11 degrees and raining) and I remember seeing all sorts of athletes (mostly U-23 and juniors but some pros too) from warmer climates dropping out from the race because of the cold. I imagined what it must have been like for the Mexican triathletes coming the other way. At least in the heat I could slow down, but when it's cold and wet there's no hiding. Not to mention the fact that it's the second biggest ITU race of the year outside the Olympics. The mental and physical strength required to keep going must be incredible. I mean hey, if it's cold for Canadians, what must it feel like for someone from Mexico! It will be interesting to see how things go in Beijing, where I think the weather (heat and humidity) will be a bigger challenge than the pollution.
Keeping hydrated well was a challenge. There weren't a lot of places to get water outside of the resort restaurants and the tap water in the hotel rooms was not potable. I tried to stay topped up during the day by alternating glasses of water and mojitos and that seemed to work well! Aside from the 20-25 daily trips to the washroom.
On the run, I easily polished off a 26oz bottle on a 1 hour jog and could have done two if there had been a reliable place to refill along the route.
Cut off the road and ran on the beach a bit one day which was mega tough. Loose sand, steep canter made for a tough mile or so. The one day I ran on the beach I saw several pinkish lines left on the beach where the tide had rolled up and then receded, leaving a deposit on the sand with every incoming wave. It looked like red tide or pollution or something and it saddened me as I ran past to see that economics and human impact was starting to spoil another beautiful locale. On the way back I ran a little closer to the water and my path took me right through the 'red tide'. Looking down, I started to realize that it wasn't pollution at all, but krill, the food of baleen whales (grey whales, humpbacks etc) millions and millions of tiny, tiny little shrimp washed up on the beach. Kinda cool to see them up close after 'learning' about them on a billion Discovery Channel whale shows. Hey, I'm a nature nerd, what can I say?
I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of times I dragged myself out of bed. The Coronas on the deck in the evening probably didn't help my cause but what's a Mexican vacation without a few cervezas?
So yeah, running in Mexico was definitely different. If i had to choose, I'll take running in the rain and the cold any day. At least you can bundle up. My hat goes off to you guys who train in that kind of heat all the time. Hard-Core! That said, there's something really cool and adventurous about running to the gate of your resort, looking left, looking right, not knowing where either direction will take you, and then taking off down a dirt road into the desert.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
CBC radio 3 podcast today was their annual summer mix tape episode. 90 minutes of independant Canadian artists. Here's the playlist:
My Old Jacknife
To The City
The I Spies
In the Beginning
Grand Theft Bus
Through the Night These Days
End Of The Beginning
Blue Sky Addicts
The Ballad of El Doucho
The Wet Secrets
I Need A Friend
Threat from Outer Space
Vagabond (feat. Shad)
Jon-Rae and the River
The Cheapest Key
Reach Down To Me
Matt Mays & El Torpedo
Keep On (Champion's Alternate Take)
The Wheat Pool
The Banks Of The English Bay
Said The Whale
Corb Lund Band
Where and When
Deeper Than Beauty
No Reason to Cry Out Your Eyes (on the highway tonight)
Put There By The Land
Great Lake Swimmers
A great mix for roadtripping or running. DL for your own listening pleasure here by clicking the podcast link at the top and then the Radio 3 icon and going to past episodes #163. Do it.
75 minutes. 9.14 miles, 8:12/mile 152 BPM average.
Last day before the family and I leave to Cabo at the Riu Santa Fe for a weeks vacation. Bringing my Garmin and running shoes but the room has a fully stocked comp mini bar so we'll see how that goes.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
85 minutes. 9.59 miles. 8:85/mile 147 BPM average. Ate some sherbert before bed last night and slept like crap. The heat and the sugar wrecked me and I almost didnt get up. Once I got going, things felt pretty solid. Ran to the gym at work, did a core workout, ran home.