Run: 7.9km @ 44min
- includes 12 x 30sec hard sprints with 2min active recovery
I made a decision today to get back on track with training. Lots has happened this week and last, and things continue to happen, but life doesn't stand still. With the right planning and the right choices, I know I can still get some solid, high quality training in. And today I did exactly that.
I was going to bike to work today, but the all-day threat of thunderstorms made me consider otherwise. I vowed to get my speedwork in on the run today, come hell or high water (which nearly did come). Lunchtime arrived and I headed out the door between the intermittent rain - good, but it felt damned cold! We had a windchill of -3C, which wasn't that bad, but when you're used to near 20C temperatures, you have to re-remember how to dress. :)
To be honest, I wasn't looking forward to this run. I thought it would be too hard, that my mind wasn't ready for it. Then I thought of a phrase that my wife told me one day when I was forcing a long interval ride on the trainer - "What's this? It's nothing. It's just a ride. That's all it is - a ride." So that's what this workout was - a run; just a run. It just had some faster bits in it, and that's all.
So how'd it go? Amazing. Perhaps too amazing. There was no pain, no real burn in the legs, and not that much fatigue building up - at least not as much as I had expected. I set my HRM to display pace to make sure I wasn't cheating...and I certainly wasn't. Every 30sec sprint was done at a 3min30/km pace. That's right - every single one. For me, that's huge. And to have it done that easily - phenomenal.
It turns out that mentally I was more than prepared to hit this workout. And after realizing how "easily" I could hit and hold that pace in the sprints, I wanted more of it. When the 12 intervals were done, I wanted more - I knew I could have belted out another 4 or 5 of them if I had the time. That really lifted my spirits, and I felt I could raise my head high once again.
Tuesday's run had an element I didn't mention. As I was tempo-ing along, I slowly approached another female runner from behind. To me, she was small and looked like a recreational runner - not boney-thin like a serious competitor, not high-speed, just an "average" runner. The closer I got I was intrigued by an emblem on the back of her cap - it was all blue and I just couldn't make it out. As I was passing her, I made it out -- it was a 2oth anniversary Ironman Canada cap. Actually, it was an Ironman Canada finisher cap. At the risk of sounding rude, I thought "Well done, little lady!" I told my wife this story, and we discussed it a bit. My wife's simply perfect wisdom stated it oh so well, and honestly it stung a bit: "You make a decision, and you do it. You just plain do it. And then it's done." I'm sure that's exactly what that woman did, too. So simple. Obviously, too simple for me.
In all of the learning I do in training and racing in triathlons, I always forget to learn about more than just how I recover, get stronger, to hydrate, to fuel - I always forget to pay attention to what I learn about myself. You know what I mean - all that deep inner stuff that psychologists get excited about. And obviously, I forget to remember about all this deep stuff I learn so I can continue to improve myself in this sport...and in life. I hope that I can do what my wife mentioned - the sting I felt was my knowing that I'm not easily capable of doing what that "little" runner did. But I do know I can work towards making those steps a little bit easier.
With that, I revised my plan for the rest of Week 7.
- Was going to run long with Peter tomorrow, but that may get pushed off. If so, it's 90min on the trainer tomorrow.
- If the long run gets pushed off tomorrow, then it'll get done Saturday morning. Otherwise it's that 90min trainer ride.
- Sunday is a 2h15 ride, hopefully outdoors with "The Crew" - Scott, Warren and Ben. Otherwise it's on the trainer.
If I can accomplish those things, I've got 6 high-quality workouts in this week, which would be a h-u-g-e win, given all of the personal things going on. 5 will be a win as well, but I'd much prefer 6.