Monday, October 20, 2008

22km Trail Race #5

I raced the whole series! Yesterday's time: 2:26:07 11/12 in my age group I thought it was maybe a bit too ambitious when I signed up, but it's over now and apparently it was within my grasp. It's been a very productive summer as summers go and to have this series under my belt represents a significant victory in goal setting for me. Five years I've been running now and I'm still healthy and strong. Time is a real bottle neck! Once free of that the possibilities are endless, but I think that requires the big grass sleep so I'll try not to rush it.

The results page:

I was very happy with my results yesterday. 22km is a long way to run on trails for me. I finished a lot faster than I expected, but I did prepare as if I intended to race and not just run. I finished in 2:26:07, but it might have gone on to a 2:40:00 type finish easily enough. Mentally I could have been a little more serious about testing my training, but it's a social day for for me mostly or at least it was for me.

Not quite all the ducks were lined up yesterday morning, but by the half way mark it was clear I had plenty left in the tank to pick up the pace and I did. When I mistakenly went back to check on a friend, I realized that I was going to have to claw back that missing time to catch back up, give up on that goal and look at the remainder of the day as a training run. That decision was made almost instantly. I caught up to my friend in one km then spent two catching my breath and reeling in my pace before I went ahead on my own to finish the last six kilometers. I passed a few people that were suffering, but I was on a mission and frankly I was not suffering anywhere in particular so much as everywhere. I should try and get more training into my thighs, but they have the toughest time recovering from the speed work or long distance runs. More varialbles to play with I suppose.

My feet are too weird to allow me to comfortably run through big stretches of muddy water in all but the late stages of a race. I have better feet for Karate than for running. The pressure points are concentrated into very high load zones that I've come to respect. Wet sloppy food wear and sock makes me thing of blister damage to often.

The details of the the split times (click on "laps"):

The game of attending to the various physiological systems in training and then testing those estimates is endlessly entertaining to me. The body and mind are the ultimate in complicated machinery. That I can comprehend and influence them at all seems like magic when it comes together like it does more often than not in a favourable way.

I trained hard for the last six weeks with the incorporation of some very intentional speed work. Mostly tempo and strides, but in the last week specifically I ran various race paces of much shorter distances trying to keep my intensity up while dropping my mileage while I tapered for this 22km race on Saturday.

The taper was strange. I had so much energy it was difficult to get to bed at night and that wasn't best and defeated some of the gains available, but I do so love to touch the dials and play with the variables. This was the strongest taper experience yet. I can't imagine how people stay sane tapering after marathon training. It must leave one a bit mad really.

I have my sights set on a two hour half marathon next June. It should be within range. One of the things that's worked very well this summer is keeping a consistent schedule without becoming ill or injured. Taking time off for a cold or flu really crimps the plans and I avoided that through, for me, what was very intense training.

I'm so jacked up about this as one might be able to tell from my little gushing here. The other night I thought my heart rate as a little on the low side so I checked and it was down to 45/minute. Now if I could just replace a bit of fat with muscle I'd be in even better shape. It's too easy for me to enjoy a bit of a carbo binge for that to happen easily though. Ice cream and junk food anyone? On the bright side I used to drink like a fish and smoke like a chimney and that's not happening any more! It could be worse.

Those that don't run seem to struggle about why one would do this type of thing if there is now chance of winning. The answer is because it's about competing against one's own limits. Genetically and socially we come from different places and yet the fast ones genetically are up against the same trouble shooting guides that limit those of lesser talents. It's humbling to take your plan and then show up to test it against a time in public where people know what you're expected to do.

Art for arts sake. Wish I had a coach that specialized in old slow guys.

Now I'll take a couple of weeks off of running and enjoy the last of the fall and get back to cutting wood and working on the house and in the shop more.

I planted 3kg of garlic today and my legs were trembling. I ran stairs to get laundry done. It was bedding day wouldn't you know! I must rest, but know you are loved.
Wee Juan

Thursday, October 2, 2008

found milk snake

This little escape artist is an Honduran milk snake. It's fall here and as I was moving boxes in search of antiquated tooling and parts, I looked down upon 2% and my jaw dropped open. She's been missing from a building that's a hundred meters from the grainery where I found here. I suppose she was tucked into her winter space trying to grab what mass she could to support her bid to keep from freezing solid in our winters. She would have lost that bid I'm quite certain, had I not found her waiting for me deep in the box pile.

2% went missing on May 5 2008. She's not under weight, but she's a little jumpy when I handle her.