Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Back on Track

Well, let's just say Week 17 was a complete write-off, and we are back on track for a beautiful Week 16.

I fought a bug and my brain all last week, and in spite of awesome intentions, I could not hit the pavement even once.

That was last week, this is this week.  I won't dwell on the past.

Today I fought with myself for 30 minutes to get out of bed, forgot my ipod and my HR monitor, didn't drink anything before leaving (and it's warm - 12C this morning), but even though my run was uncomfortable, it is done.  Not quite the 5K it should have been, but close, and better than 0K.

Morning scenery.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rest Day and Start of Week 17

A well-earned rest day today, and a good thing because I am going on about 3 hours' sleep and it is past midnight already.  Ah, the life of a high school principal.  So will I really get up in 5 hours and run when I haven't left work yet?

I did think a bit on how training should look this week.  I need to get an easy 5K in, then I'm thinking that some intervals would be good.  I haven't done intervals for awhile, so a day of "What can you do?" might be the place to start.

My sorta long run should be half of my long run, so 5 K at a faster pace, and my tempo run should be a 2 km warmup, then 6 km at under 6:30s.  My long run will have to be 12 km this week.

So, that's four days of running this week.  I can throw in a fifth 5K if I can handle it.  I'm thinking right now that 4 days is ambitious enough, especially if sleep deprivation like this continues!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Long Run At Last

It's 5:45 and the holiday weekend is winding down.  After a rainy, cold day (high of 9C) the sun is now out and it could be a beautiful evening.  The beagle is on the couch, whining because he is hungry.  He has slept for the last hour while I finished the run we started together.
I have struggled with getting my long run in this week.  Today, after a conversation Jim and I had last night about the difficulties of balancing all the responsibilities of being an adult with trying to train and be an athlete, I realized that if I was going to get that long run in, I was going to have to approach it differently.

I only needed to do 10 km, so I decided to integrate it with other things I needed to do today, and since this is my holiday Monday, I decided it also needed to be a fun and enjoyable as possible.

I threw away the idea of trying to do a specific pace, loaded the ipod with some good 'slow run' tunes and some new psychology lectures, grabbed the beagle and my Garmin and headed out the door in the cold, rainy weather.  I did 2.5 km with Basso, letting him track a rabbit near the 1.2 km mark, letting him pull me in all directions so he could hunt, and stopping to talk with some neighbours.  It was relaxing, but slow.  

I dropped Basso back at the house, grabbed some good drinks, changed into something cooler and headed out to finish the final 7.5 km.
One of my pet peeves!

The psychology lecture was really interesting - out of Yale - on diagnosing mental illness.  One in four women will have major depression during their lifetime.  The biggest age group for depression is 18 to 24, and while bipolar is hereditary, major depression is not always hereditary.  There is some interesting research showing that two abnormal alleles on the gene for seratonin uptake can lead to depression after a major stressful event.

The other interesting piece is the definition of mental illness.  In short, a condition that causes distress (in self or others), dysfunction and deviance.

So not a bad run.  I cheated a few times and turned off the timer while taking a drink, so that skewed the results somewhat, but I easily kept the pace under 8 km/hr when the beagle was missing.

I paid for it though.  I had to run part of my last kilometre over again when I forgot to turn the timer back on after my drink.  I was too busy pondering how cool it was that after listening to a lecture on depression for 8 km, the song on my iPod was "If it Makes You Happy" by Sheryl Crow.  Timely, too, with all the Lance allegations in the news again today.

I do have to admit, though, that I was pretty happy to get back home to this gorgeous tree in our front garden!

Tempo Run

This was supposed to be my long run day, but I managed to put my run off long enough that I had only an hour left - so no long run possible.  I should have been okay, but I couldn't find my hydration belt, I never did find my ipod, I couldn't find running clothes.  These are all the things that need to be automatically organized and cared for as a runner, but I don't feel like a runner again yet.

I am not enjoying my running.  It hurts.  I don't want to do it. 

Today is the Firefighters 10 Mile Road Race in Thunder Bay.  I should be there, running it out in the rain with all the other runners, but I am not ready.  I look forward to racing again, to being in shape so that I can just sign up for a run and do it, to proudly wear the t-shirt, to laugh with all the other runners.

So I keep going, knowing this pain will lead to something good, something I can be proud of.

I fought my run yesterday.  The first km was tough, but even though I was running on new gravel - ankle eater for sure - I started to flow after a km or two and I was able to do get the kind of pace I wanted.  

I actually did 4 km under 6:30.  During km 6 I dropped a bottle in the mud and stopped to clean it!  

So I still need to get a long run in.  It is pouring rain today, but I have tons of paperwork to catch up on and I may just need some slow time out there on the trails to break it up.

I can't wait to see how my friends made out in the 10 miler.  I will be with them in 2012!

Upcoming runs in the Thunder Bay area here: http://www.10mileroadrace.org/article/other-great-races-321.asp

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hill Repeats

I've been under the weather this week - needing sleep and hungry constantly.  I'm not sure what's up but it was really hard to get out of bed no matter how many times that alarm rang!

Yesterday I procrastinated but finally got up and did a run down to the lake with hill repeats all the way back up.  It was a gorgeous morning and it was a tough workout.  I felt much, much better for having done it. The key is remembering how good I felt for having done it!

Sunrise over Lake Superior, Terrace Bay.

A few spring flowers.

Down on the beach at sunrise, Terrace Bay.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Birthday Run

I did it.

One full hour of hitting the snooze button and arguing that I could run later today - knowing full well that never happens - then I got out of bed and hit the pavement.

I'm late for work, but work will always be there.

I made the mistake of leaving my iphone at home - a mistake because 300 m into my run I rounded the corner to see one of those giant full moons setting over Lake Superior.  The reds, pinks and purples in that moon were such a gift for a birthday girl.  I ran home to get the camera knowing full well I would be too late.  Those moons are beautiful but fleeting.  Best to stay and watch it set below the lake than to run away and hope to capture that beauty.

However, I did get the iphone and I won't make that mistake again.

My run was only 4K, but I did a section on cobbles (not smart) and a run up to the lookout (beautiful) as well as some wicked tempo, so I won't look at this as failure.

No run is a failure.

Early morning in Terrace Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

This is my last hour to be 50. Tomorrow I will be 51.

I feel like I have nothing to show for 50. I did a half-marathon, then quit running again.

I love running. I love being a runner. I love being able to just run and run and run, effortlessly, because I am fit and I am a runner.

But this year I have shrunk away from running, and most other things I love, while learning to be a high school principal.

As I leave 50, I realize that no amount of wanting to be a runner will make me a runner. I need to run to be a runner, and running right now is hard.

Mostly what I do right now is sit. But I am the only one who can change that.

So here is my goal 18 weeks from today: http://www.thunderbaymarathon.com/

It says 123 days.  I know it is actually 125 - I counted.

It is not many days.  There are no days to waste.  I have to commit to this.

I'll start when I turn 51.