Recently I made a post entitled "The Good Life?" where I shared my struggles with time, workload and leading a balanced life. I decided that to balance my life a little better and to dedicate my training a little more towards running I had no choice bu to "cut the fat" so to speak. My race season now consists of 18 races. 3 are triathlons, 1 is Tough Mudder - an obstacle course - so not really a race and 14 are running events. I had to gear my training to where it would benefit me most. I guess this is the long way of saying I had to drop to 1 workout in the pool per week. I also slimmed my bike training to 1 thirty minute speed workout and a long ride. I've added a day of running speed work or hill training to my mid-distance and long run per week schedule. Once again, I'll try this for a few weeks and re-access how it is fitting into my life, as well as how it is working towards my training goals. I'm certainly finding a learning curve to all of this. What seems like it works now, may not next week, next month, etc. We all know the saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", well the opposite is also true. It was, so I did.
|Hiking at Websters' Falls|
Tuesday, and it's still winter so no skateboarding to be had. What is taking Spring so long to show up?? Or at least it feels that way. Spent the night editing skateboard footage. At least I can watch it if I can't do it.
Wednesday I was totally destroyed from a long day of installing baseboard, but knew I would feel overwhelmed with guilt if I didn't run. I had the Grimsby 3km coming up and had been focusing too much of my time on distance instead of speed. It was dark and -18C with the windchill down at the Bayfront when I arrived. It's been scientifically proven to be cold enough to freeze your balls off. I had my phone and trusty "Mettie" the metronome app with me. I set it too 190 bpm and away we went into the night. Unfortunately as soon as we did I realized very quickly that I didn't have any gas in the tank. I did my best to push through by running 1/2 km at 190 and dropping to a jog for the other half, repeating the process for 7.5km. By the time I reached my truck I was actually nauseous and wanted to die. What I learned from this night was sometimes there is nothing you can do about having a shitty workout and running at 190 foot strikes per minute is ridiculously hard.
Thursday was an early day off work. My boss and I finished the baseboard in the morning and were on our way home by 2pm. The sun was shinning and calling to me too strongly to ignore. Knowing I wasn't in for a long run on Saturday I decided to go for a recovery run. I think someone should instruct me as to what that really entails, because my version turned into 8.5km in 45 minutes. I didn't pay attention to any stats spouting from my gps watch, I just ran. There was plenty to distract me as I did a loop through the downtown core of Hamilton during rush hour. This city is full of freaks, but they were probably all reciprocating the thought as I sped by smiling and humming to songs bursting from my headphones. Interestingly after returning home and checking the data, my natural cadence has reached the recommended 180 foot strikes per minute. Sweet! Thursday evening I was back in the pool and working on the drills given to me by my new coach Saskia to attempt to remedy shortcomings in my freestyle technique. I was pretty much gassed from the days run, but managed 1500m of catch-up, zipper and underwater recovery drills. It's all feeling awkward which I guess is good, because it must mean I've changed something.
|Yep those are now mountain bike bars on my road bike. Jealous much?|
Saturday involved a lot of errands to clear my Sunday for racing. I did manage to get on my bike trainer for 20km in 50 minutes. I can't wait to ride outside. Riding the trainer is getting old, fast.
It's Sunday and although I wasn't stressed about the race at all, I must have been in the back of my mind because I slept like a baby. By that I mean waking up every hour. Terrible sleep mixed with nights sweats. I have had night sweats since I was young and always for one of two reasons. Either I'm sick or I'm stressed. Guess the race anxiety was getting the better of me. This race meant a lot to me. It was the first of the season and I knew a good result would help set the tone for my season as well as build confidence in my running. Chris and I got up early, gobbled down coffee and oatmeal and zipped off to Grimsby. I was as green as you get when it comes to racing. Uhm where do I go? Bib pick-up? how does this get pinned on? Thankfully racing veteran Chris was my guide and support through all of it. I wish I could convey to her how much her support really means to me. She is unbelievable. Whether listening to my incessant ramblings on new running techniques I've researched, massaging knots out of my muscles or just cuddling up after a long run she is always there for me. Today she was my guide, bag carrier, cheerleader and camera crew. I don't know what I would do without her.
Long story, long...
I was corralled behind a candy apple on legs and a group of children, just perfect. The horn blew I zig zagged the candy apple and dodged the kids sprinting my way up the hill to catch the lead group. I had a plan though and I had to stick to it. Chris was doubtful I would be able to curb my enthusiasm and just run myself into oblivion, but I knew what I had to do. Train like you race and race how you've trained. I checked my watch and my pace was 30 seconds too fast. I had to slow down or I would burn out. During the first kilometer I began picking off runners one by one. I had no idea how many were in front of me and settled into stride behind a fast paced girl. This is where I remained for the rest of the race. I was now matching her pace, but she was too far ahead to catch and pass. I sprinted the last 200m even though I thought my lungs were going to seize. Once the dust or in this case snow settled, 12:05, 5th place overall, gold medal for my age group. Not bad for my first effort, but still a long season left to unfold.