Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Morning After

How long do you take off after an all out effort? A week? Two? I took two days ran a four miler and then the next day ran another four. Then I felt tired the morning after the second run so I took the next day off.

For the next 4 days I was a basket case. I couldn’t get enough sleep. Although analyzing the situation I’m not sure if it was fatigue from running or the consecutive nights with a structure fire in the middle of the night.

Being an on-call firefighter has its merits but sleep is not on of them. We don’t get called out too often in the night but this past weekend was all too regular. One night was a kitchen fire around midnight and the next night was actually the next morning but still counts a couch fire. This on top of a few false alarms. And don’t even get me started on being mistakenly paged out.

It wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t in the midst of building a fence for my dogs in the back yard. Post holing and putting up fences I was using muscles I hadn’t in awhile. In fact the last two weekends I’ve been consumed by it. By Sunday I was so dead dog tired I actually took a nap in the middle of the day.

I was constantly doing something morning, noon and into the night literally.

I wish I could have monitored my recovery a bit better but I did notice that I was fairly dehydrated. I must have drunk 2 liters of water on Sunday before I had to pee some back out. That’s never a good sign.

Today is Tuesday, I ran for the first time since Thursday. It felt really good so I think I’m back on track. My wife and I agreed that we would try and keep this weekend open and no renovating. We’ll see!

Race Report

Race Report

It’s been over a week since my race. Pre-race jitters aside I made it to the start line unscathed. I hooked up with an old friend of mine who said he hadn’t been able to run in the last two weeks due to a knee flair up. I paced with him the first half mile so we could chat a bit. Then I wished him a good race and off I went.

The Spring Ahead Half Marathon is a two loop course with the first loop 1.1 km longer than the second. This way they can integrate a 10K race on the same course.

I settled in to a fairly decent 7:35 minute pace which I kept for the duration. The loop has an out and back blip near the middle of the loop where slower runners can watch the lead runners’ race past you in the opposite direction. I’m not sure if I should have been inspired by their speed or demoralized. I chose to be inspired.

Because I had run the first little bit with my injured friend most of the field was ahead of us from the start. This was a tactic I later came to appreciate as I picked off runners one by one. By about the 10 mile mark I had past as many runners as I could see. Without any motivating runners ahead I started to slow a bit until I heard the fast approaching 10K runners.

The 10K race had started about an hour after the half start. The speed demons came up fast on me. I didn’t want to let too many of them pass so I picked up my pace as much as I could. When the first two runners passed me I recognized the leader as an old running partner. I quickly gave him the inspirational ‘Way to go!’ and ‘Time to kick!’. It was after all about a mile from the finish. With that Mike took off like a bolt and out ran the guy aping him by about a minute. Wow!

My race now became ‘don’t let anymore 10K guys pass you’. This may sound good but doing the math I was averaging 7:30ish and they were closer to 6:45 or less. But I only had a mile to go. Runner 3 passed then number 4. Okay let’s get serious. Number 5 came up with a familiar ‘Hey!.

It was my friend Brent. The first thing he said to me was “I’ve got nothing left”. Yeah right. I tried keeping up with him because now it was less than half a mile left but my legs couldn’t go with him. I literally had nothing left in the tank.

I finished the half marathon in 1:40:09 which was beat my last year’s time by 5 minutes. My PR at this distance is 1:37 but that was from 1991, so does that still count? I think I did awesome and am pretty satisfied with my performance.

My next effort I still looking for I saw a race in Kelowna a 50K called Scorched Sole. How cool is that? Well here’s hoping to make it happen.